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A guide to Popcorn Time [For beginners]

A guide to Popcorn Time [For beginners]

Popcorn Time takes its inspiration from Netflix, boasting a clean outlook with thumbnails and categories - And streams pirated copies of movies and shows to your computer or smartphone


Editors note: There are many fake versions of Popcorn Time. This article primarily use Reddit as its source to recommend and link to the official, well regarded, version of the app.
When you think of movie streaming, services like Hulu, Disney+, and Netflix usually come to mind. However, there is another streaming platform that is particularly popular for streaming pirated movies: Popcorn Time. This streaming platform allows you to watch torrented and pirated movies without paying anything. All you need to do is install it on your PC/smartphone/tablet, search for a film, and click play. However, there are piracy and safety concerns when it comes to using Popcorn Time. This is how it works.

Index

  • What Exactly is Popcorn Time?
  • How it Works
  • How to Install Popcorn Time
  • Which version is legit?
  • Where does popcorn time store movies?
  • Popcorn Time APK for Android
  • Is Popcorn Time available on iOS?
  • Is it Illegal to Use Popcorn Time?
  • How does the developers make money?
  • Popcorn Time alternatives
  • Summary

What Exactly is Popcorn Time?

Popcorn Time is an open-source, multi-platform BitTorrent software application with a stylish and attractive media player. It was initially released in March 2014 by a team of developers in Argentina. They wanted to create a software that allows users to stream video content from torrent. Popcorn Time takes its inspiration from Netflix, boasting a clean outlook with thumbnails and categories. It uses sequential downloading and uploading to play movies, hence allowing you to stream pirated movies instantly.

Popcorn Time on the Mac

How it Works

Popcorn Time is a torrent based streaming tool and the way it works is simple enough. Let’s say you want to watch Tenet (it's not out as of this writing). You use the interface provided by the platform to find and click that title, and the tool then navigates through existing BitTorrent titles automatically from come from two well known torrent sites. YTS for movies and eztv for tv-shows. Then, Tenet is streamed directly to your computer from that pre-existing BitTorrent source. So, while you watch the film, Popcorn Times acts as a torrent client and continues to leech and seed it from other people. That means you'll be forced to share the content you watch.

How to Install Popcorn Time?

In order to use Popcorn Time to stream pirated movies, you will need to download and install the software on your computer or smartphone. The app is available for variety of operating systems, including Android, Linux, Windows, Mac, etc.
  • Download Popcorn Time from popcorntime.app which hosts Mac, Windows and Android.
  • There are no specific installation requirements as it is installed just like any other app.
However, keep in mind that its usage has been banned in many regions. So, you cannot download it from Apple’s Apple Store or Google Play Store. In some countries popcorntime.app has been blocked and you need a VPN to hide your real IP. You might want to use VPN software to keep your own information private and anonymous when running the app as well.

Which version is legit, and real?

There are many clones out there, some of which will install other apps, using your computer as a bitcoin miner.
The legit, and most supported version according to Reddit, is popcorntime.app (formerly known as popcorntime.sh)

Where does popcorn time store movies?

On your computer or device. Using torrents the app stream the files, while they are being downloaded. So it's just like when you download a torrent, except it starts the video during the download.

Popcorn Time APK for Android

One of the most popular usage of Popcorn Time is its Android version, and the recently relaunched Android TV version. The most popular and liked version comes from popcorntime.app which is also the officially supported version on Reddit.

Is Popcorn Time available on iOS?

Yes. But it's not as easy as downloading an app from the App store.The iPhone version of Popcorn Time is unstable and requires a jailbroken iPhone. Since jailbreaking your iPhone in 2020 is difficult and time consuming, it isn't an option for most. If you still want to try, there is Antique's version. You can follow his updates and links on Twitter. There is also a version which allegedly works with the alternative, non-jailbreak required, but much debated, altstore. For more information, see its Github home.

Is it Illegal to Use Popcorn Time?

In most cases, yes.
Most, if not all, TV shows and movies which appear on Popcorn Time are pirated, and you may be wondering about the legality of it all. First of all, downloading any copyrighted file is illegal in most countries. However, torrents themselves are a valid means to share and download files. So without sounding too confusing, it is typically not illegal to download Popcorn Time. It's when you stream or download the movies and tv-shows themselves it gets risky. But depending on where you live this might not be the case. Copyright infringement is illegal in Germany while in India, there are no restrictions of using Popcorn Time to steam movies as long as you don’t redistribute them. Of course, laws change. That’s why it is recommended that you do your research to understand the risks.

How does the developers make money?

The Popcorn time version we recommend has affiliate links to VPN services. How much money this actually is, or if its funding hardware costs, is unknown. But it proves that money is being generated from the app.

Are there any alternatives?

There are a lot of alternatives, most of which are unstable or shady. However, here are a few alternatives recommended on Reddit. Note that they all come with their own positive and negatives aspects when compared to Popcorn Time.
  • Stremio - Open source project which lets you add your own sources, such as 1337 or Pirate Bay. It also uses official streams from YouTube, HBO and more. Has been reported as unstable but still the best Popcorn alternative.
  • Media Box HD - A MacOS app with 4K streams. Is known to be unstable for some.
  • Leonfix - A Popcorn Time Windows app which doesn't use torrents. Currently in beta.
  • ShowBox - Android alternative which doesn't use torrents. Unstable and currently in beta.
  • Radarr - Which automatically downloads shows and films.

Summary

Despite the concerns about whether or not using Popcorn Time is illegal, there is no denying that the tool is very impressive. The ability to download and stream torrent content in a seamless and hassle-free way is quite brilliant. Not to mention the platform has a much larger library of content with no restrictions whatsoever. So, it’s not surprising why many consider it a better alternative to regular torrents or a Disney+ subscription.

Feedback and corrections are more than welcome! Originally written for Where You Watch.
submitted by TheShynola to PopCornTime [link] [comments]

Google Alternatives huge list restore your privacy

This guide aims to be the most exhaustive resource available for documenting alternatives to Google products.
With growing concerns over online privacy and securing personal data, more people than ever are considering alternatives to Google products.
After all, Google’s business model essentially revolves around data collection and advertisements, both of which infringe on your privacy. More data means better (targeted) ads and more revenue. The company pulled in over $116 billion in ad revenue last year alone – and that number continues to grow.
But the word is getting out. A growing number of people are seeking alternatives to Google products that respect their privacy and data.
So let’s get started.
Note: The lists below are not necessarily in rank order. Choose the best products and services based on your own unique needs.

Google search alternatives

When it comes to privacy, using Google search is not a good idea. When you use their search engine, Google is recording your IP address, search terms, user agent, and often a unique identifier, which is stored in cookies.
Here are ten alternatives to Google search:
  1. Searx – A privacy-friendly and versatile metasearch engine that’s also open source.
  2. MetaGer – An open source metasearch engine with good features, based in Germany.
  3. SwissCows – A zero-tracking private search engine based in Switzerland, hosted on secure Swiss infrastructure.
  4. Qwant – A private search engine based in France.
  5. DuckDuckGo – A private search engine based in the US.
  6. Mojeek – The only true search engine (rather than metasearch engine) that has its own crawler and index (based in the UK).
  7. YaCy – A decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer search engine.
  8. Givero – Based in Denmark, Givero offers more privacy than Google and combines search with charitable donations.
  9. Ecosia – Ecosia is based in Germany and donates a part of revenues to planting trees.
*Note: With the exception of Mojeek, all of the private search engines above are technically metasearch engines, since they source their results from other search engines, such as Bing and Google.
(Startpage is no longer recommended.)

Gmail alternatives

Gmail may be convenient and popular, but there are three major problems:
  1. Your inbox is used as a data collection tool. (Did you know Google is tracking your purchasing history from the receipts in your inbox?)
  2. Rather than seeing just emails, your email inbox is also used for ads and marketing.
  3. The contents of your inbox are being shared with Google and other random third parties.
When you remain logged in to your Gmail account, Google can easily track your activities online as you browse different websites, which may be hosting Google Analytics or Google ads (Adsense).
Here are ten alternatives to Gmail that do well in terms of privacy:
  1. Tutanota – based in Germany; very secure and private; free accounts up to 1 GB
  2. Mailfence – based in Belgium; lots of features; free accounts up to 500 MB
  3. Posteo – based in Germany; €1/mo with 14 day refund window
  4. StartMail – based in Netherlands; $5.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  5. Runbox – based in Norway; lots of storage and features; $1.66/mo with 30 day free trial
  6. Mailbox.org – based in Germany; €1/mo with 30 day free trial
  7. CounterMail – based in Sweden; $4.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  8. Kolab Now – based in Switzerland; €4.41/mo with 30 day money-back guarantee
  9. ProtonMail – based in Switzerland; free accounts up to 500 MB
  10. Thexyz – based in Canada; $1.95/mo with 30 day refund window

Chrome alternatives

Google Chrome is a popular browser, but it’s also a data collection tool – and many people are taking notice. Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asserted that “Google’s web browser has become spy software,” with 11,000 tracker cookies observed in a single week.
Here are seven alternatives for more privacy:
  1. Firefox browser – Firefox is a very customizable, open-source browser that is popular in privacy circles. There are also many different Firefox modifications and tweaks that will give you more privacy and security. (Also check out Firefox Focus, a privacy-focused version for mobile users.)
  2. Iridium – Based on open source Chromium, Iridium offers numerous privacy and security enhancements over Chrome, source code here.
  3. GNU IceCat – A fork of Firefox from the Free Software Foundation.
  4. Tor browser – A hardened and secured version of Firefox that runs on the Tor network by default. (It also does a good job against browser fingerprinting.)
  5. Ungoogled Chromium – Just as the name says, this is an open source version of Chromium that has been “ungoogled” and modified for more privacy.
  6. Brave – Brave is another Chromium-based browser that is rather popular. It blocks trackers and ads by default (except for “approved” ads that are part of the “Brave Ads” network).
  7. Waterfox – This is a fork of Firefox that is configured for more privacy by default, with Mozilla telemetry stripped out of the code.
Of course, there are other alternatives to Chrome, such as Safari (from Apple), Microsoft Internet ExploreEdge, Opera, and Vivaldi – but these also come with some privacy drawbacks.

Google Drive alternatives

If you’re looking for a secure cloud storage option, you can check out these Google Drive alternatives:
  1. Tresorit – A user-friendly cloud storage option based in Switzerland.
  2. ownCloud – An open source and self-hosted cloud platform developed in Germany.
  3. Nextcloud – Nextcloud is also an open source, self-hosted file sharing and collaboration platform, based in Germany.
  4. Sync – Based in Canada, Sync offers a secure, encrypted cloud storage solution for businesses and individuals.
  5. Syncthing – Here we have a decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer cloud storage platform.
Of course, Dropbox is another popular Google drive alternative, but it’s not the best in terms of privacy.

