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Old 9 Aug 2013, 07:09 PM   #1
like1980
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Anyone knows mykolab.com ?

I just stumbled on a service called mykolab, who preaches privacy based on hosting and legals in Switzerland.

Now, I don't want to sound paranoid, but no physical address, no phone number, etc. So I went searching.

The whois of the domain is pretty private and there don't seem to be contact details on their site.

From their ToC the company is called Kolab Systems AG and exclusively subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of Zurich.

From the Swiss company register they were created in 2010 and are based in Erlenbach in Switzerland, and they have 100.000 nominative shares of 1 CHF, but I couldn't find out who is shareholder (one wouldn't want the NSA to be shareholder I guess LOL)

Eventhough pricing seems steep it seems in line with what one could expect from Switzerland I guess? Has anyone used their services? What is your experience?
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Old 19 Aug 2013, 04:09 AM   #2
greve
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Representative of:
MyKolab.com
Introducing Kolab Systems

Hi,

I'm Georg Greve, CEO and one of the shareholders of Kolab Systems AG.

You can find out what I did in the past at Linked In, XING, or just at my previous organisation, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). Other shareholders at Kolab Systems are its key employees, all long-standing members of the Free Software community, and two other businesses: KDAB and Dreamlab Technologies AG. See also this media release, and the composition of the board of the company. So no, the NSA is not a shareholder.

If you want more background about MyKolab.com, here is the story.

We're trying to be as transparent and honest as one can be unlike some snake oil providers that claim to have similar offers. If you want to know more, just ask us - direct email always works and we might even add it to the FAQ.

Best regards,
Georg
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Old 19 Aug 2013, 04:15 AM   #3
[email protected]
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Hi Georg, welcome to EMD!

You will probably want to send a PM to Edwin (our friendly Admin) requesting "Representative of" status; this will show your Kolab affiliation in all your posts.
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Old 19 Aug 2013, 05:08 AM   #4
Ceramic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greve View Post
Hi,

I'm Georg Greve, CEO and one of the shareholders of Kolab Systems AG.

You can find out what I did in the past at Linked In, XING, or just at my previous organisation, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). Other shareholders at Kolab Systems are its key employees, all long-standing members of the Free Software community, and two other businesses: KDAB and Dreamlab Technologies AG. See also this media release, and the composition of the board of the company. So no, the NSA is not a shareholder.

If you want more background about MyKolab.com, here is the story.
I think the entire above post can be put as a link on the kolab page as "Kolab Background" or something similar.

And welcome Georg!
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Old 19 Aug 2013, 03:34 PM   #5
zinneken
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Filled in the form on the mykolab web site a while ago, never got a reply, so looking forward to hearing from Georg about:

Can you clarify the pricing and options? It is not clear to me whether 60$ for one email box includes or doesn't include its own domain. It would be the most expensive one can find on the market, imagine a family of 4 paying $240 per year and not even having their own domain?

Do you offer access to server log files? I guess at this price, anything should be accessible to the user.

Do you offer server Delivery Status Notifications?

What is your anti-spam infrastructure like? What tools do you have for correctly identifying and isolating spam and virussed emails?

Do you hide the IP address in the smtp message headers of your users when they use an IMAP client? Do you hide the IP address of your users when they send through the web interface?

Can you set up a trial account, or a demo account, so one can actually see and test how everything works before deciding to pay a huge ($50 set-up for one mailbox, come on!) set-up fee for a service that may not be up to expectation?

Apologies for the skeptic tone, but looking forward to reading all about these topics from Mykolab!
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Old 19 Aug 2013, 07:00 PM   #6
greve
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MyKolab.com
Answers, Round 2

We have a dedicated pricing page that also gives some examples. I take it this did not answer your questions?

Let me try this in TL;DR style:

Please read the Terms of Service, they provide monthly termination. Also, there is a 14 day no questions asked full refund period at the beginning. So no risk in trying and no requirement to take the ultra short-term account, which is the only one incurring set-up fees.

10 CHF per month for a full groupware account with these properties as a sustainable service is the cheapest offer we could find with these properties, actually. Perhaps you confused the offer with a pure webmail offering? We also cover this in the FAQ. But FWIW, the request for "just email" has reached us multiple times, so we'll provide an option for that soon.

Of course it is possible to have your own domains at 1 CHF per month. Just follow the link on the main https://mykolab.com page where it says "Group Manager Account".

As we also cover in the FAQ, while this is a business offer, we understand families, students and other people with a different reference might also want to make use of it and we want to make it possible for them to enjoy privacy. Getting in touch is the right thing to do in those cases.

