Reviews of helm and some questions

Hello all,

I’m trying to find reviews of the Helm (v1 is fine since v2 isn’t out yet, I think).

Some things I want to know but haven’t succeeded in finding clear-cut answers:

  1. Is the storage expandable? I see the internal storage options for the v2. Is there a way to expand that with external storage or else utilize owncloud to extend storage to another local network device?
  2. How many domains can be associated per device and subscription? I’m not looking to abuse it, but can I bring my various domains to the one device? I see the subscription covers registration and yearly fees for that one domain, but what of other domains, is there a reasonable limit to the number of domains the Helm can take?
  3. Realistically, are there drawbacks to having email at home on a helm? I’m certainly looking for reasonable expectations to have as far as limitations and wish to avoid open-ended criticisms of the platform. I want reasons to buy in to the product and what to expect.
  4. Are there video walkthroughs/reviews from users?

Here are links to some reviews:
The Intercept
ArsTechnica
Bloomberg
Mashable
Quartz

  1. Yes, Helm V2 will have expandable storage. We will be working on enabling this for V1 and V2 in a future update that will roll out after we start shipping V2 units to customers.
  2. Helm has a primary domain that you can register as new through us or use an existing domain. Helm can also support any number of secondary domains. More info is in this support article: Domain FAQ – Helm Support
  3. The benefits far outweigh any drawbacks, but I’m biased as a co-founder/CEO. I’m sure other folks can chime in here.
  4. Given that we’re all about privacy, we tend to have a customer base that is very privacy-oriented as well and I haven’t seen video walkthroughs. I will point out that some of the journalists who wrote reviews linked above became customers (they bought a Helm after the review and continue to pay for their service).

Thanks,
Giri
Helm co-founder/CEO

Qui,

  1. Giri and crew say this is coming but that’s been the official statement since the launch of the V1. I trust that it will happen because they have said it publicly numerous times but I would buy the most amount of storage that you can so that you’re good if this takes longer than you expect, or the implementation isn’t as you would hope.
  2. As said below, the subscription includes a domain but there is nothing to stop you from registering your own domains and using them with the Helm. I have one for my immediate family, my wife and I each have side hustles and I setup a couple friends on my Helm too. We have I think 7 domains pointed at it and 5 or 6 people using it for email. My only complaint is how they handle aliases and multiple domains. For example if I own x.com and x.net I can’t have one forward to another.
  3. You have to look at your infrastructure and the problem that you are trying to solve. I live in a city and our power goes out probably once every two years for like 10 minutes. It’s short enough that a UPS keeps the Helm online. We also have super reliable fiber internet to our house. If I was in a situation where my internet was flakey or our power went out more frequently, I probably wouldn’t have one. Prior to the Helm I was hosting my email at one of two providers. One was in Europe and touts their privacy (not one of the “encrypted” email providers). The service was good and fit my needs, it was just more expensive than having it in-house. In-short other than the alias thing, I haven’t “lost” any features that matter to me. It costs me less, and I think it’s cool to have it all running on this little box.
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@bananalaser amd @giri ,

Thanks very much for your replies. Are there any additional drawbacks? I’m considering things like:

  • incoming spam filtering
  • vulnerabilities to being hacked and spam from the helm
  • ease-of-use for new email-only users
  • ease-of-use for new admins that have never setup an email server (me)
  • There is incoming spam filtering which is also user configurable. It works pretty well, I have no complaints.

  • nothing is perfect but the product architecture is built securely. I feel pretty comfortable about the security, I would say user behavior and passwords are likely the weak link.

  • on boarding is pretty easy. If you have an Apple device you can download a configuration profile from the app and you’re ready to go. There are also server settings in the app for every user you create.

  • there might be a bit of a learning curve but it’s not steep and the support and this message board are good.

Thanks for all this good information. I’m excited to receive my V2 but I have this gnawing concern about outgoing email ending up in spam. I run my own instance of Mailcow on a VPS and even though my mx records are correct, I still run into this problem from time to time. Has Helm done a good job of helping the customer avert this issue?

We have developed processes and relationships with large email service providers to help ensure deliverability of email. We have also procured clean IP blocks which V2 customers will get an IP from to help maintain good deliverability over time.

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