Google Calendar alternative

Here are some Google Calendar alternatives:
  1. Lightning Calendar is an open source calendar option developed by Mozilla, and it’s compatible with Thunderbird and Seamonkey.
  2. Etar, an open source, basic calendar option.
  3. Fruux, an open source calendar with good features and support for many operating systems.
For those wanting a combined solution for both email and calendar functionality, these providers offer that:

Google Docs / Sheets / Slides alternative

There are many solid Google Docs alternatives available. The largest offline document editing suite is, of course, Microsoft Office. As most people know, however, Microsoft is not the best company for privacy. Nonetheless, there are a few other good Google Docs alternatives:
  1. CryptPad – CryptPad is a privacy-focused alternative with strong encryption, and it’s free.
  2. Etherpad – A self-hosted collaborative online editor that’s also open source.
  3. Mailfence Documents – From the Mailfence team, this is a secure file sharing, storage, and collaboration tool.
  4. Zoho Docs – This is another good Google Docs alternative with a clean interface and good functionality, although it may not be the best for privacy.
  5. OnlyOffice – OnlyOffice feels a bit more restricted than some of the other options in terms of features.
  6. Cryptee – This is a privacy-focused platform for photo and document storage and editing. It’s open source and based in Estonia.
  7. LibreOffice (offline) – You can use LibreOffice which is free and open source.
  8. Apache OpenOffice (offline) – Another good open source office suite.

Google Photos alternative

Here are a few good Google Photos alternatives:
Shoebox was another alternative, but it closed operations in June 2019.

YouTube alternatives

Unfortunately, YouTube alternatives can really be hit or miss, with most struggling to gain popularity.
  1. Peertube
  2. DTube
  3. Bitchute
  4. invidio.us
  5. Vimeo
  6. Bit.tube
  7. Dailymotion
  8. Hooktube
Tip: Invidio.us is a great Youtube proxy that allows you to watch any Youtube video without logging in, even if the video is somehow restricted. To do this, simply replace [www.youtube.com] with [invidio.us] in the URL you want to view.

Google translate alternative

Here are a few Google translate alternatives I have come across:
  1. DeepL – DeepL is a solid Google Translate alternative that seems to give great results. Like Google Translate, DeepL allows you to post up to 5,000 characters at a time (but the pro version is unlimited). The user interface is good and there is also a built-in dictionary feature.
  2. Linguee – Linguee does not allow you to post large blocks of text like DeepL. However, Linguee will give you very accurate translations for single words or phrases, along with context examples.
  3. dict.cc – This Google Translate alternative seems to do a decent job on single-world lookups, but it also feels a bit outdated.
  4. Swisscows Translate – A good translation service supporting many languages.
If you want to translate blocks of text, check out DeepL. If you want in-depth translations for single words or phrases, then Linguee is a good choice.

Google analytics alternative

For website admins, there are many reasons to use an alternative to Google analytics. Aside from privacy concerns, there are also faster and more user-friendly alternatives that also respect your visitors’ privacy.
  1. Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics that truncates and anonymizes visitor IP addresses by default. It is lightweight, user-friendly, and fully compliant with GDPR regulations, while also being certified by Privacy Shield.
  2. Matomo (formerly Piwik) is an open-source analytics platform that respects the privacy of visitors by anonymizing and truncating visitor IP addresses (if enabled by the website admin). It is also certified to respect user privacy.
  3. Fathom Analytics is an open source alternative to Google Analytics that’s available on Github here. It’s minimal, fast, and lightweight.
  4. Get Insights – Another privacy-focused analytics platform, with a full analytics suite. The front-end client is open source and available here.
  5. AT Internet is a France-based analytics provider that is fully GDPR compliant, with all data stored on French servers, and a good track record going back to 1996.
Many websites host Google Analytics because they run Google Adsense campaigns. Without Google Analytics, tracking performance of these campaigns would be difficult. Nonetheless, there are still better options for privacy.

Google Maps alternative

A map alternative for PCs is OpenStreetMap.
A few Google Maps alternatives for mobile devices include:
  1. OsmAnd is a free and open-source mobile maps app for both Android and iOS (based on OpenStreetMap data).
  2. Maps (F Droid) uses OpenStreetMap data (offline).
  3. Maps.Me is another option that is free on both Android and iOS, but there is a fair amount of data collection with this alternative, as explained in their privacy policy.
  4. MapHub is also based on OpenStreeMap data and it does not collect locations or user IP addresses.
Note: Waze is not an “alternative” as it is now owned by Google.

Google Play Store alternative

Currently the best Google Play Store alternative is to use F-Droid and then go through the Yalp store. As explained on the official site, F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform.
After you have installed F-Droid, you can then download the Yalp store APK, which allows you to download apps from the Google Play Store directly as APK files.
📷The Yalp Store is a good alternative to the Google Play Store.
See the F-Droid website or the official GitHub page for more info. Other alternatives to the Google Play Store include:

Google Chrome OS alternative

Want to ditch the Chromebook and Chrome OS? Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Linux – Of course, Linux is arguably the best alternative, being a free, open-source operating system with lots of different flavors. With some adjustments, Linux Ubuntu can be run on Chromebooks.
  2. Tails – Tails is a free, privacy-focused operating system based on Linux that routes all traffic through the Tor network.
  3. QubesOS – Recommended by Snowden, free, and also open source.
Of course, the other two big operating system alternatives are Windows and Apple’s operating system for MacBooks – Mac OS. Windows, particularly Windows 10, is a very bad option for privacy. While slightly better, Apple also collects user data and has partnered with the NSA) for surveillance.

Android alternatives

The biggest alternative to Android is iOS from Apple. But we’ll skip over that for reasons already mentioned. Here are a few Android OS alternatives:
  1. LineageOS – A free and open-source operating system for phones and tablets based on Android.
  2. Ubuntu Touch – A mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.
  3. Plasma Mobile – An open source, Linux-based operating system with active development.
  4. Sailfish OS – Another open source, Linux-based mobile OS.
  5. Replicant – A fully free Android distribution with an emphasis on freedom, privacy, and security.
  6. /e/ – This is another open source project with a focus on privacy and security.
Purism is also working on a privacy-focused mobile phone called the Librem 5. It is in production, but not yet available (estimated Q3 2019).

Google Hangouts alternatives

Here are some alternatives to Google Hangouts:
  1. Wire – A great all-around secure messenger, video, and chat app, but somewhat limited on the number of people who can chat together in a group conversation via voice or video.
  2. Signal – A good secure messenger platform from Open Whisper Systems.
  3. Telegram – A longtime secure messenger app, formerly based in Russia, now in Dubai.
  4. Riot – A privacy-focused encrypted chat service that is also open source.

Google Domains alternative

Google Domains is a domain registration service. Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Namecheap – I like Namecheap because all domain purchases now come with free WhoisGuard protection for life, which protects your contact information from third parties. Namecheap also accepts Bitcoin and offers domain registration, hosting, email, SSL certs, and a variety of other products.
  2. Njalla – Njalla is a privacy-focused domain registration service based in Nevis. They offer hosting options, too, and also accept cryptocurrency payments.
  3. OrangeWebsite – OrangeWebsite offers anonymous domain registration services and also accepts cryptocurrency payments, based in Iceland.

Other Google alternatives

Here more alternatives for various Google products:
Google forms alternativeJotForm is a free online form builder.
Google Keep alternative – Below are a few different Google Keep alternatives:
Google Fonts alternative – Many websites load Google fonts through Google APIs, but that’s not necessary. One alternative to this is to use Font Squirrel, which has a large selection of both Google and non-Google fonts which are free to download and use.
Google Voice alternativeJMP.chat (both free and paid)
G Suite alternativeZoho is probably the best option
Google Firebase alternativeKuzzle (free and open source)
Google Blogger alternativesWordPress, Medium, and Ghost are all good options.
submitted by giganticcobra to degoogle [link] [comments]

guide to how to restore your privacy huge list

This guide aims to be the most exhaustive resource available for documenting alternatives to Google products.
With growing concerns over online privacy and securing personal data, more people than ever are considering alternatives to Google products.
After all, Google’s business model essentially revolves around data collection and advertisements, both of which infringe on your privacy. More data means better (targeted) ads and more revenue. The company pulled in over $116 billion in ad revenue last year alone – and that number continues to grow.
But the word is getting out. A growing number of people are seeking alternatives to Google products that respect their privacy and data.
So let’s get started.
Note: The lists below are not necessarily in rank order. Choose the best products and services based on your own unique needs.

Google search alternatives

When it comes to privacy, using Google search is not a good idea. When you use their search engine, Google is recording your IP address, search terms, user agent, and often a unique identifier, which is stored in cookies.
Here are ten alternatives to Google search:
  1. Searx – A privacy-friendly and versatile metasearch engine that’s also open source.
  2. MetaGer – An open source metasearch engine with good features, based in Germany.
  3. SwissCows – A zero-tracking private search engine based in Switzerland, hosted on secure Swiss infrastructure.
  4. Qwant – A private search engine based in France.
  5. DuckDuckGo – A private search engine based in the US.
  6. Mojeek – The only true search engine (rather than metasearch engine) that has its own crawler and index (based in the UK).
  7. YaCy – A decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer search engine.
  8. Givero – Based in Denmark, Givero offers more privacy than Google and combines search with charitable donations.
  9. Ecosia – Ecosia is based in Germany and donates a part of revenues to planting trees.
*Note: With the exception of Mojeek, all of the private search engines above are technically metasearch engines, since they source their results from other search engines, such as Bing and Google.
(Startpage is no longer recommended.)

Gmail alternatives

Gmail may be convenient and popular, but there are three major problems:
  1. Your inbox is used as a data collection tool. (Did you know Google is tracking your purchasing history from the receipts in your inbox?)
  2. Rather than seeing just emails, your email inbox is also used for ads and marketing.
  3. The contents of your inbox are being shared with Google and other random third parties.
When you remain logged in to your Gmail account, Google can easily track your activities online as you browse different websites, which may be hosting Google Analytics or Google ads (Adsense).
Here are ten alternatives to Gmail that do well in terms of privacy:
  1. Tutanota – based in Germany; very secure and private; free accounts up to 1 GB
  2. Mailfence – based in Belgium; lots of features; free accounts up to 500 MB
  3. Posteo – based in Germany; €1/mo with 14 day refund window
  4. StartMail – based in Netherlands; $5.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  5. Runbox – based in Norway; lots of storage and features; $1.66/mo with 30 day free trial
  6. Mailbox.org – based in Germany; €1/mo with 30 day free trial
  7. CounterMail – based in Sweden; $4.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  8. Kolab Now – based in Switzerland; €4.41/mo with 30 day money-back guarantee
  9. ProtonMail – based in Switzerland; free accounts up to 500 MB
  10. Thexyz – based in Canada; $1.95/mo with 30 day refund window

Chrome alternatives

Google Chrome is a popular browser, but it’s also a data collection tool – and many people are taking notice. Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asserted that “Google’s web browser has become spy software,” with 11,000 tracker cookies observed in a single week.
Here are seven alternatives for more privacy:
  1. Firefox browser – Firefox is a very customizable, open-source browser that is popular in privacy circles. There are also many different Firefox modifications and tweaks that will give you more privacy and security. (Also check out Firefox Focus, a privacy-focused version for mobile users.)
  2. Iridium – Based on open source Chromium, Iridium offers numerous privacy and security enhancements over Chrome, source code here.
  3. GNU IceCat – A fork of Firefox from the Free Software Foundation.
  4. Tor browser – A hardened and secured version of Firefox that runs on the Tor network by default. (It also does a good job against browser fingerprinting.)
  5. Ungoogled Chromium – Just as the name says, this is an open source version of Chromium that has been “ungoogled” and modified for more privacy.
  6. Brave – Brave is another Chromium-based browser that is rather popular. It blocks trackers and ads by default (except for “approved” ads that are part of the “Brave Ads” network).
  7. Waterfox – This is a fork of Firefox that is configured for more privacy by default, with Mozilla telemetry stripped out of the code.
Of course, there are other alternatives to Chrome, such as Safari (from Apple), Microsoft Internet ExploreEdge, Opera, and Vivaldi – but these also come with some privacy drawbacks.

