The Helm Personal Server automatically establishes a connection with the Helm service which provides the device with a static IP address (similar to a phone number for your server) and handles all the network configuration required to run an email server out of your home. You'll then be able to configure your email clients on your mobile devices and computers to connect to the server just like you would with any other mail provider.
For an in-depth look at how Helm works, please see our blog post How Helm Works - Part 1: Networking.
The architecture of the system has been designed so that it's not possible for Helm to access your emails. Email senders now support sending emails over an encrypted SSL/TLS channel where the email is only decrypted once it reaches your personal email server. Helm is not able to decode these emails because we don't have access to the encryption key. In the limited situations where the sender's email server doesn't send the email to you over SSL/TLS, Helm does not log or store these messages and therefore we are still not able to access them.
Users with Google Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Microsoft Hotmail/Outlook and other cloud services without custom domains will create a new email address with a custom domain of their choosing.
If you have an email address with a custom domain that you own, you will be able to use your Helm Personal Server with your current email address. During the setup process, you will be able to migrate the DNS management for the custom domain to Helm and create the same email address on your Helm Personal Server.
Additional domains that you own can also be added to Helm after completing the initial setup.
Yes, if you already own a domain you can use it with your Helm Personal Server. During the setup process you will be prompted to have Helm register a new domain for you, or to use an existing domain. If you choose to use an existing domain you will be presented with the name servers that you will need to set with your domain registrar in order for email to be routed to your server correctly.