Retroshare symbol

Latest version: 0.6.0 RC2.8551

Other Systems and packages

Connect with Friends and Family

Retroshare creates encrypted connections to your friends. Nobody can spy on you. Retroshare is completely decentralized. This means there are no central servers. It is entirely Open-Source and free. There are no costs, no ads and no Terms of Service.

Retroshare screenshot


Send text and images. Discuss with various people in chat rooms. Express your emotions with the rich smiley set. Use distant chat to securely chat with friends-of-friends.

Voice and Video

Make free and secure calls with the VoIP plugin. Catch up face to face with a video call.


Send encrypted messages to other members of the network. Retroshare can store encrypted messages on friends nodes to deliver messages while you're offline.

File sharing

Share files with your friends or with the whole network. Use the search to find files. Retroshare uses swarming similar to BitTorrent, to accelerate the download. This makes it possible to share big files with 1GB or more. Your privacy is protected with anonymous tunnels. Only your direct friends might learn which files you download.


You can read and write forum posts offline. This is perfect while you're on the go. When you have an Internet connection, Retroshare will automatically sync forums with your friends. Decentralized forums are censorship resistant by design.


Share your favorite links. See which links others like. Vote and discuss links.


Publish files in channels. Subscribe to channels and automatically download the latest files. Comment on files and spread them to your friends.

Hide with Tor

Need to hide from Internet surveillance? Can't connect to your friends because of censorship? Use Retroshare over Tor to hide the connection between you and your friends.


  • A Decentralized Social Sharing Network designed **For the People** with no dependencies on any corporate system or central servers.
  • Make strong crypto useable for the average computer user, have strong crypto in daily communication.
  • The right to have secrets. You decide who can receive information. Hide information from intelligence agencies and spying companies.
  • Freedom of speech, no censorship.
  • Independence from corporate systems and centralized servers. Central services might shut down or change their terms of services at any time. Do you remember Myspace? Or German Studivz? Remember when Facebook changed their terms of service? Skype being bought by Microsoft?
  • Free software. Only free software can provide free and secure communication. Developers can read Retroshare's source code and verify the security.

Blog post: Ideals behind Retroshare

How does it work?

Retroshare is a network of computers. These computers we call nodes and every user has it's own node. The exact location (the IP-address) of nodes is only known to neighbors. You invite someone to become a neighbor by sending your public key to them.

Forums use pseudonymous nicknames to identify people. The nickname system uses cryptographical keys to verify messages come from specific authors. The nickname information travels wherever the forum post goes.

If you send a message to a user, the system delivers it to his node by searching for a route by forwarding it via a chain of neighboring nodes. If you want a certain file, your node asks your neigbours and they in turn request it from their neigbours.

Technical Specifications


Retroshare was founded by drbob in 2006, as a platform to provide "secure communications and file sharing with friends". Since then other developers joined and steadily improved the software. Retroshare v0.6 is a new milestone which is based on experience from previous releases. A remarkable new component in Retroshare v0.6 is the new forums and nickname system. The nickname system paves the road for more services like the network wide chat and mail system.

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