What is matrix? And Riot?

if you want to get started immediately, skip to the setup guides

Matrix is an open standard for interoperable, decentralised, real-time communication over IP. In short, it's a new driver for cutting edge communication apps!

The main project website is https://matrix.org/

Riot is the first app that uses Matrix under the hood. It similar in use to WhatsApp, Slack or FB Messenger. You can download it for Android, iOS and more.

Check out their website for more: https://about.riot.im/

 

Where will my data go?

To understand the Matrix ecosystem, you should understand who the player involved are.

The Matrix Network is maintained by Homeserver Providers like Matrix.org, Oblak.be and many others. Anyone can become a provider by running the Matrix Homeserver Software in a public fashion. At this point in time there are already more than 100.000 Homeservers running worldwide.

 

Choose your Homeserver Provider wisely, as they will be the party that has access to your unencrypted data.

 

It is also possible to run a Private Homeserver depending on your privacy needs.

Users can download a Matrix compatible app (like Riot) to connect to the network. Much of the dynamics will go unnoticed, as the magic happens behind the scenes. To register an account with a public Homeserver Provider check out its website for the details. Most Provider will provide a website for easy signup.

After successful signup you will obtain a Matrix Account, which looks similar like an email or twitter account. A Matrix account is written in full like @name:homeserver.org . Provide this handle to your peers so they can find you easily using their Riot app.

 

How is continu.online involved?

Since Open Source is at the core continu.online culture, we decided to host and maintain a public Homeserver so that you can get started easily without being a techie yourself. Our homeserver is located at oblak.be, an you may register an account for free using one of our guides, or through https://chat.oblak.be

We are incrementally working to improve, update and add features to our server along the way. Happy chatting!

 

How is Matrix different from Slack or WhatsApp?

To understand the difference a distiction should be made between the Company, the Network and the Software.

Take as an example the software Slack, wich is developed, maintained and hosted by the Company 'Slack Techologies'.  They and only they maintain the Slack network, the Slack server software and the Slack app. Slack doens't let other Providers host their software and imposes artificial usage limits on free accounts. On top of that they use Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform to store your data, just so you know.

If you are a Slack user (or customer) you trust Slack with your data, and you can use Slack only to communicate with other Slack users.

Matrix on the other hand is a protocol maintained by an independent foundation that coordinates the development. The current most popular implementation of server software is developed by the core Matrix team, and the Riot app is developed by a company called New Vector. Other companies can all take part in the development and expansion of the Matrix ecosystem. Anyone can become a provider and there are no usage limits on free accounts. The sum of all those independent providers is the Network.

If you are a Matrix user you can choose your provider freely, or become one yourself. You are in control! And because of its open nature, a Matrix user can bridge to other networks, like Slack or WhatsApp, how cool is that!

 

features

End-to-end encrypted messaging

Matrix provides state-of-the-art end-to-end-encryption via the Olm and Megolm cryptographic ratchets. This ensures that only the intended recipients can ever decrypt your messages, while warning if any unexpected devices are added to the conversation.
 

VoIP

Matrix can be used for cristal clear audio and video conversations.
 

Bridging

Matrix owes its name to its ability to bridge existing platforms into a global open matrix of communication.

The core Matrix team maintains bridges to Slack, IRC, XMPP and Gitter, and meanwhile the wider Matrix community provides bridges for Telegram, Discord, WhatsApp, Facebook, Hangouts, Signal and many more.
 

Get started! (Guides)

 

installation guides:

for Android: Installation and setup

for Apple iOS: Installation and setup (soon)

for Windows: Installation and setup

for Mac OS X: installation and setup (soon)

 

Topic guides:

How to start a private chat

How to create a room

How to use end-to-end encryption

How to manage my encryption keys

How to share a file

How to add an integration

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You can sign up for a free matrix account using continu.online's homeserver oblak.be.

Register an account using the Riot webclient or find an app for your device.

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If you encounter problems registering do not hesitate to drop us a line at info@continu.online