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Ace's ZeroNet Exploration

ZeroNet feels different, it works differently, it's opening up possibilities that weren't available before - I'm here to explore what ZeroNet is and what it can be

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Managing multiple identities in ZeroNet

on Mar 06, 2016 ·

One of the most frequent things that come up from the moment that you discover ZeroNet is the "How do I use a different identity?" question - and rightfully so - one of the most important parts of ZeroNet is the ability to trust that a piece of content is generated/curated by a specific identity, and if we are all bound to single identity, we are severely limiting the variety of things we can do on ZeroNet.

Luckily multiple identities is almost baked out of the box to ZeroNet, and enabling that is just a matter of tinkering with some configuration files - I haven't done so myself just yet, but I think it'll be useful to have a good starting point to whoever does starts exploring that - and if you do, please share your experience and conclusions!

For now, I'll just drop a couple of links to some forum posts that will get you on your way to setting up multiple identities:

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How many users does ZeroNet have?

on Mar 06, 2016 ·

I'm not sure if there are any analytics that are available to the creators of ZeroNet that aren't available to the general public, but looking at the list of most popular sites on the left sidebar can tell us an interesting story and give some insight into the size of the network as it is today.

The list

Aside the fact that Play is the most popular service in that list, and by a significant margin from the next in line - an imageboard similar to 4chan, we can see that it has about 2,300 users. Play is on top of the list because most of the people that know about ZeroNet at this point heard of it first on TorrentFreak's article about Play, so piratically all ZeroNet users right now have initially installed Play, or at least a very large percentage of them.

TorrentFreak Article about Play

2,500 users is that a reasonable number?

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The hidden sidebar - Analytics at your fingertips

on Mar 05, 2016

One of the coolest features that come out of the box with ZeroNet is the sidebar that is part of any ZeroNet site. I don't mean the left sidebar on some website that you have, I mean the one that you pull out from the right side by pulling the number 0 on the top right of the screen of this very page.

The hidden sidebar
The rest of it - or is it?

The data it provides is admittedly basic, but even at that it's quite powerful giving you a glimpse of how many users are actively sharing the website, where are they from (really well done there with the 3D globe guys), the amount of data and storage the site uses.
A very important feature that lies in that sidebar is the Identity field that you can Change; doing that will allow you to select what identity you are using to identify to this site - right now there isn't a simple way to manage multiple identities, but this already gives some basic abilities to switch back and forth once you have set up multiple identities or simply to use a unique one specifically for this website, which is thankfully the default option.

What ID would you like to use?

There is another important feature that lies in the sidebar - the This is my site option that is usually turned off, but can be turned on to reveal a few other settings to make managing a ZeroNet site easier and simpler that any existing web hosting solution - but that's for another post.

My hidden sidebar

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ZeroNet means no servers?

on Mar 05, 2016

So it appears that in order to serve content using ZeroNet you don't need a traditional server.

In this familiar diagram we have clear roles and responsibilities:
Webhosting Diagram

Users are requesting content from web servers, these send the files the user wants, and if the user wants to interact with the website, he sends more requests to the server, who in turn does something with those specific requests and occasionally replies with relevant information (think REST APIs); With ZeroNet it's completely different paradigm - there is no server to server the static files, and there is no server-side to intercept the incoming requests and perform actions based on different patterns in those requests.

With ZeroNet we need to rethink how we interact on a client-server basis, and consider the fact that all there is are users who use the site - although classical server-side with dedicated IP/domain address on the internet might still be useful and relevant, the future of ZeroNet is with application that run on those who have permission to run them or parts of them.

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Old saying, New Meaning

on Mar 05, 2016 · less than 1 min read ·

There's no place like

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Some essential links

on Mar 05, 2016

So if you've got this far (meaning this very post), you're probably started exploring ZeroNet and interested in finding out more - I'll try to be helpful and provide some basic links that you need to have to interact with ZeroNet with one way or another.

It's in no way a [comprehensive][1] list, and I don't claim it to be - but it might grow to be one, especially if you help out by mentioning relevant stuff in the comments section (isn't it awesome that I hadn't had to do anything to have a comments section on my blog?).

