How to Access ZeroNet from Android and Other Platforms

ZeroNet, as mentioned on a few previous posts, is a decentralized network that uses similar cryptography to bitcoin as well as the BitTorrent network. Not long ago, a beta ZeroNet app became available for Android devices, as well as three other related apps on the Google Play store.

The one that seems to work best is the one linked to above. When you open the app, as on the desktop client, you’ll see a menu that lists some ZeroNet sites, such as ZeroHello, ZeroBlog, ZeroTalk, and ZeroMail. Its main menu looks like this on Android devices:

ZeroHello is the main ZeroNet page, and shows the latest updates to different sites. From here, you can view forum posts, announcements, etc. There’s a convenient menu to access some of the other popular ZeroNet sites here, such as ZeroName, ZeroTalk, ZeroID, and ZeroBoard.

ZeroBlog, as its name suggests, is a blogging platform similar to WordPress or Drupal, but free and decentralized.

As on some other blogging platforms, it has an inline content editor, markdown syntax (HTML), and the ability to sign and publish content through a web interface (i.e. in your browser).

ZeroTalk is a forum similar to Reddit, on which you can post or delete content, and comment on it. Unlike Reddit, however, only you (or rather, the person who has access to your private cryptographic key) can sign or modify your own files. In order to post a comment, for instance, you to have request a certificate of registration from a ZeroID provider (which is a certificate authority).

ZeroMail is a distributed P2P messaging site. As opposed to many centralized email clients like Gmail and Outlook, it uses a protocol similar to BitMessage and will conceal the recipient of the message. ZeroMail uses Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) for secret exchange and AES256 to encode messages.

As mentioned in its documentation, you can also use ZeroNet with the Tor Browser. To quote the instructions:

In Tor mode it is recommended to use ZeroNet from within the Tor Browser:

  • Start the Tor Browser
  • Go to address about:config & accept risk warning
  • Search no_proxies_on
  • Double click the preference entry
  • Enter 127.0.0.1 & press OK
  • Open http://127.0.0.1:43110 in the browser

If you still see a blank page:

  • Click on NoScript’s button (first on the toolbar)
  • Choose “Temporarily allow all this page”
  • Reload the page

For those of you who enjoy exploring “alternative internet” networks and methods of cryptography, ZeroNet just might be the network for you! To find out more details about the network and how to join, visit their clearnet site at ZeroNet: Decentralized websites.

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