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Mailbox.org - an email provider that doesn’t actually suck

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#1

There's many email providers out there, some targeted to tinfoils and some to users simply seeking convenience, but I've been 'beta-testing' this one for 6 months and now sharing a short "headsup" to throw out here since this seems to be quite a good but niche company after all (outside of Germany), if someone ever might be looking for an alternative email provider.

"Mailbox" is the email (+office) service by a german company Heinlein Support, who
provides consulting, hosting, training and, surprise surprise, email.
Only the email service is apparently available in english, well, apart from their github page, everything else is only in german (yeah, I don't speak it either, apart from "ich habe eine panzerwagen in meine lederhosen! ;).

But the focus here is on email (gosh that word has to come out a lot); as the company provides a proper service instead of being an advertisement platform it’s not a free service, it costs a minimum of 1€ per month (30 day free trial) to get access to the basic service, which means 2 GBs of mail storage, 100MBs (ikr) of file storage and 3 aliases.

But this is only mail basically, if you wish to get more cloud storage for your files
you can pay for an ’office service’, the cheapest being 4,50 € for 25Gbs of both mail and cloud storage, and the premium being 25 € per month for 50GBs of mail space and 500GBs of cloud storage which should be enough for most (normal) people.

But what makes mailbox great, apart from their privacy policy and ethics (on paper, I haven't been visiting to find out, but they've been around for 25 years and are quite a trusted vendor), are the features and user-friendliness of their webapp.

To name a few;

-Apart from the normal [email protected] account, you get a [email protected] address to utilize DANE https://mailbox.org/en/ensuring-emails-are-sent-securely/

-You get to assign 2 handfulls of aliases, for example one for every nickname you ever used and your usernames you use online, all mails will pop in the same inbox, and when you send mail just choose which alias you wish to send it from.

-Alternative sender: send mail to be shown as they were sent from another email provider you control.

-Custom domains, naturally

-Disposable addresses: ever register to random websites you don’t want to give your actual email to? Create up to 11 temporary addresses that are automatically killed after 30 days.

-Account sync, add other email accounts like gmail to be synced to the mailbox inbox. Don’t know why the passwords are stored in plain text tho but kudos for clear transparency.

-Same applies to cloud storage, don’t know about the password in this case tho.

-Naturally 2FA, supporting Google Authenticator, FreeOTP, OATH, or Yubikey
--About yubikey: They also provide a simple a click-of-a-button option to order a pre-configured yubikey for 35€, might be a bit pricey compared to the normal yubikey prices but it's a small price to pay for them configuring it for you. I test-ordered one to Finland and it arrived within a week with instructions even my mom would understand.

-E-mail recovery: voluntary backup service incase you accidentally delete important
mails.

-Simple PGP encryption and signing (simple as in, again, my mom could enable it and make use of it)
--Not only for mails but also cloud files, create a key or use an existing one to encrypt outgoing mail, neat feature is that mailbox can automatically encrypt your whole inbox so only you have access to the messages when you actually open them.

--Simple encryption of files on cloud storage, when uploading files or saving attachments
you just check a box ’save encrypted to drive’

--Even with inbox encryption it’s easy to use with 3rd party email handlers, like thunderbird on the desktop and K-9 on android

--If the recipent doesn't use any kind of encryption or is a total tool, by filling a checkbox send them instead a link to the encrypted message, and for example text them the unlocking pin.


Apart from the basic mail and cloud storage you also get access to cloud documents, so for example all linux users don’t have to worry about that libreoffice or google formatting when someone important insists on a nice document, as in mailbox ms-docs are built in.

And then there’s the calendar, contacts and task-lists, basic features that come with
reminders not much else I can say there. These and the files in your cloud storage are easily sharable across multiple users so just like all proper online office service providers interaction and shared workflow is easy.


To cut to the point it's a company that doesn't only make privacy settings clear and easy for the average user to understand, it actually reminds the user that privacy is still a thing that the user have control of. Simple. Without being nerdy.

So if you're interested, head over to their webpage and check their infos and howtos for yourselves, they're simple in every aspect. But the best part of this in my opinion; the domain. People won't go "so and so 'at' whatwasitagain?" and look at you weirdly when you tell them your email. Just 'mailbox', plain and simple.

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Know any good Email alternatives?
New email provider
Baz's lair of randomness and pure sadness
#2

looks pretty decent might have a look when i get a good income and its better then [email protected] which isnt the best if your telling your mates your email :P

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#3

Thank you for this. I've been using fast mail, but I may have to check this out, as fast mail isn't what you'd call inexpensive.

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#4

Could two users share a single account with two separate names linked to one mailbox ( so as to save money ? ) Not that it's a lot of money.

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#5

No, it's basic aliases with one united inbox, so you'd have to share login creds and all your mails basically with the other guy.

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#6

The only thing that's potentially stopping me using this is not being able to use my own domain :(

As I was writing this, it looks like they kindof support your own domain through some aliasing and DNS changes https://support-en.mailbox.org/knowledge-base/article/e-mail-addresses-of-your-own-domain

Its not far more viable for me!

Looks like they have a "family account" option. Its more than just having 2 accounts though.

edit: they're even running xmpp/jabber with both text chat and voip

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#7

Thanks. Not sure if i would use jabber though is that a propriatory Cisco protocol ?

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#8

No it's an open messaging protocol that supports a bunch of stuff including encrypted off the record chat and VoIP if enabled.

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#9

Im giving it a little trial since they have a 30 day trial. @Baz im assuming you use it, how do you find it? Anything thats not so great?

It was pretty simple to set up a domain against it as well :)

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#10

Could have better integration with other devices, altho I haven't researched it too much, there's OX Drive for OS X, Win, iOS & Android to sync your files, and on Android it works ok to access your cloud but it lacks features.
A cloud folder on the desktop would be nice, there seems to be builds for linux available but I haven't touched those yet... and maybe there's a 3rd party app that does a better job anyway.
Overall it has filled my needs really well, the mailservice itself and everything around it (features, configurations, ease-of-use) has been great, just gotta figure out a convenient way to sync the 'office side' of things


EDIT: Now that I had some time to actually look into it, it integrates nicely with existing tools thanks to WebDAV, CalDAV & CardDAV.

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