What is V-NET?
It is a system consisting of services and clients for users to connect their computers, smart devices of increasing varieties in anywhere and at anytime. It tries to be device and network agnostic so that devices can be cross connected on the internet over any IP based network, like ethernet, WiFi or 3G/4G/5G mobile ones. All connections are encrypted using method of modern cryptography. It is simple to use, plugin and setup free. Major features of V-NET can be reached in few clicks of buttons.
It can be used to exchange data, streaming realtime video/audio between devices and/or other users, text/audio/video chat, manage and control devices locally or remotely, etc.
There are a mixture of ways that a user can use to connect their devices together. One can use a browser or a V-NET desktop client or a V-NET mobile app.
Why should I join?
Don't you already own or have authorizations to use multiple smart phones, pads and desktop computers that you need to exchange data?
- Yes you can use a USB data link, but not every devices support direct data links. Also, the distance between connected devices is limited.
- Yes you can use a bluetooth or WiFi connection, but they are not available everywhere. In addition, publicly open up bluetooth or WiFi port in many usage situations can compromise the security of your system. There is also distance limitations between connected devices here.
- Yes you can use a thumb drive, but not every devices have such drive and hardware thumb drives can be explored to spread virus easily.
- Yes you can use a online shared drive, but here data exchange consists of multiple steps and targeted data exchange is impossible. Online drives are single points of failure in the data security or privacy sense. Device network that supports targeted data flow is essential to prevent data breach in case of your account being compromised. It is also essential for more sophisticated and/or automated data flow management in the Internet of Things (IoT) context.
- Yes you can use email, ftp, etc. to do it, but wait ... email or ftp? That's so last century.
- And yes there are other harder ways around, only if you like doing things the harder way.
Anyway, V-NET is easy to use. Sending and receiving data to and from any remote endpoint is ready after just a click of a button without any other setups. It have all the features needed to exchange data securely and reliably between computers and smart devices.
Do you have needs to perform audio, video, screen monitoring anywhere on the internet at anytime that is secure and without going through the complex and expensive process of setting it up? Use V-NET. Here any computer or device with a microphone or camera or screen attached can be used as a information getherer and the result can be shown on any kind of a single computer or device pre-specified by the user, which is also the only one, that is located anywhere on the internet.
Given the increasing internet access speed, do you have the needs to perform audio, video or screen one way remote cast or two way chat with others? If yes, come to V-NET, we have want you want.
IoT is coming. You will have a lot more smart devices to handle in the future.
What is required to use?
All one need is a device that have at least one mainstream browser (that supports HTML5) installed. However only a reduced set of features of V-NET can be utilized when the V-NET is used from a browser.
For an increasing kinds of mobile devices, there are corresponding app clients that allow better control and native access device resources like file system, camera, local contacts, etc.. One should check the download page for available ones.
V-NET is setup free. So, besides registering an account, you don't have to do any other setup before geting into working condition.
Is it free to use?
Well, it can be in some sense. The basic features are free to use, it involves data exchange through a subset of system provided data relay services. Other more advanced features are subscription based.
V-NET uses its own virtual currency call 1-Coin as the unit to price subscriptions. 1-Coins can not only be coverted from real currency but also earned within the system by contributing. For example, the system will send 1-Coins as gifts when a non-member register an account, when a member helps the system to verify his/her account primary e-mail address, when a member invites a friend to join, when a non-member is invited to join and does so, when they establish a V-NET association, and more to come in the future.
How to join?
One need to register a free account here. Once an account is created, each kind of browser or app on a device from which the user uses to login the V-NET becomes a unique virtual communication endpoint or node that belongs to the data network of the user. The V-NET user interface makes it very simple for a user to connect these endpoints together to perform data exchange.
How does it work?
V-NET uses a centralized cloud service to orchestrate or coordinate data exchanges, to provide security and data integrity support, etc.. However system is capable of sending a user's real data from one endpoint to another via a variety of distributed routes, most of which do not have to pass through the service.
How data is protected?
Data protection has at least two components: security and privacy protection and data integrity protection.
The security of a system contains many aspects. Each one of them is very technical and does not has a short or an open answer. V-NET uses modern and well known security technologies and measures (like strong password protection, TLS data encryption, etc.) and will continue to improve our security technology and policy to protect data of our users.
Based on that, the artitecture of V-NET can be leveraged to add new security measures. For example, the above mentioned policy of not allowing data to stay on the service side, which reduces the risk of data leaks if our service side gets compromised by an intruder. V-NET has effectively a multi-factor user identity authentication system that can be utilized to reduce many kinds of known security attacks.
Many security breaches are not due to the fact that an intruder finds a weakness in the system itself but because of the result of social engineering or human error, like leaking the password of an account. However leaking a password does minimal damage to a data due to the directed data exchange of our system. The intruder that has the password of a user will still not be able to trick the endpoints controlled by the owner to exchange data with the ones under the control of the intruder without been exposed early on. There are measures for the owner of the account to recover quickly if that happen.
Data integrity check is not performed by most current data exchange means. In V-NET, it is a default behaviour when sending data to an app client. However, for browser endpoints, integrity check can not be performed for data targeting to them when the non-V-NET download agents (see the following) is used to receive the data. Details about it can be found inside the help page of the data sink page when login (V-NET) from a browser.
Where had the data been?
There are multiple "physical" paths for data to go from one endpoint to the other in a V-NET (virtual) connection. The system will automatically pick the "most efficient" one that is available according to the network environment in which the data transfer is performed and to the kind of endpoint pair that the user choose to use.