Google Drive alternatives

If you’re looking for a secure cloud storage option, you can check out these Google Drive alternatives:
  1. Tresorit – A user-friendly cloud storage option based in Switzerland.
  2. ownCloud – An open source and self-hosted cloud platform developed in Germany.
  3. Nextcloud – Nextcloud is also an open source, self-hosted file sharing and collaboration platform, based in Germany.
  4. Sync – Based in Canada, Sync offers a secure, encrypted cloud storage solution for businesses and individuals.
  5. Syncthing – Here we have a decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer cloud storage platform.
Of course, Dropbox is another popular Google drive alternative, but it’s not the best in terms of privacy.

Google Calendar alternative

Here are some Google Calendar alternatives:
  1. Lightning Calendar is an open source calendar option developed by Mozilla, and it’s compatible with Thunderbird and Seamonkey.
  2. Etar, an open source, basic calendar option.
  3. Fruux, an open source calendar with good features and support for many operating systems.
For those wanting a combined solution for both email and calendar functionality, these providers offer that:

Google Docs / Sheets / Slides alternative

There are many solid Google Docs alternatives available. The largest offline document editing suite is, of course, Microsoft Office. As most people know, however, Microsoft is not the best company for privacy. Nonetheless, there are a few other good Google Docs alternatives:
  1. CryptPad – CryptPad is a privacy-focused alternative with strong encryption, and it’s free.
  2. Etherpad – A self-hosted collaborative online editor that’s also open source.
  3. Mailfence Documents – From the Mailfence team, this is a secure file sharing, storage, and collaboration tool.
  4. Zoho Docs – This is another good Google Docs alternative with a clean interface and good functionality, although it may not be the best for privacy.
  5. OnlyOffice – OnlyOffice feels a bit more restricted than some of the other options in terms of features.
  6. Cryptee – This is a privacy-focused platform for photo and document storage and editing. It’s open source and based in Estonia.
  7. LibreOffice (offline) – You can use LibreOffice which is free and open source.
  8. Apache OpenOffice (offline) – Another good open source office suite.

Google Photos alternative

Here are a few good Google Photos alternatives:
Shoebox was another alternative, but it closed operations in June 2019.

YouTube alternatives

Unfortunately, YouTube alternatives can really be hit or miss, with most struggling to gain popularity.
  1. Peertube
  2. DTube
  3. Bitchute
  4. invidio.us
  5. Vimeo
  6. Bit.tube
  7. Dailymotion
  8. Hooktube
Tip: Invidio.us is a great Youtube proxy that allows you to watch any Youtube video without logging in, even if the video is somehow restricted. To do this, simply replace [www.youtube.com] with [invidio.us] in the URL you want to view.

Google translate alternative

Here are a few Google translate alternatives I have come across:
  1. DeepL – DeepL is a solid Google Translate alternative that seems to give great results. Like Google Translate, DeepL allows you to post up to 5,000 characters at a time (but the pro version is unlimited). The user interface is good and there is also a built-in dictionary feature.
  2. Linguee – Linguee does not allow you to post large blocks of text like DeepL. However, Linguee will give you very accurate translations for single words or phrases, along with context examples.
  3. dict.cc – This Google Translate alternative seems to do a decent job on single-world lookups, but it also feels a bit outdated.
  4. Swisscows Translate – A good translation service supporting many languages.
If you want to translate blocks of text, check out DeepL. If you want in-depth translations for single words or phrases, then Linguee is a good choice.

Google analytics alternative

For website admins, there are many reasons to use an alternative to Google analytics. Aside from privacy concerns, there are also faster and more user-friendly alternatives that also respect your visitors’ privacy.
  1. Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics that truncates and anonymizes visitor IP addresses by default. It is lightweight, user-friendly, and fully compliant with GDPR regulations, while also being certified by Privacy Shield.
  2. Matomo (formerly Piwik) is an open-source analytics platform that respects the privacy of visitors by anonymizing and truncating visitor IP addresses (if enabled by the website admin). It is also certified to respect user privacy.
  3. Fathom Analytics is an open source alternative to Google Analytics that’s available on Github here. It’s minimal, fast, and lightweight.
  4. Get Insights – Another privacy-focused analytics platform, with a full analytics suite. The front-end client is open source and available here.
  5. AT Internet is a France-based analytics provider that is fully GDPR compliant, with all data stored on French servers, and a good track record going back to 1996.
Many websites host Google Analytics because they run Google Adsense campaigns. Without Google Analytics, tracking performance of these campaigns would be difficult. Nonetheless, there are still better options for privacy.

Google Maps alternative

A map alternative for PCs is OpenStreetMap.
A few Google Maps alternatives for mobile devices include:
  1. OsmAnd is a free and open-source mobile maps app for both Android and iOS (based on OpenStreetMap data).
  2. Maps (F Droid) uses OpenStreetMap data (offline).
  3. Maps.Me is another option that is free on both Android and iOS, but there is a fair amount of data collection with this alternative, as explained in their privacy policy.
  4. MapHub is also based on OpenStreeMap data and it does not collect locations or user IP addresses.
Note: Waze is not an “alternative” as it is now owned by Google.

Google Play Store alternative

Currently the best Google Play Store alternative is to use F-Droid and then go through the Yalp store. As explained on the official site, F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform.
After you have installed F-Droid, you can then download the Yalp store APK, which allows you to download apps from the Google Play Store directly as APK files.
📷The Yalp Store is a good alternative to the Google Play Store.
See the F-Droid website or the official GitHub page for more info. Other alternatives to the Google Play Store include:

Google Chrome OS alternative

Want to ditch the Chromebook and Chrome OS? Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Linux – Of course, Linux is arguably the best alternative, being a free, open-source operating system with lots of different flavors. With some adjustments, Linux Ubuntu can be run on Chromebooks.
  2. Tails – Tails is a free, privacy-focused operating system based on Linux that routes all traffic through the Tor network.
  3. QubesOS – Recommended by Snowden, free, and also open source.
Of course, the other two big operating system alternatives are Windows and Apple’s operating system for MacBooks – Mac OS. Windows, particularly Windows 10, is a very bad option for privacy. While slightly better, Apple also collects user data and has partnered with the NSA) for surveillance.

Android alternatives

The biggest alternative to Android is iOS from Apple. But we’ll skip over that for reasons already mentioned. Here are a few Android OS alternatives:
  1. LineageOS – A free and open-source operating system for phones and tablets based on Android.
  2. Ubuntu Touch – A mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.
  3. Plasma Mobile – An open source, Linux-based operating system with active development.
  4. Sailfish OS – Another open source, Linux-based mobile OS.
  5. Replicant – A fully free Android distribution with an emphasis on freedom, privacy, and security.
  6. /e/ – This is another open source project with a focus on privacy and security.
Purism is also working on a privacy-focused mobile phone called the Librem 5. It is in production, but not yet available (estimated Q3 2019).

Google Hangouts alternatives

Here are some alternatives to Google Hangouts:
  1. Wire – A great all-around secure messenger, video, and chat app, but somewhat limited on the number of people who can chat together in a group conversation via voice or video.
  2. Signal – A good secure messenger platform from Open Whisper Systems.
  3. Telegram – A longtime secure messenger app, formerly based in Russia, now in Dubai.
  4. Riot – A privacy-focused encrypted chat service that is also open source.

Google Domains alternative

Google Domains is a domain registration service. Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Namecheap – I like Namecheap because all domain purchases now come with free WhoisGuard protection for life, which protects your contact information from third parties. Namecheap also accepts Bitcoin and offers domain registration, hosting, email, SSL certs, and a variety of other products.
  2. Njalla – Njalla is a privacy-focused domain registration service based in Nevis. They offer hosting options, too, and also accept cryptocurrency payments.
  3. OrangeWebsite – OrangeWebsite offers anonymous domain registration services and also accepts cryptocurrency payments, based in Iceland.

Other Google alternatives

Here more alternatives for various Google products:
Google forms alternativeJotForm is a free online form builder.
Google Keep alternative – Below are a few different Google Keep alternatives:
Google Fonts alternative – Many websites load Google fonts through Google APIs, but that’s not necessary. One alternative to this is to use Font Squirrel, which has a large selection of both Google and non-Google fonts which are free to download and use.
Google Voice alternativeJMP.chat (both free and paid)
G Suite alternativeZoho is probably the best option
Google Firebase alternativeKuzzle (free and open source)
Google Blogger alternativesWordPress, Medium, and Ghost are all good options.
submitted by giganticcobra to privacytoolsIO [link] [comments]

huge list of google alternatives tutorial for those people who respects their privacy

This guide aims to be the most exhaustive resource available for documenting alternatives to Google products.
With growing concerns over online privacy and securing personal data, more people than ever are considering alternatives to Google products.
After all, Google’s business model essentially revolves around data collection and advertisements, both of which infringe on your privacy. More data means better (targeted) ads and more revenue. The company pulled in over $116 billion in ad revenue last year alone – and that number continues to grow.
But the word is getting out. A growing number of people are seeking alternatives to Google products that respect their privacy and data.
So let’s get started.
Note: The lists below are not necessarily in rank order. Choose the best products and services based on your own unique needs.

Google search alternatives

When it comes to privacy, using Google search is not a good idea. When you use their search engine, Google is recording your IP address, search terms, user agent, and often a unique identifier, which is stored in cookies.
Here are ten alternatives to Google search:
  1. Searx – A privacy-friendly and versatile metasearch engine that’s also open source.
  2. MetaGer – An open source metasearch engine with good features, based in Germany.
  3. SwissCows – A zero-tracking private search engine based in Switzerland, hosted on secure Swiss infrastructure.
  4. Qwant – A private search engine based in France.
  5. DuckDuckGo – A private search engine based in the US.
  6. Mojeek – The only true search engine (rather than metasearch engine) that has its own crawler and index (based in the UK).
  7. YaCy – A decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer search engine.
  8. Givero – Based in Denmark, Givero offers more privacy than Google and combines search with charitable donations.
  9. Ecosia – Ecosia is based in Germany and donates a part of revenues to planting trees.
*Note: With the exception of Mojeek, all of the private search engines above are technically metasearch engines, since they source their results from other search engines, such as Bing and Google.
(Startpage is no longer recommended.)

