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RetroShare is a open source cross-platform, private and secure decentralized communication system. It lets you to securely chat, share photos, videos, and more, using OpenPGP to authenticate peers and OpenSSL to encrypt all communication.
Send text and images. Discuss with various people in chat rooms. Express your emotions with the rich smiley set. Use distant chat to securely chat with friends-of-friends.
Voice and Video
Make free and secure calls with the VoIP plugin. Catch up face to face with a video call.
Send encrypted messages to other members of the network. Retroshare can store encrypted messages on friends nodes to deliver messages while you're offline.
Share files with your friends or with the whole network. Use the search to find files. Retroshare uses swarming similar to BitTorrent, to accelerate the download. This makes it possible to share big files with 1GB or more. Your privacy is protected with anonymous tunnels. Only your direct friends might learn which files you download.
You can read and write forum posts offline. This is perfect while you're on the go. When you have an Internet connection, Retroshare will automatically sync forums with your friends. Decentralized forums are censorship resistant by design.
Share your favorite links. See which links others like. Vote and discuss links.
Publish files in channels. Subscribe to channels and automatically download the latest files. Comment on files and spread them to your friends.
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Retroshare: friends not included! If you want to know what this application can do, you'll need some friends! Or you can be like me, forever alone, and set up two computers and try it out. After about 30 minutes of messing around, here are some preliminary impressions I had.
The certificates is probably the hardest thing to manage with Retroshare. Exchanging them was easy, using online expiring paste services (I used Hastebin and Ghostbin for this), although any method you can think of to send a block of text will work. Signing and validating the certificates, however, wasn't really clear to me. It could be just me, since this was my first time managing certificates like this.
The design of the GUI is quite nice, although first-time users may feel overwhelmed by the options. It takes a bit of browsing and prodding around to learn everything Retroshare has to offer. It allows users to chat to every single node they are connected to, chat with only select nodes, create alternate identities, send email-esque messages to certain nodes, and share a folder of files with certain nodes (shared directory), among other things.
I didn't get the chance to try out the "Channels", "Forum", and "Links" tabs yet, unfortunately, but I have a hunch that those tabs would be very useful for those who like sharing things with their friends.
Maybe Retroshare's speed was an issue of the past, because I haven't had any serious connectivity issues trying to contact other nodes...then again, it could be because the nodes I connected to were nearby to begin with. I don't really know how well it works for long distance nodes.
Overall, I find Retroshare to be a viable platform for connecting to friends in a decentralized way.
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