DIY cloud storage, email and web server architectures have been around for ages, though they do have some downfalls. For the uninitiated, the process can be quite complex. Finding server software in the price range of cheap to free can oftentimes lead to risky security vulnerabilities on your network. Then there's the issue of maintaining a static IP address with your ISP and reverse DNS lookups. All this and more is why most folks tend to rely on companies, such as Google, Apple and others, to provide those services.
A new startup company called Helm, hopes to change that with a an all-in-one solution for a one-time hardware fee of $499 and an annual service fee of $99. For the $99 you control your data, all security patches are sent through encrypted channels which Helm claims they have no access to the decryption keys. The only information that they keep are the billing and shipping address of the initial purchase and the annual subscription fees. If controlling your email and cloud storage data is something that you've thought about and privacy is something you value, than the price tags on the service and the hardware may not be any big deal.
The startup does have it's critics, and some are curious as to how often security patches will be deployed to these servers and whether or not the Helm cloud can be subject to federal wiretapping laws. However, the CEO and co-founder is confident that not only will this be a solution where regular folks will be able to feel confident that their photos and emails are safe from mass surveillance type efforts that may or may not be affecting social media and other corporate cloud giants.
I for one will be following this company in the news, and hope they succeed in their endeavor. Read the full article on Wired in the link below.