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Proton Launches Proton Docs to Challenge Google Docs with Enhanced Privacy

ByHuey Yee Ong

Jul 6, 2024

Proton Launches Proton Docs to Challenge Google Docs with Enhanced Privacy

Proton, a company that prioritizes user privacy, has introduced a new service called Proton Docs. This service is a direct competitor to Google Docs and is integrated within Proton’s existing Proton Drive cloud storage service.

Announced in a recent blog post, Proton Docs extends Proton’s commitment to privacy by featuring end-to-end encryption of not just the files but also cursor movements and keystrokes during document editing.

With its focus on security, particularly through encryption, Proton recommends its new Docs service for industries where privacy is crucial, such as healthcare, media, finance, and legal. This specialized focus might make Proton Docs particularly attractive to professionals in these fields who require guaranteed confidentiality in their document handling.

What Features Does Proton Docs Offer?

Reflecting familiar functionalities found in Google Docs, Proton Docs offers a variety of features that include a formatting toolbar, options for rich text formatting, and the capability to handle file names and paths. Additionally, it supports commenting and includes multimedia support alongside white pages. Users of Proton Docs can see live indicators showing who else is viewing the document. The system supports essential document formats such as Microsoft .docx and allows users to add images to their documents.

Unlike many other document editing tools, Proton Docs does not support link-based sharing; instead, it requires all collaborators to have a Proton account. This feature aligns with the company’s privacy-first approach, ensuring that document access remains controlled and secure.

While it is currently only accessible online and not as a standalone application, there is an expressed hope within the company that an app version will soon be developed, similar to how Proton Drive was initially web-only before its app was released.

Recently, Proton has also upgraded sharing features in Proton Drive, indicating a continuous improvement in their offerings. Although not yet open-source, Proton has indicated plans to make Proton Docs open-source soon, allowing users to verify the security claims independently.

The development of Proton Docs was notably influenced by Proton’s acquisition of Standard Notes, a collaboration that has evidently played a crucial role in the creation of the new document editor.

How Can Users Access Proton Docs?

For those interested in trying out Proton Docs, Proton offers a free tier within Proton Drive, where users can access all essential features of the document service until they reach a 5GB limit. Beyond this, a paid upgrade is necessary.

Proton has not disclosed plans to expand its suite to include more services akin to other Google Workspace tools, but the ongoing development and enhancement of its offerings highlight the company’s commitment to providing secure, privacy-focused digital tools.

Featured Image courtesy of Proton

Huey Yee Ong

Hello, from one tech geek to another. Not your beloved TechCrunch writer, but a writer with an avid interest in the fast-paced tech scenes and all the latest tech mojo. I bring with me a unique take towards tech with a honed applied psychology perspective to make tech news digestible. In other words, I deliver tech news that is easy to read.

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