What is the difference between protonmail.com and protonmail.ch?

ProtonMail operates under the domains protonmail.com and protonmail.ch. With the introduction of protonmail.com, there have been some concerns from users regarding the prudence of introducing the .com top level domain (TLD) since .com is under the control of the US government (more specifically, the .com TLD is managed by VeriSign which is a US company under US jurisdiction).

 

The primary risk is domain name seizure which can occur if the US government bypasses the Swiss court system and directly seizes protonmail.com by serving a court order directly to VeriSign. In this case, ProtonMail could lose control of protonmail.com and the US could gain access to emails sent to protonmail.com after the seizure through directing all email sent to protonmail.com to a different server.

 

This risk exists for any .com domain. At this time, we gauge this risk to be quite low because ProtonMail is operating in compliance with international laws and regulations which protect the right to encrypt data. Encryption is legal, even in the US and there can be no just cause for seizing our .com domain name.

 

However, at ProtonMail, our goal is to provide maximum privacy and security under all possible scenarios so for this reason, we will continue to provide the added security of the .ch domain. We recommend that users concerned about absolute privacy choose to use protonmail.ch when they are creating their ProtonMail account. Within Proton Technologies AG, we will continue to exclusively use protonmail.ch for all outbound correspondence so all of our email addresses (such as contact@protonmail.ch) will remain on .ch. However, all messages sent to our email addresses utilizing .com will be received and responded to.

 

ProtonMail will continue to use protonmail.com as our default website and webmail portal. We consider this to be low risk because the backend API which needs to be accessed to get user data will continue to be hosted at protonmail.ch. However, for users who wish to always avoid .com domains, we provide an alternative webmail access at app.protonmail.ch.

 

In March 2018, we also introduced a new short domain for email addresses: pm.me. The ME registry belongs to Montenegro, and in terms of safety, we classify it as safer than .com, but not quite as safe as .ch.

 

If you are looking to change your current address, you can upgrade your account to add more email addresses to your account.

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24 comments

  1. Luke

    Hi Everyboby!
    I have two questions
    1- It seems that the simple choice of the alias causes the choice of the Country server on which and from which mail is sent and stored. Is It correct? Or is necessary to set the default Country server somewhere else?
    2- If is possible to know, how does it works?
    Thank You for Your reply 🙂

  2. Bart

    All the servers are in Switzerland regardless, and in fact are the same servers–the .com is just another domain name which points to the Swiss servers.

  3. Anonymous

    Will you please provide a shorter domain name such as pm.ch? Thanks!

  4. George Nistor

    it seems that at this moment (2 november 2015) any login to the .ch domain is redirected to .com. Why? I thought .ch is the main one (and is set in my mail setings as well).

  5. rb

    did I read somewhere that in the future you will have different custom domains possible going directed to your servers in CH? ex: username@CustomMailName.ch or would it be: username@CustomMailName.your country code or custom extention?

    How do we sign up for that now and do you anticipate a cost for that service? what is the estimated rollout date?

  6. Tony Kearsley

    How did my name get miss spelled in my new account ? was this my mistake or protonmail varying my name. Thanks.

  7. JD

    I do not think we should be using .com The whole reason that we have to have secure e-mail is because of our governments. Do not trust the U.S.

  8. D

    Hey, I initially chose .com domain but after reading this article I would like to use .ch. How can I change it?

  9. stadex1

    I was just reading about the .com danger of the US Authorities seizing accounts, can I retroactively change my.com to .ch and how?
    Or do I have to start a whole new account from scratch?

  10. Noah

    I signed up without having read this, and so I chose the .com domain to avoid confusing my family/friends.

    After the fact, I’d prefer to have chosen the .ch domain; will it be possible to change it in the future?

  11. Anonymous

    This article must be atop of account creation procedure.

  12. Oodles

    Yes, I have the same question. I didn’t know the dif between the .com or .ch until after signing up. Can I change now?

  13. Steve Black

    ProtonMail: Please explain how I may switch my address’ TLD from .com to .ch.

  14. ProtonMail Support

    We have made some changes for the new users. When you create a new account, you can choose which domain you want to use, .com or .ch. Once the account is created you can only use the chosen domain. You can use both domains if you upgrade to a premium pan, but your default domain will always be the one you have registered, and if you go back to a free plan, only that domain will be available.

  15. Anonymous

    Do you plan to allow switching from .com to .ch in a near future?

    Thank you in advance.

  16. ProtonMail Support

    The domain can be chosen only when registering an account, after that it can’t be changed. You can upgrade to a premium plan and use both domains if you want.

  17. John Doe

    Only .ch domains should be allowed, period. It’s not very costumer-friendly to not have a switching possibility.

  18. Gabriele

    Proton I have just upgraded to a premium plan but I still cannot see or compose with .ch domain, only the created .com domain. Please confirm how to activate both domains. Thanks for your support.

  19. ProtonMail Support

    After you upgrade you can go in Settings>Addresses and add the .ch alias to your account.

  20. G

    After choosing and adding the .ch alias, will my previous.com emails be protected from any government confiscation ?
    And if I upgrade, will my the existing old .com protonmail give some government the excuse it needs to demand my .ch mail as well?

  21. thierry

    premium means plus or visionary ? If I have a plus account I can change my address .com to .ch ?

  22. ProtonMail Support

    Premium user means paid account with a paid plan (either plus or visionary). Yes, you can upgrade your account to Premium and own both of the domains.
    We have made some changes for the new users. When you create a new account, you can choose which domain you want to use, .com or .ch. Once the account is created you can only use the chosen domain. You can use both domains if you upgrade to a premium pan, but your default domain will always be the one you have registered, and if you go back to a free plan, only that domain will be available.

  23. Noel Dietrich

    How can I pay for your servis when I do not have a credit card but only cash?

  24. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact us at contact@protonmail.ch.

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