RetroShare is a as described on it’s IRC channel as :

“Retroshare is a Free, Secure, Encrypted, Anonymous, Multi-Platform application for securely sharing and communicating with trusted Friends in a global network”

It is easy to install and can be installed with apt. However setting up can be a little tricky but the developers have worked on a easy how to guide to get started.

  • Features include
  • Chat Lobbies
  • Messages (like e-mail but internal to the network)
  • Forums
  • Filesharing

Retroshare optionally can operate over Tor as well as I2P encrypted, anonymous networks as hidden services.

Retroshare has a number of optional plugin’s, one is a VOIP plugin which is a encrypted, secure, decentralized video, audio tool to rival Skype

Retroshare creates direct TLSv1.2 encrypted, PGP keyed secured connections with your friends. This ensures your conversations are private and not eavesdropped on

The main IRC channel is on freenode IRC network – #retroshare.  They are also on spotchat irc network #retroshare


  • dalnet
  • oftc
  • p2p-network
  • rizon
  • scenep2p
  • spotchat

Why would I want to use Retroshare.

Several reasons, a vast majority of internet users simply want privacy. However there are good arguments for secure communications. One is that if I want to send private data to you, or discuss the use of passwords, and maybe during that you need to disclose private information you can do so in a secure manner, for example disclose a password to a network so another user can remotely login and help you fix something. If you did this on a public IRC network then that could be stored as part of the logging process.

Allowing multiple users to login to the same system remotely is, or could be very helpful as part of software development processes. As Retroshare also includes file sharing then you can share iso’s, documents etc all securely within the network and only with other network users, which I guess reduces some overheads and makes better use of bandwidth.

well anonymous abilities allows folks to communicate in and outside of very oppressed Police States. This can allow information about human rights abuses to get to the out side world for example.

Where can I get Retroshare, ? From the github repository

Please note that this blog post assumes you know what some of the terminology means, I have no intention of explaining what IRC, github is, as they are pretty standard tools.