RetroShare: P2P communication and sharing

P2P file sharing is a popular mode of file sharing but comes at a price of reduced security. For people who love P2P file sharing, RetroShare is a secure option. In addition to that RetroShare has some very interesting features:

  • Multiplatform. Works on Linux, Windows, Mac.
  • Secure file transfer and chat. Supports channels.
  • P2P. No server involved.
  • Supports VoIP, email, streaming
  • Clean GUI with system tray integration
  • Free

To install RetroShare on Ubuntu:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:csoler-users/retroshare
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install retroshare

Webpage: RetroShare

[Courtesy: Jester Raiin]


FileTea: quickly share your files

transfer_compI have mentioned the file sharing web service FileTea in one of my earlier articles. But FileTea deserves a separate article for the simplicity with which it solves a very commonplace problem:

I am working on my VM where I don’t have a regular GUI environment. I want to share a file from my system quickly. While the reverse is easy because the Koding VM also runs a HTTP server all the time it is up, uploading a file to the VM means I have to start the FTP server (if it is not up) and then upload the file using gFTP or the regular cmdline. Otherwise I have to upload the file to a service like Dropbox and then use the public link to download the file to the VM using axel or wget.

FileTea makes the whole deal a child’s play with its simple interface to add files. It doesn’t upload the files to the server, it just gives you a URL to the file on your disk using which anyone can download the file from anywhere. So you do not need an extra software to upload the file. The service is anonymous and you get to download the file as long as the page is open in your browser. If the source file on your system is moved or deleted it can’t be accessed anymore. The web interface shows you any files uploaded and any downloads ongoing or completed. And as you might have guessed already, there is no file size limit as you do not store it on any third-party server.

That’s as good as running a file server without running an actual server software on your local machine as long as you need it to run! You can host FileTea on your local machine also. The source code is here and FileTea is available by default in the Ubuntu repositories.

Webpage: FileTea

Upload, send huge files

transfer_compBecause of the limits of traditional email services, transferring huge (in terms of GBs) files is sometimes a problem. The cloud based services also add a cap to the file upload size in most cases. Here are some free services that allows users to upload and get links or mail huge files temporarily to send them to someone else.

  1. Dropcanvas
    Creates a Canvas of single or multiple files to share with your friends. A Free Registered account gets you 2 secure canvases which stay live for max 14 days, 5GB storage with 5GB bandwidth per day. You do not need to wait in the download queue as well.
  2. FileDropper
    Up to 5GB upload, send link to friends. File deleted if not download for more than 30 days.
  3. Filemail
    Mail a file up to 30GB to someone. Unlimited downloads and the file will be available for 7 days.
  4. FileTea
    Awesome anonymous P2P service to quickly transfer files. Add files and share links to friends. The files will be downloaded directly from you system. Nothing uploaded to the server and n waiting time to upload files.
  5. PipeBytes (service dead?)
    Any size. Uses P2P so the file source system has to be online.
  6. Senduit
    The least upload size limit among all the entries but allows to control the expiry of the file up to 7 days. Up to 100MB upload, send link to friends.
  7. WeTransfer
    Showcases a clean and professional interface. Upload multiple files up to 2GB, share with 20 friends max and validity 14 days.
  8. YourFileLink
    Up to 5GB upload, unlimited downloads. File deleted if not download for more than 15 days.
  9. Volafile
    Presents a chat-room like environment to upload and download file anonymously. You can create your own room to upload files and your friends can join in by searching the room and download your files. The files will be live for 24 hour only. You would see the remaining time beside the filename.

Sharefest: serverless P2P file share

Sharefest will come to your rescue in times when you want to share a file instantly with couple or friends without going into the hassle of setting up a server of uploading it somewhere. You can think of is as a serverless BitTorrent session where downloaders will receive chunks of the same file from different sources hence making the download quicker. The session lasts as long as your browser tab is open. Open source and implemented in JS. Works over HTML5 WebRTC Data Channel API.

Working principle: Sharefest operates on a mesh network similar to BitTorrent network. However, unlike BitTorrent, the peers are coordinated using an intelligent server at the time of writing. This coordinator controls the communication among peers and transfer of data. Peer5 Coordinator is used to accomplish this. Each peer will connect to few other peers in order to maximize the distribution of the file. Sharefest supports Chrome (>26) and Firefox (>19) browsers.

To install Sharefest on Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt-get install npm
$ git clone
$ cd ShareFest
$ npm install --dedupe
$ npm start

Test by visiting http://localhost:13337 in browser.

On GitHub: Sharefest