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Frost on Freenet: True Anonymous File Sharing System

Updated on February 27, 2011

Frost is a p2p app that works on top of Freenet. You need to have Freenet working to use Frost.

Freenet is a Network over the Internet which provides true anonymity. With starting Freenet on your machine you are running a local Datastore on your disk. This is an encrypted file. You have to understand that you cannot control what’s in your local datastore. If you join the Freenet you are a part of this encrypted network. As you see, this is not an normal Peer-to-Peer network. You can insert some data into the Freenet-Network, then you lose your control (delete or change) of this data. Everyone who knows about your insert is able to retrieve your insert. Because nobody is able to assign the data to some person (except the person has signed the data) , you can speak anonymous to everyone else. It’s similar like speaking on the street, in the pub or everywhere else in the real world.

FROST is a program that acts as an frontend to this philosophy, inserting and retrieving data (text and files). You can maintain your own message board or simple speak anonymous to other Frost users. Also you can easily exchange your favourite books, pictures, movies, and mp3 music, etc.

If you know how to use newsgroups, you'll find Frost very easy to use and will feel right at home. If you're used to other filesharing apps, you should know that the best way to find what you're looking for is to ask for it. If you can't find it in the search results, post a message to the relevant board and someone will respond to you.

People share files on Freenet by uploading them, and Freenet then gives them a key that allows others to download the file. Up at the top of your messages box you will see an icon with the blue underlined letters 'lnk'. If that is switched on, keys will look just like Internet links. File keys will start with CHK or SSK, and you can right click on them to download them. There are also sites on Freenet ('freesites'), and their keys start with USK. Just left click on them to go to that freesite.

Keys are shared on boards for different topics. Before you can start downloading stuff you will need to add some boards. The easiest way to do this is to visit the following freesite:


There you will find a key for a file called 'activeboards.xml' that you can download. Then go to Frost and click on the globe icon right up the top. This shows all of your known boards, and by clicking on Import (bottom right) you can select the .xml file and import all the current boards. Then simply go through the list and click on one that sounds interesting. Then click Actions at the bottom to add it. You can add a lot or a few, and over time you will find out which ones are nearly dead and which ones are very active.

If you still can't find what you are after, you can always ask in the board called 'boards', but it is being junked along with the other starting boards. Give your message a subject title that is a full sentence stating your request and it will increase your chance of getting a response.

When you add a new board it will download any messages sent to that board in the last few days. If it turns out to be a good board, you'll want to see the messages from the last year! You can do that by right-clicking on the board's name in the board list on the left of your Frost screen. Click on Configure selected board and Override the default settings. Set the Number of days to display and the Number of days to download backwards to 365 (or some other number if you would rather go back in smaller steps).

It will take a day or three to get all of those messages. Once the number of messages stops growing, make sure you go back and Configure the selected board again, setting the number 365 back to Use default. Gathering old messages uses a lot Frost's resources, so once you've got what you want remember to stop the process.

Frost Screenshot
Frost Screenshot


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