Q: What is SharedSafe?
A: SharedSafe is a file synchronization and sharing application. It is not a service. There is no sign up required.
SharedSafe supports online storage like FTP and Email accounts as well as Dropbox.
SharedSafe protects your files with open source client-side encryption.
See this brief tour of SharedSafe.
Or checkout this more detailed description about how SharedSafe works.
Q: Where can I find SharedSafe’s encryption code?
A: We have released the code on github.
Q: Will SharedSafe be available for other operating systems?
A: We are planning to port SharedSafe to Mac OS X as soon as the Windows version is complete.
Linux is currently not on our roadmap.
Q: Which Email account should I use?
A: Well, of course there are several services offering free Email with IMAP support. Here are a few examples.
However, many internet providers are offering their customers Email services on top of the internet access. So there is a good chance that you are already paying for Email accounts you are actually not using!
Also – especially in smaller companies – it is often not known that the Microsoft Exchange Server allows to access its mail boxes via IMAP. See here for more details.
Q: Can I use SharedSafe with my main Email account?
A: Yes, but we do not recommend it. Technically it will of course work because SharedSafe creates separate folders for the Safes in the Email account. So it will not interfere with your inbox and sent folders.
Using separate Email accounts for SharedSafe has a number of advantages though.
The most obvious one is space. Any Safe in your main Email account will reduce the available space for your regular mail traffic.
Another one is security. When you intend to share Safes you will have to create Safe Keys. Passing on Safe Keys will enable the recipient to access the Email account via SharedSafe only. However, as Safe Keys contain login credentials it is in theory possible to gain access to the whole account. Read this for more details.
A special note about Google Mail. Google officially comments on the subject of file sharing via Google Mail. Check out the details here. Using SharedSafe with a separate Google Mail account will prevent your main account from suffering from any of the restrictions described there.
Q: What data is contained in exported Safes?
A: Exported Safes contain very sensitive information. Namely:
- The login credentials of the Email account the Safe resides in.
- The encryption keys required to read and write the file system tree in the Safe.
Exported Safes are stored by SharedSafe in so called Safe Keys. A Safe Key is a small configuration file which is always encrypted and optionally password protected.
A password protected Safe Key can only be imported into SharedSafe if its password is known.
Because a Safe Key is encrypted (even if not password protected) only SharedSafe is able to extract its contained information.
An occasional observer will not be able to decode the contents of a Safe Key.
However, by means of reverse engineering SharedSafe, it is possible to gain the private keys for its Safe Key encryption.
In this event it is possible to decrypt all the Safe Keys ever created by SharedSafe. There is no way to prevent this.
Therefore we recommend to always password protect your Safe Keys.
So Safe Keys are – like real keys – very sensitive objects. Never forget: despite all of SharedSafe’s support for handling Safe Keys, the responsibility for them is yours alone.
Q: Will SharedSafe run behind a firewall?
A: SharedSafe connects to a Safe with either the FTP or the IMAP protocol. So in general it will require the according ports to be open. In case of FTP SharedSafe will use the firewall friendly passive mode to connect to the server.
A:When you have shared a Safe in non read only mode AND this Safe has been imported and linked on another computer you have effectively created a shared folder.
SharedSafe will automatically synchronize the file changes in the Safe to every folder linked to it. And vice versa.
Suppose a user deletes a file in a linked folder on his or her computer. This delete operation will be synchronized to the Safe and then subsequently to all of the Safe’s linked folders.
SharedSafe informs you in the change log about such deletes (and of course of any other changes which are a result of the synchronization process).
In case files have to be deleted during the synchronization SharedSafe will keep a copy of them in the recycle bin. Check out this issue on our Help page
Note: you do have the option to export a Safe in read only mode. Sharing a Safe this way will enable other users of the Safe to read its files but not to delete or even change them.
In fact, the limited cryptographic information contained in read only Safe Keys makes it impossible for a user to create any files at all in the Safe’s file tree.
Q: SharedSafe installed ok, but there are no overlay icons?
A: Windows has a system wide limit of fifteen overlay icons (four of which are used by Windows itself).
If there are no free overlay icons available – because they are used up by already installed applications – SharedSafe will not be able to use its overlay icons.
This is a common limitation for applications using overlay icons, not just of SharedSafe. See here for an according discussion for TortoiseSVN.
Unfortunately the only way to fix this is to uninstall one of the applications using overlay icons. When SharedSafe is installed it requires four free slots for its overlay icons.
We will add a check to SharedSafe’s installer so that at least you will know right at the installation that your system does not have enough free overlay icons for SharedSafe.
Q: There are now mails from sender “SharedSafe” in one of my IMAP folders: can I delete them?
A: Please do not delete them!
SharedSafe creates a file system from the files in a Safe. The mails from “SharedSafe” represent this file system. They contain the data of these files. If they are deleted – even just one of them – the file system is corrupted.
Q: How much data can I store in a Safe?
A: SharedSafe can use all the capacity of your Safe.
For FTP SharedSafe will use all the capacity of the FTP account used for a Safe.
For IMAP things are similar. SharedSafe creates an IMAP folder in your Email account every time you create a new Safe in this account. Within these IMAP folders SharedSafe creates mails containing the data of the files in the respective Safe.
This means that the capacity of your IMAP Email account limits the amount of data that can be stored in all of the Safes created in this account.