For reasons I have stated, people should switch to decentralized chat services ASAP, people like you (you know, the kind of person who loves privacy, decentralization and free and open source software)! There are only few secure and decentralized protocols to choose from, mostly because Big Tech is in control of online communications at large and disincentivize FOSS from existing.
In this post I’ll explain how to join a safe, secure and decentralized platform called Matrix, how to enable persistent encryption and how you can set up your own server (it’s so easy!)
What is Matrix?
The Matrix protocol is a secure chat platform with a federated design and allows bridges to other communication apps (as long as the admins are working with you). Furthermore, anyone can set up their own Matrix server and use it to collaborate with other people’s Matrix servers.
Matrix and Element (a matrix protocol client) are FOSS. You can click here to learn more about free and open source software and why it matters.
Each user connects to a single server, this is their homeserver . Users are able to participate in rooms that were created on any Matrix server since each server federates with other Matrix servers. This means you can talk to anyone on any server. It also means you can host your own server, giving you control over all of your data.
So how do I join a homeserver?
You can create an account on any Matrix instance.
A list of instances can be found here: Unofficial selection of public Matrix servers
Or you can join my homeserver here : https://grincoin.chat (do NOT use an email when signing up, you won’t get a confirmation email and you’ll be unable to sign up.)
Or… you can create your own server (instructions below)!
I want full control over my data – how can I create a matrix server?
Who wouldn’t want full control over their data? Oh wait…
- Click here for instructions to install the matrix ecosystem from source
- Click here for the ansible playbook repo, which will allow you to create a Matrix ecosystem in a snap. Instructions are available in the repo.
- Or you can manually install using Docker without the ansible playbook
OK! I’m on a homeserver. Where do I go to talk about GRIN?
There are several rooms that currently exist on matrix to talk about grin. I try to stay in all of them. I’ll do my best to keep this list as updated as possible – and I’ll list mine at the end:
#grintalk:matrix.org - https://matrix.to/#/#grintalk:matrix.org
#freenode_#grincoin:matrix.org - https://matrix.to/#/#freenode_#grincoin:matrix.org
#mimblewimble:matrix.org - https://matrix.to/#/!yuuwOPPqYoUqcPUKxn:matrix.org
#lobby:grincoin.chat - https://matrix.to/#/#lobby:grincoin.chat (GRIN homeserver made by me, has multiple rooms in the server e.g. #slatepacks:grincoin.chat for slatepacks.com)
A note on encryption:
To stay encrypted, stay logged in on one device and make sure you have a backup of your encryption keys. Encryption is session-based, so if you log out and back in without verifying the new session from the old one, you may not be able to see encrypted messages.
- To learn more about encryption in Matrix click here.
See you on the secure, decentralized rooms!