User Guide for Windows

For PeerWasp Beta - last edited: March 17, 2015

Overview
0. What is PeerWasp?
1. Before the Installation
2. Installation
3. Create a new Network
4. Register a new User Profile
5. Login with your User Profile
6. Join an existing Network
7. Login into existing Network
8. Interacting with PeerWasp / Tray Menu
9. Settings / Synchronization View
10. Sharing
11. Recover / Version History

0. What is PeerWasp?
PeerWasp is a synchronization and file sharing solution based on peer-to-peer technology. This means, that no third party like a cloud storage company or another kind of server is involved in between. PeerWasp provides a similar set of functionality like other synchronization solutions such as Dropbox or Google Drive (but as said: PeerWasp works without any kind of data centre storage). You define a user folder in which you can store files and folders. If you add, change, move or delete something, PeerWasp will notice it immediately and synchronizes the event to all other active nodes in the PeerWasp network.
So, as an example: If you have a Desktop and a Notebook, you can install PeerWasp on both machines and then create a bootstrap node and a user profile on your Desktop. Then, you start PeerWasp on your Notebook and join the previously created network by using the same user credentials. From this point on, the synchronization between both machines will work automatically. Alternatively, you can share a folder with another PeerWasp user who is connected to the same PeerWasp network - in this case, only this specific shared folder will be synchronized between these two users.

 
 

1. Before the Installation / Download
It might happen that you encounter error messages (e.g. in Google Chrome) when trying to download PeerWasp or when starting the Installer (especially in Windows 8). However, there is no reason for concerns - it is simply because we didn't sign the application yet. If you get one of these errors, proceed as follow:
(1) Open the drop-down menu and click keep
(2) Click on More info and then on Run anyway
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2. Installation
After you have downloaded the installation file, you can start the installation and follow the procedure as you know it from any other application. You might get informed about not having the latest version of Java. In this case you get redirected to a Java download page. Please download and install the latest Java version in order to make sure, that PeerWasp can run smoothly.
 

3. Create new Network
After finishing the installation routine, you can start PeerWasp. Initially, you have the choice between creating or joining a network. If you use PeerWasp for the very first time, click on (1) Create Network. This way, you will become the very first node in your new PeerWasp peer-to-peer network. This is called a bootstrap node. If you know someone who already created a network or you want to join your own network from another device, then please go to 6. Join an existing Network.

The next screen presents you details about your bootstrap node where you see your local IP address (the second one after the comma). Remember this IP address as you will need it for joining your network from other devices later. (2) Click on Create.
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Don't forget: A peer-to-peer network is only available and working as long as at least one node is running. If you shutdown every node of your PeerWasp network, all user data will be lost (so you would have to create a new network and create a new user profile again).
Good to know: files in your PeerWasp user folder are stored on your hard disk and won't be lost if you shutdown your network.

 

4. Register a new User Profile
Now you have to create a new user profile. Enter a (1) username, a (2) password and a (3) pin. The pin is for additional protection of your data in the network and can be alpa-numerical as well.
Minimal password length: 6 characters
Minimal pin length: 3 characters
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Don't forget: You cannot reset your user credentials. If you forget your username, password or pin, your data in the network will be lost.
Good to know: Files in your PeerWasp user folder are stored on your hard disk and won't be lost if you forgot your credentials.

 

5. Login with your User Profile
In this step, you can actually login into your new User Profile you just created before.
(1) Enter your username, password and pin.
(2) If you want, you can change your default user folder. Please note: it is not possible to change the path after you have logged in.
(3) Everything is set? Then click on Login and go to step 8. Interacting with PeerWasp / Tray Menu
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6. Join an existing Network
(1) Click on Join Network if you have already started PeerWasp on another device and want to start with synchronizing files or if you are invited by someone else to participate in his network.
(2) Enter the IP address either of your bootstrap node, which was displayed during step 3. Create new Network or the one you got from a friend.
(3) then click on Join network.
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7. Login into existing Network
If you want to synchronize files between two or more devices, you can join your existing network with the same User Profile you already created in step 4. Register a new User Profile. Otherwise click on (1) Register and create a new Profile according to step 4. Register a new User Profile.
Then click on (2) Login in order to login into the existing network. File synchronization will start automatically and everything you put into your user folder will be transmitted to every active node, who is logged in with your user profile. If you are interested in sharing a folder with another user, please have a look at step 10. Sharing.
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8. Interacting with PeerWasp / Tray Menu
PeerWasp has various features which you can access either through your taskbar or via the context menu (note: the context menu entry is only visible in your user folder).
(1) Right-click the PeerWasp tray icon in order to open the activity view or the settings.
(2) Opens the Activity menu where you can see recent events (e.g. when an up- or download of a file or folder happened, etc.).
(3) Opens the Settings view (for more details go to the next step).
(4) Opens your personal user folder.
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9. Settings / Synchronization View
In the settings view, you can adjust user details and trigger actions.
(1) The Account and Network view gives you details about your account and the network you have joined. You find there the IP address of your bootstrap node as well.
The Synchronization tab offers you probably the most interesting information and allows to perform some additional actions. In this view, you see a representation of all files and folders which are stored in your user folder
(e.g. C:/User/MyName/PeerWasp/Username).You can perform following actions:
(2) Selective Sync: You might not be interested in any folder and file that is available for synchronization. In this case, you can deselect the checkbox of the corresponding file or folder and click on the Accept button. The file/folder will then be removed from your local disk and you won't get any updates for it anymore. This is called a selective sync. However, the file itself is still in the network and available to other nodes. If you decide to have it synchronized again, simple click the checkbox again and you'll get the file back into your user folder.
(3) If you right-click on a file, you'll get a specific context menu with multiple items:
Delete from network: by choosing this option, you'll delete the file completly and irreversible from your local disk, your network and from all other nodes. This action cannot be reversed.
Properties: Shows you the corresponding properties for the file. Currently, every user has read & write permissions.
Force Synchronization: You can manually force a synchronization if needed. This might help when you had connectivity issues for example.
Recover File: PeerWasp creates a history for every file and keeps older versions of it for you in the network (only for files up to 25MB). From the Recovery view, you can choose older versions and have them restored in your user folder.
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Good to know: if you right-click on a folder in this synchronization view, you'll get an additional entry for sharing this folder with other users in the network. Read more about it in the next step.

 
10. Sharing
You can share a folder in your PeerWasp user folder with another user in the same network. Simply navigate to the desired folder and right-click on it, choose the PeerWasp context menu entry and select (2) Share. A window will pop up where you can (3) enter the desired username (e.g. Bob). Bob will get the shared folder automatically and will synchronize the entire folder content.
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11. Recover / Version History
PeerWasp keeps track of your version history and works on a per-file basis for files up to 25MB. If you want to recover an older version of a file, simply choose the Recover File action as explained in 9. Settings / Synchronization View. Alternatively, go to the desired file in your file browser and right-click on it and choose Versions from the PeerWasp context menu entry. A new window pops up, where you can (2) choose an older version. Click on (3) Recover and the file will be restored with a prefix in the same destination as the original-file.
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