FAQ

Questions about technical features:

Questions about email privacy:

Questions on pricing and offerings:


Is there a way to import calendar files from the desktop to the web client?

Import EventsYes that is possible. Go to the Calendars Tab in the top right corner. Then you will see all your calendars in the bottom left. Choose the calendar you want to import your events into and then click on the gear icon. A list will pop up where you can choose to import events like in the screenshot on the left.

When exporting contacts from Google my groups are lost. Can you help me?

The Google export does not include group information, so all exported contacts end up with no information about which group they belong to. This issue should probably be addressed to Google rather than to Mykolab. We can suggest a workaround to export and import contacts per group. That is not as convenient as exporting it in one go, but it is less work than assigning each contact to the group individually. Please create the same contact groups in MyKolab as in your Google account. Then export contacts on a per group basis and import them to an appropriate group. Repeat the same procedure for each group.

I am going on vacation. How can I let people that contact me know that I will not be around?

You can set an auto-responder that replies to all incoming emails with a pre-defined message. In order to set this up with your MyKolab.com account, please go to 'Settings' in the top right corner of your webmail screen. Then choose 'Filters' and create a new filter, with the second green cross like indicated on the screenshot on the left. Please fill in your user@domain.tld address instead of the test@mykolab.com address used as an example in the screenshot. Type a message for your contacts and set the number of days they should not be bothered again with a new automatic message.

When you are back from vacation, you can disable this auto-responder by clicking the checkbox right of the Save button and then saving your  changes.

I want to move my primary email to MyKolab. How do I move my mails and how do I receive all new mails at my new address?

First of all, thanks for moving to MyKolab completely! :)

There are two approaches of moving all your existing mail to your MyKolab account. The first one is using an automated moving service that takes care of everything for you. The second option is to move your data manually yourself. This is best done via the IMAP protocol for emails. You can connect a native client program such as Kontact or Thunderbird to both accounts and then simply drag and drop your mails over. Migrating contacts and calendars is a little more difficult but possible. We suggest to use the migration service.

In order to receive all emails to your old address in your MyKolab account, please set a email forwarding in your old account to your new MyKolab address.

I just signed up and login to Webmail is not working. What is wrong here?

Please note that your account will only be fully activated once we received your payment. You will be notified about the activation. Before your payment arrived, login to webmail is not possible. Bank transfers can take some time to be processed, so please be patient. If your invoice in the dashboard shows "Paid" and you can still not login, please contact our technical support for help.

I'm getting a lot of SPAM in my inbox. How do I get rid of it?

We are currently working on improving our spam filtering capabilities further. If you don't want emails that we think are spam in your inbox, then you can add a filter rule to move them into a Junk folder.

Please make sure that a Junk folder exists. Then go to "Settings" and choose "Filters" on the left side as indicated in the screenshot on the left. Create a new filter by clicking on the second green plus sign. Call the filter "Spam" and set the rest as indicated in the screenshot. The more stars you use, the more certain we are that the email is indeed spam. The less stars you use, the more false positives there will be.

Can I change the email address I have chosen during sign up?

Changing your email address is not possible. But our technical support can add the new address as an alias, so you can use both email addresses. After this is done, you only have to go to "Settings -> Identities" in the webmail and change your email there. Or you can set up a second identity and then pick one whenever you compose a mail. Your login will remain your old address.

If you have a group manager account and want to change the domain, you have to sign up for the new domain and transfer all data from your old accounts (can be done with Mozilla Thunderbird or any other IMAP client) to your new accounts and then delete the old ones.

What is the maximum size for email attachments?

At the moment, the maximum size for your email attachments is 25 MB. Please note that due to encoding the attachment into the email, the actual usable size might be smaller sometimes.

I want to sync my OSX. Do you support CalDAV and CardDAV?

Yes we do. Although, support for CalDAV and CardDAV is still considered in beta stage. Please contact technical support if you have any issues.

You claim to use Open Standards, what about ActiveSync and why don't you offer SyncML?

We use Open Standards wherever possible. In order to make synchronization possible at all, we had to first implement ActiveSync. Even though it is not an Open Standard, it used to be the only protocol that is widely deployed and works out of the box on almost all devices. However, we prefer clients to access all data using the Open Standard IMAP and we offer CalDAV and CardDAV support as well. SyncML on the other hand is deprecated and broken. Therefore, there is no point in implementing SyncML.

