Nothing is truly free.
Especially your email. Your Gmail (or preferred email server) is at perpetual risk for government surveillance, misuse by shifty marketers and the seemingly daily raft of data breaches.
So own your message. Or messages, as it were.
That’s the idea behind Helm, a personal server that takes your information off the cloud and puts it in the security of your home. With Helm, you can still use many popular mail and calendar apps (Outlook, iCal, etc.), but you're now encrypted between your email server and the client, with data far away from the prying, insecure eyes of giant tech companies.
The two-toned, pyramid-shaped device (it measures 4”x6”) is expandable in both storage and computing capability through stackable units. Computing-wise, Helm is designed to protect you from snoopy government agencies and companies mining data, as creator Giri Sreenivas told Fast Company: “All of that data and all of those online behaviors are being centralized in a way that [make] it very easy for governments to conduct ... surveillance.”
Encryption keys are created on each Helm and only accessible to the user, while backups are stored on an included USB drive and your phone. Each unit arrives with 120GB of data-protected storage, and costs $499, with the first year of service included (it’s $99 per year after). It launches with email, calendar and contacts services, with VPN, file sharing, password management and messaging options “coming soon.”
Seems like a lot to spend, but for anyone who’s ever lost their online privacy, it could be the bargain of the year.