CryptPad Reviews

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I'm quite impressed with the team behind Cryptpad. They've created a secure and relatively easy to use collaboration hub, in the same vein as Google Docs and the rest of their suite. In this review I'll be focusing more on the performance of CryptPad versus its privacy, which, if you are so inclined, can read more about on its website.

CryptPad offers a rich text pad, a markdown code pad, a markdown presentation, a poll or schedule, a kanban (a tool to keep track of your tasks), and a shared whiteboard. The only thing that's missing, and that I would like to see implemented, is a spreadsheet pad. [EDIT, May 09] It has been added by implementing OnlyOffice, and is currently in beta. Also, from the existing options, it appears CryptPad is most useful to software developers working together, or those literate in coding and/or markdown. Don't worry if you're not one of these people, though! CryptPad still works well for the average Joe.

The interface for your files looks a tad barren, but is extremely simple to use. Maybe that's what file explorers should be in the first place. The interface for the pads you create, on the other hand, may look daunting at first, but after you fiddle around, you will see that it has just the right amount of features for collaborators. There's quite a few pop-ups if you're just starting out, but those are just there to tell you more about how CryptPad works.

Since I don't have friends (...who are as privacy-oriented as I am and therefore are not willing to try out new software when "Google Docs already exists"... I'm not a loner, I swear), I used two browsers and a tablet to create my own session for Cryptpad to test how well the collaboration aspects work. On Vivaldi, CryptPad was a little buggy when attempting to send messages to my other devices, but it worked after a while; this could be a Vivaldi- or Chromium-specific bug. On Waterfox and Falkon, CryptPad worked without a hitch. The pad updates at a reasonably fast rate when editing your work, changing your name, or messaging the other collaborators. I did have trouble, however, distinguishing which I-bar and highlights belonged to whom: the colours were too similar. However, that might have been just bad luck with the random assignment of colouring to each collaborator. More testing will be needed to confirm.

If you want to share your work with others, you send them the link of the page, accessible via the "Share" button. You can choose whether you want the person receiving the link to have editing rights, or just viewing rights. The others don't need an account to edit using the editing link. They will simply appear as "anonymous", but can still change their name.

As implied just now, you can easily test out CryptPad without creating an account. If you like what you see, then make an account to save your work or get started with a clean slate. More information here: https://blog.cryptpad.fr/2017/05/17/You-gotta-log-in/ (alternate: https://archive.fo/vTO5o )

I should also mention that because CryptPad has a small team, they are offering only 50MB of storage for free. It's a modest amount, but that is because this software is still growing. If you want more, you can upgrade your storage and support the developers. At a time where privacy is under fire, those who value their privacy should rally behind any promising efforts to uphold our right to be forgotten.

On a related note, despite their small team, CryptPad's team is confident that this software can be used reliably in an enterprise setting. Best to check their website for that, if you're interested.

Despite the little drawbacks I ran into, I give this 5 stars because I truly think CryptPad has potential to be a serious competitor to other online collaboration suites; it just needs more time to grow.

Make sure to read the FAQ; lots of good information is there: https://sandbox.cryptpad.info/faq.html

[Edited by TerrifiedTyphlosion, May 09]

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Zero knowledge and selfhosing idea. This is great!

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