Storage Expansion

Has anyone pried open the expansion drive bay on their Helm? Is it glued shut permanently or will it pop open with some pressure?

I am approaching my renewal date and the decision to stay or go is dependent on expansion. I can live with the deliverability challenges (use helm only for “identification” purposes, another address for correspondence) but 120GB total is not a sustainable solution.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

I’ve installed and removed drives. One of the first things I did when I got it, hoping that one day it would magically appear after a software update. Had to remove for troubleshooting purposes, but the sled comes away fine.

I’m pretty much in the same boat. My renewal is still 2 months away, so I’m hoping they have it resolved before I have to decide.

I’ve pulled the SSD expansion tray from my Helm a couple of times. The tray was a bit snug, but not too bad and it’s sturdy enough all on its own.

I wish Helm would release the firmware to access the Gateway VPN and SSD Expansion. This is why we’re paying $99 in continuity…right?

Thanks for replies. I dug my Helm out from behind my network rack and pried the drive sled open. It was really tight but finally popped out. Hope they get this out sooner rather than later.

The VPN is something I am ambivalent about. If they go with OpenVPN (I would bet they do) it will be slow. Throughput is dependent on single tread performance. IPsec would only be marginally better. Wireguard, maybe? You still have to do the (de/en)cryption.

A password manager would excite me. A partnership with AgileBits (1password) that consolidates both subscriptions and moves the data onto the Helm would be awesome. Yes, you can do that yourself but simplifying it would be a win-win for Helms target market. I would expect to pay extra for that…

The $99 covers the domain registration and the AWS instance. Leaves some left over for Helm to keep the lights on :wink:

I’m currently using a VPN workaround. I have a GL.iNet GL-AR750S (Slate) AC travel router with OpenVPN installed on it and the Helm is connected to that. I cloned the MAC address on the travel router to a device on my ISP, so it’s decent security. As far as speed goes, it’s not too bad. I hear you on the PW manager. They did say they were going to introduce one. They said all of these features would be included in the continuity price, whether it is remains to be seen. I just hope they launch these features soon.

A password manager included in the price will almost certainly be some variant of KeePass or the like. It will work, but I wouldn’t call it a polished experience. Good browser integration is really hard, figuring out where the correct fields are on an almost infinite variety of badly coded web pages…

I suppose we’ll see what’s what soon enough. Practically speaking you can roll-your-own for all of this, at whatever price-performance-feature level you want. It comes down to how much do you want to spend to have someone else sweat the details and do you like the choices they make. So far, I have been pleased with Helm. Nextcloud is a solid choice that can be a real pain to get right yourself. For the most part I have been able to leave iCloud behind, and the vender lock-in that goes with it.

I agree with you. I’m good with their decisions thus far.

What firmware version are you using? I’ve heard they rollout firmware in phases per usual of a firmware release.

A helm owner told me they were still on the firmware they had from the first day receiving their server. I asked how long they had it and was told close to 8 months. It’s now been about 10 month and they have since been updated. Thought that was weird.

I’m on 1.798. The app reports that as current. I restarted mine Yesterday, I think that forces an update.

In case anyone cares (not sure why you would but anyhow), I have a VPN (IPsec) setup on my gateway. pfsense on way overkill hardware. It can saturate my 200/20 service in testing. In my common use case the LTE connection is the limiting factor. I don’t think I would use Helm for VPN.

BTW: was just looking at my primary helm domain dns records, vpn.blaa.tld is set to my public ip. In the user added records section. I didn’t add that, they must have. Not good Helm people, sloppy! I’m sure I will not be using Helm VPN.

Mine has shown VPN@ under DNS Records since 1.798 fw was released. In the write up about the firmware it says VPN is left blank, so it might be structure for future use.

That’s in the wrong place…

The files… and the primary A record that points to AWS is off the screen to the bottom. Makes no difference in practice, an A record is an A record. Still sloppy that the app shows it as one I added and can remove. And I deleted it just `cause I could :wink:

Back to the original topic. Received a reply from support regarding storage expansion:

“While we don’t share release dates for upcoming services/features, I can share that this is a high priority release for us to get out as soon as possible.”

I’m not holding my breath.

If I get motivated I’ll spin up a VM and get a Nextcloud instance going. I can do it manually or use a Ubuntu Snap to get it going quickly. I’m going to change the accounts I have been using the Helm email address for to something else and then pull the plug.

In the end, a more secure solution to email as identity, is just a band-aid on the real problem. Email as identify is a terrible idea that needs to go away, and a robust cryptographic identity mechanism is much needed.

If you haven’t seen it already, the firmware description. (See screenshot below text). I think I’m running 1.809.

I saw your other post regarding DMARC & DKIM. You should have 3 or I guess 2 now on A

  1. Files
  2. Helm
  3. VPN.

Did you really delete your VPN? That’s hilarious.

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Yup, it’s gone. I have no way of putting it back either, I tried. Can’t specify DDNS as the value. :laughing:

That’s hysterical. If you think it’s something you will want to try in the future maybe ask support for a help. They have always responded to me fairly quickly.

My current plan is do some email address changing of my accounts; bank, amazon, etc; and then power down my helm tomorrow evening. I created a spreadsheet with all my accounts and the ids, emails and passwords so I could make some sense out of what was what. Time to move on…

They have been very responsive with me too. Cassidy has been great. I noticed the replies no longer come from Cassidy, I wonder if she/he (not sure) moved on.

I noticed that too. When I first started submitting tickets Cassidy would respond to everyone. Now it’s signed Helm Support. It’s either what you said or they hired more people so they’re decided to make a uniform signature. Who knows.

They are still fast when responding. I was chatting with them Saturday & Sunday, this past weekend. Next time I’m on with them, maybe I will just ask. :sunglasses:

FYI:

In response to this:

Is there a procedure for wiping the helm and the USB key so it can be sold or safely disposed of?

Is it possible for someone to pay the $99 and get up and running on a second hand helm?

I was given this answer:

You can factory reset your Helm by pressing the pin hole for 25 seconds while the Helm is powered. To reset your USB recovery key you would need to write zeros to the first 1MB of the drive. This can be done using various tools. On macosx or linux the tools is called dd.

If you were to sell your Helm we would need to get an email from you from the email address you used when purchasing the Helm. You would need to provide us with the name and email address of the purchaser. The purchaser would need to start a new annual subscription with us at $99.00.

Thanks,
Helm Support

A very satisfactory response! So, there is life for my helm other than being put on the growing pile of high tech toxic waste we as a society are building.