Nylas Beats Kloudless on Security, Performance, Feature Depth & Pricing

Kloudless doesn’t accurately portray the capabilities of their product, so why would you trust them for your next integration?

Ben Lloyd Pearson | October 1, 2020

The Nylas Communications Platform is the industry-leading service for communications and scheduling APIs. Over 55,000 developers across the globe use our email, calendar, and contacts APIs to power their apps, and our growing success has caught the interest of supporters and detractors alike. 

We were surprised to see statements that Kloudless, a direct competitor of ours, made recently that misrepresent our product and the value it provides to developers. They go so far as to make verifiably false claims that can be easily refuted with simple investigations.

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We don’t want developers to be misled by practices like this, so this article will clearly demonstrate how Kloudless is being deceptive and how Nylas is the best option for anyone looking to build email, calendar, and contacts functionality. Specifically:

  • Security: Nylas has the most secure email and calendar APIs on the market that are backed by industry-leading certifications that competitors like Kloudless lack.
  • Performance: Nylas is 3-4x faster than Kloudless to accomplish the most common email and calendar use cases.
  • Feature Depth: The Nylas Email and Calendar APIs offer drastically more features than Kloudless.
  • Pricing: Nylas is anywhere from 25% to 50% cheaper than Kloudless.

This analysis is based on statements made on the email and scheduling pages Kloudless has built that are dedicated to Nylas, as well as their documentation. We’re flattered they care about us enough to build multiple pages, but nonetheless, we can’t let falsehoods go unchallenged. 

Nylas Takes Real Action on Security and Privacy

The Claim: Nylas stores user data which offers less protection for user data security and privacy.

The Truth: Nylas is SOC 2 certified, GDPR compliant, HIPAA and FINRA ready, and offers selective scopes and international data residency to protect user privacy.  

One of the fundamental tenets of software security is that data must always be protected both in transit and at rest, and any companies that fail to do so put their users’ security and privacy at risk. Nylas and Kloudless both access user data from third party email and calendar providers, meaning we have the exact same responsibility for user data that is connected to our platforms. However, Nylas is SOC 2 certified, GDPR compliant, and HIPAA and FINRA ready. Kloudless doesn’t offer all of these security and privacy benefits and is simply no match for the world-class focus Nylas has on protecting user data

Additionally, Nylas supports international data residency, meaning you have complete control over where your user data is stored, making it much easier to comply with international privacy laws. Kloudless completely lacks this feature, limiting the ability of developers to build apps for international markets.

Lastly, Nylas offers built-in granular authentication scopes that let you selectively access only the data you need from your users, providing additional flexibility in protecting user privacy. Kloudless lacks this feature by default, requiring you to either adopt an all or nothing approach to accessing user data, or to build custom authentication flows for each email and calendar service provider. The former approach potentially puts sensitive user information at risk, and the latter forces you to write custom code for each provider.

No matter how you look at it, Nylas exceeds the security and privacy protections of Kloudless across the board.

Nylas Has More Scheduling Features Than Kloudless

The Claim: Kloudless has more calendar functionality than Nylas.

The Truth: Nylas offers a drastically larger set of calendar features and has something that Kloudless doesn’t: a Contacts API that lets you enrich your app with detailed contact information.

Kloudless makes claims that they have more calendar features and integrations than Nylas, but this simply isn’t the case. Here are some of the scheduling advantages Nylas provides that Kloudless can’t match:

  • Events as first-class objects: You can query for all of a user’s events across every single calendar they have access to, whether it’s custom, shared, or owned by a different user in the same organization. This drastically reduces the complexity of scheduling use cases that span multiple calendars.
  • Emailed Events: It’s extremely common for users to receive an invite to an event via email. Nylas provides an emailed events calendar that automatically populates from emails that contain event invites.
  • Filters: Optimize queries by returning events that match specific criteria like title, description, and location.
  • External Availability: Enable users to search for availability for users outside their organization.
  • More Flexible Event Webhooks: Nylas provides configurable webhook notifications that inform your app of changes to all events for a user across all of their calendars. 
  • Contacts API: Enrich your app with detailed contact information to improve user experience.

Take a look at our comparison page for a more detailed look at the gaps Kloudless has vs. Nylas.

Only Nylas Offers Machine Learning Capabilities

The Claim: Kloudless has more email API capabilities than Nylas.

The Truth: The Nylas Neural API provides intelligent ML functionality that makes it drastically easier to work with user inboxes.

Kloudless focuses exclusively on connecting developers to user data sources like their email and calendar, but building integrations that leverage these resources takes much more work than simply connecting to an inbox or calendar; there is a lot of rich, unstructured data contained inside user accounts that often requires additional code and processing to extract.