So let's start:


https://zeronet.io/ - obviously - the homepage of this marvelous tech
http://zeronet.readthedocs.org/en/latest/ - documentation for ZeroNet
ZeroNet Presentation
/r/ZeroNet on Reddit
cryptonbits blog - lots of useful information


ZeroNet Protocol - Chrome extension to enable zero/ protocol browsing on Chrome
NullPaste - Pastebin-style app

Namecoin Explorer - if you're waiting on your namecoins to arrive, this will be useful...

More to come...

[1]: Typos are forever on ZeroNet?

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Exploring ZeroNet? Why not have some fun...

on Mar 05, 2016

One of ZeroNet's awesome features is that it comes with games to kill some free time (if you have some, let me know...), and knowing the fact that people will easily clone and modify these simple games gives me great hopes about the future of mobile gaming (gone are the days of In app purchase?).

HTML5 Games is a simple website that offers some simple games built in HTML5 - great compilation to be honest.

Taxi Drift

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Why are some ZeroNet sites are clonable while others aren't?

on Mar 05, 2016 ·

When browsing Hello ZeroNet you have the left sidebar that shows the Connected Sites - basically sites that you're hosting on your ZeroNet node; if you click the little three dots on the top-right corner of each of those sites you have a small menu that shows some functions you can do, and sometimes it will show a Clone function - that allows you to easily clone the site and run your own version (like I did with this blog), but other times it's missing.

Not to clone :(
Clone or no clone

Anyone got a lead on why or how is that?

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Chrome plugin to surf ZeroNet with ease

on Mar 05, 2016

A simple plugin for chrome will make using ZeroNet that much simpler by hiding away the part and replacing it with zero/ and provides built-in support for .bit domains (which reminds me to find out how I get one for myself).

NameCoin domains

Install the extension: ZeroNet Protocol.

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Access ZeroNet from anywhere using public proxies

on Mar 05, 2016 · less than 1 min read

Perhaps you don't can't install a python script on the machine you're using, or maybe you want to access a ZeroNet website on your mobile device so you can't always have a ZeroNet node running - that's where ZeroNet proxies come in handy - they allow you to access all the ZeroNet content without having to run your own node, and for now it's pretty quick too.

A good place to start is to follow this post: A list of availables public proxies.

I'm currently using one of them just to experience being behind a proxy like that - and the experience is pretty much the same. I'm still having some trouble understanding how to setup a multi-user kind of experience, or how I import/export identities, but I'm sure I'll get there (feel free to comment if you have relevant information!).

List compilation


Someone else has begun maintaining a list of proxies here: ZeroProxies.bit.

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Amazing how ZeroNet captivated us

on Mar 05, 2016 ·

Looking at Google Trends for the search term ZeroNet compared with a few other relevant search terms reveals that in a very short time a very large audiance is suddenly interested in this thing that interested almost no-one just a few days ago.

Just look at this chart:

the aforementioned graph

Considering that the term is as interesting as Blockchain was in 2014, and considering that today you can't go by a news paper or, TV news cast, or business news without hearing about either Bitcoin or Blockchain - I'd say that ZeroNet is very captivating and inspiring, and it's doing that very quickly.

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Creating a new website in ZeroNet isn't hard at all

on Mar 05, 2016 ·

Follow the simple instructions here: http://zeronet.readthedocs.org/en/latest/using_zeronet/create_new_site/

Albeit requires a little bit of technical knowhow, unlike the blog creation process, creating a website in the firstplace requires knowing some basic technical terms and being able to use some basic tools (like command line terminals).

If you need help, don't hesitate to ask...

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Finding stuff is possible on ZeroNet

on Mar 05, 2016 ·

Until google gets here, you can use ZeroSearch: http://localhost:43110/zerosearch.bit

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How does ZeroNet workss

on Mar 05, 2016

Presentation: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1_2qK1IuOKJ51pgBvllZ9Yu7Au2l551t3XBgyTSvilew/pub

Note to self:
Can't attach images or files here; perhaps markdown notation could work as an elementary solution.

Obviously markdown is already enabled - at least links work as you'd expect

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Creating a blog is easy...

on Mar 05, 2016

So I started this blog, and it seems easy enough.

Keep an eye on this post, I will provide more information...

Start here:

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