Gmail alternatives

Gmail may be convenient and popular, but there are three major problems:
  1. Your inbox is used as a data collection tool. (Did you know Google is tracking your purchasing history from the receipts in your inbox?)
  2. Rather than seeing just emails, your email inbox is also used for ads and marketing.
  3. The contents of your inbox are being shared with Google and other random third parties.
When you remain logged in to your Gmail account, Google can easily track your activities online as you browse different websites, which may be hosting Google Analytics or Google ads (Adsense).
Here are ten alternatives to Gmail that do well in terms of privacy:
  1. Tutanota – based in Germany; very secure and private; free accounts up to 1 GB
  2. Mailfence – based in Belgium; lots of features; free accounts up to 500 MB
  3. Posteo – based in Germany; €1/mo with 14 day refund window
  4. StartMail – based in Netherlands; $5.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  5. Runbox – based in Norway; lots of storage and features; $1.66/mo with 30 day free trial
  6. Mailbox.org – based in Germany; €1/mo with 30 day free trial
  7. CounterMail – based in Sweden; $4.00/mo with 7 day free trial
  8. Kolab Now – based in Switzerland; €4.41/mo with 30 day money-back guarantee
  9. ProtonMail – based in Switzerland; free accounts up to 500 MB
  10. Thexyz – based in Canada; $1.95/mo with 30 day refund window

Chrome alternatives

Google Chrome is a popular browser, but it’s also a data collection tool – and many people are taking notice. Just a few days ago, the Washington Post asserted that “Google’s web browser has become spy software,” with 11,000 tracker cookies observed in a single week.
Here are seven alternatives for more privacy:
  1. Firefox browser – Firefox is a very customizable, open-source browser that is popular in privacy circles. There are also many different Firefox modifications and tweaks that will give you more privacy and security. (Also check out Firefox Focus, a privacy-focused version for mobile users.)
  2. Iridium – Based on open source Chromium, Iridium offers numerous privacy and security enhancements over Chrome, source code here.
  3. GNU IceCat – A fork of Firefox from the Free Software Foundation.
  4. Tor browser – A hardened and secured version of Firefox that runs on the Tor network by default. (It also does a good job against browser fingerprinting.)
  5. Ungoogled Chromium – Just as the name says, this is an open source version of Chromium that has been “ungoogled” and modified for more privacy.
  6. Brave – Brave is another Chromium-based browser that is rather popular. It blocks trackers and ads by default (except for “approved” ads that are part of the “Brave Ads” network).
  7. Waterfox – This is a fork of Firefox that is configured for more privacy by default, with Mozilla telemetry stripped out of the code.
Of course, there are other alternatives to Chrome, such as Safari (from Apple), Microsoft Internet ExploreEdge, Opera, and Vivaldi – but these also come with some privacy drawbacks.

Google Drive alternatives

If you’re looking for a secure cloud storage option, you can check out these Google Drive alternatives:
  1. Tresorit – A user-friendly cloud storage option based in Switzerland.
  2. ownCloud – An open source and self-hosted cloud platform developed in Germany.
  3. Nextcloud – Nextcloud is also an open source, self-hosted file sharing and collaboration platform, based in Germany.
  4. Sync – Based in Canada, Sync offers a secure, encrypted cloud storage solution for businesses and individuals.
  5. Syncthing – Here we have a decentralized, open source, peer-to-peer cloud storage platform.
Of course, Dropbox is another popular Google drive alternative, but it’s not the best in terms of privacy.

Google Calendar alternative

Here are some Google Calendar alternatives:
  1. Lightning Calendar is an open source calendar option developed by Mozilla, and it’s compatible with Thunderbird and Seamonkey.
  2. Etar, an open source, basic calendar option.
  3. Fruux, an open source calendar with good features and support for many operating systems.
For those wanting a combined solution for both email and calendar functionality, these providers offer that:

Google Docs / Sheets / Slides alternative

There are many solid Google Docs alternatives available. The largest offline document editing suite is, of course, Microsoft Office. As most people know, however, Microsoft is not the best company for privacy. Nonetheless, there are a few other good Google Docs alternatives:
  1. CryptPad – CryptPad is a privacy-focused alternative with strong encryption, and it’s free.
  2. Etherpad – A self-hosted collaborative online editor that’s also open source.
  3. Mailfence Documents – From the Mailfence team, this is a secure file sharing, storage, and collaboration tool.
  4. Zoho Docs – This is another good Google Docs alternative with a clean interface and good functionality, although it may not be the best for privacy.
  5. OnlyOffice – OnlyOffice feels a bit more restricted than some of the other options in terms of features.
  6. Cryptee – This is a privacy-focused platform for photo and document storage and editing. It’s open source and based in Estonia.
  7. LibreOffice (offline) – You can use LibreOffice which is free and open source.
  8. Apache OpenOffice (offline) – Another good open source office suite.

Google Photos alternative

Here are a few good Google Photos alternatives:
Shoebox was another alternative, but it closed operations in June 2019.

YouTube alternatives

Unfortunately, YouTube alternatives can really be hit or miss, with most struggling to gain popularity.
  1. Peertube
  2. DTube
  3. Bitchute
  4. invidio.us
  5. Vimeo
  6. Bit.tube
  7. Dailymotion
  8. Hooktube
Tip: Invidio.us is a great Youtube proxy that allows you to watch any Youtube video without logging in, even if the video is somehow restricted. To do this, simply replace [www.youtube.com] with [invidio.us] in the URL you want to view.

Google translate alternative

Here are a few Google translate alternatives I have come across:
  1. DeepL – DeepL is a solid Google Translate alternative that seems to give great results. Like Google Translate, DeepL allows you to post up to 5,000 characters at a time (but the pro version is unlimited). The user interface is good and there is also a built-in dictionary feature.
  2. Linguee – Linguee does not allow you to post large blocks of text like DeepL. However, Linguee will give you very accurate translations for single words or phrases, along with context examples.
  3. dict.cc – This Google Translate alternative seems to do a decent job on single-world lookups, but it also feels a bit outdated.
  4. Swisscows Translate – A good translation service supporting many languages.
If you want to translate blocks of text, check out DeepL. If you want in-depth translations for single words or phrases, then Linguee is a good choice.

Google analytics alternative

For website admins, there are many reasons to use an alternative to Google analytics. Aside from privacy concerns, there are also faster and more user-friendly alternatives that also respect your visitors’ privacy.
  1. Clicky is a great alternative to Google Analytics that truncates and anonymizes visitor IP addresses by default. It is lightweight, user-friendly, and fully compliant with GDPR regulations, while also being certified by Privacy Shield.
  2. Matomo (formerly Piwik) is an open-source analytics platform that respects the privacy of visitors by anonymizing and truncating visitor IP addresses (if enabled by the website admin). It is also certified to respect user privacy.
  3. Fathom Analytics is an open source alternative to Google Analytics that’s available on Github here. It’s minimal, fast, and lightweight.
  4. Get Insights – Another privacy-focused analytics platform, with a full analytics suite. The front-end client is open source and available here.
  5. AT Internet is a France-based analytics provider that is fully GDPR compliant, with all data stored on French servers, and a good track record going back to 1996.
Many websites host Google Analytics because they run Google Adsense campaigns. Without Google Analytics, tracking performance of these campaigns would be difficult. Nonetheless, there are still better options for privacy.

Google Maps alternative

A map alternative for PCs is OpenStreetMap.
A few Google Maps alternatives for mobile devices include:
  1. OsmAnd is a free and open-source mobile maps app for both Android and iOS (based on OpenStreetMap data).
  2. Maps (F Droid) uses OpenStreetMap data (offline).
  3. Maps.Me is another option that is free on both Android and iOS, but there is a fair amount of data collection with this alternative, as explained in their privacy policy.
  4. MapHub is also based on OpenStreeMap data and it does not collect locations or user IP addresses.
Note: Waze is not an “alternative” as it is now owned by Google.

Google Play Store alternative

Currently the best Google Play Store alternative is to use F-Droid and then go through the Yalp store. As explained on the official site, F-Droid is an installable catalog of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform.
After you have installed F-Droid, you can then download the Yalp store APK, which allows you to download apps from the Google Play Store directly as APK files.
📷The Yalp Store is a good alternative to the Google Play Store.
See the F-Droid website or the official GitHub page for more info. Other alternatives to the Google Play Store include:

Google Chrome OS alternative

Want to ditch the Chromebook and Chrome OS? Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Linux – Of course, Linux is arguably the best alternative, being a free, open-source operating system with lots of different flavors. With some adjustments, Linux Ubuntu can be run on Chromebooks.
  2. Tails – Tails is a free, privacy-focused operating system based on Linux that routes all traffic through the Tor network.
  3. QubesOS – Recommended by Snowden, free, and also open source.
Of course, the other two big operating system alternatives are Windows and Apple’s operating system for MacBooks – Mac OS. Windows, particularly Windows 10, is a very bad option for privacy. While slightly better, Apple also collects user data and has partnered with the NSA) for surveillance.

Android alternatives

The biggest alternative to Android is iOS from Apple. But we’ll skip over that for reasons already mentioned. Here are a few Android OS alternatives:
  1. LineageOS – A free and open-source operating system for phones and tablets based on Android.
  2. Ubuntu Touch – A mobile version of the Ubuntu operating system.
  3. Plasma Mobile – An open source, Linux-based operating system with active development.
  4. Sailfish OS – Another open source, Linux-based mobile OS.
  5. Replicant – A fully free Android distribution with an emphasis on freedom, privacy, and security.
  6. /e/ – This is another open source project with a focus on privacy and security.
Purism is also working on a privacy-focused mobile phone called the Librem 5. It is in production, but not yet available (estimated Q3 2019).

Google Hangouts alternatives

Here are some alternatives to Google Hangouts:
  1. Wire – A great all-around secure messenger, video, and chat app, but somewhat limited on the number of people who can chat together in a group conversation via voice or video.
  2. Signal – A good secure messenger platform from Open Whisper Systems.
  3. Telegram – A longtime secure messenger app, formerly based in Russia, now in Dubai.
  4. Riot – A privacy-focused encrypted chat service that is also open source.

Google Domains alternative

Google Domains is a domain registration service. Here are a few alternatives:
  1. Namecheap – I like Namecheap because all domain purchases now come with free WhoisGuard protection for life, which protects your contact information from third parties. Namecheap also accepts Bitcoin and offers domain registration, hosting, email, SSL certs, and a variety of other products.
  2. Njalla – Njalla is a privacy-focused domain registration service based in Nevis. They offer hosting options, too, and also accept cryptocurrency payments.
  3. OrangeWebsite – OrangeWebsite offers anonymous domain registration services and also accepts cryptocurrency payments, based in Iceland.

Other Google alternatives

Here more alternatives for various Google products:
Google forms alternativeJotForm is a free online form builder.
Google Keep alternative – Below are a few different Google Keep alternatives:
Google Fonts alternative – Many websites load Google fonts through Google APIs, but that’s not necessary. One alternative to this is to use Font Squirrel, which has a large selection of both Google and non-Google fonts which are free to download and use.
Google Voice alternativeJMP.chat (both free and paid)
G Suite alternativeZoho is probably the best option
Google Firebase alternativeKuzzle (free and open source)
Google Blogger alternativesWordPress, Medium, and Ghost are all good options.
submitted by giganticcobra to Huawei [link] [comments]

A tutorial for Tails linux, to stay safe on Internet.

