At Helm, we believe honesty and clarity are important. Here's everything you can expect from the time of purchase until setup completion.
At Time of Purchase
The Helm Personal Server is currently available for purchase exclusively online through our website. Your purchase includes a one time cost for the Helm Personal Server and a 1-year subscription. You can read more about the subscription here.
Immediately after checking out you'll be directed to choose your domain (does not apply to pre-orders). This will be the basis for your new email and future services (like file sharing or VPN) and cannot be changed once chosen. For example, if you chose "@pickles-smell.org," any email addresses you set up with Helm on your primary domain will be "@pickles-smell.org." You can bring an existing domain or choose a new one.
- For new domains, we will acquire the domain and inform you of any problems in doing so.
- For existing domains, you'll need to make changes to your nameservers in preparation. The site will walk you through this process.
Finally, you'll receive an Order Confirmation email, a Shipping Notification email, and a Successful Domain Configuration email. Your unique Activation Code will be included in the Successful Domain Configuration email and can also be found through the order link included in order emails.
What You’ll Need to Setup
- A smartphone (e.g. an Apple iPhone)
- Your personal server and power adapter (included)
- A network cable (included) or the Wi-Fi credentials (SSID and password) for your home wireless network
- The Activation Code
Download the Helm app
The Helm app is available for download for both iOS and Android in their respective app stores.
Power on your Helm
Choose a spot in your home or office to setup your Helm and choose between WiFi or Ethernet (recommended). Your network configuration can be changed after completing setup.
If Ethernet is chosen, plug the included Ethernet cable into the middle back of your Helm server. Plug the included power cable into the back right USB-C port. Your Helm will power on automatically and the LED on the power button will begin to pulse blue.
Illustration of where the power cable plugs into your Helm:
Open the app and follow the prompts to begin your setup. To complete setup, you will need the Activation Code you received at the time of purchase. The initial setup process will take you through the following steps:
- Pairing your Helm: Your Helm should already be in pairing mode (LED light flashing blue). If your Helm is not already in Bluetooth pairing mode, hold down the power button for about 6 seconds to put it in pairing mode. Your Helm will be listed on the screen. Tap "Continue."
- Connect to a Network: Choose if you'd like to set up your Helm using Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Select your network and enter your password. If your Wi-Fi network is hidden, select "Other Network" to enter your network information. Your network configuration can be changed at a later time by going to Settings > Helm > Status.
- Activate Your Helm: Enter the Activation Code you received via email at the time of purchase. This code is used to connect your Helm to your domain.
- Configure Your Domain: If you had not already completed the domain setup post-purchase you will now complete those steps. Choose to bring an existing domain or pick a new one, then follow the prompts.
- Create Admin Account: The admin account is both your primary email account and used for Helm administration. The username you choose will be your email. For example, if you choose "theboss" as your username, and your domain is "@privacyisgreat.com," your email will be set as "firstname.lastname@example.org." This cannot be changed later. Once setup, you will be able to add other users and devices and can manage their accounts through your admin account.
- Save Recovery Key: You'll be asked to insert the USB Flash Drive that came with your Helm. This writes a secure backup key that allows you to restore from a backup or restore to a new Helm in the rare case this would be needed.
- Setup Your Phone: To finish initial setup, you'll be prompted to install a configuration profile on your phone. This allows your phone's apps to access your new email account. You'll be redirected to a web page to install the profile and then will return to the app.
Note: Newer iOS versions require additional steps to complete the profile install process. After downloading, open the iOS Settings app. Select "Profile Downloaded," then "Install" in the upper right, then follow the prompts.
- Initial Setup Complete: Congrats, you have finished the initial setup and can now send email! For potential next steps, look at the dashboard in your app.