Kolab Now is a good secure email tool with an intuitive interface and broad features.
Free trial available
No mobile or desktop app
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Most popular email platforms are free to use. But, nothing is really free. In exchange for using these tools, you agree to let the owner harvest your data for advertising purposes to earn money. There’s a popular saying that “If you’re not paying, then you’re the product”.
A lot of people aren’t comfortable with giving their data to third parties that can use it to improve advertising algorithms or sell the data directly to other people. Hence, they seek the best secure email providers as alternatives, and Kolab Now is a suitable one.
Kolab Now was founded in 2013 by Apheleia IT AG, the same company behind the Kolab open-source software suite. The company is based in Switzerland and its secure email platform became popular in the aftermath of global surveillance leaks in 2013. It has built a solid reputation as one of the most secure email alternatives in operation.
Kolab Now: Plans and pricing
Kolab Now doesn’t have a free plan, which is a disadvantage. But it offers a 30-day free trial for new subscribers to its premium plans. You can choose from two plans; Just Email and Full Kolab.
The Just Email plan costs 5 Swiss Francs ($5.5) per month. It gives you access to 5 GB of storage, end-to-end encryption, and a responsive web client. The Full Kolab plan costs 9.9 Swiss Francs ($11) monthly. It gives you access to all the features of the Just Email plan plus extra features such as a voice and video conferencing tool and third-party integrations.
Kolab Now: Features
Kolab Now offers many beneficial features, including:
End-to-end email encryption
End-to-end encryption is a security protocol that prevents third parties from accessing information while it’s in transit from one server to another. Your email’s contents are encrypted on Kolab Now’s mail servers and can only be decrypted on the recipient’s mail server. If someone were to intercept the contents in transit, they’ll be useless because that person doesn’t have the encryption keys.
Thanks to end-to-end encryption, not even Kolab Now can access your emails. They won’t be able to provide it if any legal body requests for it.
Two-factor authentication is a security feature that requires two modes of identification before granting access to your account. The first mode is your password and the second is a one-time code sent to your smartphone. You can download a companion two-factor authentication app for Kolab Now on your smartphone, and you'll receive a code each time you want to access your account.
The essence of this feature is preventing an unauthorized party from accessing your account even if they somehow get the password.
Kolab Now gives users access to a calendar app. Users can create calendars to plan their schedules rigorously. They can create multiple calendars for different activities, e.g., one for workdays and another for weekends. You can share your calendar with other Kolab Now users, e.g., colleagues and family members.
You can store and manage contacts on Kolab Now. You can easily create contacts and organize them. Whenever you need information about a certain contact, just open the tool and check for where you saved them. Kolab Now lets you import contacts from other contact management apps.
Voice and video conferencing
Kolab Now offers voice and video conferencing tools, although they’re still in the beta stage. The company is testing these features to identify any bugs and perfect them for users.
You can launch voice or video calls with other Kolab Now users at the click of a button; you just need to grant the web app access to your camera and microphone for it to work. When you press the Voice & Video button, you'll see a screen that'll assist you in configuring your camera and mic; you can test them at this point. Afterward, you can start calling.
Kolab Now has a simple voice/video calling interface similar to what you’ll find on the likes of Zoom and Google Meet. Just like its competitors, Kolab Now allows you to share your screen for other people on the calls to see. As an administrator, you can control who is allowed to tune into your meeting.
Because this feature is still in the beta stage, you might experience occasional bugs. Feel free to report any to Kolab Now’s team so that they can fix it.
An alias is an alternate email address that forwards to your main address. It uses the same prefix as your main email but with a “+” button followed by a word, e.g., John+Facebook@kolabnow.com or John+Amazon@KolabNow.com. It’s a creative way to interact with other people or apps while hiding your main email address.
Kolab Now: Interface and use
Kolab Now has an intuitive and simple interface that you’ll likely find easy to navigate. It’s primarily a web-based tool. There’s no native mobile or desktop app, which puts it at a disadvantage compared to the competition.
Kolab Now: Support
Kolab Now offers direct support to all subscribers. You can open tickets by filling out the support form or by messaging the company's support address directly. There’s also a Knowledge Base with details about all the platform’s features; you can consult this page for a potential solution before seeking direct support.
Kolab Now doesn’t offer direct telephone support.
Kolab Now: Competition
Proton Mail is the main competitor to Kolab Now that we’ll like to highlight. This app gives you access to a wider range of features; a Proton Mail subscription also includes access to a virtual private network (VPN) service, cloud storage, and a calendar. It also has a mobile app, unlike Kolab Now. The drawback is that Proton Mail is a more expensive tool.
Kolab Now: Final verdict
Kolab Now is an ideal choice if you want a simple and secure email platform. It protects your email contents vigorously and prevents any third party from accessing your data. The main drawbacks are that the platform has no mobile app and there’s no free plan.
Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.
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