If you're looking to migrate your email service over from Gmail to ProtonMail, or even if you're considering such a move either for personal use or for your online business, then I've got some really great news for you.
Here are links and resources mentioned in today's video. Enjoy!
If you're sitting there feeling like this is gonna be a big, daunting undertaking, then you're in for a real surprise. Not only is migrating to ProtonMail quite painless and straightforward, it also doesn't take a whole lot of time -- yeah, really!
So what we'll do here is, I'll detail out the process for migrating to Proton and along the way, I'll share with you my experience of the process, things I wish I'd done differently, and things that worked out great.
First off though, if you're not sure if Proton is gonna be a good fit for you or not, a better starting point for you instead of this video is my full ProtonMail review. See show notes below if you're interested...then when your'e ready to actually move over to Proton, come back to this video.
Now just so you know where I'm coming from, I'd been using and testing ProtonMail for quite a long time for personal use, and not too long ago I decided to start using Proton for my online business.
I don't run a large business in terms of employees or anything like that -- I'm a solo operator with Vas and freelancers. So, I don't have full-time employees and all I need are just three business email accounts.
That said, if you're running a larger organization, ProtonMail can certainly handle that, too.
Now in addition to me wanting to begin using ProtonMail for my business, this also meant migrating, or moving over the volumes of archived mail sitting in my Google G Suite business account...and of course, the process of migration is largely what this video is all about.
Now before we get into all that, there are some things to consider before making your big move. Again, you're very likely sitting there thinking this whole process of moving over to Proton is gonna be complex and time consuming...and it isn't.
But there are a few important things for ya to keep in mind...so let's detail those out now.
Okay, when you're ready to make the switch to ProtonMail, there are a few vital things to consider. First up, and you're likely already thinking this, but Google's email service is obviously tightly integrated with several other services, like Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and so on.
So if you're using these other services, then you're going to have to carefully plan your migration. For instance, at this time, ProtonMail's cloud storage service, ProtonDrive, is still in beta.
Further, Proton doesn't offer anything that's similar to Google Docs, so you may need to plan accordingly if you need that functionality. Proton's calendar is also still in beta too, but I use it daily without issues, so you won't have any problems there.
So as I say, you'll just need to plan things out in advance and figure out how you want to handle specific components...depending on how tied into Google you are, of course.
One thing I do want to squeeze in here is, Proton's paid plans come with a free VPN, which works really well and it's kinda like the icing on top. If you're not sure, a VPN is a service that protects and encrypts your data online while you surf the web.
I've got a plain-english, non-techie video that goes into more detail on VPNs which I'll link to in the show notes below for you. Now, on to the actual migration process. Here goes!...
Okay, the first step in the process to begin using ProtonMail is to obviously sign up with a plan. If you're using Proton for personal use, this is easy and free.
However, since I'd already been using a free account for testing purposes and was ready to begin using Proton for business use, I signed up for their Professional plan.
Now, what I did here is, I signed up for my paid plan while still logged into my existing free Proton account...not realizing that my free Proton account plus my business account would all be put under the same user account.
I was used to how I had things set up back in Gmail, where I had my personal account and my business accounts completely separate. So in other words, the way that I'd inadvertently set things up with ProtonMail was, I put my personal and business email under a single user account.
And it wasn't made clear that this was going to happen as I was signing up for a paid plan...I thought I was setting up a completely new account with Proton. And of course, there's no way to separate out the accounts once they're set up.
So just watch out for this if you think it might be an issue for you. At first, I didn't like this arrangement...but quite honestly now I'm totally fine with it.
And by the way, it's totally possible to have more than one user and it's possible to set accounts to be private if you have employees and need to set up multiple email accounts for your employees.
After getting your account set up, and again this is for business use, the next thing you'll have to do is add your domain name in your Proton account and configure it to send and receive email via ProtonMail.
Now admittedly, this is the most technical part of the set up. Here, we have to carefully follow ProtonMail's instructions to add what are called DNS records to your domain name...and also remove the old Google G Suite records.
I'll tell you, when I was doing this for myself, it felt like defusing a bomb while having the hunger shakes, but really, I'm being overly dramatic here...this is just my own paranoia.
That said, I made sure to make careful backups of my G Suite records just in case. If you're a bit worried here, I suggest you make backups too.
With this step finished you're ready for the true test: being able to reliably send and receive email through your domain-branded email accounts in ProtonMail.
So next, you can go ahead and start setting up your accounts -- firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or whatever you need. For myself, I set up my three business email accounts, including the one you can see in the top right corner here, firstname.lastname@example.org.
After waiting for your domain settings to verify, which can take a while, you can test sending and receiving from the business email accounts you've set up in Proton.
If you have any trouble here, double check that you've properly configured your domain's DNS records. If you are able to send and receive -- awesome, you're ready for the next step.
With everything functioning well, the final step is to import your email from Google. To do this, if you're using a free Proton for personal use, ProtonMail's Import Assistant app. If you're on a paid plan, you can use the Import Export app to import your emails.
When I did this, I used the Import Export app, and for me at least, the entire migration process took less than an hour...and surprisingly the entire process was easy and painless! It went way, way smoother than I'd anticipated.
The only thing left now is to import your contacts from Google, and migrate over your calendars. Importing contacts is super-easy.
In Google, you'd simply head into your contacts manager, click Export on the right, and export your contacts as either a .cvs file or in the vCard format. Then in ProtonMail, you'd head into your contacts manager there and click import, and then select the file you exported from your Google account. That's it!
Equally as easy is bringing your calendars over into Proton from Google. Here, you'd open your Google Calendar's settings, click Import & Export on the left, then click Export. Next, in your Proton calendar's settings, click Import, then select the file you exported from Google -- dead easy!
And you know what? That's it! I'm telling you, moving over to ProtonMail isn't nearly as complex or daunting a task as you might think. And now that I'm totally switched over to Proton, everything's running great.
Since moving over, I've set up filters to sort email that comes into each of my three email accounts into separate folders, I've set up some auto-responders, and have things running great. Now before we close things out, I do have a few observations that are important to note.
Alright, pretty straightforward, right? Now all said and done, the ProtonMail set up and migration process takes about 30 minutes. Then we'll have to wait about 12 hours for domain propagation to complete.
Then as I mentioned earlier, migrating emails from Google to Proton took less than an hour, at least that's how long it took for me. So from start to finish, the entire process took about a day...and it didn't involve any panic attacks, hyperventilating, or mental breakdowns!
The only other thing I'll add here is that if you're using ProtonMail for personal use, then one of the more time consuming tasks from here on out is going to be changing your old Gmail address to your new Proton address wherever you need to online -- services like Netflix or eBay, forums, online stores, newsletters you're subscribed to, and so on.
Beyond that, this is all there really is to setting up and moving over to ProtonMail.