31 October 2014

Encryptomatic's Free Online .MSG and .EML File Viewer

Since 2012, Encryptomatic LLC has operated MessageViewer Online, a free service that opens email messages online in your web browser. Just upload a .msg or .eml file, and voila! There it is!

We decided to build MessageViewer Online after realizing that many people were being enticed into downloading supposed "free" email viewers and installing them on their computers. Some of these tools were invasive to people's privacy, would try to upsell them into more expensive products, and just didn't work very well.

We thought that wasn't right. People who have just a few .msg or .eml emails to open shouldn't have to put themselves at risk by installing one of these "free" email tools. So we built MessageViewer Online. It was a good learning exercise for our staff, and we're very pleased that it has been well used now for two years.

The biggest question we get about the service is, "What do you do with the emails I upload to MessageViewer Online?"  People are rightly concerned and skeptical that their email addresses might be harvested and sold off in a spam list.  We accept that skepticism, and our omisssion to include some kind of specific privacy statement on the page hasn't helped, even though our standard policy applies to this service.

Emails sent to MessageViewer Online are rendered to the uploader's web browser as a html web page. The email message and file attachments are temporarily cached for this purpose. About every ten or fifteen minutes, the entire cache is erased by a file deletion script.

We haven't yet found a business model for MessageViewer Online. We've thought about putting ads on it.  Harvesting email addresses for spamming is a business model we rejected at the outset (we never spam). Charging for use? Nah.

The best idea we've had so far is to just provide a link to one of our Windows email viewing software programs.  If you need to go beyond MessageViewer Online for managing email content, please consider trying one of our email viewers.

We're glad so many people find MessageViewer Online useful. We welcome your ideas and suggestions, not only for how we can improve it, but how we might build a sustainable business model around it.