Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to configure port forwarding or other router stuff?
No, ChiFS makes use of the public Tor relay infrastructure. Your device connects with a Tor relay and all communication goes through that connection. There are no direct incoming connections to your device when sharing or downloading files.
If you do have a public IP and have some bandwidth to spare, please consider running a Tor relay to help the sustainability of ChiFS and the Tor ecosystem as a whole.
But Tor is insecure, Exit relays can see all your traffic!
ChiFS uses Tor as an overlay network, i.e. it only connects to Onion Services. As a result, your traffic never leaves the Tor network and hence never goes through exit relays.
Isn't Tor too slow for file sharing?
File transfers over Tor are certainly (much) slower than going directly over the regular internet, but it's not all that bad. Performance tends to vary a lot, but transfer speeds between 100 KiB/s and 2 MiB/s are fairly typical. You can get faster transfer rates if you're lucky.
Can ChiFS work over other (non-Tor) networks?
On a technical level, modifying ChiFS so that it can deal with alternative networks (direct TCP/IP, I2P, Cjdns, etc) would not be very hard, but it does have a few downsides:
- Network fragmentation: not all Shares will be available on all protocols and Hubs and Clients will likely not accept all protocols. The end result is that parts of the network will be unavailable to peers and that users will be unable to find or download the content that they are looking for.
- Complexity: more networks to deal with implies more configuration options and more moving parts.
- Uncertainty about security and privacy guarantees: Users have to double-check which protocols they (and their peers!) are using and have to be aware of the different security and privacy guarantees of each of these networks. Sticking with a single network greatly reduces this cognitive overhead.
Considering these trade-offs, a new protocol would need to have some very strong advantages in order to make a good addition to ChiFS. As of writing, Tor is the fastest network with strong anonymity guarantees, I see no reason to switch as long as that remains to be the case.