Server log files: This is a trick question, is it? No. We do not provide users with access to our systems or log files, as doing so would severely compromise the system security and privacy of the service.

DSN: You can request them, but we do not automatically deliver those in response to incoming mail. This is potentially a major privacy issue, so the user needs to be in control -- which means the user gets to configure "ignore", "always send", "ask" for their webmail which will then behave accordingly.

IP addresses: Yes, we filter out the IP addresses for messages sent via SMTP from an IMAP client, as well as the MUA used. Webmail also does not reveal where you connected from.
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Old 19 Aug 2013, 07:37 PM   #7
zinneken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greve View Post
We have a dedicated pricing page that also gives some examples. I take it this did not answer your questions?
It indeed did not answer my questions, I find the pricing structure with add ons on different pages a bit confusing. But it is clear now one @mykolab email address costs $10/month + $50 set-up + the add-ons one wants, and that maybe in the future this cost will be lowered from what you're saying. Let us know when it does :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by greve View Post
Getting in touch is the right thing to do in those cases.
Exactly what I did, got in touch a few weeks back, didn't get a reply, but have one on emaildiscussions ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by greve View Post
Server log files: This is a trick question, is it? No. We do not provide users with access to our systems or log files, as doing so would severely compromise the system security and privacy of the service.
No, it is not a trick question. I think a user has the right to have access to the log of all his email. I'm not talking about the full server log of everyone's email, but about the person's email log. You're obliged to keep it by law, and provide it by law to officials when they ask you for a particular user's log, so why not offer the same treat to a user and hide it behind security and privacy reasons? Anyone I host emails with will need to be transparent and provide full mail logs for my emails, but that's just me I guess being a mail junkie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greve View Post
DSN: You can request them, but we do not automatically deliver those in response to incoming mail. This is potentially a major privacy issue, so the user needs to be in control -- which means the user gets to configure "ignore", "always send", "ask" for their webmail which will then behave accordingly.
Not sure we're talking about the same DSN. I meant server DSN, as in RFC3461, not user/client DSN. If you did mean server DSN, I'd love to hear the privacy issue with it, love to learn!
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Old 20 Aug 2013, 03:53 AM   #8
greve
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MyKolab.com
Quote:
It indeed did not answer my questions, I find the pricing structure with add ons on different pages a bit confusing.
My apologies. I am not quite sure which multiple pages you are referring to, as there is only one table for user pricing, and one table for domain pricing, and them some real-life examples which we hoped would make it easier to understand, but of course anything can always be improved.

Do you mind telling us how you think this could be improved?

Code:
But it is clear now one @mykolab email address costs $10/month + $50 set-up + the add-ons one wants
No, actually, as explained also in my previous post. A regular account is 10 CHF / month plus options. Monthly termination. 14 days money back guarantee. But the sign-up form currently is still not reflecting that as well as it should, which is why we are preparing an update for this week - please check back by Friday and let us know what other suggestions you may have.

Code:
Exactly what I did, got in touch a few weeks back, didn't get a reply, but have one on emaildiscussions ;-)
My apologies. We have admittedly received a lot of emails about all sorts of topics from many people over the past weeks. Nothing stands out as unanswered, but of course it is possible that something may have slipped through the cracks.

Would you mind telling which From and Date the message had and where you sent it to so I can investigate?

Code:
No, it is not a trick question. I think a user has the right to have access to the log of all his email. I'm not talking about the full server log of everyone's email, but about the person's email log.
I've never seen any such feature elsewhere, which is why this did not occur to me. It is an interesting request, though. We'll have to see how such a feature would work. I could imagine it being difficult because there are always multiple systems involved.

Will keep an eye out for how often this is getting requested.

Code:
Not sure we're talking about the same DSN.
That is entirely possible, of course.

Privacy issues ultimately exist with any feedback channel that confirms a certain user exists in the system. The negative - a certain user does not exist is typically much less of an issue. This kind of thing should always be a concern, see http://www.postfix.org/DSN_README.html.