The Nylas Neural API provides access to Machine Learning (ML) capabilities that make it extremely easy to implement functionality like categorization, OCR, sentiment analysis, annotations, entity detection, and parsing unstructured data. The Neural API makes it effortless to extract human conversations from an email inbox, categorize emails by purpose, function and type, extract contact data from email signatures, and extract raw text from email file attachments with OCR.

At the core of these capabilities is the Nylas Sync Engine, which provides the Nylas Platform with rich training data, enabling us to build machine learning models that are custom-tailored to fulfill email and calendar integration requirements. Nylas is the only platform that provides advanced intelligence features to drastically reduce the amount of code your developers need to write and maintain.

Kloudless simply can’t match these capabilities, leaving their customers to build their own ML infrastructure to solve comparatively simple tasks.

Nylas Performs Up to Four Times Faster For Common Use Cases

The Claim: Kloudless has a faster API than Nylas.

The Truth: The Sync Engine that powers the Nylas Communications Platform performs up to 4 times faster for common scheduling and email use cases when compared to Kloudless.

It’s easy for Kloudless to claim they have the faster API, but the facts don’t lie. So, we decided to run our own test to see how the Nylas and Kloudless APIs compare on raw performance. The individual who ran these tests is located on the east coast of the US and used the same Gmail account for both tests. Kloudless and Nylas both use the same AWS data center for API servers on the west coast of the US. We made 100 separate requests for each of the use cases, and used first time to byte as the benchmark. 

This all gives us a pretty accurate and fair measurement of the processing time for each of the API servers, and anyone can run this test by connecting an identical account to both Nylas and Kloudless. So, we encourage you to perform your own examination.

We picked four of the most common requests that are made to our API to test:

  1. Get the 50 most recent email messages in a user’s inbox.
  2. Get a single email message by its ID.
  3. Get a single event from a user’s calendar by its ID.
  4. Send an email.

We measured the P50, P95, and P99 response times for the 100 tests, so let’s take a look at the results!

Nylas is Up to 3x Faster When Returning 50 Most Recent Emails

Nylas Endpoint: /messages

Kloudless Endpoint: /accounts/me/email/messages/

This test is pretty straightforward, we requested the 50 most recent emails for our email account from each of the APIs. while Kloudless slightly edges us out at the very top end of the percentiles, but we’re 3 times faster for the vast majority of requests.

Kloudless Nylas
P50 1.46s 0.420s
P90 1.80s 0.648s
P99 2.67s 3.00s

Nylas Outperforms Kloudless on Parsing Email Threads

Nylas Endpoint: /messages/{id}

Kloudless Endpoint: /accounts/me/email/messages/{message_id}

We made 100 requests for a single email message, and while it seems simple on the surface, it requires a bit of nuance to fully understand.

Kloudless Nylas
P50 0.281s 0.340s
P90 0.471s 0.574s
P99 0.950s 0.994s

Nylas performs marginally worse than Kloudless for this individual request, 4.8% slower P50 response time, for example. However, Kloudless treats threads as second class objects, meaning that if you need to parse all of the email messages that are a part of a single thread, you’ll need to make a separate request for each of them. It’s extremely difficult to add engaging email functionality to your app without threading capabilities, so it’s quite likely you’ll need to do this if you’re building email functionality, and each additional request makes the functional response time of your app slower.

Alternatively, Nylas provides a /threads/{id} endpoint that lets you return all of the messages from a conversation thread in a single request. If your use case needs email threading functionality, going with Kloudless could require you to make substantially more API requests to solve a problem that can be handled with a single request to Nylas. This is something you should consider, particularly when bandwidth constraints are a concern. 

Nylas is Up to Four Times as Fast at Retrieving Calendar Events

Nylas Endpoint: /events/{id}

Kloudless Endpoint: accounts/me/cal/calendars/{calendar_id}/events/{event_id}

Similar to the previous test, this test requests a single event 100 times, and it also requires some additional insight to understand. 

Kloudless Nylas
P50 0.647s 0.270s
P90 0.901s 0.496s
P99 1.31s 0.656s

For this test, Nylas was more than twice the speed of Kloudless across the board. However, since Kloudless treats events as second class objects, you must know the ID of the calendar it exists on first. If you don’t have this data available beforehand, you will need to make a prerequisite request to get the appropriate calendar data, effectively doubling the number of required requests.

Nylas, on the other hand, treats events as first class objects, meaning that you can interact with them without any prior knowledge of the calendar it exists on. Since this task requires two requests with Kloudless but can be accomplished with Nylas in one, functionally speaking, Nylas is as much as four times faster than Kloudless for many scheduling use cases.

