German email provider offering full inbox encryption

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 24, 2014
9 is a new email service by the German company Heinlein Support GMBH which features several interesting security and privacy related features, and based on Open-Xchange version 7.4.2.

The homepage of the service is entirely in German, but the actual web mail interface is not. It is available in several languages including English, Spanish, Dutch, French and Italian. The only part of the web interface that is not available in other languages yet is the Settings > page.

This is the page were you change your account type, your password, or force the encrypted sending of emails to recipients who do not use PGP.

The first thing that you need to know is that the service is not free. It starts at €1 per month for three email aliases, 2 Gigabytes of mail storage and 100 Megabytes for Office documents.

The company notes that you do not have to worry about advertisement -- there is none -- and that emails won't be scanned, analyzed or transmitted to third-parties.


When you create an account -- you do not have to pay directly, as you can use it as a limited account for 30-days -- you are only asked to provide the company with your username and password, and with your first and last name. All other fields are optional and do not need to be filled out if you do not want to.

The privacy protection page lists all data that is stored by the company and for how long it is stored. The page is only in German right now. Here is a short summary:

  • Web server: IP access, but no linking between IP addresses and accounts. Stored for 4 days.
  • Mail Server SMTP: Sender and recipient, Message ID and size. Stored for 7 days.
  • Mail Server Pop3/IMAP: IP address and account log in. If mails are deleted, the message ID and size. If mail is moved, message ID and size, and the originating and destination folder. Stored for 4 days.
  • Administration: First and last name, optionally other data if entered during account registration. If administrative changes are being made, the IP address of the user who made those changes is logged for 7 days.

Data is stored mostly for verifiability purposes, to find out if an email has been delivered to a user if the user claims that it was never received.

Inbox encryption

One of the interesting features of is the option to encrypt the mail inbox. This is done using PGP which account owners need to install on their computer systems first.

It is then a matter of opening Settings > Inbox encryption on the website, to activate the feature.

Emails are encrypted using PGP. Subject, sender and recipient emails won't be encrypted due to limitations of how emails work.

Technically speaking, all plain incoming emails will be encrypted using your PGP public key once they hit your inbox.

Those mails can only be read with your private key afterwards. Even cannot access them anymore.

It is theoretically still possible to gain access to those emails, but only before they hit the inbox. Emails that are not encrypted by the sender can be read by anyone listening in on any of the servers it is passing through.

If you enable the encryption, only emails will be encrypted. The address book, calendar and tasks that are also available on the mail portal are not. It is planned however by the company to introduce encryption to these areas as well. offers another feature in this regard. You can force the use of SSL/TLS encryption. The consequence is that emails will only be delivered if the receiving provider accepts SSL/TLS encrypted connections. If not, no emails will be transferred.

Drive and Office access


Another interesting feature is the built-in Drive module. You can save attachments to Drive to view or edit them directly on the webmail interface.

This works similar to how Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive works.

All saved documents are displayed when you open drive. You can click on any to display a preview -- if available -- or select additional options that include editing right on the page.

You can then print those documents, save them to the local system, or send them to email recipients.

Here is a list of all account types that Mailbox offers currently:

  • Mail for €1 - 3 Email aliases, max 10,000 emails per day, 2 GB email storage, 100 MB Office document storage.
  • Mail XL for €2.50,  25 Email aliases, max 10,000 emails per day, 5 GB email storage,  100 MB Office document storage.
  • Mail XXL for €3,50, 25 Email aliases, 50,000 emails per day, 25 GB email storage, 100 MB Office document storage.
  • Office for €4,50, 25 Email aliases, 50,000 emails per day, 25 GB email storage, 25 GB Office document storage.
  • Office XL for €10, 25 Email aliases, 50,000 emails per day, 50 GB email storage, 100 GB Office storage.
  • Office XXL for €25, 25 Email aliases, 50,000 emails per day, 50 GB email storage, 500 GB Office storage.

You can make payments using PayPal, Bitcoin, bank transfers, by sending money directly to the company, or bank draft.

Verdict improves email security in several ways without reinventing the wheel. To make use of the encrypted inbox feature, it is necessary to install PGP and create a key pair. If you already have one, you simply add your public key in the settings and are good to go.

The privacy protection of the service seems to be excellent, with data only being stored for as long as it is needed before it is automatically deleted again.

