0.7.1 / 6 September 2019
|Operating system||Windows, Linux, OS X, FreeBSD, Android|
|Available in||Danish, German, English, Spanish, French, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian, Chinese, Persian.|
|Type||Peer-to-peer web hosting|
|Part of a series on|
|Video sharing sites|
|File sharing networks|
|Anonymous file sharing|
|Development and societal aspects|
|By country or region|
ZeroNet is a decentralized web-like network of peer-to-peer users, created by Tamas Kocsis in 2015. Programming for the network is based in Budapest, Hungary; is built in Python; and is fully open source. Instead of having an IP address, sites are identified by a public key (specifically a bitcoin address). The private key allows the owner of a site to sign and publish changes, which propagate through the network. Sites can be accessed through an ordinary web browser when using the ZeroNet application, which acts as a local webhost for such pages. In addition to using bitcoin cryptography, ZeroNet uses trackers from the BitTorrent network to negotiate connections between peers. ZeroNet is not anonymous by default, but it supports routing traffic through the Tor network.
The ZeroNet website and bittorrent tracker are blocked in mainland China. Despite the censorship, however, it's still possible to access ZeroNet from behind the Great Firewall of China, even over Tor, by bootstrapping over Meek, and connecting to peers directly.
The feasibility of peer-to-peer online web-sites had been hypothesised for some time, with The Pirate Bay suggesting they would build a network, as well as BitTorrent Inc. which created the closed-source Project Maelstrom. Another application, Beaker Browser, uses the P2P DAT files protocol to allow the creation, hosting and serving of websites without need of a server.
As of 2016[update] there was no way to take down a ZeroNet page which still had seeders, thus making such pages immune to third-party methods of taking them down, including DMCA takedown notices. By default, sites have a size limit of 10 megabytes, but users may grant a site permission to use more storage space if they wish.
Development has stopped.
Sites on ZeroNet are known as "zites" by its users.
Server-side languages like PHP are not supported, although ZeroNet can achieve user signup/login on MySQL databases, that are also distributed via P2P.
and what's happened is [...] some forward-thinking person has created a site on ZeroNet called Play, a torrent site[...]. The difference is that you can't take it down. I think you literally can't take it down. [...] It sniffs at your DMCA.