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Songs on the Security of Networks
a blog by Michał "rysiek" Woźniak

Encrypted VoIP that works

This is an ancient post, published more than 4 years ago.
As such, it might not anymore reflect the views of the author or the state of the world. It is provided as historical record.

Some of you might have already noticed (for example via my Diaspora profile) my infatuation with RetroShare. A very interesting communication and file-sharing tool that does deserve a proper, full review – for which I do not, unfortunately, have time.

There are some good things (full peer-to-peer decentralisation, full encryption), there are some less good things (using SHA1 and the daunting GUI). But today RetroShare really shined, and in an area that is constantly a chore for free software…


Now, I know there are many free software projects trying to do VoIP, but none seems to be “there” yet. SIP is hard to set-up; Jitsi works on a single server but for some reason I have never been able to get a working VoIP call via Jitsi with a contact from a different server. One project that was closest to being usable was QuteCom… “was”, as there hasn’t been a single new release for 2 years now.

Enter RetroShare.

Just download the software, install it and have the keys generated (that happens automagically), and download the VoIP plugin if you don’t have it already included (chances are, you have; if not, on Linux retroshare-voip-plugin package is your friend, the other OS users can look here).

Now add a friend, start a chat and voilà, VoIP works. No account on any server needed, no trusting a third party, works behind NATs (tested!). And is already encrypted, so no one can listen-in on your communication.

The amazing part? During testing my lappy suspended to ram. After waking up a few minutes later the call worked as if nothing happened.