Nylas has Deeper Email Features, Kloudless Has Faster Send Speed

Nylas Endpoint: /send

Kloudless Endpoint: /accounts/me/email/messages/send

I wish we could say Nylas is faster at all the things, but unfortunately for us Kloudless did edge us out on the email send test, and performed twice as fast as our API. 

Kloudless Nylas
P50 1.03s 1.99s
P90 1.24s 3.49s
P99 2.16s 7.09s

While our competitor might be fine with misleading people, at Nylas, we think it’s important to act with honesty and transparency. Your success is our success, and we want to be partners in your software development journey. As such, it’s important to us that we show you the results as they are and let you make the judgment about what’s best for your needs.

We might be beat on email send speed, but Nylas offers a wealth of email features that Kloudless can’t match, including:

  • Outbox Beta – Send large numbers of emails or schedule emails to be sent in the future. Nylas handles email provider rate limits and send errors automatically for you.
  • Email Threading: Access email threads to manage entire conversations rather than individual messages.
  • Label, Folder, and Thread CRUD: Manage a user inbox with folders, labels, and statuses.
  • Email Drafts: Full CRUD functionality for email drafts with versioned history.
  • Full Email Attachment Support: Download attachments, and attach files to emails before sending.
  • Filters: Return email conversations by subject, participants, status, and more.
  • Contacts API: Direct integration with user contact books to enrich user experience with detailed contact information.

Take a look at our comparison page for a more detailed look at the gaps Kloudless has vs. Nylas.

Nylas Provides Uptime When Providers Have Downtime, Kloudless Does Not

The Claim: Kloudless has better reliability than Nylas

The Truth: The Nylas Sync Engine protects our users from disruptions to email and calendar provider services.

One of the core arguments Kloudless makes is that their lack of a sync engine is somehow an advantage of theirs, but in reality it creates a fairly significant risk for anyone that builds an integration with them. What happens when the third party provider APIs experience downtime, much like the Google Calendar API did in 2019?

Back then, The Nylas Sync Engine was able to protect our customers from this outage, and their apps were able to continue to provide scheduling functionality even though the underlying provider was unavailable. Once the Google Calendar services came back online, the Nylas Sync Engine seamlessly resolved all changes that occurred during the downtime with our customers being none the wiser. If you relied on a provider like Kloudless, which lacks these sync capabilities, scheduling functionality would have been unavailable to any of your users that have Google Calendar accounts during this time.

Nylas Offers Competitive Pricing with a Much Deeper Feature-Set than Kloudless

The Claim: Kloudless has a lower price than Nylas.

The Truth: Nylas has a significantly lower price than Kloudless, particularly after you’ve factored in their charges for data storage and API requests overages.

While Kloudless isn’t transparent about their pricing on their website, we’ve seen Capterra reports and heard from our own customers that prices start between $500-990/month for approximately 200 connected accounts after you’ve factored in storage costs and other platform fees. Their lack of transparency makes it difficult for us to directly compare costs with them, but from the information we have, Nylas is typically 25% to 50% less expensive than Kloudless right out the gate. Nylas also offers discounts as you scale, including an Enterprise tier that offers unlimited data syncing, unlimited connected accounts, and Premium support.

Unlike Kloudless, we don’t gate any of our plans on the number of API calls you make, so you never have to worry about overages or surprise increases in your bill. We also offer a free trial so you can see the power of the platform before you purchase anything.

Nylas is Your Partner for Richer Features, Best-in-Class Security, and Competitive Pricing

Nylas focuses on the things we’re great at — email, calendar and contacts — while Kloudless has spread themselves thin across a wide range of APIs that might not be relevant to your needs. Ultimately, you don’t need to take our word for it, Kloudless gives what might be the best reason to go with Nylas:

 If you want to build the best email, calendar, and contacts integration, Nylas is the obvious choice.

There you have it, Kloudless is the best alternative to Nylas. In other words, they are the 2nd option. If you want to build the best email, calendar, and contacts integration, Nylas is the obvious choice.

Build With Nylas Today

Whether you’re interested in the Email, Calendar, Contacts API, or finding a complete solution with all three, Nylas is the most cost-effective way to build and scale your communications integrations, saving companies over $2M in development costs. Nylas doesn’t require contracts and unlike Koudless and offers a la carte package options. If you’d like to explore how Nylas could work for you, get in touch with a Nylas Platform specialist today, and try Nylas for free for up to 10 users for 30 days. 

Ben Lloyd Pearson

Ben is the Developer Advocate for Nylas. He is a triathlete, musician, avid gamer, and loves to seek out the best breakfast tacos in Austin, Texas.