I'm not so sure this will be a help or not, quite sure that official guide is more reliable than this. anyway that's what I have here. If this article contains any kinds of misleading or error, please let me know in the comments.
A tutorial for tails linux, to stay safe on the Internet.
In today's circumstances, it's good to put more effort on maintain a low profile on Internet, or atleast learn how to do that.
If you already have a computer at home, you need to consider to use Tails linux if safety is what your concern about.
Access to https://tails.boum.org/ then follow download instructions.
The idea of tails is, it will anonymize your entire connection on Internet by using Tor network. So no one will discover your identity without lots of effort.
Not only that, once you do shutdown your device, it no longer holds any information. That means, other one can't find any evidence from your device.
Also if you still want to storage some text on tails, The easiest way is hide that in online email account.
At first, open text editor that preinstalled in tails. https://www.reddit.com/tails/comments/bm65w7/tails_faq_what_happened_to_the_pgp_clipboard_in/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share
Then, follow the instruction to encrypt your text by passwords and paste it on email account through tor browser. Do not use that account to communicate to others, just keep it in secret. https://tails.boum.org/doc/encryption_and_privacy/gpgapplet/passphrase_encryption/index.en.html
If you are about to send messages through email, this instruction could be handy. https://tails.boum.org/doc/encryption_and_privacy/gpgapplet/public-key_cryptography/index.en.html You needs to learn about PGP first, tho.use XMPP is the either easier or safer plan.
You can encrypt other type of files by using Archive manager(give a right click on the file), but the computer gets freeze by that occasionally.
I strongly recommend to use Veracrypt hidden volume instead of build a Persistent storage feature, or LUCKS encrypted drive for linux that available on tails for both send/storage purposes.
In that way, you'll get two of passwords for one encrypted storage. If you are forced to reveal your password by others, you have a option to reveal a fake one.
On top of that, if you use another USB for that purpose, you don't have to slow down Tails itself. Persistent storage is tends to be fragile, I occasionally toast an entire data during excessive use. https://www.veracrypt.fen/Hidden%20Volume.html https://tails.boum.org/doc/encryption_and_privacy/veracrypt/index.en.html
You need to use other OSs for create new volumes. Linux is safer than windows I guess, but it takes an effort.
IIRC, you should check "I use hidden volume" radio button during type the password. Otherwise your hidden password doesn't simply work. Don't get confused by that.
Not only that, Tails has the Mac address spoofing function by default. Mac address is the unique identifier for your device. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAC_address
That function also increases anonymity on Internet. it's important when you go outside because even if you killed GPS function on your devices, it still leave a Mac address on wifi router or 3G/LTE cellular module nearby. So someone still can trace your location.
Also just in case if your government decides to not allow you to connect tor network, you should read this article first. https://tails.boum.org/doc/first_steps/startup_options/bridge_mode/index.en.html
But if every each of instruction seems failed to helps you, bring your device(with Mac address spoofing function) outside and connect to the Free wifi. https://freetoursbyfoot.com/where-find-free-wifi-london/
It's relatively safe since either of wifi or device doesn't leave the information that directly leads to you, but be aware on surveillance camera nearby. don't stay there too long, or use one spot too frequently.
I know laptops is too cumbersome to carry around, you have a option to choose something like a windows tablet, a stick pc along with touch screen or a Tv box. not sure on which kind of stuff do the best job unfortunately.
For communication, you need to build the safest/robust assembly point on Internet. The very best option available is XMPP Pidgin chat client.
It's pre-installed in the tails. https://tails.boum.org/doc/anonymous_internet/pidgin/index.en.html As you expected, you can start a group chat. https://superuser.com/questions/1440212/is-there-any-way-to-create-a-group-in-pidgin-like-in-whatsapp
There is couple things you can't do on Tor network or tails Linux.
First, you should read these articles. https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/do-donts-tor-network/amp/ https://tails.boum.org/doc/about/warning/index.en.html https://2019.www.torproject.org/docs/faq.html.en
Since tails is lots more robust than Tor browser bundle on windows, you can ignore the most of issues in Tor browser. Still you have to aware the risk on this.
Not only that, couple of things is getting harder to achieve through Tor.
At first, some website like Twitter, Reddit or YouTube tends to reject to create an account. If that was just a couple of exit nodes, maybe restart the browser might do the trick. https://tor.stackexchange.com/questions/19536/cant-use-reddit-on-tor-what-do-i-do
But if entire exit nodes are rejected by provider, Web based proxy gives you a chance. If that doesn't work, I'd say you should find someone who will to post your messages on viral media.
Secondly, even if you using tails, thats not means you can pay for something anonymously.
If you need to use paid Web base proxy or whatever you want, it's also safer to use anonymous cryptocurrency such as Zcash or monero. not sure how safe are they, pre-installed wallet(Electrum) only supports bitcoin. so you need to use web based wallets.
Or if someone donated a bitcoins to your anonymous wallet, it's safe to use that one through Tor.
submitted by dozenspileofash to HongKong [link] [comments]

Information and FAQ

Welcome to the official IOTA subreddit.
If you are new you can find lots of information here, in the sidebar and please use the search button to see if your questions have been asked before. Please focus discussion on IOTA technology, ecosystem announcements, project development, apps, etc. Please direct help questions to /IOTASupport, and price discussions and market talk to /IOTAmarkets.
Before getting started it is recommended to read the IOTA_Whitepaper.pdf. I also suggest watching these videos first to gain a better understanding.
IOTA BREAKDOWN: The Tangle Vs. Blockchain Explained
IOTA tutorial 1: What is IOTA and some terminology explained

Information

Firstly, what is IOTA?

IOTA is an open-source distributed ledger protocol launched in 2015 that goes 'beyond blockchain' through its core invention of the blockless ‘Tangle’. The IOTA Tangle is a quantum-resistant Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG), whose digital currency 'iota' has a fixed money supply with zero inflationary cost.
IOTA uniquely offers zero-fee transactions & no fixed limit on how many transactions can be confirmed per second. Scaling limitations have been removed, since throughput grows in conjunction with activity; the more activity, the more transactions can be processed & the faster the network. Further, unlike blockchain architecture, IOTA has no separation between users and validators (miners / stakers); rather, validation is an intrinsic property of using the ledger, thus avoiding centralization.
IOTA is focused on being useful for the emerging machine-to-machine (m2m) economy of the Internet-of-Things (IoT), data integrity, micro-/nano- payments, and other applications where a scalable decentralized system is warranted.
More information can be found here.

Seeds

A seed is a unique identifier that can be described as a combined username and password that grants you access to your IOTA.
Your seed is used to generate the addresses and private keys you will use to store and send IOTA, so this should be kept private and not shared with anyone. If anyone obtains your seed, they can generate the private keys associated with your addresses and access your IOTA.

Non reusable addresses

Contrary to traditional blockchain based systems such as Bitcoin, where your wallet addresses can be reused, IOTA's addresses should only be used once (for outgoing transfers). That means there is no limit to the number of transactions an address can receive, but as soon as you've used funds from that address to make a transaction, this address should not be used anymore.
Why?
When an address is used to make an outgoing transaction, a random 50% of the private key of that particular address is revealed in the transaction signature, which effectively reduces the security of the key. A typical IOTA private key of 81-trits has 2781 possible combinations ( 8.7 x 10115 ) but after a single use, this number drops to around 2754 ( 2 x 1077 ), which coincidentally is close to the number of combinations of a 256-bit Bitcoin private key. Hence, after a single use an IOTA private key has about the same level of security as that of Bitcoin and is basically impractical to brute-force using modern technology. However, after a second use, another random 50% of the private key is revealed and the number of combinations that an attacker has to guess decreases very sharply to approximately 1.554 (~3 billion) which makes brute-forcing trivial even with an average computer.
Note: your seed is never revealed at at time; only private keys specific to each address.
The current light wallet prevents address reuse automatically for you by doing 2 things:
  1. Whenever you make an outgoing transaction from an address that does not consume its entire balance (e.g. address holds 10 Mi but you send only 5 Mi), the wallet automatically creates a new address and sends the change (5 Mi) to the new address.
  2. The wallet prevents you from performing a second outgoing transaction using the same address (it will display a “Private key reuse detected!” error).
This piggy bank diagram can help visualize non reusable addresses. imgur link
[Insert new Safe analogy].

Address Index

When a new address is generated it is calculated from the combination of a seed + Address Index, where the Address Index can be any positive Integer (including "0"). The wallet usually starts from Address Index 0, but it will skip any Address Index where it sees that the corresponding address has already been attached to the tangle.

Private Keys

Private keys are derived from a seeds key index. From that private key you then generate an address. The key index starting at 0, can be incremented to get a new private key, and thus address.
It is important to keep in mind that all security-sensitive functions are implemented client side. What this means is that you can generate private keys and addresses securely in the browser, or on an offline computer. All libraries provide this functionality.
IOTA uses winternitz one-time signatures, as such you should ensure that you know which private key (and which address) has already been used in order to not reuse it. Subsequently reusing private keys can lead to the loss of funds (an attacker is able to forge the signature after continuous reuse).
Exchanges are advised to store seeds, not private keys.

FAQ

Buying IOTA

How do I to buy IOTA?

Currently not all exchanges support IOTA and those that do may not support the option to buy with fiat currencies.
Visit this website for a Guide: How to buy IOTA
or Click Here for a detailed guide made by 450LbsGorilla

Cheapest way to buy IOTA?

You can track the current cheapest way to buy IOTA at IOTA Prices.
It tells you where & how to get the most IOTA for your money right now. There's an overview of the exchanges available to you and a buying guide to help you along.
IOTAPrices.com monitors all major fiat exchanges for their BTC & ETH rates and combines them with current IOTA rates from IOTA exchanges for easy comparison. Rates are taken directly from each exchange's official websocket. For fiat exchanges or exchanges that don't offer websockets, rates are refreshed every 60 seconds.

What is MIOTA?

MIOTA is a unit of IOTA, 1 Mega IOTA or 1 Mi. It is equivalent to 1,000,000 IOTA and is the unit which is currently exchanged.
We can use the metric prefixes when describing IOTA e.g 2,500,000,000 i is equivalent to 2.5 Gi.
Note: some exchanges will display IOTA when they mean MIOTA.

Can I mine IOTA?

No you can not mine IOTA, all the supply of IOTA exist now and no more can be made.
If you want to send IOTA, your 'fee' is you have to verify 2 other transactions, thereby acting like a minenode.

Storing IOTA

Where should I store IOTA?

It is not recommended to store large amounts of IOTA on the exchange as you will not have access to the private keys of the addresses generated.

Wallets

GUI Desktop (Full Node + Light Node)
Version = 2.5.6
Download: GUI v2.5.6
Guide: Download/Login Guide
Nodes: Status
Headless IRI (Full Node)
Version = 1.4.1.4
Download: Mainnet v1.4.1.4
Guide:
Find Neighbours: /nodesharing
UCL Desktop/Android/iOS (Light Node)
Version = Private Alpha Testing
Website: iota-ucl (Medium)
Android (Light Node)
Version = Beta
Download: Google Play
iOS (Light Node)
Version = Beta Testing
Website: https://iota.tools/wallet
Paper Wallet
Version = v1.3.6
Repo: GitHub
Seed Vault
Version = v1.0.2
Repo: GitHub7

What is a seed?

A seed is a unique identifier that can be described as a combined username and password that grants you access to your wallet.
Your seed is used to generate the addresses linked to your account and so this should be kept private and not shared with anyone. If anyone obtains your seed, they can login and access your IOTA.

