ZeroNet: A p2p Website Service Based on Bitcoin and Torrent Technology

Introducing ZeroNet: a person-to-person networking tool powered by the BitTorrent network and encrypted with the same tech that as Bitcoin. It’s an impressive tool that can be installed on all major desktop operating systems and even some servers. With this you’ll not only be able to access websites in a peer-to-peer fashion but host them too.

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ZeroNet is a decentralized, real-time updated tool that allows users to create, share and browse peer-to-peer websites. All traffic sent through the ZeroNet protocol is done using BitTorrent technology and also has the ability to work with the TOR network. It is also encrypted using the same technology that powers Bitcoin (the cryptography-based virtual currency).

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Not only can you create your own websites and share them within the ZeroNet community, but you also have access to ZeroTalk, ZeroMail, ZeroBoard and ZeroBlog. These are perfect for those looking to have a private way to chat, send encrypted email back and forth, as well as secure messaging boards and the ability to create a private blog of their very own. Not to mention that, since this is a new technology, features and services are being added every day!

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ZeroNet is available on all three major platforms (Windows, Mac and Linux). Each of the three installation processes are drastically different but in the end connect you to the same service. Here’s how to get it working on your preferred platform.

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Windows

To get ZeroNet working on Windows, all that is required is the latest ZeroNet package file. To get it simply follow this link. Once on the page, search for the Windows section. It’ll have a link to the latest ZIP archive that is available. When the ZeroBundle archive has been downloaded, just extract it to a folder.

Inside the extracted folder, click on zeronet.cmd. After the command window finishes, ZeroNet will be opened to the start page in your default web browser.

Mac

Getting ZeroNet working on Mac is fairly simple. Just go to this page and scroll down to the Mac section. Click the download button to get the latest ZeroBundle ZIP archive, and just extract it to a folder. From there just enter the folder and click the .app file. It should open ZeroNet inside your default web-browser.

Linux

ZeroNet for Linux is a little bit different than Windows or Mac. To get it running, open a terminal and enter the following command to get the latest release of ZeroNet. Don’t worry, even though it’s a static link, because of how GitHub works it’ll download the latest package available.

wget -O zeronet-master.tar.gz https://github.com/HelloZeroNet/ZeroNet/archive/master.tar.gz

Once you have the archive downloaded, it’s time to extract it.

tar xvpfz zeronet-master.tar.gz

Now that the archive is extracted, it’s time to enter the folder.

cd zeronet-master

Finally, ZeroNet can be started.

python2 zeronet.py

The main reason to use ZeroNet is to avoid censorship and exercise your right to privacy. If you’re worried about Government spying, or just really value your privacy and want to do things anonymously, this tool is perfect you. Even still, if you’re not bothered by privacy, check out this technology anyways. This tool is great for sharing little projects without the need to fork over money for web hosting and everything that something like that entails.

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Since the technology is peer-to-peer there is no single deliverer of a website, nor any single point of failure. The more popular your page or service is, the more people access it, and the more it spreads around. Just like when you seed a torrent file – nobody can censor you or shut anything down.

With government-sponsored censorship of websites, as well as State-sponsored spying becoming an increasingly more prevalent thing, it is up to us as computer users to take privacy into our own hands. This is why I’m grateful that this sort of technology exists, and tools like ZeroNet are a step in the right direction. No longer will users need to worry about being censored. If they have something to say, anything is possible.

Would you use ZeroNet? Tell us in the comments below!

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