But it is fully possible I do not understand what you had in mind with your question. What is the privacy & security enhancing use case you're looking for in enabling full DSN reporting to any sender?
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Old 20 Aug 2013, 04:16 AM   #9
janusz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greve View Post
I've never seen any such feature elsewhere, which is why this did not occur to me.
See this thread. Logs seem to be of critical importance for some folks.
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Old 20 Aug 2013, 03:46 PM   #10
zinneken
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greve View Post
a) Do you mind telling us how you think this could be improved?
b) Would you mind telling which From and Date the message had and where you sent it to so I can investigate?
c) Will keep an eye out for how often this is getting requested.
d) What is the privacy & security enhancing use case you're looking for in enabling full DSN reporting to any sender?
a) I don't get why a service geared to professionals would use an @mykolab addresses, so I don't get why a personal domain is not automatically included. How many users do you have that use only an @mykolab email? You are in Switzerland so I guess you have some people paying for @mykolab. I would never pay for email that is at/promoting someone else's domain.

b) I saw the original post by like1980 and immediately checked your web site, and sent a message. Exact time I can't remember. Should have been 9 or 10 August.

c) Not many people would request full access to email logs. Most would look up features on the web site and if it is not mentioned not bother asking, and moving elsewhere. You have a pretty dedicated crowd here on EMD who speak out. Also, several pro services offer mail logs to their customers. As I said, you are obliged to have them by law for the law anyway, why not make them available to your users and keep it secret?

d) not looking for added security/privacy with DSN, more a question of convenience. I used it for many years before switching to full mail logs. Why?

Right now people (wrongly) assume a mail arrives at destination when there is not a return with a failed sending message. Plenty of things can go wrong for an "error" dsn to not be produced, and increasingly people use the saying "I didn't get your email" instead of admitting "my anti spam is wrongly configured, or I just deleted your email because I don't care, or I am lazy and your email is still sitting in my mailbox but I don't want to admit to that so it is your email that didn't arrive, or I want to win some time so waited till you call me and then still have to send the mail again before requiring my reply, etc". See the contact form I filled in at mykolab that didn't get attended for which you mention it slipped through the cracks ... If all email services would have DSN on all email, that would help remove a lot of the "human" email problems and spam. Arguably it would add to bandwidth and server processes as well, and many custom mail services have DSN turned off or not at all. I know one canton that explicitly removed DSN because they felt their citizens could use it to "prove" they sent a message to a cantonal department, so removed DSN to protect themselves from being judged by their citizens if they didn't respond to an email.

I do like the feature and considered it essential for many years to have at least a confirmation that a mail was successfully sent. Complete email logs serve that purpose to me now. I *know* when an email I sent was badly managed once it left my smtp server, or when I messed up an email I *should* have received. I *know* I didn't receive any feedback from mykolab since it is not featuring in my mail log files :-) Doesn't mean it wasn't sent (DSN if enabled would prove that), but does show I didn't get a message.

Anyway, back to topic, a mail service that doesn't provide my mail log files which they have anyway doesn't get a chance at getting my custom. Period.
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Old 23 Aug 2013, 11:41 PM   #11
luanagtx
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I'm testing MyKolab for about a week and I'm disappointed with the anti-spam, unfortunately the system is not efficient enough to block out most of the junk that I get and I can not improve it with more customized settings.

I will return to using Runbox until MyKolab show more concern with these pests that plague us both. Security and privacy are important but provide users with a decent anti-spam system would make the service even more complete.
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Old 24 Aug 2013, 01:29 AM   #12
greve
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Representative of:
MyKolab.com
@zinneken:

(a) Is probably only an issue if you are a competitor with a similar service. But there is a whole range of domains equally available that have no connection to Kolab or any other Open Source Software so there is no connection visible.

(b) We have received quite a few emails during those days. I'll ask the technicians to investigate.

(c) Because every feature is effort to implement and brings security implications.

Typically, if you want that level of control I guess the way to go is to run your own server. MyKolab.com is the only provider I know of that provides the entire stack, with all functions as Open Source. Just go to http://kolab.org, install it yourself, and you'll have all the logs, of everything.

(d) Fair enough. But that's trying to find a technical solution to a social problem. Which never works as intended. Often the better way would have been to just check back again and ask whether perhaps the first mail got lost.
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Old 24 Aug 2013, 01:31 AM   #13
greve
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MyKolab.com
@luanagtx Could you please point me to the ticket you filed about this?

I don't think I heard of complaints about spam filtering yet, and my own accounts are virtually spam free. So I'd like to dig into this.
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Old 25 Aug 2013, 12:29 AM   #14
marsian
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Question

I've tried to find reviews of MyKolab without any success so far. Has really no one published a review so far?

Re. mail log: Swiss hoster Cyon offers a mail log function, see http://www.cyon.ch/blog/archive/E-Ma...aillog-verrats (German only). Maybe a route that MyKolab could follow?
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Old 26 Aug 2013, 11:39 PM   #15
ioneja
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Hey guys, I don't know if this has been mentioned yet (apologies if I just missed it and I was blind for some reason), but MyKolab has just launched a "lite" option:

https://kolabsys.com/news/after-grok...ng-lite-option
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