How do I generate a seed?

You must generate a random 81 character seed using only A-Z and the number 9.
It is recommended to use offline methods to generate a seed, and not recommended to use any non community verified techniques. To generate a seed you could:

On a Linux Terminal

use the following command:
 cat /dev/urandom |tr -dc A-Z9|head -c${1:-81} 

On a Mac Terminal

use the following command:
 cat /dev/urandom |LC_ALL=C tr -dc 'A-Z9' | fold -w 81 | head -n 1 

With KeePass on PC

A helpful guide for generating a secure seed on KeePass can be found here.

With a dice

Dice roll template

Is my seed secure?

  1. All seeds should be 81 characters in random order composed of A-Z and 9.
  2. Do not give your seed to anyone, and don’t keep it saved in a plain text document.
  3. Don’t input your seed into any websites that you don’t trust.
Is Someone Going To Guess My IOTA Seed?
What are the odds of someone guessing your seed?
  • IOTA seed = 81 characters long, and you can use A-Z, 9
  • Giving 2781 = 8.7x10115 possible combinations for IOTA seeds
  • Now let's say you have a "super computer" letting you generate and read every address associated with 1 trillion different seeds per second.
  • 8.7x10115 seeds / 1x1012 generated per second = 8.7x10103 seconds = 2.8x1096 years to process all IOTA seeds.

Why does balance appear to be 0 after a snapshot?

When a snapshot happens, all transactions are being deleted from the Tangle, leaving only the record of how many IOTA are owned by each address. However, the next time the wallet scans the Tangle to look for used addresses, the transactions will be gone because of the snapshot and the wallet will not know anymore that an address belongs to it. This is the reason for the need to regenerate addresses, so that the wallet can check the balance of each address. The more transactions were made before a snapshot, the further away the balance moves from address index 0 and the more addresses have to be (re-) generated after the snapshot.

What happens if you reuse an address?

It is important to understand that only outgoing transactions reveal the private key and incoming transactions do not. If you somehow manage to receive iotas using an address after having used it previously to send iotas—let's say your friend sends iotas to an old address of yours—these iotas may be at risk.
Recall that after a single use an iota address still has the equivalent of 256-bit security (like Bitcoin) so technically, the iotas will still be safe if you do not try to send them out. However, you would want to move these iotas out eventually and the moment you try to send them out, your private key will be revealed a second time and it now becomes feasible for an attacker to brute-force the private key. If someone is monitoring your address and spots a second use, they can easily crack the key and then use it to make a second transaction that will compete with yours. It then becomes a race to see whose transaction gets confirmed first.
Note: The current wallet prevents you from reusing an address to make a second transaction so any iotas you receive with a 'used' address will be stuck. This is a feature of wallet and has nothing to do with the fundamental workings of IOTA.

Sending IOTA

What does attach to the tangle mean?

The process of making an transaction can be divided into two main steps:
  1. The local signing of a transaction, for which your seed is required.
  2. Taking the prepared transaction data, choosing two transactions from the tangle and doing the POW. This step is also called “attaching”.
The following analogy makes it easier to understand:
Step one is like writing a letter. You take a piece of paper, write some information on it, sign it at the bottom with your signature to authenticate that it was indeed you who wrote it, put it in an envelope and then write the recipient's address on it.
Step two: In order to attach our “letter” (transaction), we go to the tangle, pick randomly two of the newest “letters” and tie a connection between our “letter” and each of the “letters” we choose to reference.
The “Attach address” function in the wallet is actually doing nothing else than making an 0 value transaction to the address that is being attached.

Why is my transaction pending?

IOTA's current Tangle implementation (IOTA is in constant development, so this may change in the future) has a confirmation rate that is ~66% at first attempt.
So, if a transaction does not confirm within 1 hour, it is necessary to "reattach" (also known as "replay") the transaction one time. Doing so one time increases probability of confirmation from ~66% to ~89%.
Repeating the process a second time increases the probability from ~89% to ~99.9%.

How do I reattach a transaction.

Reattaching a transaction is different depending on where you send your transaction from. To reattach using the GUI Desktop wallet follow these steps:
  1. Click 'History'.
  2. Click 'Show Bundle' on the 'pending' transaction.
  3. Click 'Reattach'.
  4. Click 'Rebroadcast'. (optional, usually not required)
  5. Wait 1 Hour.
  6. If still 'pending', repeat steps 1-5 once more.

Does the private key get revealed each time you reattach a transaction?

When you use the reattach function in the desktop wallet, a new transaction will be created but it will have the same signature as the original transaction and hence, your private key will not revealed a second time.

What happens to pending transactions after a snapshot?

IOTA Network and Nodes

What incentives are there for running a full node?

IOTA is made for m2m economy, once wide spread adoption by businesses and the IOT, there will be a lot of investment by these businesses to support the IOTA network. In the meantime if you would like to help the network and speed up p2p transactions at your own cost, you can support the IOTA network by setting up a Full Node.
Running a full node also means you don't have to trust a 3rd party light node provider. By running a full node you get to take advantage of new features that might not be installed on 3rd party nodes.

How to set up a full node?

To set up a full node you will need to follow these steps:
  1. Download the full node software: either GUI, or headless CLI for lower system requirements and better performance.
  2. Get a static IP for your node.
  3. Join the network by adding 7-9 neighbours.
  4. Keep your full node up and running as much as possible.
A detailed user guide on how to set up a VTS IOTA Full Node from scratch can be found here.

How do I get a static IP?

To learn how to setup a hostname (~static IP) so you can use the newest IOTA versions that have no automated peer discovery please follow this guide.

How do I find a neighbour?

Are you a single IOTA full node looking for a partner? You can look for partners in these place:

Resources

You can find a wiki I have been making here.
More to come...
If you have any contributions or spot a mistake or clarification, please PM me or leave a comment.
submitted by Boltzmanns_Constant to Iota [link] [comments]

(Updated) [Staking] Reddcoin Core client GUI wallet on a Raspberry Pi Model 3B

Intro

This thread is an update to my first Reddcoin staking tutorial that was written 7 months ago.
 
The reason for the update
My Reddcoin Core software crashed and became unusable. My Raspberry Pi 3B would lag and freeze, I couldn't stake anymore.
 
Instead of just redoing everything the same way, I wanted to see if I could improve on 3 points:
 
The updates
 
If you would like to tip me
Writing a tutorial like this takes time and effort; tips are appreciated. My Reddcoin address: RqvdnNX5MTam855Y2Vudv7yVgtXdcYaQAW.
     

Overview

 

Steps

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     

Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Snr5e8bzftI
This video shows how long it takes to start Reddcoin Core.   TL;DR:
     

Extra

Backup
Backup your wallet to prevent losing the RDDs in your wallet! There are two methods to backup, do both. Make new backups if you create a new receiving address!
 
 
   
Boot with only 1 USB drive plugged in:
Make sure only the USB drive (with the swap partition and data partition) is plugged in when you boot up your Raspberry Pi. This to make sure the swap partition (/dev/sda1) is recognized correctly.   If you boot up with multiple USB drives, Lubuntu might see the USB drive with the swap partition as the second drive (instead of the first drive), and ignore the 2 GB swap partition. If this happens, starting Reddcoin can render the Raspberry Pi unresponsive.
   
Connection issues If you have issues syncing the blockchain because you have 0 network connections, please follow the instructions in this thread.
   
Start Reddcoin Core easier
Run a shell script (.sh file), so you can start Reddcoin just by double clicking on an icon on your Desktop.
   
Minimization options
Adjust minimization options, so you can safely press on the X button (the close/exit button on the upper right corner).
   
RealVNC VNC Viewer (client) and VNC Connect (server): To remote connect to the Raspberry Pi, I use VNC Viewer ad VNC Connect from RealVNC.
 
   
Chromium as browser: The updates break Firefox, the browser crashes when you try to run it. Install another browser, Chromium, to solve this issue.
   
Updates / Upgrades
If Software Updater shows up and tells you that there is updated software available, do not install the updates using Software Updater. Use LXTerminal to update Lubuntu.  
     

Credits:

   
Credits in previous tutorial:
submitted by Yavuz_Selim to reddCoin [link] [comments]

Getting Started

1. Basic Information
What is Masari?
Masari is a proof of work (PoW) and privacy-centric innovative cryptocurrency that allows users to send money around the globe with low fees very quickly. Using the well researched and cryptographically sound CryptoNote and RingCT protocols means that every transaction origin, amount, and destination is obfuscated by default.Masari is an open source project that is fully decentralized, similar to bitcoin. With several CryptoNote firsts such as uncle mining via the SECOR protocol, a fully client side web wallet, and PoW sharding via the blocktree protocol, Masari is a fast, fungible, secure, private and soon-to-be scalable currency.
Why did you fork from Monero?
Monero is a larger coin than Masari with more community members and developers, which results in longer lead times to change direction and try new things. Masari wants to push the boundaries in privacy and scalability which may take a different path than Monero. Many of the developers who work on Masari have helped Monero and many in the Masari community like both coins.
Where do I get Masari?
Masari is available on several exchanges:
Many only accept Bitcoin, which can be bought peer-to-peer or from coinbase or localbitcoins among other big exchanges and platforms. After you send your bitcoin to one of the above exchanges and trade, you can withdraw your Masari to your wallet of choice.
How do I use Masari?
We aim to make using Masari simple. The easiest way to start using Masari is to visit masariwallet.com to create your wallet. Nobody will have access to your credentials as our software uses your own computer to connect directly to the blockchain. This web wallet is the simplest way to use Masari!
2. Community
Who is leading The Masari Project?
Masari is led by several community developers and contributors. In no special order, the community developers are Gnock, Thaer, and Cryptochangements. There is also a Masari Engagement team dedicated to promoting and Marketing Masari. In no special order the team includes Johnny Gonzo, CamtheGeek, JeutheIdit, Xiaomogwai, Dug Punk, SatoriNakamoto, and BazookaJeff. If you would like to create your own group and or add your skills to one of these teams, feel free to reach out to any of the members listed above to volunteer.
Where Can I Hear News and Updates?
Masari has a presence in several social media platforms. We push announcements and updates via Twitter, Medium, Reddit, Telegram, BitcoinTalk, and Discord. Development updates are tracked via Trello. Links are below:
There is also a community meeting held every other Saturday (on even numbered weeks) at 15:00 UTC on our Discord #Meeting-Table Channel. You can bring up your ideas and talk with the devs.
How do you fund development?
Masari is completely funded by community donations. You can view seeking community approval, current, and completed funding proposals at https://funding.getmasari.org/proposals. Development is also funded through the following addresses:
How do I volunteer?
The Masari Project is always looking for new volunteers. If you have a skill, we can use it.
3. Download Links
4. Miscellaneous

Courtesy Masari Engagement
submitted by boomboombazookajeff to masari [link] [comments]

Ethereum on ARM. Geth and Parity clients update. Status.im, IPFS and Swarm packages. Raiden Network and Trinity client installers.