Is it possible to make the calendar to subscribe to XML or ICAL feed services?

Currently, this is not possible. We plan on implementing this feature and track progress in our issue tracker. Since we run 100% Free Software, you are invited to contribute a feature like this.

I want to leave MyKolab. How do I export all my data?

Exporting all your data is possible, but we have yet to document the whole process in detail. Everything, even your contacts and events, are stored in IMAP, so any IMAP capable client can be used to access the data and copy it to another server. The imapsync tool can do this server to server. If your new server is not a Kolab server, you might need to export calendars and contacts in another way. Native clients such as Kontact allow you to export a single .ics or .xcf file that you can import elsewhere. Exporting from CalDAV/CardDAV is also possible.

Please add feature X! How can I let you know that I want this?

The easiest way to let us know that you like a new feature implemented is by simply contacting us. If you are familiar with Free Software development and know how to use issue trackers, you can also use our public tracker to submit your request.

I need multiple email addresses or domains aliases per account. How can I get them?

An email alias means that if wonderland is an alias for alice, then alice@mykolab.com and wonderland@mykolab.com receive all their emails in the same account that belongs to Alice. You can also use the + sign behind your existing email alias to create virtual aliases on the fly to receive emails for addresses like alice+spam@mykolab.com. However, you can not use these + addresses to send emails, only receive them.

A domain alias means that if skywalker.com is an alias for darthvader.com, then luke@skywalker.com and luke@darthvader.com can both point to the same single account (if the user has this email alias set up). Domain aliases are implemented as full alias domains in an isolated tree of the directory service, which makes their administration require manual setup, so while we do not add a monthly service charge for them, the setup itself is typically charged at a one-time fee of 50 CHF.

At the moment, there is no interface to add additional email or domain aliases. We are working on making this available soon. In the meantime, please contact technical support and ask them to add the aliases manually for you. Please note that at the moment we do not allow external aliases for domains that you do not own. You need at least be able to change its MX records. So you can not use your mail@otherprovider.com address to send emails with MyKolab, if you don't control the domain otherprovider.com.

Is it possible to send emails from my old address using your service?

At the moment, we do not allow external aliases from domains that are not owned by you like gmail.com. We have a strict policy that defines who is allowed to send mail, under what identity, and to which recipients. We focus on security, privacy and trust, and that also implies that the recipient of any mail sent through our systems can clearly and without ambiguity identify the sender at any time. With external aliases, we currently cannot guarantee that. We know external aliases are important to many of our customers and we will allow them once we have implemented a strong method to reliably verify the ownership of an external address. In the meantime, you can still change the "Reply To" to an external email, but not the "From". We apologize for the inconvenience.
 

I want a catch-all address for my domain. Is that possible?

At the moment, there is no interface to add a catch-all address. Please contact our technical support and ask them to add the catch-all address manually for you. But please note that this might increase the amount of SPAM you receive significantly.

Can I upgrade my individual account to a group manager account?

This is unfortunately not possible since group manager accounts create isolated environments. You will have to sign up for a new group manager account if you already have an individual account.

After confirming your new group manager account, you can log in to the dashboard as admin@yourdomain.com in order to verify the domain ownership. After that you can create a user account in your own domain. You can then sync the data from your old to your new account with any IMAP client such as Mozilla Thunderbird or a dedicated syncing tool like imapsync. Just make sure to copy the content of all folders, not only mail but also your "Contacts" and "Calendar" folders for your address book(s) and calendar(s). Once everything is transferred, please log in to the MyKolab Webclient and check you can access all your data on the new account. The next step is to change the MX record of your domain, so email arrives at our servers. The necessary settings are available in the dasbboard. Your website etc. will remain at your current hoster, only the mail is handled by us. The last step is to delete your old individual account in the dashboard.

Do you support DKIM?

We currently do not support DKIM. Because it is not enforced by the largest number of mail servers, its actual usefulness is still limited. So the primary use case is spam detection. We'll likely add DKIM at some point, though.

Do you support Sender Policy Framework (SPF)?

Yes, we do. It is set up for all the generic domains we offer and you can also use it for your own domains. Enabling this will require you to set up the DNS records accordingly. Configuration information information is available in the dashboard, or you can contact technical support for instructions.

Email Privacy

How do I encrypt my emails?

In order to encrypt your emails, you need a email program running on your computer, because we don't want to have your private key on our server. Please have a look at Kontact or Thunderbird with Enigmail for proper end-to-end encryption.

