Any concerns about obsolete hardware?

I’m very interested in the Helm solution, but I also wonder if I’ll be purchasing a new server every few years? I see it’s already on its 2nd incarnation. As this would be for personal email rather than a business, I don’t want to layout out a lot of money over time to keep using the Helm platform. Thoughts? Also, how is the hardware relaibiltiy?

Unless you are doing something to exceed the hardware capacities, the hardware should last just fine. Just because there is a new version available doesn’t mean you should be forced to upgrade. Just like laptops or phones.

Hardware has been quite reliable for me.

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My v1 Helm is working great, but the software updates are where I would say they’ve fallen short of their promises.

v1 customers were told that expandable storage, VPN, and password management were features v1 users would be receiving. Despite having a slot for a 2.5" drive on the hardware, none of these features have arrived for the v1 Helm. The last news for v1 customers was December of 2020 when, again, the promise of a VPN and expandable storage was made. Since then it’s been radio silence. This thread has also popped up, which they have also neglected. The $99/yr fee is real, and I got my reminder about it again recently. I get that they have costs in support, running the AWS instance, maintaining backups, and security patches, but I thought some of that fee would go towards development and that doesn’t seem true.

You know how they say the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s apathy. I think that phrase is correct. I think they’re unwilling to say it isn’t coming, but that really seems like it is the situation.

In fairness to Helm, they did deliver NextCloud file storage to the v1 server about a year after launch, maybe a bit more. That was a substantial update that came after the fact, so the have made good on one of their promises.


To be clear, I love the system. It works great, and as a small company they’re doing a lot. They’re very helpful over support. They respond quickly and they’re genuinely helpful. If you can accept the v2 hardware with the feature set it has today then I think it will serve you for years. The hardware design has no moving parts in the storage, cooling, or any other components. The power supply is a standard USB-C design that could be replaced with an off-the-shelf alternative… In general I think one should expect 5+ years from a Helm with ease, but be willing to accept the feature set it has today.

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I have had the exact same feelings lately. I feel like that Helm in general doesn’t have their house in order. All the little things is what concerns me: app not updated since 2019, support hours not reflecting actual operating hours, very few firmware updates, etc. I know these things are little, but those to me are red flags. They didn’t even update the NextCloud software until NextCloud forced their hand by no longer supporting NC 18.

I honestly enjoy my Helm and have had it since 2020. The unlimited aliases is a killer feature for me! But the now $500 or $600 (including the subscription fees) spent on it, has not felt like a return on investment. I’d hate to go to another solution after spending all that money. I wish the Helm server would actually work without the subscription. After spending that much, we should have the option to not be stuck with an expensive slick paper weight if we don’t pay them to manage the AWS/DNS side for us.

My renewal period comes up in July. Honestly if I don’t see any improvement from Helm by then, I might “pause” my subscription and migrate over to Protonmail for $48 (or even the $75) yearly. At least until the features, support, and transparency we want happens. (From my understanding, as long as we keep the Helm server, migrating back shouldn’t be much of an issue). That way I don’t keep throwing money into a black hole.

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