EthArmbian [1] is a custom Linux image for the NanoPC-T4 ARM SoC [2] that runs Geth or Parity Ethereum clients as a boot service and automatically turns the device into a full Ethereum node.
Once powered up, the image takes care of all steps, from setting up the environment to running the Ethereum client and synchronizing the blockchain.
Edit: Images links are now Ready for Constantinople and Petersburg Hardforks. You can update Geth to 1.8.22 and Parity to 2.2.9 from these images by running:
update-ethereum
This is a new release of the EthArmbian image for the NanoPC-T4 ARM board. Ethereum is evolving quickly so it is time to include some other interesting pieces of the ecosystem. Changelog:

Download links

Armbian_5.74_Nanopct4_Ubuntu_bionic_default_4.4.172-1-geth.img.zip
Armbian_5.74_Nanopct4_Ubuntu_bionic_default_4.4.172-1-parity.img.zip
Note: The only difference between both images is the default client that runs at boot time. You can switch between Geth or Parity at anytime.
For further info regarding installation and usage please visit Github README [1]

Status.im, IPFS and Swarm

Status [5] is a decentralized messaging & browsing app (using the Whisper protocol). And as any P2P system, it needs… peers. So if you want to support it, status is now included as a systemd service, configured in whisper and mailserver mode.
You need to start it manually as it doesn’t run by default:
sudo systemctl start status.im
And, if you want it to get started on boot you need:
sudo systemctl enable status.im
Configuration options are located in /etc/ethereum/status.im.json.
Why run a Status node? (from their FAQ):
Currently, we don’t provide any incentives for running Status Nodes. We are working hard to solve this problem. Our intent is to increase the size of the Whisper network, thereby improving how “decentralized” and safe our platform is.
Another reason is privacy. In the current setup, nodes that are running as Mail Servers are trusted. This means that such a node can communicate directly with the Status app using a p2p connection and some metadata might leak. If one wants to avoid that, the best option is to run a Mail Server on your own and configure it in the Status app.
Another important piece of the so called web 3 is decentralized storage. The most mature option available is IPFS [6] which is now included as a systemd service as well. You need to start it manually as it doesn’t run for default:
sudo systemctl start ipfs
If you want IPFS to get started on boot you need to enable it by running:
sudo systemctl enable ipfs
You can tweak config options in /home/ethereum/.ipfs/config file (particularly, you may want to adjust the StorageMax parameter).
Swarm [7] (Ethereum decentralized storage solution) is available as a binary. You may want to take a look at the official docs to start testing it.
You can run these clients along with Geth or Parity client with no performance issues.

Raiden and Trinity

As you may know, Raiden Network [8] is a Layer 2 scalability solution (similar to Bitcoin's Lightning Network). Trinity [9] is a new Ethereum client developed entirely in Python (and already working on the beacon chain).
You can install both clients by running its corresponding bash script. Take into account that both are in alpha stage so expect some trouble and give back feedback to developers, if possible. They are not properly packaged yet so the script installs them directly from Github (it takes a while).
Installation: Type (as ethereum user):
install-trinity
install-raiden
You can now run "trinity" or "raiden" commands.
Note on Trinity: If you experience this issue: “trinity: error: Timed out waiting for database start”, try to increase wait_for_ipc() “timeout” value in /uslocal/lib/python3.6/dist-packages/trinity/utils/ipc.py [10]

Ethereum nodes FUD

We’ve been seeing lately a lot of misinformation about Ethereum blockchain size and other kind of FUD.
Stick to the facts. With Parity, it just takes several hours to get a full node up and running and you need about 140 GB of SSD disk size (2-3 days with Geth and 150GB of disk size). So, you could run a full node for several months even with a 256GB SSD unit. Don’t listen to this kind of nonsense. Plain and simple: they are wrong.
This "guy" knows [11]

References

[1] https://github.com/diglos/userpatches
[2] https://www.friendlyarm.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=225
[3] https://github.com/ethereum/go-ethereum/releases/tag/v1.8.21
[4] https://github.com/paritytech/parity-ethereum/releases/tag/v2.2.7
[5] https://status.im/
[6] https://ipfs.io/
[7] https://swarm-guide.readthedocs.io/en/latest/introduction.html
[8] https://raiden.network/
[9] https://trinity.ethereum.org/
[10] https://github.com/ethereum/trinity/issues/182
https://github.com/ethereum/trinity/pull/192/commits/e19326689cbb08fd81c1827a7a3ab41200bbbeff
[11] https://twitter.com/ethnodesize
submitted by diglos76 to ethereum [link] [comments]

Wallet Funds Inaccessible

{Solved}
A couple of days ago I exchanged about 60 dollars worth of bitcoins for Monero, as I was intrigued by the advantages Monero purported to have over Bitcoin and wanted to try it myself. Having no Monero wallet, I attempted to install the official GUI onto my desktop, but as a linux user, I quickly found this to be rather challenging and was offput by a number of technical issues I encountered. Ultimately, I chose to use xmrwallet.com instead, an online wallet that seemed reputable enough, and assumed I'd just transfer the funds to another wallet instead once I finally had it set up.
It wasn't until after the funds had been sent to my xmrwallet.com wallet that I noticed a banner at the top of the website saying "XMRWallet is under maintenance. The sending function has been temporarily disabled. To send transactions, please download the official Monero client from ......". Seeking to circumvent this, I restored my wallet using private keys on two different wallet applications, Guarda on my desktop and Monerujo on my android (As someone fairly new to cryptocurrency, I still have no clue whether this is a good idea or not, nor whether something like this could actually work). To my dismay, the wallet restored without any issue, but I wasn't able to access my funds on either application. I've waited two whole days now and guaranteed the blockchain has been synchronized multiple times, yet still to no avail. Did I do something wrong in this process that prevented my funds from being accessible? Is this just a byproduct of the supposed maintenance xmrwallet.com is undergoing? It's not critical that I receive access to the funds now, but I'd ideally like to have it done before too long, and any help would be appreciated. Thank you!
submitted by vermillion1469 to monerosupport [link] [comments]

Thank you for running your own full Vertcoin node and supporting VTC network! We currently have 518 Full Nodes running.

Thank you for running your own full Vertcoin node and supporting VTC network! We currently have 518 Full Nodes running.
Official node scanner list: https://scanner.vertcoin.org/nodes
Since every full VTC node can only serve so many clients, it's important to do your part for the Vertcoin network and run your own full node.
Q: WHAT IS A FULL NODE? A: Full nodes maintain a copy of the blockchain/ledger, distribute it to those downloading it, confirm transactions, and further spread out all of the previous functions to make the network more resilient. https://bitcoin.org/en/full-node
Q: Do I need to be a miner? A: No, you don't need to be a miner. Miners create new blocks. Full nodes simply share existing blocks (the entire VTC blockchain) with the rest of VTC wallet users.
Q: How do I run a Full VTC node on Intel NUC? A: Intel NUC Vertcoin full node installation done using Windows guide: https://github.com/vertcoin-project/VertDocs/blob/mastedocs/FullNodes/intel-nuc.md
Q: How do I run a Full VTC node? A: It's actually quite easy to do. If you run Vertcoin-QT (Vertcoin Core Wallet) on your PC/MAC desktop, keep it active in the systray. Then, make sure that you map the public port 5889 of your router to the port 5889 on the machine running Vertcoin-QT or vertcoind. For people running a public p2pool node this should be a no-brainer: you already have a synchronized vertcoind. So if you haven't opened port 5889 do it now - it's all you have to do. Your node is then public and can serve blocks and relay transactions.This makes our network much stronger and will help it to perform better. Any old or low power computer is good enough to run a full VTC node. If you have a Raspberry Pi or any old PC lying around, install vertcoind and run it in the background.
Q: How do I know if my Full Node is working correctly? A: To be a full node, you have to check to make sure you are accepting incoming connections. To do that, go under Help -> Debug Window. In the first tab, "Information", there is a Network "Number of Connections" which will show both incoming and outgoing connections. If the "In" is 0, then you are not a full node. If the "In" is greater than 0, you are acting as a full node and supporting VTC blockchain! Thank you!
What is Vertcoin? | Lightning Network SEGWIT Enabled ASIC resistant money https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86-oMyHDCNc
Linux instructions: https://www.cryptocurrencyfreak.com/2017/09/06/setup-vertcoin-full-node-ubuntu-16-04/
submitted by blockchaintechnology to vertcoin [link] [comments]

A tour of the Gridcoin wallet

Hey guys, I thought I would put together an in-depth tour of the Gridcoin wallet software for all of our recent newcomers. Here I'll be outlining all the features and functions the windows GUI wallet has to offer, along with some basic RPC command usage. I'll be using the windows wallet as an example, but both linux and macOS should be rather similar. I'll be including as many pictures as I can as embedded hyperlinks.
Edit: Note that since I originally made this there has been a UI update, so your client will be different colors but all the button locations are in the same place.
This is my first post like this, so please forgive me if this appears a little scatter-brained.
This will not cover the mining setup process for pool or solo miners.
When you launch the wallet software for the first time you should be greeted with this screen.

OVERVIEW TAB

After that prompt, you should be left sitting on the main overview tab with several fields on it.
From top to bottom:

SEND TAB

Now onto the other tabs on the left side. Currently we're on the Overview tab, lets move down to the Send tab. This tab it pretty self-explanatory, you use it if you want to send coins, but I'll go over the fields here:
  • Pay To: Enter a valid gridcoin address to send coins too. Gridcoin addresses always start with an S or and R.
  • Label: Enter a label here and it will put that address in your "address book" under that label for later use. You can leave it blank if you don't want it in your address book.
  • Message: Enter a message here if you want it attached to your transaction.
  • Amount: How many coins you want to send.
  • Add Attachment: Leave this alone, it is broken.
  • Track Coins: This doesn't do anything.

RECEIVE TAB

Now down to the Receive tab. Here you should have a single address listed. If you double click on the label field, you can edit it's label.
  • New: Generate a new address.
If you click on an address, the rest of the options should be clickable.
  • Copy: Copy the selected address to your clipboard.
  • Show QR Code: Show a scan-able QR code for the selected address.
  • Sign Message: Cryptographically sign a message using the selected address.

TRANSACTIONS TAB

The Transactions tab is pretty boring considering we have no transactions yet. But as you can see there are some sorting tools at the top for when you do have transactions listed.

ADDRESS BOOK TAB

The Address Book is where all the addresses you've labeled (that aren't yours) will show up.
  • Verify Message: Verifies a message was signed by the selected address.
The rest of the functions are similar to the functions on the Receive tab.

