This encrypted alternative to Google Drive and OneDrive is coming to Windows

Proton Drive, a service similar to Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, is coming to Windows. The application is encrypted and allows you to synchronize your files directly on your PC.

You probably know Google Drive, Dropbox or even Microsoft OneDrive, free online storage applications. Some like OneDrive allow you to synchronize your files directly on your local computer. Now it’s the turn of Proton Drive to arrive on Windows. Its competitive advantage: the solution is more respectful of privacy and the files are encrypted.

Proton Drive wants to stand out from OneDrive

In a press release, the company Proton, known for Proton Mail, announces the arrival of the Proton Drive application on Windows 10 and Windows 11. It “ gives Windows users secure, encrypted access to their Proton Drive cloud storage, directly from their Windows devices. »

In fact, the files you store on Proton Drive will appear directly in the app. On top of that, they will be stored locally on your machine. With each modification made, the files will be updated locally, but also on the Proton servers. If we can synchronize folders from the Windows file explorer, it does not seem possible to access Proton Drive directly from said explorer. Proton states that ” files in the Proton Drive folder on your computer do not automatically take up hard drive space. They are only downloaded to your device when you access them “. Parameters allow you to choose the files to be synchronized and those not to be stored on your computer.

An operation similar to what Microsoft offers with OneDrive and which allows access to its files, even without an Internet connection. Among the update features is the version history: each file has a complete history of each of its versions. What to prevent accidental deletions and other modifications. On his blog, Proton states that this ” allows you to recover your files if you fall victim to a ransomware attack “.

An application that should delight Proton Drive users: according to the company, 65% of its customers access this storage service on a Windows device. This will save its customers from having to connect to their space in a browser and download their files before putting them back online each time they make a change to them. It seems to work: in its press release, Proton says that users of the beta version of the Windows application ” uploaded five times more data than those using only web and mobile apps. »

Proton Drive should also receive a macOS version in beta. No official launch date has been revealed. Some users have received an invitation to test this application for Macs. Proton is also planning a Linux version, which will only be developed after the launch of the macOS version.

What Proton Drive does that others don’t

For those who don’t know, Proton is a Swiss company that markets several software: Proton Mail for email, Proton VPN for VPNs, Proton Pass for the password manager, Proton Calendar for the agenda, but also Proton Drive for online storage. It wants to be more protective of its users’ data compared to other services. There is a free subscription plan that allows you to store up to 1 GB of data online. That’s far less than many other free storage offers.

Proton Drive nevertheless offers end-to-end encryption of its application: this means that all files are encrypted before they are imported. An encryption that also includes metadata, file and folder names, file sizes, download dates, etc. The company Proton specifies that even, it cannot access the files in clear, even if it wanted to. It ensures that the user’s consent is required for this. Encrypted signatures are also included. to verify the authenticity of your files and prevent data tampering. »

As for data storage, it is carried out on servers in Europe, protected by full hard disk encryption. According to the company, Swiss privacy laws are among the strictest in the world. It also ensures that it never stores its customers’ files on third-party cloud services.

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