All users of the encrypted email service Skiff can now take advantage of its custom email domains feature.
Until now, this option was reserved only for paid subscribers. From today, the secure email provider offers a free custom domain to those using the free tier plan. Skiff claims to be the only encrypted email provider on the market right now offering a custom domain completely free of charge. So, this is great news for those looking for custom domains for their email.
The company decided to provide this offer because custom domains align with Skiff's vision to give users greater privacy and freedom around their communications.
Skiff's quest to go "mainstream"
Talking about the decision to provide the feature for free, Skiff's CEO Andrew Milich told TechRadar: "We feel like it [a free custom domain] gets people closer to many of the benefits of using our product. We just want to make it much simpler."
For those not familiar with this concept, an email domain is the part that comes after the @ symbol on your email address. Email providers, including Skiff, always offer their own generic domain as default. However, businesses or some individual users might need a customized email domain to better connect with their websites or deliver their brand.
With the use of privacy tools like encrypted messaging apps, many users don't see the benefit of ditching their Gmail or Outlook account for a more private service because they don't want to lose their email address. But now, Skiff allows users to keep their old Big Tech email domain after the switch at no extra cost.
"Email domains really end up being a lot about your kind of individual identity on the internet," said Milich.
Transferring an existing email domain is just one possibility, though. Through Skiff, users can now purchase a completely new domain as well at ease—without the need to go through a long and painful configuration processes. And, while web hosting services will inevitably charge a fee for it, users will get two months of Skiff Pro plan for free on top.
"We want Skiff to be accessible. Not just to someone who desperately needs encrypted email, but someone who's coming from Gmail or Outlook and they want just a good feature complete provider. We really want to go for that mainstream audience," said Milich.
Like a few similar competitors, including ProtonMail, Skiff also offer an encrypted Drive and Calendar. Yet, their focus has always been on making it easier for users to work securely across multiple people.
Skiff Free: It includes unlimited use of Pages with up to 4 workspaces, 10 GB of storage, 4 mail aliases and one custom domain.
Skiff Essential: Costing $3 per month, it includes 15 GB of storage, 10 mail aliases, 6 Pages workspaces and one custom domain.
Skiff Pro: For $8 per month, users can get 200 GB of storage, 3 custom domains and 15 mail aliases.
Skiff Business: The ideal solution for work teams, it boosts the storage to 1TB, 15 customs domains, 15 mail aliases and unlimited Pages workspaces for a monthly fee of $12.
Skiff also offers Skiff Pages, an encrypted word processor that combines the functionalities of Google Doc, Evernote and Notion. "You can share wikis, links, and publish articles like on Medium," explained Milich. "I don't know if there are other products that offer that at all."
Skiff comes with an always-free plan and some premium subscriptions for those in need of more storage, custom domains and workspaces. Most of Skiff's users are using the free plan at the moment and sign-ups keep growing month after month.
The company believes that offering a free custom domain for all users is the easiest way to get new people on board, hoping that once people understand the value of the domains people might switch to a more comprehensive premium plan.
Millich said: "It's a pretty big change and I think we'll make a very big splash with users and sign ups."
The latest announcement reflects a change of focus for Skiff which now seeks to target more individuals users rather than work teams. The company recently secured a place among the default email app options on iOS devices, too, and it's working to do the same for Android as well.
While further changes are set to be revealed over the next few months, Skiff's direction appears to be clear: making the service "a very easy-to-use, reliable encrypted email provider for lots of normal people," said Milich.
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Chiara is a multimedia journalist committed to covering stories to help promote the rights and denounce the abuses of the digital side of life—wherever cybersecurity, markets and politics tangle up. She mainly writes news, interviews and analysis on data privacy, online censorship, digital rights, cybercrime, and security software, with a special focus on VPNs, for TechRadar Pro, TechRadar and Tom’s Guide. Got a story, tip-off or something tech-interesting to say? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org