Reviews, Security

Proton VPN: A Review

VPN software is typically used to create a secure channel between two points. Anyone who’s worked remotely (which is pretty much everyone in the last couple of years) will be familiar with them because your IT team won’t let you connect to your work network without one.

For those not in the remote office environment they offer an invaluable layer of protection when working on a public WiFi network. Most commonly in my current day-today though, they’re used by my English-speaking clients who are looking to watch TV in their native language.

For the latter purpose all VPNs are not equal. You can find a perfectly good VPN for security-only bundled with your internet security package. Kaspersky, Avast, etc. all have a VPN on their list of features. For the latter category of user though you need a paid-for VPN – and again, not all of these are set up to access the sites you are most likely interested in.

Because I am often asked by clients to recommend a VPN, I decided to try about a few of the paid ones. I tried Clear VPN first on the basis of having bought other software from them but I’m not even going to bother with a review: it didn’t do what it said on the tin and was incredibly annoying to use. I wrote to them about it it was so bad!

The next one I tried is this one: Proton VPN. Six months later I still have it installed and am using it in place of the free one. No reason particularly (I don’t watch TV!) but just because it’s a great piece of software and I like it.

When asssessing a VPN here are the four criteria I’m interested in:

  • Trust – who makes it and can I trust them?
  • Ease of use – does it annoy me or just work in an intuitive way?
  • Performance – does it do what I need it to do?
  • Price – how does it compare with others and what do I get for the money?

Why Trust Proton?

Of all the questions this one is easy to answer when it comes to Proton and the answer is definitively “yes”. Proton may not be know to the general population but it has a solid reputation for security, being one of the first (possible, only) provider to offer secure email messaging services with their flagship product ProtonMail. I have personally had an account with them for many years and cannot fault them at all. When I saw they had just launched a VPN for me there were no questions about their integrity and their ability to deliver on the security side.

Ease of Use

Selecting a server is simple and resource loads are colour coded.

Having tested various other free and paid-for VPNs I can say that Proton VPN is one of the most intuitive I have used. It’s easy to install on any platform with an interface that works nicely on any platform (not one of those where the desktop version is good but the Android version is broken, or vice versa.) I really can’t see how they could make it any simpler to use.

Essentially, once you have installed it from their site or from the relevant mobile app store (Google Play on Android or the App Store on Apple) you have to create an account. Once you have an account you fire up the app, select a country or a Profile that you’ve created to reuse in future, and that’s it. Really really simple. Then you just use your device as usual.


For regular usage (creating a secure tunnel on a public network) it’s great. For my clients with their particular needs, it also works. That means access to iPlayer and ITV. I’ve also tried it with some of the online channels (Netflix, etc.) from the iPad and yes, they work too. It’s good. You can visually see the load on the servers so, if you do run into speed issues (sometimes an issue at peak times) you can switch to one that has more resources available. Choosing one is simple: red = at capacity, orange = high traffic, and green = resources available. Not rocket science and it’s visual, which is nice.


Their prices are a little lower than some of the more commonly used VPN services. Current prices (as of 28/01/2022) are below. You can save by paying up front for the year but – while you’re trying it out – you can pay a small amount more for a PAYG month-by-month subscription.

In Conclusion

I am more than happy to heartily recommend this product to my clients and to you!

If you’re interested in trying or buying, click on the link below, which will take you to the Proton VPN page.

Try or Buy Proton VPN

Still not sure? Watch my Video Review

Try or Buy Proton VPN

Question or Comments?

You can comment by using your FB profile or message me directly via my own FB page or Instagram.


Create captivating and engaging email footers: a review of Scribe

I was recently asked by a client to set up a some email signature templates that would work alongside her newly launched website and related branding. Great idea!

As a consequence I researched a bunch of tools that enable this and I ended up signing up to Scribe so I could test it before recommending it (or not). Here’s my review of Scribe.

The Brief

My client was specifically looking for a tool that would enable her to have a single branded email footer that could be used by her and members of her team. Each individual had a different computer setup and preferred email tool, with some on Apple, others on Outlook, and then various combinations of webmail and Gmail. This meant the solution would need to work across various platforms.

