RetroShare 0.6.0 Revision 7ded128b (Qt-4.8.7/Qt-5.5.1) + Portable | 42.9 Mb
RetroShare is an open-source software application designed specifically for helping you securely chat and share files with your friends on a decentralized communication platform. Unlike other peer-to-peer programs, this one puts a special emphasis on security and privacy by establishing encrypted connections between authenticated friends.User-friendly layout
The GUI looks clean and well organized. The News Feed offers detailed notifications about all your messages while other tabs are dedicated to providing quick access to a list with all your friends, sharing files, joining chat lobbies, sending messages, creating channels, reading feeds, and checking links.Communication options and new identities
You can make use of various communication features, such as private chats with your friends, private or public chat lobbies, messages, forums, as well as VoIP services. In addition, it provides asymmetric encryption capabilities via PGP.
When you run the tool for the first time, you need to create a new identity. This can be done by providing information about the name, password and location.Channels and forums
Channels are used in RetroShare in order to share/broadcast a set of files to all your friends. You may create a new channel and add a set of files so your friends can automatically download these items (if they are subscribed to your channel).
In addition, the tool lets you disable automatic downloads so you can manually grab the desired items. The channels are anonymous (each peer has its own list with friends that are subscribed to the channel) and each message is signed with a private RSA key.
Forums are semi-anonymous and give you the option to text your friends. When you create a forum, all your friends become aware of it. The network may increase if friends subscribe to the forum and spread it to other friends.
You can opt for a public or private type of forum. In the first one everyone can read the forum and post in it, while the second adds an extra layer of security by signing messages with the profile's GPG key.Chat lobbies
RetroShare gives you the possibility to opt for decentralized chat rooms called 'chat lobbies.' There are two types of lobbies, public (they are advertised to friends and friends can join the desired chat room) or private (they are not advertised to friends; peers require invitation in order to be able to access it).File sharing capabilities
The program helps you share files securely with your friends and download data using anonymous tunnels (only if the uploader allows it). You can make use of links that allow a download directly to RetroShare, create a collection of your files, as well as make shared folders browsable to your friends (they can see and download the items) or network wide (the files can be seen not only by your friends but also by other users).
What's more, you can perform searches, send files in chats, messages, channels and forums, view simultaneous downloads in the queue list, as well as cancel or pause/resume downloads and set priorities.Rich suite of configuration settings
RetroShare lets you configure general settings that help you run the utility at Windows startup, automatically log in and specify the idle time. Server parameters enable you to tweak the network configuration (e.g. local and external address, port) and bandwidth (maximum download and upload speed).
You can alter the file transfer by specifying the maximum number of simultaneous downloads and disk space limit, enable relay connections (e.g. you can enter the number of friends and limit the bandwidth per link), automatically share incoming directory, and enhance the overall functionality of the utility with the aid of plugins.
Furthermore, you can set up popup notifications for various events (e.g. connected friend, new message, complete download, private chat), view information about your profile, change the looks of the utility by selecting between several themes, and automatically update the news feed reader.
Last but not least, you are allowed to set up chat parameters in order to allow custom fonts and emoticons in private and group chat, anonymously chat to other users in the network using encrypted tunnels, keep a history of your messages, and change the layout of the group chat, private chat and history with the aid of different style (default, compact or bubble).An overall reliable peer-to-peer communication and file sharing platform
All in all, RetroShare comes with a powerful package of features and intuitive environment for helping you communicate inside of a decentralized, private and secure communication and sharing platform. To install the portable edition, just select the designated option during setup.FEATURES
Connect with Friends and Family:
• Retroshare creates encrypted connections to your friends. Nobody can spy on you. Retroshare is completely decentralized. This means there are no central servers. It is entirely Open-Source and free. There are no costs, no ads and no Terms of Service.