In the future, it might be possible to store your private key in your browser's local storage securely. Then we will offer encryption in the web interface as well.

Some other providers claim to use server side cryptography to store my data encrypted so they cannot access it. Do you do that as well?

While the hard disks themselves do not store data in plain format, we currently have no plans for user-based encrypted storage. The reason is simple and has been explained very well by Moxie Marlinspike. In short: With server-side encryption, the provider holds the encrypted data, the key, and the passphrase, as all three need to pass through the web interface and be available on the server. So the provider does have access to all the data despite the encryption, it's just a matter of whether the provider chooses to make use of that capability, just as if the data were not per-user encrypted.

We don't believe in misleading our users in this way.

The only solution would be client side encryption of everything, but that's very hard to implement and there is a whole set of standards missing on the browser side to do this properly and securely, also keeping in mind that sand boxing in browsers does not work from a security perspective. Therefore, we suggest to use native clients such as Kontact and use GnuPG for end-to-end encryption.

Do you support Perfect Forwarding Secrecy (PFS)?

Yes, we do support it for both email and the web. Unfortunately whether it is used always depends on the receiving mail server or the browser. So there are no guarantees of it being used, unfortunately. In Chromium / Chrome you can at least check whether it is being used, though.

Please also see our test results at Qualys SSL Labs.

Do you strip identifying information from email headers?

Yes. If you use a local client to send mail via MyKolab.com, we strip your IP address and the mail program you have been using. Recipients will only be able to tell that you sent mail as a valid MyKolab.com user, but not from where and with which software. The same is true when you use the web client.

Why do you recommend Open Source / Free Software clients?

The Snowden leaks have proven once more that proprietary technology has been systematically weakened to allow remote access for at least the NSA and GCHQ. We therefore strongly recommend using only Open Source / Free Software to increase security and privacy, as also recommended by Bruce Schneier, because the weaknesses of non-free software may be exploited by anyone. So if your business or safety require privacy, we strongly recommend to take this into account for your IT decisions. Meanwhile, MyKolab.com will continue to provide set-up instructions for all clients. Because we realize that not everyone is in a position to switch, or that such a switch may require more planning, and any increase in security and privacy is good.

Google, Apple and Microsoft also claim to care about my privacy, what makes you different?

Our Terms of Service (ToS), the applicable legislation, and our technology.

Allow us to explain a little more detail: Statements about privacy are part of the usual marketing today so everyone should ask critical questions for the services they are using. We took great care to make our Terms of Service understandable by our users because we believe this should be good practice. Not everyone does that, making comparisons hard. In such cases the easiest way to know whether terms respect your rights is to make use of independent community-driven sites such as Terms of Service;Didn't Read.

Terms of Service can only protect your rights as much as the applicable legislation will. The best ToS will be ineffective if the laws they are based upon invalidate them. That is why any company based in the United States or with offices in the United States should be treated with extreme care when it comes to your data. Because the United States have passed legislation that gives their secret services virtually limitless and uncontrolled access to your data regardless of where it is physically located.

That access is intended for a variety of purposes, including industrial espionage to the benefit of US industry, and increasing the political influence of the United States. What's more, the process is also out of control of the democratic system, as explained by Senator Ron Wyden in a speech: He joined the secret service oversight committee in 2001, and only learned of warrant-less access to data from the media in 2005. Warrant-less access means that the transparency reports from these businesses only cover a small fraction of what has actually been going on, and in fact the US have made it illegal for these businesses to tell you who has access.

Switzerland, which is where this service is located, only recently allowed minimal provisions for lawful interception and placed them under strong requirements for warrants and transparency. So any access will always be subject to review and known. Furthermore, secret collusion with the US services as it apparently took place in Germany is highly unlikely in Switzerland because such activities would establish personal, criminal liability of whoever were to know of such a thing and not take appropriate action. Not to mention what would happen to someone who were to approve such collusion.

In other words, Switzerland takes this very seriously: If you find out something like this is going on and do nothing, you go to jail. If you approve such a thing, you go to jail for a long time. So the personal risk for anyone involved in such activities would be very high, making them much less likely than in other countries. So you can be quite certain the information we provide on our privacy page is the complete and full picture.

