This $500 device wants to make it easy for you to ditch your Google or Yahoo email account and run your own, private email server

Helm email server

  • Helm, a $500 device with a $99 yearly subscription plan, lets you operate an email server out of your own home. 
  • Your email and data is stored on the device in your home, and it’s encrypted before traveling through Helm’s servers. 
  • Helm claims to collect very little information from its users — just the necessary payment information and device diagnostics.
  • While no server is completely secure, this could provide peace of mind to people who don’t trust large tech companies to protect their data. 

It’s not hard to get the impression that big tech companies can’t effectively keep our data safe. 

Just in the past few weeks, Google disclosed a security bug that exposed hundreds of thousands of private accounts on the Google+ social network. Facebook admitted that 29 million users had private information stolen. It’s easy to decide to quit using social media sites, but nearly everyone needs or uses an email service. Email is the backbone of every internet account — you almost can’t get by in life these days without an email address. 

One solution is to run your own in-house email server, as plenty of companies and tech-savvy individuals do. 

This means that a private entity is in control of the email server and all of the information stored there. There’s no need to place your trust in a tech company that has proven itself to be vulnerable to security bugs or breaches. 

But if you’re not an IT pro, the idea of setting  up an email server can be pretty intimidating. That’s where Helm comes in.

Helm wants to make that a reality for the everyday email user — someone who probably wouldn’t know how to set up an email server from scratch. Helm’s $500 device is an in-home email server, meaning all of your data and emails are stored on the device right in your home. Helm doesn’t collect much information about its users besides the necessary details like payment information and device diagnostics, and any communication or data are encrypted when they leave the Helm device. 

With traditional email services like Gmail or Yahoo, your data and emails are stored on a server controlled by the email provider. You don’t have much control over what that company does with your data.

Helm stores your emails and data in your home, but that doesn’t mean it’s completely safe. Any server can be attacked, regardless of where it’s located. However, you’re paying for the control over your emails and the ability to be free from a tech company storing your data. Helm also says it hires hackers to try to locate vulnerabilities in the device or its software, and it plans to release improvements and boost security through future software updates. 

You can choose to store a backup of your emails on Helm’s servers, but those backups are encrypted and require your security key in order to be decrypted. 

Helm features a standard 120GB of storage, but that can be increased to up to 5TB with additional hardware. The device also comes with physical encryption keys for encrypting data locally on the machine and offline for a secure backup. The device costs $500, and has a $99 subscription fee for every year after the included one-year subscription. 

For more information, or to purchase a device, visit Helm’s website here

SEE ALSO: This clever $35 iPhone case has a scroll wheel with six built-in lenses — and it turns your phone camera into a Swiss-army knife for taking pictures

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