Looking for a secure email client that offers something a bit different from the mainstream providers? You might be interested in learning more about Kolab Now. It’s a groupware and web-based email service that is designed around open-source and entirely free software for the basic service.
This secure email client has a number of attractive features and an affordable pricing structure (above the free version) that makes it popular with many users. Our Kolab Now review will get you up to speed fast.
What are secure email clients for?
Secure email clients are for any online user who wants to send emails privately and securely, from both an individual and a business perspective. Some email services scan data content in order to target users with advertising, and this has been a topic of great controversy in recent years.
This is of concern to many users who want to retain their privacy, and also a great irritation to anyone who wants to communicate online without being bombarded by ads!
The information privacy infringement exists with many big email providers such as Microsoft, Facebook, and Google, so Kolab Now is well worth looking at as an alternative.
What is Kolab Now?
Kolab Now is managed and owned by Kolab Systems AG and originally went by the name of My Kolab. It’s an open-source software email client. The system offers email as well as text messaging, address book, calendar, and other familiar features.
It’s very popular with businesses for email, file, and contact sharing, and the company says that it allows over 108 billion files to be sent every day.
Cloud-based, across devices
The platform works across Windows, Chromebooks, Mac, Linux, and the majority of other OSs that support modern browsers. You can access Kolab Now on the go through the web browser version. You can also access the provider’s services via iOS and Android mobile devices.
As a cloud deployed service, it also offers excellent collaboration features as well as automatic system upgrades and comprehensive file storage.
Kolab Now features
Our Kolab Now review showed that the system was a particularly good alternative for Google, as well as Hotmail and Outlook.com. All of the applications on offer are free from advertising and include:
- A comprehensive address book with the option to share entries.
- Online office programmes which replace Word, Excel and so forth, as well as Google Docs.
- File editors
- Online LibreOffice access for rapid online access to secure word processing, presentation software, spreadsheets and more – none of which require software installations.
- Tasks, which allow groups to collaborate together where they are using an organization-wide, or group, subscription.
All applications and features can be synced across your devices and offer collaboration in a way familiar to Dropbox and Google Docs users.
Kolab Now pricing
The basic Kolab Now package is free for users for a thirty-day trial. From then on it costs around £3.50 a month for an individual account or around £1 more a month for a group, or business, account.
You can also buy group user accounts which are popular with businesses, and these cost a little more than individual accounts. However, Kolab Now is far cheaper as a whole than running an in-house communications server.
Is Kolab Now email safe?
The service is all built entirely on open-source software, which makes it intrinsically secure and safe – this is because any coder can access the source code and see spyware, bugs or illicit information gathering in an instant. There’s a reason that Facebook would never allow source code access!
Not only does Kolab Now NOT sell your data onto companies for advertising purposes, but it also blocks any spyware from government and public organizations. Yes, the UK government does have the ability to spy on its citizens’ digital communications, but Kolab Now has technology that prevents this from happening. You will also never see advertising on the platform.
The website and its servers are located in Switzerland, which is a country known for its strict privacy laws. No Swiss company – or even its government – is allowed to spy on any online activities. This is why the main email providers that have been shown to violate user privacy have no Swiss servers!
Users also comment on the excellent customer service offered by the company behind the platform.
Any Kolab Now email downsides?
Perhaps the only thing that could be added to the offer would be the ability to send encrypted emails. Yes, everything is stored securely and safely on the company’s servers, but once your emails are sent into the digital world, they are subject to the same risks of privacy invasion and spying that other large email companies regularly carry out.
For example, if you type an email on Kolab Now, it will be secure while you do so. But if you send it to a Gmail using contact, Google will use its email servers to scan it upon receipt – as will other devices and routers that exist on the data path between the two email clients. GCHQ can, of course, read it too along the way and once it’s at Google if her Majesty so pleases!
However, it’s possible to ensure that your messages remain completely private by using a VPN to provide a secure tunnel for all of your data transfers and to cloak your geolocation by masking your IP address.
A lot of online users choose to use VPNs now alongside their online services to remain both anonymous and secure when operating online, as most VPNs also encrypt data. Our top VPNs list is a great place to start you research on the best VPN providers out there.
Conclusion for Kolab Now email
This is a great email client if you are looking for top of the range security features, excellent privacy, and a cost-effective pricing structure, with a service that is heavily geared to facilitate enterprise-level collaboration and communication. The fact that it can be accessed via the web, desktop, or mobile sync is also attractive.
Last but not least, the attraction of having an email client based in the highly secure and privacy-conscious country of Switzerland is a great selling point to anyone keen to communicate with contacts without knowing that their emails are being spied upon by large corporates looking to sell data to advertisers!
Tech writer and privacy advocate
Julie is a firm believer in equal rights for everyone. She is a traveler and blogger, focusing her efforts on exposing censorship and discrimination around the world. She wants to hold corrupt governments and shady companies accountable by writing investigative articles and helpful guides.