Semaphor and Mattermost seem to be competitors in the secure group chat and collaboration space, but there are significant security concerns with Mattermost. Semaphor is built on a core of end-to-end encrypted, No Knowledge technology in SpiderOak's confidential cloud, while Mattermost is only available as an on-premise, open source solution. However, you can review Semaphor's source code, even though it's hosted in the cloud. Here are the four big differences:
SECURITY: Semaphor features end-to-end encryption, including encryption while data is at-rest. Mattermost only offers encryption while data is in-transit.
HOSTING: Semaphor is hosted in SpiderOak's confidential cloud. Mattermost requires organizations to purchase hardware that match their specifications, self-install the software, and administrate the software which can end up being more costly for an organization in time and money.
MOBILE APPS: Semaphor's mobile apps work out of the box without any additional configuration needed. Mattermost requires organizations to compile and self-distribute the open source Mattermost mobile apps, or open their company firewall to allow Mattermost apps from the public app stores to connect to their installation.
SUPPORT: Semaphor includes Tier 1 support with all user accounts, and Enterprise-level support with Pro plans. Mattermost accounts require a per-user charge for support, and support does not cover end user issues.
Semaphor, along with all of SpiderOak's products, features end-to-end encryption in a No Knowledge environment. All messages and attachments are encrypted before leaving a user's device and can only be decrypted by the intended recipients. Semaphor performs all of these functions in the background, giving users an excellent user experience while maintaining the highest level of security.
Mattermost offers TSL support, meaning that messages and attachments are encrypted while in-transit, but does not offer encryption for data at rest. In Mattermost's Security Overview encryption-at-rest is only "available through hardware and software disk encryption solutions applied to the Mattermost database."
SpiderOak hosts Semaphor in our confidential cloud environment. This allows your organization to save money on hardware, IT administration costs, and time that would be spent on creating and maintaining a self-hosted environment.
Mattermost is only available as a self-hosted product. Only organizations that adhere to Mattermost's Software and Hardware Requirements can qualify for any support whatsoever. The overhead required to assemble, launch, and administer Mattermost is not insignificant, and combined with the monthly per user cost for support, can become a significant burden over time.
Semaphor offers mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. These mobile apps are full-featured Semaphor clients that allow account administration and all of the features of the desktop applications. No additional configuration is required for the mobile apps to connect to SpiderOak's Confidential Cloud infrastructure; the apps work out of the box and can be connected with your account in just a few seconds.
Mattermost requires mobile apps to either be deployed through an internal Enterprise App Store (after being compiled and deployed by your staff), or without a VPN with ports open on your company firewall. In the latter situation, Mattermost provides pre-compiled mobile apps that are available through the iOS and Android app stores.
SpiderOak's support team offers Tier 1 support for Semaphor account admins and end users. Enterprises qualify for onsite training and optional assisted deployment as well.
Mattermost offers three support levels with per user monthly charges ranging up to $6.67 per month. Support does not cover any end user issues, integrations, installers, images, plug-ins, or remote administration.
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SpiderOak's enterprise sales team is ready to connect with you to answer your questions and get your organization set up on Semaphor. Contact our enterprise sales team here.