guys, i have something to share with you. you'll love it, and if you don't love it, i won't love you.
WASTE is a program that allows you to make selected data available to a small, trusted group of other WASTE users, and to transmit that data in a pretentiously secure manner. the bits flow directly, using really hefty encryption to keep people in the middle from listening in. (it's RSA. it's the top-shelf stuff. it's what secures your online credit card transactions. everyone knows everything about it and it's still unbreakable.)
intrigued? you should be. read on.
take note: if you don't mind your isp, the government, the mafiaa, and/or rogue wombats listening to your internet connection, or if all you're doing is sending your family members some pictures of your daughter, there are more appropriate systems that save you the considerable overhead introduced by the encryption. on the other hand, if you're transmeeteeng ze seecret deejeetal meecrofeelm, or if you just look good in a tinfoil hat, you will find WASTE to be 100% cromulent.
still intrigued? here's how to make it go:
1. install WASTE!
the official WASTE project hasn't been actively developed for a few years, but the program still works as advertised. officials familiar with the investigation confirm WASTE can function in windows 7. furthermore, there are a few project forks in the wild (such as WASTE again) but this blurb is only concerned with the original. help yourself to the installation files by clicking on this link with your favorite pointing device.
assuming you're using windows, drop the installer into C:\Program Files\WASTE, and run that sucker.
2. find your power numbers!
the WASTE installer will help you find two big, big numbers (keys) that fuel the encryption. one key is public. you hand this one out to your pals (hence, 'public key'); they can use it hide information inside a bunch of nonsense and send it to you. the other key is kept private, and you use it to turn the nonsense back into the original information. anyone with your private key can unlock anything ever sent to you, so keep it secret (hence, 'private key'). the private key will be stored locally and wrapped up under a further password. if you forget the password, you have to start over. (you can have WASTE remember the password, but only if you're absolutely sure your spouse works for the KGB.)
3. connect to other humans!
log in to your router, and tell it to forward port 1337 to your local ip address (the one that looks like 192.168.XX.XX). this is important, but obscure, and if you've gone through a full WASTE installation and you're still unable to connect to other people this is a likely culprit.
several things have to happen in order to form a connection between any two users:
a. both users have to join the same WASTE network. (preferences > network > password)
b. each user has to have the other's public key. (preferences > public keys)
c. at least one user needs to know the other's ip address. whatismyip.com knows it, even if you do not.
make these happen, and you one user connects to the other's ip (under network status). anyone who connects to anyone else in the mesh will instantly be able to talk to everyone else who is connected to the mesh.
say alice, bob, and carol are all in the same WASTE mesh; alice has a direct connection to bob, and bob has a direct connection to carol, but alice does not have a direct connection to carol. data can still flow between alice and carol, but it will be piped through their mutual connection to bob. the mesh will use the most efficient route between users, and we know by the triangle inequality a direct connection will be fastest.
you should tell WASTE to automatically try connecting to a list of ip addresses when it starts. in (preferences > chat > perform), use "/connect host 220.127.116.11:1337", no quotes, for each ip of friends in the mesh.
pick some folders, any folders (preferences > file sharing > sending). your friends will be able to browse the contents of these folders, wantonly sampling their delectable bits. those gluttons.
5. ..and enjoy.
now your friends can see just how refined your taste in digital goods really is, and you theirs, and the rogue wombats are altogether cut out of the loop.