What is a bouncer used for?

Even when your privacy is protected by state of the art encryption. There is no way to assure your anonymity unless your IP is also hidden. Not only hidden at the program level (which always is the case), but also at the network level, so no network analysis tool can unveil it. It should also be hidden from the Filetopia Server, just in case it is compromised.

You may ask: How can such a thing be accomplished? How can someone establish a connection to another computer while hidding their IP at the same time? The answer is: by using a bouncer.

A bouncer can also be used as a proxy, to connect everyone inside a Intranet securely to Filetopia.

What is exactly a bouncer?

A bouncer is a program that "bounces" connections from one machine to another. Similarly to proxies, you always connect to the machine where the bouncer resides and this machine, in turn, connects to the Filetopia server or to any other user's computer. Thus, the Filetopia Server or any other user just "sees" only the IP of the machine where the bouncer is, as if it was your own machine's IP.

What do I need in order to use a bouncer?

First, you need to use a Filetopia Client version 1.3 or higher, which has support for bouncers. Then, you need to have the bouncer data, which is:

  • Bouncer machine's IP

  • Bouncer machine's Port

  • Password

Once you have this information, you can go to the Options-Security tab, select the "Use bouncer" check and fill in the related fields. From now on, all of your connections from inside Filetopia will use the bouncer machine.

Do I really need to use a bouncer?

There is a trade off when using bouncers: your connections will go slower and they will lose reliability -as they have to go through another machine-. So using bouncers is not always indicated. Do it only if the information you exchange is very sensitive and if you are not sure about who is at the other end of the connection. The problem is: Filetopia helps you to make a secure tunnel to exchange information, but if you're not sure who is at the other side of the tunnel, then you better be careful. There are other means to approach this problem using Public Key technology, one of them is by using certificates and creating "webs of trust". This interesting application of PKI will probably be addressed in a future version of Filetopia.

I would like to host a bouncer, what do I need?

You can host a bouncer for your own use or you can share it with others. The bouncer software is written in Java, it is multi-user and comes with complete source code. If you host a bouncer, you can decide its password and port, configuring a very simple INI file.

Hosting a bouncer means that you have access to a public server with a fixed IP. You should also consider the advantages of making the bouncer public: the more people that use it, the more anonymous it is. And also, you would be contributing to the Filetopia community. The bandwidth used at the server is just what each user connected to the bouncer uses for Filetopia.

You can get the bouncer's full source code here.

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