Efforts to understand, improve, or do less harm to the world around me.


Saturday, May 29, 2010

WASTE network alternatives

In 2003, a program appeared that set up a secure network by which friends and small groups could exchange messages and data easily and securely.  While WASTE had a variety of advantages and disadvantages, it was shut down before it could mature.  Still, the software coined the term "friend-to-friend" (versus "peer-to-peer") file sharing and a long list of alternatives have appeared to try and take its place. 

Any program that takes its place should strive for the following:
  • Open source, cross-platform, and serverless (no one computer is necessary to maintain the group)
  • Secure, unlimited file sharing, and throttling so you don't choke your connection
  • Other useful tools for a small group like Individual and group chat options, bulletin boards, etc.
So far, the RetroShare program seems to be the best option but no Mac client is yet available.

Slowly looking into other alternatives and tools:
  • GNU Net - has some tools to increase the anonymity of users but initial tests last year weren't very promising
  • Weezo - uses centralized, private server
  • Opera Unite  - super easy, but requires computer to be always online.  Status of security unknown.
  • Hamachi (closed) and Wippien (open) - firewall-friendly simple virtual private network program (VPN), but requires that you run other server programs in addition.  Hamachi was tested 2 years ago and worked great but using basic Windows file sharing turned out to be more annoying than we expected.
  • Oneswarm - uses BitTorrent technology and provides some anonymity
  • Tunnelier - Can many internet services secure on your computer.  Maybe the easiest tool for SSH tunneling available for Windows.
More on this as it happens.

1 comment:

Folding Home said...

Also: stealthnet. Free, portable, and GPL'd but requires .NET 2 and Windows/Linux only.