The Drive component with its document editing option adds even more value to the service.

The one thing that is problematic right now is the frontpage which is only available in German, and the settings page which is also only available in German at the time of writing.

It is however likely that this will change over time.

Now Read: ShazzleMail re-invents email to improve security


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. JMGG said on January 19, 2012 at 8:25 am

    You said that Outlook isn’t your main email client, so which is your main one?

    1. BalaC said on January 19, 2012 at 9:42 am

      I think its thunderbird

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on January 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

      It is Mozilla Thunderbird.

  2. Salaam said on September 24, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Awesome! This actually solved my problem… what a stupid bug.

  3. Claud said on December 19, 2012 at 2:08 am

    If this is the same bug that I’ve encountered, there may be another fix: (1) hover over open Outlook item in Taskbar, cursor up to hover over Outlook window item, and right-click; (2) this should give you Restore / Move / Size / Minimize / Maximize — choose Move or Size; (3) use your cursor keys, going arbitrarily N/S/E/W, to try to move or size the Outlook window back into view. Basically, the app behaves as though it were open in a 0x0 window, or at a location that’s offscreen, and this will frequently work to resize and/or move the window. Don’t forget to close while resized/moved, so that Outlook remembers the size/position for next time.

    1. Lynda said on February 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      THANK YOU Claude!!! I could get the main window to launch but could not get any other message window to show on the desktop. You are my hero!!!!

    2. Chad said on November 20, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      Solved my issue! 6 years later and this is still problem…

    3. Ivan X said on January 21, 2021 at 4:50 pm

      Fantastic. Thank you. Size did the trick.

  4. Andrew said on October 26, 2013 at 7:06 am

    This solved my Outlook problem, too. Thank you. :)

  5. Charles said on December 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Thank you so much, this started happening to me today and was causing big problems. You are a life saver, I hope I can help you in some way some day.

  6. garth said on November 7, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    You are a god – thank you!

  7. Faisal said on February 9, 2015 at 10:09 am

    thanks a lot…. work like charm.. :-)

  8. Simon said on March 24, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Yah…thanks Claude. I’ve been having the same problem and tried all the suggestions…your solution was the answer. It had resized itself to a 0/0 box. Cheers

  9. Olu said on April 14, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    Excellent post. This had me baffled even trying to accurately describe the problem. This fixed it for me.
    Thank you

  10. Coenig said on July 23, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Thanks a lot for the article. Don’t know why it happenend, don’t know how it got fixed, but it was really annoying and now it works :-)

  11. Fali said on January 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Thanks a lot. I was facing this issue from past 3 week. I tried everything but no resolution. The issue was happening intermittently and mainly when I was changing the display of screen ( as i use 2 monitors). The only option i had was to do system restore. But thanks to you.

    1. MIki said on January 10, 2019 at 11:54 am

      I’ve been tried to sole this problem for 12hours. Your comment about changing the display of screen helped me a lot!! Thanks!!

  12. Christina said on January 20, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    Thank you…don’t know why this happened but your instructions helped me fix it. Running Windows 10 and office pro 2007

  13. Oz said on July 22, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Great tip! Thanks!

  14. Tracy said on September 1, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    Worked for me, too – thank you!!!

  15. shawn said on September 9, 2016 at 10:25 am

    It’s Worked for me, too
    thank you very much!

  16. Jari said on October 31, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I had a similar issue with Outlook 2013 on Windows 10 and this helped me to fix it. Thank you very much!

  17. Michel H said on November 30, 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Thank you so much. Solved!
    Considering you published this in 2012, incredible not been debugged by Microsoft.
    Thank you again. M

  18. Ziad Bitar said on January 9, 2017 at 2:00 am

    This problem was faced by only one user logging to TS 2008 r2 using outlook 2010.The issue was resolved.


  19. Anonymous said on February 15, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Great tip. Thank you!!!! If it helps, I had to use the Control Key and the arrow keys at the same time to bring my window back into view. Worked like a charm.

  20. Rochelle said on March 6, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Thank you, this worked !!!!

  21. anom1234 said on May 20, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    Man, you are a fucking god. Thanks a lot, what an annoying bug!!

  22. JC said on October 12, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Awesome, this post solved the issue. Many thanks!

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