When I send a message on protonmail, does my IP address show up in the header or any other place? Will I need a VPN to be completely anonymous?


No. No user IP information is included in the message, ever. Source: I work for ProtonMail and am deeply familiar with this code.

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  • Simply answering "No. I've seen the code" is of little usefulness. Can you provide anything to help support your answer? Traces, examples? – schroeder Dec 24 '17 at 8:48
  • 1
    1. Send a message from a ProtonMail account to an external account that you control 2. Check the headers for any client-identifying information. You will not find any such information. – Bart Butler Dec 28 '17 at 1:30
  • @BartButler Is this "still" the case for ProtonMail? To other safety mechanisms such as VPN or TOR, just a basic ProtonMail email sent from a web browser will not reveal IP address and thus you cannot even tell which country it is being sent from, correct? – Mary Jane May 8 '19 at 12:31
  • Yes, it's still true. There's no reason to provide this information and every reason not to. – Bart Butler May 10 '19 at 23:08

This is essentially a duplicate of Email Client STMP Personal IP Leak

Sending an email from the web interface:

Return-Path: _____________@protonmail.com
Received: from mail1.protonmail.ch (mail1.protonmail.ch [])
    by _____________.darkst3alth.ca with ESMTPS
    (version=TLSv1.2 cipher=ECDHE-RSA-AES256-GCM-SHA384 bits=256)
    ; Tue, 24 Jan 2017 20:20:00 -0500
Received: from B09B-1 (localhost [])
    by mail1.protonmail.ch (Postfix) with ESMTP id CD92D8392A
    for <_____________@darkst3alth.ca>; Tue, 24 Jan 2017 20:19:46 -0500 (EST)
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed; d=protonmail.com;
    s=default; t=1485307186;
Date: Tue, 24 Jan 2017 20:19:41 -0500
To: "_____________@darkst3alth.ca" <_____________@darkst3alth.ca>
From: _____________ <_____________@protonmail.com>
Reply-To: _____________ <_____________@protonmail.com>
Subject: test
Message-ID: <_____________=@protonmail.com>
Feedback-ID: _____________:Ext:ProtonMail
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-3.0 required=4.0 tests=ALL_TRUSTED,BAYES_00,
    MIME_BASE64_BLANKS,URIBL_BLOCKED autolearn=ham version=3.3.1
X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 3.3.1 (2010-03-16) on mail1.protonmail.ch

This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64


Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64





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  • 1
    It's hard to tell from all this whether the answer is "yes" or "no". Can you connect some dots? – schroeder Dec 24 '17 at 8:47

Just run it through TOR and you will not have to worry about IP leakage. Almost all email message servers will leak whatever IP you provide them. To get security and anonymity, you need both encryption and some sort of anonymizing service that you can trust. I certainly would err on the side of caution and perhaps use a VPN and a bridge with TOR if you are this concerned about IP leakage.

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