Company History Since 1989

Company History Since 1989

Some of these entries were written down from memory and are still being verified. If you notice any errors or have any important amendments, please get in touch with us via e-mail.

1989

Junge Presse Berlin e.V. (Berlin Youth Press Association), an association of student newspaper editors, founded Mailbox JPBerlin on July 5th, 1989. The term ‘Internet Service Provider’ had not yet been coined. Initial assets: A 2,400-baud modem, a 286 computer with an impressive 256 KB of RAM, and an amber monochrome monitor. The Berlin Wall came down on 9 November 1989.

1990

Peer Heinlein had been thinking about founding a mailbox for student newspapers. Upon discovering JPBerlin, he joined the project. The same year, a historic occasion: The first website was presented to the world.

1992

Peer Heinlein became the main administrator of JPBerlin, a role then still known as ‘SysOp’ (Systems Operator). JPBerlin received a 386 computer with 512 KB of RAM and a 20-MB hard drive, as well as a ridiculously-fast 19,200-baud modem based on the ‘Turbo PEP’ protocol. At the time, Deutsche Bundespost – Germany’s postal service and telecommunications provider – did not permit the use of modems with speeds above 9,600 baud.

1993

Peer Heinlein and like-minded networking pioneers provided Internet user training for various organizations. Main training points: how to send e-mails, how to quote correctly, how to use a search engine. Soon after, the deployment of GPG encryption software was also included as a main training priority. A recently-published book, ‘GPG – Pretty Good Privacy’ was distributed to users of JPBerlin. Using GPG was common practice at this time.

1994

Taking advantage of a technological opportunity, JPBerlin gained access to a 128-kbit fixed line for networking with other systems – a speed largely unheard of at the time. There weren’t many places to communicate with yet; we established connections with the Free University of Berlin and with IN Berlin e.V. The Internet was gradually emerging and the very first connections were forming. JPBerlin was one of the first service providers to offer dial-up connections to everyday people. Initially this was based on modems; ISDN was to follow a little later. DSL didn’t exist yet. Another remarkable innovation at the time: We were able to host websites for anyone. While many other systems were still limited to exchanging messages once per day over the telephone line, we were able to send and receive over the Internet in real time. Due to its favorable infrastructure and size, JPBerlin became a central distribution node for other mailboxes in Berlin, for whom we handled their mail traffic. Yahoo was founded.

1995

ISDN connections became widely available in Germany and gradually replaced the former analog telephone lines.

1997

Peer Heinlein provided training for the first IT systems administrators for a range of organizations including the IT Academy of Bavaria – for whom he also wrote the curriculum. A new occupation was beginning to take shape. GMX was founded.

1998

Spam e-mails were becoming a nuisance for the first time, among others due to an influx of free AOL CDs. JPBerlin was one of the first providers to check e-mails for spam, and later also for viruses. At this time, JPBerlin converted part of its office space into a data center. Today, professional data centers can be found everywhere; back then, there were hardly any. Google was founded and soon became a more important search engine than Yahoo Search.

1999

jmc99-telekombullyjmc99-telefonmast As part of a workshop series aimed at young media creators, Deutsche Telekom laid a two-kilometer telephone cable through a forest. In a rather surreal fashion, this ended in the middle of a paddock where the workshop camp was located; the cable came complete with a specially-erected telephone mast and a standard TAE telecommunications socket. JPBerlin held several mailbox and Internet workshops as part of the camp.

2002

Peer Heinlein published his first specialist book on mail servers: Das Postfix-Buch [The Postfix Book]. This was later to become a standard reference work for postmasters. The book’s current edition is over 1,000 pages long, with the 4th edition to be released soon. As early as the first edition, Heinlein warned against the extensive surveillance activities of U.S.-based secret services. At the time, the U.S. was running the Echelon project, a large-scale satellite communications monitoring project that was among others being conducted from Bad Aibling, Germany.

2004

The company changed its legal status in May 2004 due to significant growth and became Heinlein Professional Linux Support GmbH (after 2012: Heinlein Support GmbH). The company is well known for its many years of Linux expertise, has completed literally thousands of server installations over the years, and to this day has more than 4,500 happy long-term customers. JPBerlin continues operations, now as one of several business units of the limited-liability umbrella company. It may not be the most profitable of all our units, but it is the one that represents our political outlook the most. Facebook was founded.

2007

Peer Heinlein and Peer Hartleben published ‘POP3 und IMAP,’ another important specialist book about operating mail servers. Heinlein had previously also released several other books on server administration and intruder detection.

2013

The developments surrounding Edward Snowden and the NSA surveillance activities spurred us on to work on a new provider: mailbox.org. As Snowden mentioned as part of his Guardian chats, “The only thing you can rely on now is powerful encryption.” High time, we thought, to turn this principle into a reality for our customers.

2014

mailbox.org was launched on 20 February, offering encrypted inboxes for everyone. mailbox.org is an easy-to-use safe haven for e-mails and other personal data, and it is fully suitable for widespread use. mailbox.org is a great alternative to Hotmail/MSN, Gmail/GoogleDoc, and other commercial providers. mailbox.org is fueled by 20 years of experience, a dedicated team of 24 staff members, servers and technology spread over two physical locations, huge amounts of personal motivation, and, most importantly: mail server expertise from a team of true Internet pioneers.

2015

We won! In January 2015, mailbox.org came out on top of a product test conducted by the well-known and respected “Stiftung Warentest” in Germany, together with one other competitor. 14 different e-mail providers were compared. We are very excited about this result!

mailbox.org introduces the mailbox.org Guard – the first comprehensive PGP-encryption solution for e-mail in the web browser.

2016

We have improved many areas of mailbox.org this year: There has been a major update of the web interface and a range of new security features were introduced, such as One-Time-Passwords and a dedicated PGP key server.

September: Once again, we are crowned joint winner of the Stiftung Warentest product comparison, scoring a fantastic quality rating: VERY GOOD (1,4). This time round, there were 15 national and international e-mail providers in the test.