The first kind of data paths V-NET considered is the end to end (P2P) direct ones for accounts that had this option opened. In case of P2P, the system will try the shortest direct path within the physical network of user first. Only when that is not possible V-NET tries the next shorter ones. For example, when both endpoints are within the same local area network (LAN) like at home or office, the system will send data from one endpoint to the other without having the data ever leave the LAN. In a more complex network environment, like in a large organization, a sufficiently competent network administrator can set up appropriate ICE servers that are based on open protocols to achieve most effective usage of its physical network by V-NET. When every thing fails, the data will be relayed by a data relay server that is available. The system provides a default one, but relying on one relay server could slow you down in busiy hours. A user or an organization is allowed to choose other established ones or set up his/her/its own new data relay servers.
However, the realization of this kind of data paths is currently based upon WebRTC technology, which is not available to all kinds of endpoints at present. Currently they are only available to Firefox family of endpoints, Chrome family of endpoints (browser, V-NET client for Android 5.0 and above and V-NET client Pro for Android from 4.2 to before 5.0) and Opera based endpoints. It is expected that more kinds of endpoints can take the WebRTC based P2P path in the future since it is a proposed HTML 5 standard.
When the P2P option is not opened for the current account of a user or no P2P data path is available, the system supports a globally deployable and independely operatable distributed data relay service layer to pass the data from one end point to the other in parallel. Each endpoint of the system is programmed to adaptively and dynamically select a subset of these routes that take shorter time to deliver data packages such that the bandwidth available to the two endpoints involved can be utilized in full. A user or organization can also choose to use or rent an existing one in the cloud or build, register and operate his/her/its own ones according to an open protocol (which will be published after a certain future version of the system).
The last data relay service to consider is the integrated ones of the V-NET data service. However data transfer through V-NET servers could be slow in busy hours and could be charged according to the amount of data transferred (in the future).
Are download agents supported?
For each receiving items on V-NET's data sink page, there is a traditional download link button for receiving the said item in traditional ways. It is supported by all browsers. However, since the download is not handled by V-NET at the client side, data integrity checks are impossible.
There are external download agents installed in some computing environments that are attached to browsers to intercept download requests and handle them by themselves.
If such an agent does not use HTTP protocol to process the download, then it is not supported. There are also multi-threaded HTTP based external download agents that receive different parts of the content in parallel. V-NET supports such kinds of parallel download if the requests are sufficiently well formatted. In fact V-NET process data in parallel natively in express data exchange channels. But many of the said agents do not work with V-NET well at present. For that reason a download could fail to complete for these agents.
When an item fails to be received using external download agents, one should try again and click the "Cancel" button on the corresponding agent to activate the build-in downloader of the browser.
Can large file be exchanged?
Yes, V-NET can handle files of any size in principle. However, one should avoid sending too large files in the following two situations:
- When one is using the central V-NET data relay service. This is because the current bandwidth of our free service side is still limited.
- When one is using an available relay or P2P channel and the receving endpoint is a browser. This is because the content of the file received by a browser this way as whole has to be saved in memory before saving to disk, due to the limitations of a browser. So the size of the file that can be accepted this way will depend on the memory available on the receiving end of the system.
Is resume supported?
Yes, stopped data exchange tasks can be resumed later from where they stop. This is very useful when exchange large files. Not only resuming, differential restoring/synchronizing of corrupted/updated target file is also possible for V-NET App clients.
Most browsers do not have a build-in downloader that is capable of resuming stopped downloads. Therefore resuming is not possible if the "traditional ways" of downloading mentioned above is used. However, if the browser supports script based data receiving channels (see below) then resuming of broken data receiving task due to various causes is possible on such channels. One can resume an unfinished task by trying to press the same buttun again when the said causes are removed under the condition that the corresponding browser page is not refreshed before trying to resume. Because refreshing causes a browser to lost its memory of what it already had.
How different browsers differ?
Major operations of the V-NET clients involve access local resources, they work better if they are non-browser native applications or Apps. This is because browsers are limited in such kind of operations. However browsers are pre-installed on most systems, they are likely more accessible than Apps when doing "quick jobs".
Although all most recent versions of mainstream browsers support a large portion of HTML 5 standards, as far as accessing V-NET is concerned, they still differ from each other in noticeable ways. The best choice for accessing V-NET are Chrome base browsers (it includes Opera). Firefox is also comparable and is slightly faster in hash computation. Safari does not support WebRTC. IE does not support WebRTC, script based data receiving (data receiving in IE has to use the buildin downloader through the central V-NET service at present) and it is significantly slower in hash computation.
What else can it be used?
Here is an incomplete list:
A user can use the app to manage files on their devices. Most native file managers on mobile or touch devices provide only a flat and incomplete view of the underlying file system. A user has no means of accessing most of his/her files. These simplified versions are easier to use. But some more sophisticated user may find it too limited for some of their needs.
The app client of V-NET provides a new file system navigation system that allows a user to visit or manage his/her files in more "traditional tree like" but small screen friendly ways. However what can be access depends on what is allowed by the underlying OS. A user of Android system is allowed to visit most of here/her files. However mobile or pad systems from Microsoft and Apple are more limited.
A user can use the client interfaces to manage security, devices and other aspects of his/her network.
A user can use the client interfaces to do audio/video streamings on supporting endpoints to support the accomplishment of certain remote sensing tasks in a secure and controllable setting without the needs of expensive equipments, services and/or softwares.
A small group of mutually trusted users can create a shared account to do collaborative works, including data exchanges, text/audio/video calls, etc.. Note that the current client side of V-NET is sometimes "single threaded" in multi-user collaboration sense, it can focus on handling one remote endpoint at a time. Otherwise, data transmission could be interrupted in certain interaction patterns.
The "concurrency" capability of the clients will be further improved in the future.
A user can use the client interfaces to manage his/her social contacts and network. The social network part of V-NET is still in its infancy at present. But it will continuously grow in the future.