WASTE is a software product and protocol from Nullsoft that enables secure distributed communication for small (on the order of 10-50 nodes) trusted groups of users. It is designed to enable small companies and small teams within larger companies to easily communicate and collaborate in a secure and efficient fashion, independent of physical network topology.
WASTE currently provides the following services: Instant Messaging (with presence); Group Chat; File browsing/searching; File transfer (upload and download). It uses link-level encryption to secure links, and public keys for authentication. This network is built such that all services utilize the network, so firewall issues become moot. It is licensed under the GPL.
Note: This is an unofficial update of Nullsoft's original WASTE release.
Reviewing 188.8.131.527 (Mar 16, 2008)
- Fixed: add_chatline bug introduced in build 425 caused crash at presence change.
- Added: Run perform whenever connecting to the internet preference
BTW, this is actually the project "WASTE Again" on Sourceforge. It's another fork, but at least progress is being made. The official client has long since been abandoned.
Reviewing 184.108.40.2061 (Mar 1, 2008)
Rating this low because the program's fans annoy you is even worse than what you're accusing them of.
Anyway, the name Waste comes from the Thomas Pynchon novel "The Crying of Lot 49", which describes an underground postal network:
This is a fantastic, secure, very lightweight program that provides more functionality than a simple VPN does by itself. It's fast, reliable, intuitive (drag-and-drop interface for data transfers, etc.) open, and secure.
My only complain is the way it handles encryption keys, which can be a bit confusing to some and seems inconsistent at times. If there was one thing I'd like to see in the newer unofficial builds it would be a better, more consistent interface for handling various public keys.
If you're used to using open encryption programs like GPG, you shouldn't have a problem.
Reviewing 1.5 Beta 3 (Sep 16, 2005)
I am giving it a rating of 2. The one and only reason for a low rating is to counter all the hype Waste is getting from its paranoid, but otherwise crypto-illiterate userbase.
Using longer keys does not automatically mean stronger security and it does not compensate for a handful of gaping holes in a design of its core protocol. Use extreme caution when relying on Waste as a mean to secure your communications, or better yet stick to standard VPNs. After all VPNs are standard for a reason.
Other than this Waste is a good application deserving solid 4 on both quality and usability scales.
Reviewing 1.5 Beta 3 (Aug 2, 2005)
The review is accurate. If you want to have secure and decentralized file sharing among a small group of trusted computers, this is an excellent solution. The name waste comes from the over user of bandwidth to guarantee connectivity among users in the network, even if a direct connection between two nodes is not possible, so an intermediary node is used. This uses more bandwidth. All communication & file transfers are encrypted using public and private keys similar to RSA. This is a amazing software. Unfortunately, the company that that owns Null Soft quickly shut down the project. The project is open source and future releases will be unofficial.
Reviewing 1.5 Beta 3 (Jul 6, 2005)
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