The Helm personal email server puts you in control of your data

Recent days haven’t been good to your personal data. Scandals comply with data breaches, that are adopted by but extra scandals, as the large tech corporations proceed to worm their manner even deeper into our lives. It has turn out to be more and more clear that nearly each motion you take — be it on-line or off — is collected, categorized, and bought by entities that by no means had your finest pursuits at coronary heart. 

But it would not should be that manner. Or, not less than to not that very same troubling diploma. Services like Tor, Signal, and ProtonMail provide actual alternate options to the data assortment that has turn out to be the norm. And, now, we will add another providing to the combination. Say hey the the Helm personal email server. 

Super easy setup • Sleek design • You personal your personal data • Easy to broaden storage capability • Encrypted backups

Smartphone required for setup

This is a superb product that is intuitive to make use of, and puts you in control of your personal data.

The machine, a modern trying triangle that may very well be confused for a modern-art impressed paper weight, is a personal email server for your dwelling. Once correctly arrange, it permits the consumer to ship and obtain email as they could usually — from their smartphone or pc — with an necessary bonus: the data is saved in your dwelling or workplace (there’s an encrypted offsite backup for these anxious about shedding all their email in a home hearth). That’s proper, with Helm you each personal and control your emails. 

“[Everything] we do is designed to know as little about you as attainable.”

Importantly, Helm would not scan the content material of your emails for promoting functions. According to the corporate, your entire machine and repair is designed with privateness in thoughts. 

“From state-of-the-art encryption to safe checkout processes, every little thing we do is designed to know as little about you as attainable,” explains Helm. 

The Helm ships with 128GB of storage — considerably greater than a free Gmail account provides — and offers you the choice so as to add an extra 5TB of storage at a later date by way of a slide-in tray. If you need to go actually bonkers, you may even stack complete “growth items” for added storage and efficiency.  

In different phrases, this factor is designed to final. 

The Set Up

Getting your Helm up and operating is simple — nicely, as simple as organising an email server might ever probably be. 

The first step is to take the factor out of the field and plug it into an influence outlet (my assessment unit appears to be like fairly good on a shelf subsequent to my information). You can both plug the Helm instantly into your router with the included ethernet cable — which Helm recommends — or later use your wi-fi community to get issues up and operating. I went with the direct plugin, however realizing that if I wished to I might set it up at a bodily distance from my router was a consolation. 

Image: Zlata Ivleva / mashable

Next, obtain the Helm app (out there on each the App Store and Google Play) on your smartphone and ensure your cellphone’s Bluetooth is turned on. As quickly because the Helm’s energy button begins blinking, which it ought to do shortly after you plug it in, you’re able to launch the app. 

Review: The Helm personal email server puts you in control of your data

Image: screenshots / helm app

Working your manner via the setup app is fast, and with the activation code that comes with your buy you can ship and receiving emails shortly after unboxing. You’ll need to take a second to “warm-up your email,” nevertheless, to make sure that the Gmail and Outlook filters of the world do not mistake your digital missives for spam.

The Helm’s plug-and-play simplicity signifies that even a less-than-tech-literature particular person can get issues up and operating in no time. Which is nice. Privacy should not be restricted to these with specialised technical capabilities.  


You could be forgiven for declaring the plain undeniable fact that storing all your emails in a bodily machine on your desk might, nicely, backfire. What if, heaven forbid, your home burned down or was burglarized? 

Thankfully, Helm has your data coated. The $99 annual subscription charge (on the time of this writing, the primary yr is obtainable free of cost) would not simply guarantee your emails are despatched and a site registration. It additionally protects your data with an offsite encrypted backup.

“Encryption keys are created on every Helm Personal Server and are solely accessible to you,” explains the corporate. “Keys for encrypting backups are saved on an included USB drive and your cellphone.”

Review: The Helm personal email server puts you in control of your data


As lengthy as you have the encryption key, you can restore your data to a brand new Helm in case of a device-destroying mishap. 


Helm says it takes the safety of your email critically. After all, what is the level of having a non-public email server if any hacker who looks like it may possibly take a peek at your data?

“Your machine contains full-disk encryption, safe boot, and encrypted backups,” explains the corporate. “Each Helm makes use of certificates from the Let’s Encrypt Project to safe connections to and from your customized area.”

The firm guarantees it should additionally push all the required safety updates to your machine. And, as an additional bonus, Helm is asking for assist from the bigger infosec group. 

“We rent hackers to attempt to break into our product and can quickly announce a bug bounty—a money reward—to anyone who’s capable of detect vulnerabilities in the machine,” notes Helm.

Sure, nothing on-line is unhackable, and if you are actually involved about being particularly focused by cybercriminals than one thing like Google Advanced Protection Program could be for you. However, if you’re simply a median Joe making an attempt to gradual the fixed erosion of your privateness then the Helm is value a glance.

The takeaway

The Helm does many issues proper, each philosophically and technically. The virtually plug-and-play email server makes it not solely attainable, however comparatively straightforward, to take again control of your email — and, by extension, your digital life — in an actual manner. The $299 price and annual subscription charge, whereas nothing to sneeze at, comes throughout as affordable when you have a look at every little thing that comes with it. 

With giant data breaches turning into a extra frequent half of on a regular basis life, and belief in main tech corporations like Facebook declining, Helm couldn’t have chosen a greater time to launch an easy-to-use personal email server. If you’re ever end up pondering that it is previous time you take again control of your data, Helm would possibly simply be the fitting place to start out. 

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