Peerio: Free secure messaging and file sharing service

Today, we are forced to store digital data and secure it using the most sophisticated technology, to prevent out accounts from getting hacked and consequently, our data compromised. Unlike old time, when we used to store all important information like bank details, written down on a paper and locked in our safe, we now have cloud services and mobile application, which let us do the same thing. Unfortunately thought, digital data is more vulnerable if it’s not stored properly, including messages that we send across.

Peerio review

Peerio: Free secure messaging and file sharing serviceCourtesy: Wikipedia

Secure messaging and file sharing service

Most of the popular cloud services today, offer security features, which makes it harder to hack, but such protection is restricted to your computer and the company’s network. Once it reaches the recipients network, there is no protection for the data or attachment that you send. That’s where Peerio comes into play.

Peerio is secure messaging and file sharing system that provides an end to end encryption of files and messages. So what does end to end encryption mean? Like I said before most services offer encryption limited to your Windows PC and their network. Peerio offers encryption till the intended recipient opens the file.

Peerio has been developed by Nadim Kobeissi, who also developed end-to-end encrypted messaging app Cryptocat and the encrypted file-sharing app MiniLock. I believe Peerio also use the same technology used in MiniLock, which uses asymmetric encryption. This means that asymmetric encryption uses a pair of keys to encrypt and decrypt a message so that it arrives securely. Initially, a network user receives a public and private key pair from a certificate authority. Maybe this image above more sense!

The installation is pretty simple and setting up is a little different than the usual application. While setting up Peerio, it uses a Passphrase instead of password. This means that instead of a single word password you would use a phrase. For example say if your password is “Password1!” instead you can use a phrase like “I like chocolate chip cookies made by my mom” which makes it easier to remember and passphrase is strong too. Just make sure you don’t use an obvious phrase.

Peerio is an open source application, so if you are a software developer you can go to GitHub and review the source code. Another interesting thing is that the Peerio developer offers a Bug bounty. Peerio will pay up to a $1000 bounty for certain client and service security bugs of course with certain criteria. This shows that they are pretty confident about the product and technology they uses.

For now Peerio is available for Windows, Chrome & Mac operating systems, and you can download it from its home page. There is no smartphone support yet.

I think Peerio is a great piece of software which gives you the ability of encryption without complex methods. It took me 5 minutes to set it up and start using it. I hope you find this software useful.

Watch the video to get a better idea.

If you have any comments do share it with us.

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Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at captaindbg.com.