VOTING TAB

Onto the Voting tab. There wont be any polls because we aren't in sync yet.
  • Reload Polls: Pretty self-explanatory, I've never had to use this.
  • Load History: By default, the wallet will only display active polls. If you want to view past polls you can use this.
  • Create Poll: You can create a network-wide poll. You must have 100,000 coins as a requirement to make a poll. (Creating a poll does not consume the coins)
Here's what the Voting tab will look like once you're in sync

CONTEXT BAR

Now onto the context bar menus on the top.
Under File you have:
  • Backup Wallet/Config: This lets you backup your wallet configuration file just in case.
  • Export: You can export your Transactions tab or Address Book in CSV format.
  • Sign message: Does the same thing as on the Receive tab.
  • Verify message: Does the same thing as on the Address Book tab.
  • Exit: Close the wallet.
Under Settings you have:
  • Encrypt Wallet: Encrypts your wallet with a password. (we'll come back to this)
  • Change Passphrase: Allows you to change your encryption password.
  • Options: Opens the options menu. (We'll come back to this)
Under Community you have:
Under Advanced you have:
  • Advanced Configuration: Opens the Advanced Configuration menu. (Not so advanced if you ask me)
  • Neural Network: Allows you to view solo miners project statistics. It will be largely blank if you're not in sync yet.
  • FAQ: Don't touch this, It is broken.
  • Foundation: Don't touch this, It is broken.
  • Rebuild Block Chain: Starts the client syncing from 0. Don't worry, using this will not make you lose coins.
  • Download Blocks: Downloads the latest official snapshot, can help speed up syncing. The download progress tends to sit at 99.99% for a long time, don't worry, it's working.
Under Help you have:
  • Debug window: Opens the debug window. (We'll come back to this)
  • Diagnostics: Don't touch this, it is broken. This has since been fixed. You can use this to see if there is anything wrong with your setup.
  • About Gridcoin: Opens the About Dialog. This gives you your client version and other information.

OPTIONS

Now back to the options menu under Settings > Options.
Here we have the options menu main tab:
  • Pay transaction fee: The transaction fee that will be automatically paid when you make a transaction.
  • Reserve: You can reserve an amount so that it will always be available for spending.
  • Start Gridcoin on system login: Pretty self-explanatory
  • Detach databases at shutdown: Speeds up shutdown, but causes your blockchain file to no longer be portable.
On the Network tab:
  • Map port using UPnP: Attempts to connect to nodes through UPnP.
  • Connect through SOCKS proxy: Allows you to connect through a proxy.
The window tab is pretty self-explanatory.
The Display tab is also pretty self-explanatory, with the exception of:
  • Display coin control features (experts only!): This allows you to have a great deal of control over the coins in your wallet, check this for now and I'll explain how to use it further down. Don't forget to click "Apply".

ENCRYPTING YOUR WALLET

Now that all of that is out of the way. The first thing you'll want to do is encrypt your wallet. This prevents anybody with access to your computer from sending coins. This is something I would recommend everyone do.
Go to Settings > Encrypt Wallet and create a password. YOU CANNOT RECOVER YOUR COINS IF YOU FORGET YOUR PASSWORD.
Your wallet will close and you will have to start it up again. This time when it opens up, you should have a new button in the bottom left. Now if you want to stake you will have to unlock your wallet. Notice the "For staking only" box that is checked by default. If you want to send a beacon for solo mining or vote, you will need to uncheck this box.

GETTING IN SYNC AND ICONS

Before we continue, Let's wait until we're in sync. Depending on your internet speeds, this could take from several hours to over a day or 2. This can be sped up by using Advanced > Download Blocks, but this can still take several hours.
This is what an in-sync client should look like. Notice the green check to the right of the Receive tab. All of these icons give you information when you hover your mouse over them.
The lock
The arrow tells you if you're staking. If you aren't staking, it will tell you why you're not staking. If you are staking it will give you an estimated staking time. Staking is a very random process and this is only an estimate, not a countdown.
The connection bars tell you how many connections to the network you have.
The check tells you if you're in sync.

WHAT IS STAKING?

Now I've said "stake" about a million times so far and haven't explained it. Gridcoin is a Proof of Stake (PoS) coin.
Unlike bitcoins Proof of Work (PoW), PoS uses little system resources, so you can use those resources for scientific work. PoS works by users "Staking" with their balance. The higher the balance, the higher the chance to create, or "stake" a block. This means you need to have a positive balance in order to stake. Theoretically, you can stake with any amount over 0.0125 coins, but in practice it's recommended to have at least 2000 coins to reliably stake.
Staking is important for solo miners, because they get paid when they stake. Pool miners don't need to stake in order to get paid however. So if you want to solo mine, you'll need to buy some coins from an exchange or start in the pool first and move to solo when you have enough coins.
In addition to Research Rewards for miners, anyone who holds coins (solo miners, pool miners, and investors) gets 1.5% interest annually on top of your coins. So it can be beneficial for pool miners to stake as well.
Here is a snippet of what a research rewards transaction looks like from my personal wallet. I have a label on that address of "Payout address" as you can see here.

UTXOS AND COIN CONTROL

At this point you'll need some coins. You can use one of our faucets like this one or this one to test coin control out.
First let me explain what a UTXO is. UTXO stands for Unspent Transaction Output. Say you have an address with 0 coins in it, and someone sends you 10 coins like I've done here. Those 10 coins are added to that address in the form of a UTXO, so we have an address with one 10 coin UTXO in it.
Now we receive another 5 coins at the same address, like so. Now we have an address with one 10 coin UTXO and one 5 coin UTXO. But how do we view how our addresses are split up into different UTXOs?
Earlier we checked the "Display coin control features" box in Settings > Options > Display. Once that's checked you'll notice there's another section in the Send tab labeled "Coin Control Features". If you click the "Inputs" button, you'll get a new window. And look, there's our 2 UTXOs.
All UTXOs try to stake separately from each other, and remember that the chance a UTXO has to stake is proportional to it's size. So in this situation, my 10 coin UTXO has twice the chance to stake as my 5 coin UTXO. Now wallets, especially ones that make a lot of transactions, can get very fragmented over time. I've fragmented my wallet a little so I can show you what I'm talking about.
How do we clean this up? We can consolidate all this into one UTXO by checking all the boxes on the left and selecting OK.
Now pay attention to the fields on the top:
  • Quantity: The total amount of UTXOs we have selected.
  • Amount: The total amount of coins we have selected.
  • Fee: How much it would cost in fees to send all those UTXOs (more UTXOs = more transaction data = more fees)
  • After Fee: Amount - Fees.
  • Bytes: How large the transaction is in bytes.
  • Priority: How your client would prioritize making a transaction with this specific set of UTXOs selected had you not used coin control.
  • Low Output: If your transaction is less than 0.01 coins (I think).
  • Change: What you will get back in change.
  • custom change address: You can set the address you get your change back at, by default it will generate a new address.
So let's fill out our transaction so we end up with 1 UTXO at the end.
In "Pay To:" Just put any address in your wallet, and for the amount put what it has listed in the "After Fee" Field. Just like this.
Notice how we get no change back.
Now click "Send", we'll be prompted to enter our passphrase and we're asked if we want to pay the fee, go ahead and click "Yes".
Now if we go back to the Overview tab we get this funky icon. If you hover your mouse over it, it says "Payment to yourself", and the -0.0002 GRC is the network transaction fee.
(Ignore the first one, that was me fragmenting my wallet)
Now if we look at the Coin Control menu, we can see that we've slimmed our wallet down from 7 UTXOs to 1.
Now why would you want to use coin control?
2 Situations:
  1. UTXOs less than 0.0125 coins cannot stake. So you can combine a lot of tiny, useless UTXOs into 1 bigger one that can stake.
  2. After a UTXO stakes, it cannot stake for another 16 hours. So if you have 1 large UTXO that is big enough to stake more than once every 16 hours, you can split it into smaller UTXOs which can allow you to stake slightly more often.
  3. By default, the wallet will always generate a new address for change, which can make your wallet get very messy if you're sending lots of transactions. Keep in mind that more UTXOs = larger transactions = more fees.
Sidenote - When you stake, you will earn all research rewards owed reguardless of which UTXO staked. However, you'll earn the 1.5% interest for that UTXO. Not your whole wallet.

FORKING

A fork is when the network splits into multiple chains, with part of the network on each chain. A fork can happen when 2 blocks are staked by different clients at the same time or very close to the same time, or when your client rejects a block that should have been accepted due to a bug in the code or through some other unique circumstance.
How do I know if I'm on a fork?
Generally you can spot a fork by looking at the difficulty on your Overview tab. With current network conditions, if your difficulty is below 0.1, then you're probably on a fork.
You can confirm this by comparing your blockhash with someone elses, like a block explorer.
Go to [Help > Debug Window > Console]. This is the RPC console, we can use to do a lot of things. You can type help to get a list of commands, and you can type help [command you need help with] (without the brackets) to get information on a command. We'll be using the getblockhash [block number] command.
Type getblockhash [block number] in the console, but replace [block number] with the number listed next to the "Blocks:" field on the Overview tab.
This will spit out a crazy string of characters, this is the "blockhash" of that block.
Now head over to your favorite block explorer, I'll be using gridcoinstats. Find the block that you have the hash for, use the search bar or just find it in the list of blocks.
Now compare your hash with the one gridcoinstats gives you. Does it match?
If it matches, then you're probably good to go. If it matches but you still think you're on a fork, then you can try other block explorers, such as gridcoin.network or neuralminer.io.
If it doesn't match, then you need to try to get off that fork.
How do I get off a fork?
  1. Just wait for an hour or two. 95% of the time your client is able to recover itself from a fork given a little time.
  2. Restart the client, wait a few minutes to see if it fixes itself. If it doesn't restart again and wait. Repeat about 4 or 5 times.
  3. Find where the fork started. Using the getblockhash command, go back some blocks and compare hashes with that on a block explorer so you can narrow down what the last block you and the block explorer had in common. Then use reorganize [the last block hash you had in common]. Note that reorganize takes a blockhash, not a block number.
  4. Use Advanced > Download Blocks.
  5. If none of this works, you can take a look at social media (reddit/steemit) and see what other people are saying.

CONFIGURATION FILE

Your configuration file depends on your operation system:
  • On Windows: %appdata%\GridcoinResearch\
  • On Linux: ~/.GridcoinResearch/
  • On MacOS: /Users/USERNAME/Library/Application/Support/GridcoinResearch/
And it should look like this.
If you open up your gridcoinresearch.conf, you'll see the default one it generated. Note that if you entered your email earlier, the first line will have your email on it instead of "investor". If you decided you want to solo mine but didn't enter your email when you first started the wallet, go ahead and put your email on the first line in place of "investor". If you're a pool miner, just leave it as "investor".
Next, it's recommended that you use the addnodes on the gridcoin wiki. So our gridcoinresearch.conf will look like this.
A useful line for solo miners is PrimaryCPID=[YOUR CPID]. Sometimes your wallet can pick up on the wrong CPID so it's good to have that in there if you're solo mining.

RUNNING A LISTENING NODE

A listening node is a node that listens for blocks and transactions broadcasted from nodes and forwards them on to other nodes. For example, during the syncing process when you're getting your node running for the first time, you're downloading all the blocks from listening nodes. So running a listening node helps support the network.
Running a gridcoin listening node is simple. All you need to do is add listen=1 to your gridcoinresearch.conf and you need to forward port 32749 on your router.
If you don't know how to port forward, I'd suggest googling "How to port forward [your router manufacturer]".

QUICK LINKS

Gridcoin.us Official Website
Gridcoin.science Unofficial Website
Gridcoinstats.eu Block Explorer
NeuralMiner.io Block Explorer
Gridcoinstats.eu Faucet
Gridcoin.ch Faucet
Gridcoin Wiki
Gridcoin Github
GRCPool
Arikado Pool
And that's all I have for now!
I plan to keep this post up-to-date with changes in the client. So if anyone has any suggestions, have clarifications they want made, or maybe I got something wrong, then please feel free to leave a comment below or PM me!
submitted by Personthingman2 to gridcoin [link] [comments]

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