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Proton Launches End-to-End Encrypted Alternative to Google Docs

Swiss privacy company Proton today launched Proton Docs, which it is pitching to customers as a “secure alternative to Google Drive and Docs.”

Proton Docs offers user end-to-end encrypted (E2E) document creation, editing, and collaboration, all of which is integrated with Proton’s cloud storage product, Drive.

The implementation of E2E means not even Proton can access your docs content or metadata (such as file names), and user data is kept on Swiss servers, where it is protected by strict Swiss privacy laws.

Following Proton’s recent acquisition of the encrypted notes app Standard Notes, Docs integrates many of its popular features, such as full support for markdown and rich text, code blocks and checklists. From Proton’s press release, here are the highlights:

  • Rich Text Editing: Create and edit documents with advanced formatting options, allowing for professional and polished outputs.
  • File Compatibility: Easily open and edit documents in multiple formats, including Microsoft .docx, ensuring seamless integration and continuous privacy protection.
  • Comments and Collaboration: Add comments, reply to comments, and resolve them efficiently, fostering a collaborative environment.
  • Embed Images: Enhance your documents by embedding images, providing visual context without compromising on speed.
  • Collaborative Cursors and Presence: See who else is viewing the document in real-time with collaborative cursors, making teamwork more intuitive.
  • Invite Collaborators: Easily invite anyone to collaborate on your documents. Participants without a Proton account will be prompted to create a free one, ensuring a secure environment for all.

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Drawing on its privacy-is-everything stance, the company says that every document, keystroke, and even cursor movement is end-to-end encrypted in real time. “Unlike Google Docs, Proton’s commitment to never harvesting user data for any purpose, means information remains strictly private,” promises the company.

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Proton Docs is currently a web application, but Proton says it will eventually be offered as a dedicated app across platforms. Alongside Docs, Proton Drive includes a calendar, file storage, a password manager, and more.

Docs requires a free Proton Drive account. Proton says it is rolling out Docs starting today, and the feature will be available to all users over the next couple of days.

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