Is it the best end to end encrypted email provider on the planet? It certainly claims to be so much more than just that. We’ll test and verify the legitimacy of these claims throughout this review.
Do note that this Skiff email review isn’t sponsored. Everything in this piece is my personal experience and opinion.
Additionally, the platform is 100% free, forever. So you don’t really have to reach into your pockets at the end of this review either.
Let’s get started then?
What is Skiff?
Skiff primarily is a free, open-source, end-to-end encrypted and decentarlized e-mail and collaboration platform. You can use it completely anonymously as well (I’ve explained how later in this Skiff review).
It’s a completely free alternative to quite a few other paid or less-secure email and collaboration tools.
Here are its primary features:
- Website: https://www.skiff.com
- End to End encrypted
- E2E encrypted collaboration and doc editing
- Metamask login
- Schedule emails for later
- Mobile apps
- Free aliases
- No identification/verification required
- Custom domains*
*The team is working on this feature. As of 29th July, 2022, it’s still under development and isn’t live yet. It probably will be by the time you read this Skiff review.
End to End Encrypted
You wouldn’t be reading this Skiff review if it wasn’t End-to-End encrypted.
It basically means that only the sender and the receiver of the e-mails have access to your mails.
No one else can intercept or decrypt the mails mid-way, and this includes the Skiff team.
In other words, even if Skiff is forced by some government agency to share your e-mails, they can’t. The company has absolutely no access to your account, period.
Account recovery key
I just said the company can’t access your account. How then can you recover your account in case you lose it?
Well, there are two ways to get that done.
First, you can set a recovery e-mail. This works just like any other recovery e-mail. You can initiate a “Forgot password” session, a link is sent to this e-mail and you get your account back.
The second option is even more private.
When you sign up at Skiff, you get a “recovery code”. This is like your master password. A series of jumbled characters. Skiff makes it mandatory to “save it as PDF” when it’s first shown, as it’s never shown again.
You can use this to recover your account even if you do not have your password.
In-built Productivity & collaboration suite
I’m sure you’ve heard of at least a few other E2E encrypted e-mail providers before . However, have you heard of an e-mail provider that also doubles as a “productivity suite”? You probably haven’t!
Skiff has this feature called “Skiff Pages”.
It’s basically Google Doc, but a lot more advanced and “End to End encrypted”.
This again means no one else except the people you exclusively share the doc with, have access to it.
It’s basically a document editing tool. It offers dozens of pre-designed templates you can work with. These templates are built keeping different industries and scenarios in mind giving you a much better pick.
It even has a “version history” feature so you can track any and all changes made to the page.
You can even import your documents directly from Google Drive. In fact, importing directly from Drives gives you $15 credit. Obviously, you can also import files from your local storage.
You can also invite your teammates to work on it with you, in real-time. And yes, this too is End to End encrypted.
Sharing and viewing features too are impressive. You can either make these pages public, so anyone with the link can view them. Or, you can make it private, so that only those with a Skiff account and your link get viewing rights.
When sharing links, you can also choose either to offer or revoke “editing” rights.
You can even set “passwords” so that only those with a password can view it. There’s this unique feature that lets you add “watermarks”. These are the normal watermarks that cover the entire page in the background and are often used for drafts.
2 Factor Authentication
Skiff lets you add 2-FA for added security as well.
You can use Google Authenticator, Authy, Duo Mobile, or basically any other 2-FA app to set it up.
This would ensure that even if your password is compromised, your account remains inaccessible to a third-party.
All you need to do is have the Metamask browser extension installed on your browser. Skiff then automatically shows you the “login using Metamask” option on the login page.
There are times when you may not want to share your actual e-mail with the other party.
Skiff offers “aliases” exactly for these situations. These aliases are basically a new e-mail ID attached to the same account. No additional signups required.
Skiff is officially semi-anonymous, however, it totally can be made completely and fully anonymous as well.
It’s semi-anonymous as it doesn’t require any personal data/identification/verification when you sign up.
To make it completely anonymous, all you have to do is use a VPN. The VPN will mask your IP address making sure there’s no way any of your Skiff activity can be linked to you. Your mails are already encrypted and can’t be accessed by any third-party.
This is one of the biggest trust-factors you should be looking for when entrusting something with your privacy.
Skiff is open source. This means, its code is available publicly and can be audited by any individual/group. It also means the company is offering what it “claims” to offer. There are no lies, backdoors, or hidden technicalities which may jeopardize your privacy.
Modern Interface & search features
Most email providers claiming to be anonymous, encrypted or decentralized miss out on one big aspect, the UI! I get it, their “features” are supposed to be the USP.
However, Skiff is built different. On top of everything else it’s offering, it also offers one of the best user-interfaces even when compared to popular providers such as Gmail.
This is the UI you get with each Skiff account:
Easy, simple, and clean, wouldn’t you agree? All the options are laid out neat and you don’t have to hunt for specific options/features.
It also offers advanced, in-content search for free. Despite being E2E encrypted, it uses client-side encryption to let you search the “content” inside e-mails. This makes searches a lot faster and smoother without compromising your privacy. (Yes, even on the free plan).
Folders & Labels
Okay, this isn’t a “massive feature”. Yet, not all encrypted mail providers offer this and hence I just have to mention it on this Skiff review.
Skiff lets you add colour-coded folders and labels. You can easily move mails to these folders and label for better organization!
Schedule mails & signatures
This is another feature that’s not massive and yet deserves a mention. Skiff lets you “schedule” your e-mails.
This lets you send e-mails in your sleep, literally. It’s available for all Skiff users, even the free accounts without any additional payments.
Native Mobile and Desktop apps
Skiff can be used without any additional downloads, directly from your browsers.
However, it does have native apps for all the major platforms, including:
- And macOS.
Skiff Pricing (It’s free)
As the heading suggests, Skiff is 100% free, forever.
The free plan offers unlimited mails, unlimited pages (collaboration), and all the other features you need.
The only limitations on the free plan? You get “24 hour version history” on Skiff Pages instead of “unlimited” on the paid plan. Similarly, the free plan gives you 10 GB instead of 100 GB on the paid plan.
If you do go for the paid plan, it costs just $8.00/month which I believe is still pretty impressive.
Does Skiff offer support? It does, via e-mail. I’d generally complain about the lack of a “live chat” feature, but, not on this Skiff review.
That’s primarily because for all these features and privacy that Skiff is offering for free, I believe e-mail support is more than enough.
Additionally, the application is so simple and easy to understand that you probably wouldn’t even need support in most cases. I’ve been using Skiff for a few months and never once I had to send an e-mail asking for help.
Skiff review- Final verdict
So, is Skiff the best anonymous, end to end encrypted, decentralized and open-source email platform in the industry? I’d say that’s a possibility.
It offers everything you could ask for from one such platform. Moreover, being open-source means it can never lie about its policies and technicalities.
To top it all up, it’s 100% free. I don’t see red flags so far, do you? I think it’s best if you go and give it a try. A first-hand experience will help you understand the platform a lot better than this Skiff review, wouldn’t it?