Helm is a secure personal server that makes it incredibly easy to own your online identity - starting with email. In 3 minutes, you can set up Helm in your home with a custom domain and have email, calendars and contacts services that work with all of your devices and is accessible from anywhere in the world.

Would you recommend this product?
11 Reviews5.0/5
Wow, the design of this piece of hardware is super unique. Timing for a product like this might be perfect with all the concerns around privacy (Facebook and Google announced breaches in the past month). I'm curious who the target demo is for this though? Is it a technical niche to start? I can't see my parents using something like this.
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@rrhoover Thanks Ryan! Lots of different types of demographics are interested in data ownership and control. Initially, early adopters that have taken steps to protect themselves online or have experienced an online breach are the focus for us. The product is definitely easy enough to set up that your parents could use it.
This is really interesting and capitalizes on the increasing privacy concerns of the general public. I worry about two things: 1) price - $500 is a lot for the hardware; it's more than a Synology and as much as a Mac Mini. I understand it's a carefully created hardware box, but this is a pretty high entry point and will be a barrier for most people who refuse to even pay $5/mo for something like Fastmail. 2) longevity - if the product doesn't take off for any number of reasons and Helm ends up shuttering its service, I'm left with a server I have to maintain, at best, and an unusable piece of hardware, at worst. I do, though, appreciate the vision for the future here . An all-in-one device that can function as a home email server, VPN, messaging system, password manager, file sync seems much more worthy of the $500 price point than something that can only function as an email server.
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@chrisdolle #2 was also my first thought
@chrisdolle @david_rothmann1 Giri and I as founders of the company are committed to supporting Helm purchasers for the long term. If for some reason the service has to be shut down, we will provide a way for customers to migrate off the service and on to something else (i.e. your own AWS account).
Initialized was the first investor in this team (@GarryTan loved their vision for consumer privacy tech years ago) and have worked closely with them to build something we're very excited about. Helm has developed a beautiful, user-friendly personal server that makes it incredibly easy for people to own their online identity—starting with email. People can select a custom domain through Helm or bring their own and have their own email on this server, in their home, in just a few minutes. The founders have a lot of experience in the security space, having previously started and sold a security company and it shows in how secure the product is. For the first time, people have an easy way to own the core of their online identity and not rely on the cloud for their email.
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@alexisohanian really cool! Glad to see a world where we have privacy (back)
I love hardware that's not just shaped like a box
This is one of the most important products for personal privacy and security because it lets you replace free services online that just harvest your data. They started with Email but this will be for a lot more than that before long. I have been using my Helm for email for a few months and it really gives me peace of mind around my data security. If you get a Helm too, our devices will actually speak securely to each other, giving us encrypted device to device email without switching apps. If you believe email should be secure by default and immune to government or corporate intervention, this is the way it happens.
@garrytan curious if the team is interested in integrating solutions like orchid for more secure/anonymous internet (one step further than VPN or tor). I can sync the two teams together for a discussion, just let me know.
@garrytan ultimately I'd like to see the helm give me the ability to control and host all my IOT device data/services directly from it, rather than through 20+ different externally hosted services like we currently do. (eg. option to host nest web server and my personal video footage directly on my helm, or helm 2.0 device). this will be very lucrative to me and many others out there