Get to know your Swarm Desktop App (Beta)
Congratulations, you’ve just decided to install your first Swarm network node. Welcome to the world of Web3 and decentralised storage — private, secure, interoperable and peer-to-peer. A lot of effort has gone into creating a familiar Web2 experience that replaces the often cumbersome procedures associated with Web3.
What is the Swarm Desktop App (Beta) and how can you use it?
The desktop app is your personal gateway to the Swarm network. Through it, you can interact with the content stored on Swarm. It is now easier than ever to become part of Web3, use its services and slowly move away from services that do not respect your privacy and take possession of your data.
With the Swarm desktop app (Beta), you can do the following things:
- Upload and download files to decentralised storage (Swarm).
- Send files to other people in a secure and encrypted way.
- Easily host and manage HTML websites.
Where to download and install the Swarm Desktop App
The desktop app can be installed on Windows, Mac and Linux OS. You can download your preferred version here.
More information about the app (feature overview)
Below is a brief guide to help you get familiar with the basic features of your node. Although your node can do much more than is described in this text, the basic functions should be highlighted so that you can get started in no time.
For a better understanding and easier installation, we have created two additional guides on our blog, which you can read here:
- Upgrading from an ultra light to a light node
- How to upload data to the Swarm network
Have fun with your node.
When you install your node everything should be set up automatically. If everything was installed correctly your node should have a “Node OK” status displayed in the bottom left-hand side corner next to a green status icon, as shown below.
- The “Info” tab is the primary gateway into the Swarm network. Here you can see how many peers you’re connected to, the Bee client version that’s installed and in what mode you’re running your node in.
- When you run your node for the first time the mode will be “ultra light” by default, because you can only download and access content on the network. Make sure your node’s Bee client is up to date. This is denoted with the “latest” status, as shown in the picture below.
- You can immediately access unstoppable content on the Swarm network by clicking on the “Access content” option. This will take you to the “Files” tab where you can access and download content from the network.
There are two ways you can send files/links to other people. When you upload a file you get a link to the file and a swarm hash.
- The Swarm hash looks like this, and you need a Swarm node (or use https://gateway.ethswarm.org/) to access the file: c1af5226f667e5854892fe57ac2348ea407e8c7d0fca5967c430b73adb5bfb93
- The usual web2 link. This one doesn’t require the other person to have a node, they can just click on it and access the content sent. It looks like this: https://gateway.ethswarm.org/access/c1af5226f667e5854892fe57ac2348ea407e8c7d0fca5967c430b73adb5bfb93
Now let’s take a closer look at the Files tab:
- The “Files” tab is where you can access and host unstoppable and censorship-resistant content.
- Before you add funds to your node’s wallet it will only allow you to download data from the Swarm network. Just paste your BZZ link here to get access to the file, the folder or the website. Downloading works on the principle of link sharing, so somebody has to share the link with you before downloading the content.
- To upload files and host content on the network you must top up your node’s wallet with some xDAI and BZZ first (see link at the bottom of the blog on how to do that). You can upload and share a single file, a folder or even an entire website. You can fully customise how much storage you want to pay for and for how long!
- There is also the download/upload history section that lets you quickly browse through your recent files.
- The “Account” tab lets you manage your node’s funds
- Since it’s running in ultra light mode your balance will be zero. But you can add funds with the “Deposit” button. This step requires more familiarity with crypto onboarding. Read the blogs in the links provided below to get a lot more functionality from your node
- There is also the “Invite to Swarm” option section, where you can claim the gift cards that you might receive. More to come about this…
Get more from your node
When you become familiar with the basics and you want to do more with your node, then you can read this blog on how to add funds to your node and this blog on how to buy postage stamps so you can upload files to the network.