• 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
Protect your IP with Tor/I2P:
• Need to hide from Internet surveillance? Can't connect to your friends because of censorship? Need to bypass nasty firewalls? Use Retroshare over Tor to hide the connection between you and your friendsNew in version 0.6.0 Revision 7ded128b (February 9, 2016)Authenticated tunnel system:
It is now possible to open authenticated/encrypted tunnels between GXS identities (the ones displayed in the "People" tab. The service-named p3GxsTunnels-totally abstracts the transport layer and offers the following features
tunnel maintenance for a given client, that gets notified when the tunnel is ready to be used or when it gets closed or killed
authentication based on the RSA key that each GXS identity represents
PFS encryption based on a DH key exchange using a 2048 bit safe-prime group, renewed each time the tunnel is re-created
transport security. Items are notified using ACK packets and re-sent when a ACK is not received. Duplicates are filtered out
The Distant Chat system has been switched to using this new service. As such, it is not backward compatible with 0.6.0-RC2 (sorry for that), but is now much more stable and reliable (e.g. distant chat messages always get delivered, provided that a tunnel can be opened)Review of GXS:
We performed a complete review of the GXS network service, that is responsible for the exchange of posts in forums/posted/channels. It is now much more efficient and the code has also been simplified a little bit (which is always good). Some important changes include:
better synchronisation of messages saving a lot of bandwidth;
new system for gathering the number of posts in un-subscribed GXS groups, which doesn't require sending the message list any more. This saves some bandwidth as well.
debug output system that allows to display the activity of a particular forum from a particular friend.Messaging system:
The distant messaging system of Retroshare relies on two methods to help messages find their way: tunnel which allow instant delivery at a distant peer but need both the source and destination to be online at the same time, and the routing matrix that allows slower but non synchronised delivery. We have improved the later significantly, which results in distant messaging being much more reliable.GUI improvements:
A "contact list" can now be managed by the user, in which identities can be grouped together. This allows to rapidly find a distant address to send a message to or to chat to without the need to scroll the entire list in People (which tends to grow large). It is also possible to limit the reception of distant chat and distant messages to the contact list only, in order to avoid spamming.
The GUI layout has generally been improved. We added plenty of tooltips, especially in the crypto-related parts. We also tried to make it compatible with high DPI screens. Some icons still remain too small, but it's already improved a lot as compared to previous releases. We also added some useful features such as the possibility to export/import the list of friends.
The statistics widget has also been improved. This is mainly cosmetic changes but this widget helps users to isolate the source issues and report to us.Reputation and anti-spam systems:
A lot of effort has been dedicated to helping users fight trolls. This includes two important features that have both proved very effective:
A reputation system allows to rate the identities in People (using a simple Positive/Neutral/Negative scale represented by numbers -1,0,1 respectively). It has been designed so that:
it should be easy to rule someone out of your own Retroshare node by a simple click;
a single user should not be able to drastically change the visibility of someone's identity on nodes others than its own Retroshare node;
friends should be able to team up so as to remove an unwanted person from their local network
Your own opinion about some particular identity is shared with your friends (using a differential system which only shares non neutral opinions). A final reputation score (which is a floating point number between -1 and 1) is computed according to the following rules:
if your own opinion is neutral, the reputation score is the average opinion from your friends
if not, the reputation score is equal to your own opinion.
The reputation score is then used by the different services using their own rules. For most of them, when the score is below -0.6, the identity is "Banned" and services just don't accept to use it. Forums for instance mask existing messages from these identities and refuse to forward nor download them either.
Identities that are banned are not time-stamped either, which ensures that they will be removed from your node after 30 days of inactivity.
Forums also have been equipped with anti-spam flags which are:
Favor PGP-signed ids". This raises the acceptance reputation score from 0.0 to 0.4 for unsigned identities, causing anonymous posts to be discarded unless the identity already has a good reputation. As such, forums with this flag ON will not allow anonymous users to create new identities at every post they create.
Keep track of posts". This sounds scary, but this feature only displays in the GUI (using a tooltip for 10 days) the name of the Retroshare friend node that forwarded each particular post to you. This information is useless for every single user (and is could have otherwise been printed out by modifying the code!) but it allows a group of friends to easily team up in order to find out where annoying posts come from and cut the line.
Both flags are OFF by default, and can be changed by the creator of the forum.I2P proxy support:
Users can now create Hidden nodes that use I2P as a proxy. These nodes work exactly like Tor nodesSecurity review by Elttam:
Retroshare being listed in the EFF secure messaging score board, it has raised the interest of Elttam, an australian team working on software security. They already have sent us a short list of potential security issues which we fixed right away. This is an ongoing process, so we can expect to fix more within the next weeks.
The main bug fixes concern potential buffer overflows, failure of malloc checks, and attacks using the Qt resource system.Various back-end improvements:
SQlite performance has been improved using the GXS datastore for message data and metadata. We added packet grouping in pqistreamer. This apparently reduces the bandwidth caused by OpenSSL to first pad and encrypt many small packets.
The network back-end has been improved. The goal is to support IPv6 in the next future.OS:
Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 7 64-bit / 8 / 8 64-bit
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