What works for coins, works for other things such as email just as well. In an effort to make the web more secure, people of the Bitcoin community have created the first P2P communications protocol to send encrypted messages!

In this article, we are taking a closer at how to set up Bitmessaging and why you should start using it if you want to NSA-proof your computer.

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Starting Bitmessage For The First Time

Download Bitmessage from https://bitmessage.org/wiki/Main_Page

Download Bitmessaging.png

When you are first starting Bitmessage you may be asked by your firewall to allow access on port 8336 – that’s perfectly fine. Allow the access:

Bitmessaging What Port Tcp 8336.Png

On startup you will be asked to connect – however if you first want to take a look at the settings I recommend to pick the later option and configure the settings first e.g. the listening port:

Configure Bitmessaging First.png

After you start the app, go to the tab Network Status to see how much info the app is processing:

Bitmessage Network Status.png

Adding A New Identity To Send Encrypted Messages

Go to the tab Identities and click New
Add New Identity.png

The following settings should be customized, depending on how many addresses you want to add. If you only need 1 use the 2nd option “Use the same stream as an existing address” to save some computing power.

Address Computing Power.png

Alrighty, we are done. Share this address with others so you can receive encrypted messages:
Just Like A Bitcoin Address For Encrypted Messages.png

For easier handling you SHOULD enter a label:
Enter Address Label.png

After adding a label you can pick this label when sending an encrypted message:

Your Bitmessaging Identities.png


Want to help and contribute to the Bitmessaging network? Great, let’s move on:

How To Contribute? Get A Green Status Indicator!

You will connect to various nodes with the program. In general, everyone can be a node and help process encrypted emails. So if you let it run and allow incoming connections you are contributing to the Bitmessaging network (Source)

Make sure to configure your firewall to forward the correct ports and allow incoming connection on the port (see settings screenshot below)

You can change the listening port in the settings. The default port is 8444:

Bitmessaging Listening For Connections.png

Bitmessaging can expose your actual IP to other parties. You could use a VPN to migate some of the risks  if you don’t want to expose your direct IP address, however you can’t allow incoming connections then and you can’t help contribute behind a VPN or behind Tor.

Additional Resources