To maintain the integrity of our service, Proton VPN must take measures to avoid the creation of accounts by bots. Such fake accounts could take up network bandwidth, slowing down all our real users’ connections.
To prevent the creation of accounts by spam bots, Proton VPN uses two different human verification methods. When you first sign up, you will be asked to choose how you will receive your human verification code, either via email or SMS. If you enter an email that is used for human verification in another account, it will be blocked. In rare cases, the SMS option may also be blocked. If this happens, please contact our Support team. They will ask you a few questions and then send you a link to help create your account.
DO NOT close the human verification page. This will void your recovery code and you will need to repeat the sign-up process.
Once your account is set up, if our system has trouble identifying you as a human when you log in, you may be asked to enter the verification code we send to you via your chosen method. We have an algorithm that determines when our users need to complete a verification method that considers many different factors.
Generally speaking, if you attempt to create multiple Proton VPN accounts, you may trigger a verification challenge. However, this is not the only factor that can lead to a human verification request. If you use certain Tor exit IPs, you may be asked to verify that you are a human, especially if those exit IPs are frequently abused by spammers or attackers attempting to brute force user accounts.
If you are only given the option of verifying your account via email or SMS and would like to avoid using these verification methods, you can upgrade to a premium account using PayPal or Bitcoin. For more information, please contact us using our support form.
When you share your email or phone number to receive a verification code, we only keep a cryptographic hash of it. This hash is not permanently associated with the account that you create. Because hash functions are one-way functions, it is impossible for us to derive your phone number or email from that hash. However, if the phone number matches the phone number you originally shared with us when you signed up, it will result in the same cryptographic hash. By comparing hashes, we can detect the re-use of phone number or email addresses on other accounts.
If you encounter any issues with the human verification process, please contact our support team.