And lastly, the architecture of our solution was designed around security when it was first developed for the needs of the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and we kept that focus in everything we do. Also, our solution is fully Open Source / Free Software, so can be audited by anyone with an interest, and fully based on Open Standards. Both factors ensure that if you ever grew dissatisfied with the service, but wanted to keep using the software, you could.

Switzerland couldn't protect banking secrecy, can it protect privacy?

Indeed both are based on the same, draconian laws. And the United States have successfully broken banking secrecy for their own citizens. Banking secrecy is still in place for everyone else, though, and the reaction of the Swiss banks was to ask US customers to leave in order not to compromise the rest. It is conceivable we'd have to do the same if it came to that. Right now, you can still rely on the Swiss privacy laws regardless of your passport or residency.

I heard Swiss internet is routed via the UK. Isn't that worse than the US?

Switzerland is a landlocked country, with France, Italy, Germany, Austria as its biggest neighbors to which it has direct land-based connections. Internet routing itself is a highly dynamic affair. Some routes to the United States will go via Iceland, Ireland and the UK, as for most of continental Europe. But this is not the only route, nor is necessarily even an entire session going via any particular route. More detailed information and some statistics are available from Swisscom and init7. These also show the vast majority of traffic is not traveling via the UK.

Does the spell checker in your web client facilitate other servers to check the spelling?

Our spell checker uses local dictionaries and does not disclose any of your text to third parties.

Pricing and Offerings

Do you have a pricing overview?

Yes, we provide a pricing overview with some examples.

Do you offer alternative forms of payment?

At the moment we support PayPal, Bitcoin and Direct Bank transfers. Please note that bank transfers are only available for yearly payments. We are working to also provide direct handling of Credit Cards. With the exception of some countries, you can also pay already with your Credit Card using PayPal even if you don't want to open an account with them. Please let us know your preferred way of payment, so we can prioritize the new options accordingly so that the most wanted option will be available first.

Can I upgrade my account from lite to regular or the other way around?

Yes, you can change your subscription options at any time. Please log into the dashboard and click "ACCOUNT" in the top navigation bar. Afterwards, on the bottom left there is a button "Edit Account Settings". Please click it. Below your personal information, there is "Subscriptions" which you can freely change at any time.

Any changes will be invoiced according to our prices. If you change from regular to lite for example, any remaining credit will be saved for your next invoice.

The price seems high for webmail, why is that?

MyKolab goes far beyond simple webmail. It also allows to manage your calendar, contacts, tasks and files for yourself, as well as collaborate on them with others, on any platform. This kind of functionality is usually called groupware. One of the most well known competitors would Microsoft Exchange with components of MS Sharepoint. Although as an in-house developed Open Source Solution, Kolab holds itself to a higher standard of trustworthiness. It's the first service of its kind that also has its backup plan built in. If you don't want groupware, please choose the Lite option while signing up.

Also, data centres in Switzerland are comparatively expensive. Swiss hosting is made even more expensive due to the overinflated Swiss Franc. But as also explained in this FAQ, Switzerland is by far a superior country for hosting your data if you care about privacy. And when it comes to privacy, politics and law trump technology and even cryptography.

So if real privacy is desired it comes at a price.

But not everyone may be able to afford that price. Yet we would not want to withhold privacy from those in less fortunate countries or in a situation in their life that places certain restrictions upon them, i.e. being a student. We would like to help you be able to have privacy. So if you are in such a situation, we'd love to support you as best we can.

Just get in touch, and we'll see what we can do for you.

What happens if I do not pay my invoice?

At first, you will get a reminder for the open invoice to your external email address and to your MyKolab.com address. If you still haven't payed after two weeks, your account will be a suspended automatically. You will still be able to log in via IMAP, but not webmail and you won't be able to send mails. After another two weeks, you will be notified again and locked out and your account will finally be queued for deletion if you don't pay before.

Can I use my own domain?

Yes, you have the option to use your own existing domains. If you don't have a domain, you can register one with a provider of your choice and then use it for MyKolab. Please sign up for a Group Manager Account. With that you can even add more accounts to your domain for people to collaborate. More information is available in our support section.

We are planning to allow you the registration of new domains with MyKolab, but we will need some time to implement that.

Why do you use .com domain? Can't this be seized by the US?

When we started setting up the domain in January, the Snowden leaks were still far away. But we offer plenty of .ch domains, although of course ICANN itself and the root servers are under US control. So countermeasures to this kind of issue likely involve more than just choosing a domain that is not .com.