Author Topic: HOWTO: Faster downloads using both Freenet and the OFF System  (Read 13113 times)

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HOWTO: Faster downloads using both Freenet and the OFF System
« on: September 04, 2008, 03:35:03 AM »
You will be running OFF and Freenet at the same time.

It's simple, use Freenet anonymous web pages to select from a list of OFF links, use OFF to download the files.

The advantage is the ability of OFF to swarm on popular content and use direct downloads, and Freenet's ability to keep the poster of OFF file links anonymous.

It's a great combination, Freenet web pages (especially small simple ones) load quickly with little bandwidth used, and OFF can swarm popular blocks for fast downloading.

Some may say this is crazy because the downloads won't be anonymous, but the OFF System makes it possible to transfer file blocks in the open, directly from node to node without worries, since OFF blocks are just random data bytes belonging to no one.

To download a file you copy/paste the OFF link into the same browser you are using for Freenet, and the link is sent locally to the running OFF client and starts the download. (it will get even easier soon, see below for more details)

Uploaders use the OFF client to upload their files then create a very basic, simple and fast loading Freenet web page containing the links to the OFF stored content.

There is no real setup needed for anyone to start downloading today, just run both Freenet and OFF then go look for OFF link pages on Freenet. Then copy/paste the OFF link into a your browser's address bar.

I am currently working on a simple interface for the OFF client side that will let you just click the OFF links on a Freenet web page to start a download. The reason for temporary copy/paste is due to the Freenet proxy filtering html links (and it will continue to do so to keep users safe).

To be safe before the new interface is created, make sure the URL you picked starts with http://localhost:23402/ or so it only goes to the local OFF client. The OFF client checks the rest or the URL to make sure it's valid before using it.

To create and upload a web page to Freenet (aka "freesite") containing OFF links, you use a program called "Jsite" to make it simple and allow you to later update your anonymous freesite when you add more OFF links.

It will only take a few clicks and a little editing to add links after you first create your freesite.

Once your site is uploaded to Freenet, it's available 24/7 even when you aren't running Freenet, and will continue to exist as long as it's being accessed regularly.

Download Jsite from and place it in the install directory for freenet.

Follow the instructions on that link to create your new site.

Yea, it looks a little complicated at first, but just try it, the Jsite program does most of the work and the process is actually really simple.

You can use the simple example below to create your site. Using a text editor (windows users can use Notepad), create a new "index.html" page and save it somewhere the Jsite program can get to. It's probably best to make a new folder for it.

Code: [Select]
    <title>Joe's OFF Links</title>
    <meta name="description" content="OFF Links, Files, Movies, People Walking"/>
I have some cool files for you!
Sept 3, 2008 - Size 17K, gpl.txt
Sept 2, 2008 - Size 2K, something_else.txt
Sept 2, 2008 - Size 1M, people_walking.avi

You can preview your page at any moment, just double-click the “index.html” file, and it'll show up in your browser. Then just hit refresh after making changes.

The OFF links will not be clickable on this page when you preview it. That is correct and it will remain that way. When the new interface is done they will be detected due to the "offsystem" reference and converted on the fly to be clickable.

Posting your URLs like this may take a bit more effort, but it keeps you safer as a uploader and makes it really easy for others to use.

Once you save your new page, follow the Jsite instructions and "insert" the page to Freenet. Jsite will save the freesite's info and let you update it easily when you want to add more OFF links.

You want to keep your freesite as small as possible, and not include any fancy things or images so it loads as fast as possible over Freenet.

Swarming of new and popular content happens because lots of people are trying to get the same blocks at the same time. So remember to add the file size and date as I did in the example so that people will know what links are older and how big the download will be.

The "<br>" is a line break, you can add those as needed.

Now that your freesite is inserted, it's time to make it known, by announcing it to different places.

There are several ways to get your freesite known by the freenet community, some of them are:

• Posting it's key (the whole “USK@[...]/word/1/”) to Frost or FMS forum boards.
• Posting it to an index within Freenet (a freesite listing other sites, some of them may reside on your Fproxy page).
• ???

You could also reference other OFF link freesites on your page.

You can throttle down your Freenet connection, see the Freenet Configuration page for your node, and small freesites like these will still load in a reasonable time.

Watch for updates about the new OFF interface to Freenet I'm working on. If someone wants to write a Freenet plugin for this, please do, I'm only going write the OFF client side one.

One technical detail, the interface will force the URL to be sent to the OFF client's local port only, so it should be safe for users to just click, even if the link tries to point to a outside address.

OFF Client
Jsite info