User Experiences

Joseph - Getting Rid of Data-mining Services (2018/06/29)

Last year, I installed FreedomBox out of curiosity, since it broke my misconception that servers have to be huge machines supporting thousands of users. FreedomBox promised to run server applications on a Single Board Computer. I installed FreedomBox on a Raspberry Pi 2 borrowed from a friend and have been using it ever since.

The first application that attracted me was Tiny Tiny RSS. Being fed up with the centralized services trying to manipulate me with their AI content sorting, I felt that this was a relief. Then I discovered Quassel. Being a millennial who hasn't used IRC much because the chats are not persistent, Quassel felt like a great solution. Matrix Synapse was added sometime in 2017 and I started using it almost everyday for my communications. The Riot app has great video call quality. I use it to video call my family members. There are some other great communication services like Mumble and XMPP, but I haven't used them very much.

I use Syncthing to keep my files synchronized and photos backed up. I've stopped using G Drive entirely after discovering Syncthing. There's also a simple file sharing app called Coquelicot which I use sometimes when my email attachments get too large. These days, I install almost every application that comes to FreedomBox and try to find creative uses for them. I've managed to migrate my blog from Medium to ikiwiki and started writing notes in MediaWiki. Searx is one of my new favorites.

I'm now fully dependant on Radicale and DAVdroid for my contact syncing. Wish I had started using it earlier. I even used tor hidden url for a while to read my RSS feeds on FreedomBox when my Pi was behind a NAT.

I wish to see more federated applications like Matrix Synapse on FreedomBox, especially social networks.

Dietmar - Simplify Family Planning (2016/05/27)

The essential of my use became Radicale, the calendar service on FreedomBox. I am using it with my family to simplify our planning. So we have a common calendar in which we all put those actions, also if just ideas, we plan to do together. Including dates which are important for others, such as business trips, company closures, public holidays etc. This is synchronized with Evolution (on my computer) and via DAVDroid and the built-in calendar app with the mobile phones of all of us.

Additionally, I am using ikiwiki for my home webpage. On one side, I have a site to promote FreedomBox to friends, so I can tell them to find German easy readings on my homepage, on the other side, it is a storage of weather information to organize outdoor activities. Of course, I have an https certificate with Let's Encrypt. DynamicDNS gives me access to my home page.

On my todo lists are the proxy (Privoxy) to save me from spying web pages and annoying ads, synchronizing bookmarks (Shaarli) between my computer(s) and the mobile phone, using the FreedomBox with a WLAN-stick as router (this would enhance my speed from 10Mb/s to 16Mb/s, due to limits of my router). And I would like to join the web of trust (Monkeysphere) and spread the usage of secure encrypted e-mail communication.

My hardware is the Olinuxino A20 LIME (not the 2). I am happy with it. All is stored on a 32 GB micro-SD card. Total cost of board+housing+power supply+shipment+VAT was €63. The micro-SD card is €16.

Apart of using the FreedomBox I am actually checking where untrained users might stumble and I try to give feedback to the development. So using this project for me has two purposes: having my own server which frees me from data miners and supporting the project to improve and spread the word.

Sunil - Data Stays With Me (2016/05/27)

Hello, i am Sunil, a techie and contributor to FreedomBox project. I started using personally FreedomBox about one year ago. Data stays with me. At home. I have never believed that another party holding my data is a good thing. Other than email for which I had to bow, I never uploaded my data to other services. I started thinking about my own hosting for more than 5 years, perhaps 10 because of instinct, I guess, and also thanks to my learnings from Free Software culture (>15 years). I am now using an A20-OLinuXino-Lime2 as a FreedomBox. It is my Wi-Fi router at home replacing an old DLink router which probably has plenty of security holes in it by now. I use it also for:

Friends of mine are experimenting with FreedomBoxes to provide free Internet, free telephony (using repro/yate) and community radio (icecast, not yet in FBX) in 4 villages here in India.

James - Sharing Files Publicly (2016/05/27)

For sharing files publicly, I found apache's userdir module to be quite simple to use. Users with ssh access to the box can put files in their home folder under ~/public_html using scp or SFTP, and those files are accessible at /~username on the web server.

Philippe - Shaping Degrees of Privacy (2016/05/27)

I use FreedomBox since the end of 2015 as a journalist and content editor. I can't spend that much time learning to run a server. With the help of the active community on IRC and the mailing list, i can now administrate my own web applications to synchronise files between my devices and to propose when needed a chat server for interviews without being datamined. In a nutshell, it am able to shape some versatile degrees of privacy and confidentiality in my personal and professional life. I am contributing to the manual and the wiki content both to learn faster and to give back. I am now in position to use free communications services without giving away my data and my connexions all the time. Finally, with Quassel server, i can turn off my computer without missing any IRC discussions. The machine i use is a Cubietruck with a Debian operating system and Freedombox software on the top of it.

Adrian - Patient Privacy Rights (2015/12/31)

Thanks to the quality of [its discussion] list, my experience with FreedomBox as a potential platform has been superb. I'm eager to engineer as much of HIE of One as possible around FreedomBox and Plinth because it would complement the current FreedomBox application suite and because adoption of both FreedomBox and HIE of One is likely to be improved. The timing also seems to work as FreedomBox is now stable enough to be a net plus as a platform for a new community like HIE of One.

Adrian
http://patientprivacyrights.org/

Ruben - No Freedom in Isolation (2015/12/16)

Hi, i'm Ruben, I try to help and encourage great things to happen and make life an adventure, for me and for others.

I'm now using FreedomBox intermittently, but plan to change over my services at home from version 7.2 onward. I am using at home a brew system that provides these services: XMPP as my personal chat/phone system, at home and mobile; ownCloud installs for different projects to collaborate with others a lot; quassel-core 24/7 for years, it is my lifeline to information; a number of OpenVPN connections, and they are vital to my work and contacts; tor on many protocols already, for instance to get my RSS feeds. If i want to get regular info from a site, but do not need them having my info. I am not able to sync my contacts with ownCloud, but the agenda is working very good. I'm not knowledgeable about reStore, but would like to use it more.

I need FreedomBox to be able to get others to work on the same base, and it is not viable to ask them to do what i did, learn all that stuff etc. There is no freedom in isolation. I would like to setup a personal "social contact" service, to let my incrowd use that to keep on top of my activities.

I have a list of people i spoke to about FreedomBox. I do not show them the box, i explain the functionalities, and ask them to explain the FreedomBox to me. Their feedback is in a nutshell: if you want me to use it extensively, it should be more adaptable to my personality.


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