A Review of Scribe

Buy now on App Sumo*

What’s included?

Having a reviewed a few other tools I decided, for the price, Scribe would be worth a look so signed myself up on a lifetime deal. For this price I get:

  • Lifetime access to Scribe
  • All future plan updates
  • GDPR compliant (partner verified)
  • 60-day money-back guarantee, no matter the reason
  • Calls-to-action (CTAs) and banners
  • Analytics tracking
  • One-click installation
  • Co-workers signature personalization

Sounds like a lot of good stuff!

First Impressions

My first impression was very good! It’s a cloud-based tool so I just logged in with the email address I used for the purchase (via AppSumo). Once logged in via I have access to comprehensive looking “dashboard”.

The Departments View in the Scribe Admin Dashboard

As you can see, I had the option to create deparments, which would mean I could create variations on my main signature for different teams. If I have co-workers to add (currently I don’t) I can assign them to one of the departments I create. For now it’s just me, so I don’t need this featured – but it’s useful to have for the future.

Next in the menu is the Email Signature configuration, which is the reason for me testing this out. There are few more options here, but it’s pretty self-explanatory: on the left is a form to fill out, with your name, job title, logo, etc. and on the right is how it will look. There are options for changing the colors for the phone, address and social media icons, and various font optiotns. I changed from the default to Montserrat, which matches the paperwork I sent out (invoices, proposals, etc.)

Customizing the Email Signature in the Scribe Dashboard

You can see at the bottom of this screen there are options to add calls-to-action, promotional banners, and a special Covid-19 banner. What’s great about these is that they are trackable, so if you do put one of these on there you will have access to stats tracking. I think that’s a really great featured in these days when mailing lists and client communications are such an important part of promoting your business.

And, of course, if you don’t want to use these features, you don’t have to.

Other configuration options include the classic or minimal layouts.

Classic Template
Minimal Template

The other section of the dashboard are there for you to add Coworkers, who you can then assign to departments and create unique signatures for, and also to track your analytics and manage your account. If you have questions or feature request, you can click on the Feedback Board and submit them.

In Settings there are also some interesting features that include integrations (currently just Mixmax), enabling or disabling the tracking cookie feature (disabling this will disable analytics if you have any CTA buttons on your signature), and also the option to configure the tool so that the email signature is “sent” using your custom domain.

And that’s pretty much it.

Using your custom signature

Once you’ve set everything up it couldn’t be easier to implement your new signature.

Just go into the Signature section and click the Install Signature button at the bottom of the page. This gives you various options that include:

  • Copy HTML code
  • Copy Gmail code
  • Copy Outlook code
  • Copy code

Then you just paste it in.

If you’re not sure what to do with this code once you’ve copied it, try the relevant link below for an explanation. If you need help, get in touch!

My Thoughts

I like the interface – it seems pretty intuitive and doesn’t have a vast number of options, so I don’t think it will be overwhelming to a non-techie user.

The result is clean and fresh. It’s easy to customise – with a logo, avatar, photo, or custom colors – and, as long as you are familiar with the signature tools in your preferred mail app, easy to install.

My only gripe – and this is something I raised a ticket with them about – is that it doesn’t work 100% in Gmail because Gmail doesn’t support a full set of custom fonts; ironic given the font I use is a free Google font! What do I mean by this? Well, in Scribe I set my signature to use Montserrat, which matches my branding (well, the latest branding that is yet to make it to my website!) – however, in Gmail the email signature is displayed using the default Serif font. Not what I wanted. I’ve stuck with it because a) the developer has an active user forum and b) it still looks better than before I used Scribe, but I think this is an issue they need to overcome if they’re to claim full support for Gmail. I haven’t tested the signature in other mail applications so can’t comment, but if you have found the same then please let me know and I’ll update this post to reflect the signature’s behaviour in your particular email client setup.

This post contains an affiliate link. We only include links to products we have personally used or tested and are happy to recommend to our clients. What this means is that we receive a small commission for any sales made by anyone who click an affiliate link from this page. You do not pay more for this; it’s almost not worth mentioning but legally we have to!