Throughout our history, technology has been changing our lives, generally improving them. We have not always communicated in the same way, and the latest changes in this regard have come thanks to the Internet. But we all know that on the web we can find the best and the worst, and we also have to be careful how we do things so that our privacy is not compromised. Most of the tools we use to communicate or work are owned by the big technology companies (GAFAM: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft), but luckily there are free and decentralized alternatives such as disroot, which are intended to give us people greater autonomy and control over our information.
There are already many, or well, some services that are betting on the decentralization. An example is Mastodon, very present in the latest news since Elon Musk bought Twitter and started doing all kinds of moves that give meaning to the expression "like a chicken without a head". Anyone can create an instance on Mastodon, and while they are all connected to each other, the company does not have ownership of their content. Something similar happens in video services such as PeerTube or DTube, where users can upload videos without fear that Google will remove them because a song looks like another copyrighted song, even if you made it using loops from a DAW program.
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What is Disroot?
Like other services with similar philosophies, Disroot was founded in 2015 by a group of free software enthusiasts and activists who were looking for a free alternative to commercial and centralized platforms, such as Google, Microsoft and Dropbox. It is a non-profit organization and is financed through donations.
Over time it has gone further and offered more services, but it has always been a free tools platform and decentralized, and offers a group of online services for communication, collaboration and file management. The entire platform is based on free software, and any reader of a blog like this should know what this means: the source code of the applications is public and can be modified for personal use or sharing, but it cannot be used with commercial purposes. Decentralization means that it is not controlled by a single entity.
Disroot offers a variety of services such as:
- Secure and private email. Use end-to-end encryption to protect user information and data. Unlike what happens with other secure email services such as ProtonMail, it is compatible with email clients such as Thunderbird, which personally gives me the impression, shared by the community on Reddit, that it is one point below Proton mail. .
- Cloud: Disroot cloud storage is based on Nextcloud, and allows users to sync files between devices and share them with other users. Everything is automatically encrypted and stored on Disroot servers in different countries to ensure copies and availability.
- Collaborative tools– A number of online collaboration tools are also available such as Etherpad for text, EtherCalc for spreadsheets, and Sandstorm for building self-hosted web applications.
- Messaging: Various messaging applications are available including XMPP and Jitsi.
- Calendar and tasks: Also based on Nextcloud, Disroot offers a calendar and tasks service that allows us to create events and tasks and synchronize them between devices. Like other services of this type, Disroot's allows us to subscribe to public calendars and share them with other users.
- Paste Bin: to share texts/encrypted code.
- Rise– Temporary encrypted hosting, which can be used to send files.
- anonymous search: It usually pulls from engines like Google and DuckDuckGo, but is sometimes blocked.
Disroot in the future
They started thinking of offering an alternative to services like Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox, but they have been expanding them to the catalog they offer today. Its future is uncertain, but you can speculate by looking a little at the present. Right now there are much more than in the beginning, and they have managed to grow thanks to donations. The company's goal is to continue with this trend, and in the future they should offer new things.
The new thing they offer must stick with your old philosophyThat is, with decentralization by flag and giving users power over their content and what it does.
Why you should use Disroot or stop using it
Well, Disroot is one more option, and using what it offers us or not should be up to each one. If we decide to trust this company, we will be using a ethical alternative open source to what GAFAM offers us. On the one hand, we will be taking power away from big technology, and on the other we will be using more private services.
If this doesn't work for us, we can continue as we are, and it's totally respectable and even understandable, since things, even if they keep our information, work. But we can always try alternatives that look more for users, and if they work, it's a win-win.
How to open an account
To open an account in Disroot, we have to follow these steps:
- Let's go to disroot.org/es.
- From that web page, we have to look for "Sign up", or go to the direct link that at the time of writing this article is this.
- We fill in all the fields. We must pay special attention to what they ask of us. Right now, in point 3, you have to prove that you are human, and you have to write a 150-character text describing what they ask of you. Symbols that are considered strange are not allowed, so accents, ñes and others cannot be used.
- With everything correct, we click Continue.
- Paste the verification code that you will have sent us by email and click on Verify code.
- We will see a message that the code is correct, and we just have to click Continue.
- We wait a moment for the account to be created and, at the end of the progress bar, we would already have our REQUESTED account in Disroot. What does this mean? That they have to review our request, something that is explained in the email they send us. When they review it, if everything is correct, we can enter Disroot.
Disroot offers a lot, and it does it all decentralized, open sourced, and looking out for its users. Everyone is free to do what they see fit, but if you are looking for an alternative to GAFAM, this is one of the best.
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