Wormhole app enables safe, encrypted file transfer

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The new app seems to have completed what Mozilla was trying to do with Firefox Send.

Socket, Inc., a software startup, launched a product called Wormhole earlier this month, according to a report in The Register. The web app is for encrypting files and making them available to those who receive the URL-embedded encryption key, says the report. Moreover, it does this without exposing the files to the cloud-based intermediary handling the transfer.

This appears to be what Mozilla tried to do with Firefox Send. Mozilla launched Forefox Send in 2017 and shut it down a year and a half later. But the similarotyu is not accidental, according to Socket.

Like Firefox Send – only better

“Wormhole is a reboot of Firefox Send, but with many improvements,” explained Feross Aboukhadijeh, a widely known open source developer and co-founder of Socket, in an email to The Register. “We loved Firefox Send and were so disappointed when it was shut down that we decided to rebuild it, but with additional enhancements.”

Wormhole offers the same sort of free service: You load the app in your browser and select up to 10GB of local files. The app encrypts files locally and uploads them to Socket’s servers. Users then receive a link they can send via text, email, or otherwise. This allows recipients to download the protected files for 24 hours in unencrypted form before the link expires.

Wormhole has some improvements over Firefox Send. Primary among these is its support for instant streaming. This service allows users to share file links even before they fully upload the file.

“Wormhole uses super fast P2P transfer when possible, which comes in extra handy when both devices are on the same network (since data transferred over the local network is much faster than going out and back to the internet),” explained Aboukhadijeh.

The Wormhole service is currently free, but that may change in the future. “We’re planning to introduce a Pro plan which offers larger file limits, customizable link expiration times, and additional features,” he said. “Eventually, we may introduce other privacy-focused products which we may charge for as well.”