Proton and SimpleLogin

While going down a rabbit hole on Mastodon the other day, I stumbled across a post from SimpleLogin saying that they were now a part of the Proton family. I've been a fan of ProtonMail for a long time, and now also use both Proton Drive and Proton Calendar regularly (especially now that they have iOS apps.) While I've not used a lot of email alias services like this before, I have used the one Apple offers through iCloud. I don't really use my iCloud email address for anything other than apps which want to authenticate me through iCloud, which I usually accept out of convenience but opt to use a throwaway email address to avoid being spammed by them months down the line when I've stopped using their app. This is especially big for games that I know I'll play for a few weeks or months and then never think about again.

Today, I happened to be feeling like blogging again—hence why this site is once again live—and thought I would check out a few options in the blogging space to see if I wanted to swap to something different. While trying out Ghost, I remembered SimpleLogin and decided to give it a shot. While it lives outside of the Proton umbrella (using it involves going to their own site rather than having it available in the Proton app switcher), I was still able to use SSO to log in via my Proton account. This also showed that I had a “Premium” account. Given that this is normally $30 USD per year billed annually, I assume this must be due to my existing Proton subscription. It's always nice to get more services and features without having to pay anything additional!

I quickly generated a new alias and used that to sign up for Ghost, which worked smoothly. I get the option to either create my own alias or have an alias automatically generated via either a UUID or random words. There are additional settings for opting to suffix every alias with random numbers and which of the dozen or so domains offered by the service will be used as the default, several of which are denoted as being “premium” domains that can only be used with paid accounts. I'm curious if a service like this runs into issues where sign-ups with particular domains are blocked. I've seen this behavior with many of the domains used by Guerrilla Mail, for example, when I wanted to sign up for a throwaway account for something that I had zero interest in maintaining long term. I know I was concerned about the same when Apple introduced their alias service, though I figured most providers wouldn't be able to turn away millions of Apple users. I'll see over time if this becomes problematic or not.

Along with managing the aliases I've created, the dashboard page also provides metrics from the past 2 weeks on things like the number of messages forwarded, blocked, replied to, etc. I do find it nice that replying is an option, though I doubt it's one that I'll use. With my personal email account, at least, I very rarely actually send email. In the instance that I am sending email, I want the recipient to see my actual address the overwhelming majority of the time.

I also found it nice that SimpleLogin offers an iOS app that I quickly installed. At a quick glance it seems to offer essentially all of the same functionality as the web frontend.