What is the Mailvelope key server and how can I use it?
Mailvelope provides its own key server. A key server is a freely accessible database for the public keys of the PGP users. If you send an encrypted email to a communication partner but do not know their public key, you can use the key server to search for it. Moreover, you can store your public PGP key there for others to find easily. The Mailvelope key server has the advantage that all email addresses stored on it have already been verified via email, which is a good protection against potential identity theft.
Automatic key search
Mailvelope uses the key server in the background for some services. Whenever a new key is created, Mailvelope will automatically upload the key to the key server unless you deactivate this option in the key creation dialog. Even if you enter an email address in the Mailvelope editor when sending emails, Mailvelope searches for the corresponding public key on the key server and colors the email address green or red, depending on the availability of the searched address on the server.
You can also deactivate the automatic use of the key server which is activated by default. Select "Options" -> "Key-Server" and uncheck the box "Use the Mailvelope key server".
Manual key upload or download
If you want to upload your key manually or even search for keys, you can use the web interface of the Mailvelope key server.
Upload key to server (OpenPGP key upload)
Copy the public key you want to upload to the clipboard. Make sure that your selection includes - - - - BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK---- and - - - - END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----. Paste it into the input field and select "Upload".
Search for keys on the key server (OpenPGP key lookup)
Enter the email address or the key ID (a key ID makes every PGP key uniquely identifiable). For example, the key IDs for your keys can be found in Key Management in the "Key ID" column. Finally, select "Search".
Remove a key from a key server (OpenPGP key removal)
Enter the email address of the key that you want to delete and select "Delete". Be sure to enter the email address keeping case sensitivity in mind. In some cases, the associated key may not be found otherwise! Attention: When attempting to delete a key from the key server you will receive an email with a link which has to be selected in order to complete the deletion.