HOW TO SAVE TROM
All of our TROM files are available for everyone in multiple formats: our books, videos, images, text files, everything except tromsite.com (the website) files - but we plan to make those available as well as soon as we know how to do that without exposing any security risks for our server. Despite all of TROM files being available for everyone, we encounter a huge issue when sharing them. How can we share ~100GB or files that are dynamic? We have 2 ways in today's world: centralized and decentralized. The centralized method is uploading our files on a server and sync with changes. We use Dropbox for the job, but we have to trade (money and privacy) for that. All such centralized methods work in the same way: companies have servers and you pay them to host your files so that anyone can access these files. Another centralized method would be to create our own server, at home, and share them - but this is beyond our resources and capabilities. Having all of our files on some companies' servers is no good in the long run - Google Drive deleted all of our videos at one point. They have filters and even if we create original content they may find a reason to delete them. It is simply not sustainable and it is costly.
So, we are left with the decentralized method. BitTorrent is the most functional such method with files being distributed to many computers instead of a few servers. It is fast and reliable. Our TROM Documentary is already on BitTorrent. But when it comes to a dynamic folder (that changes all the time) then BitTorrent is not good since it relies on static files. Basically if we share all of TROM files and folders on BitTorrent, but then we add a new book or edit any file, then we will have to re-share it again on BitTorrent. We tried this for the past years and it was not sustainable.
Therefore we are trying new kinds of "internets" - that's right, the internet that we are all used to is just one kind of internet. There are several that are peer-to-peer and easily accessible for all - see here. We have tried 3 so far:
ZeroNet: A bit difficult to install/use. Also, it is not designed for file sharing, rather it is for sharing websites. Like decentralized websites.
IPFS: This one seems one of the best bets. We can share all of our files/folders and it distributes them across the network. Users do not have to install anything, they can access our files in any browser like they do through Dropbox. The excellent part about IPFS is that we could replace both Dropbox (as file sharing) and Vimeo (as video streaming). We can stream directly from IPFS. That is a massive advantage! The downside is that IPFS too is not designed for dynamic folders so we would have to deal with that (there are workarounds), but the biggest downside is that it seems still new and from our test is unstable - it rarely works. We are in contact with the developers and we are testing it more. It does seem probably the most promising one. Also, this one would rely on a few knowledgeable people from TROM who can share TROM files in sync - so we will have to set all up in the background for all users to easily access our files, at good speeds, at all times.
DAT: Beaker Browser: is a browser that allows you to access "dat". In other words if I install Beaker Browser I can simply click a "share files" button and I am good to go. I send the link to people and they open it with the same Beaker Browser and have access to all TROM files from my own computer. They can also easily click a button and opt in for re-sharing TROM files, acting as a "peer" in the network. The more of us the better the connection and the more distributed the TROM files. Beaker Browser is the most user friendly of them all and allows for anyone with minimal to no computer knowledge to access the files and also share them. What makes it better than IPFS is that me, the one who originally shared the files, have control over them and say I edit a PDF or add a new video, I can simply click a button and send the new changes to all people who access our files or seed them. This is perfect for our needs. The downside is that people have to use the Beaker Browser to access these files (though if you think about it you also need a torrent client to access our documentary from BitTorrent). But the biggest downside is that this too is kinda buggy and does not connect to other peers. Like everything works except connecting to peers most of the time. We need to test it more - again, contacted developers and keeping an eye on it.
That being said we are still testing such methods. If you think you can help please contact us.