ZeroNet: Overcoming censorship with deep web, blockchain, bitcoin & bitTorrent

zeronet logo

ZeroNet connects the world in a peer-to-peer network that liberates us from government power’s around the world and is becoming the major game changer in fighting the ever increasing threat of internet censorship.

It’s a revolutionary system that has been a long time coming and it will be a necessity as we move forward into the information age as our freedom and rights are taken away from us at an ever increasing rate.

ZeroNet is not widely known about right now and I think it’s important for us all to realize that this technology not only exists but that we also adapt to this new way of communicating and expressing our free speech.

ZeroNet is available to download on Windows, MacOS and Linux from the official site: zeronet.io

screenshot of zeronet home screen
ZeroNet home screen

Why use ZeroNet for hosting your website

When we host a website today, our files are stored on servers that are ran by a hosting provider company and their job is to keep your site up no matter the cost.

The problem here is when a governing body dislikes what it see’s it can then pressure the hosting provider to take down your site! This is bad news for free speech.

I have read so many stories time and time again when this happens and the internet adapts and overcomes this oppression from anyone controlling our internet.

If you’ve ever used bittorrent for file sharing then you will be very familiar with this concept as ZeroNet uses peer-to-peer networking that doesn’t rely on any central server. Only in this case it’s hosting websites rather than just file serving. 

Instead it relies on the people who use the network to host the sites on their very own computer. Using this method then, it would be almost impossible for anyone with the intent on bringing down a website to carry out such actions. 

The only people who can take a website down is those who possess the encryption key to edit the website.

Many people around the world will be hosting many copies of any one site and this de-centralization is what we will see far more of in the future of our internet.

 

How do I get started?

It couldn’t be any more simpler to get ZeroNet up and running. Once you’ve downloaded the executable from the official site (zeronet.io) and run it, It will start a web server on your computer and open up in your web browser.

You will notice in your address bar the IP address which is “127.0.0.1” and this is your standard local loopback IP address. This is because your connected to yourself. You’re connected to the web server that you just started up.

Then after the IP address you will notice the port number that you’re connected to on your local machine.

Then the final part of the address is a long string of characters and this is a bitcoin address. This indicates the website that you’re connected to. You don’t connect to a remote IP address because there is no central server like we have in our usual ‘clearnet’ internet.

What technology is used by Zeronet?

Many new technologies are incorporated into ZeroNet and the use of Tor can be configured for anonymity.

I mentioned above that the bittorrent aspect of ZeroNet uses the peer-to-peer file sharing technology to de-centralize the network and why this is important but ZeroNet also uses bitcoin addresses and the blockchain.

If you would like to have a personalized URL for your website then you can purchase a domain name using namecoin. When you see an address with a purchased domain name then you will notice the “.bit” extension on the end of the domain name.

Namecoin is a crypto currency that’s mined the same way that bitcoin is. If you have ever mined bitcoin using a pool such as Bitminter then you may have received namecoin as a bi-product. Something that has cost you nothing extra to gain throughout the mining process. 

 

Watching movies with 'Play'

The above screenshot is taken from the following site:

 http://127.0.0.1:43110/PlayMovies.bit

Unfortunately the only thing letting this movie site down is the fact that the video’s can’t be streamed down and so a bittorrent client is needed to download these files. Some files also include magnet links too. 

Usually this kind of activity is illegal in certain countries and I don’t condone law breaking by any means.. but definitely worth checking out if not for mere educational purposes 😉

ZeroNet's very own Youtube

ZeroNet’s answer to Youtube is yet another source for copyrighted movie content along with adult material too and is certainly not fit for family viewing in most cases. The site is still in it’s infancy and still has a long way to go in terms of content creators but it’s just a matter of time before more and more of us start migrating over from the ever increasing censorship of Google’s Youtube platform and the internet as a whole.

Conclusion

ZeroNet and similar systems will certainly be the direction that the internet will be moving in, now and in the near future as we are faced with censorship more and more on the internet and we must take these steps, otherwise the truth will never be known.

We must not allow our governments and monopoly corporations to continue to gain control over our internet. This is our chance to fight back for the future of our freedom of speech.  

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