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Sentinel — Updates— Sneak Peek of the Sentinel Relay Net, Crossing 50TB, & Android App Update

The beginning of 2019 has been incredible in terms of the actual growth and recognition of the Cosmos ecosystem. The overwhelming response to the imminent launch of the Binance DEX mainnet (which has been built using Cosmos) gives a mere taste of the magnitude of network participation the Cosmos network will support after a successful IBC deployment later this year.

Consistent and tangible progress in accordance with the proposed roadmap is getting Sentinel closer and closer to the launch of its own mainnet. In addition to the diligent focus on Cosmos related development milestones (e.g Sentinel Hub, dVPN Zone, etc.), there is a lot of effort going in to the development of product related features required for Sentinel to gain the mass adoption it truly deserves such as the dVPN Relay Network.

Before reading any further, if you’re new to Sentinel check out this article about the Sentinel Tendermint Testnet.

Today the team has 3 important updates to share:

1) Sneak peak of the Sentinel Relay Network

After several quarters of independent research, the team decided to utilise the WireGuard protocol to construct the Sentinel Relay Network (video preview below).

How does the Sentinel dVPN currently function (without the relay network)?

In simple terms, a User connects to a Sentinel community hosted Exit Node , which exits to the web and connects with the Destination Web Server.

User -> Exit Node -> Destination

Although this architecture aids the User in avoiding identification from the Destination, the fact is that the Exit Node is able to identify the IP address and corresponding location of the User.

This means that while a Sentinel Exit node does not have access to the user’s encrypted data, the user is not obfuscated or hidden from the Exit node which in theory could be hosted by a malicious entity.

What is a relay network and how will it help the users of the Sentinel dVPN?

A relay network is a network of nodes that act as intermediaries between the User and the end Destination server. Now with the Sentinel Relay Net the flow of a packet and order of establishing connection will be:

User -> Entry Node -> Relay Node -> Relay Node ->Relay Node ->Exit Node -> Destination (in this case 3 hops — number of hops will be customisable)

or simply represented:

User -> Entry Node -> Relay Node -> Exit Node -> Destination

Sneak Peek of the Sentinel Relay Network | Sentinel Network (watch in HD for the text in the command line to be clearly visible)

Benefits of the Sentinel Relay Net:

  1. The Exit Node does not have any information pertaining to the IP address or digital identity of the original user
  2. The Entry Node (which can also be a Relay Node) does not know if the data request it has received is from a User or a other Relay Node
  3. Users are able to customize the number of relay nodes that they wish to be involved in the connection (more the relays, more the obfuscation but more the latency as well)
  4. Specialized value added services such as bandwidth standardization (to prevent traffic correlation attacks) will now be made possible for advanced users with the upcoming release of the relay network

Sentinel TOR Relay Network (preview coming soon)

While the original User is fully hidden from the Exit Node with the use of the relay network, the fact remains that the Sentinel Exit Node IP and digital identity is fully visible to Destination Server. This knowledge of the exit node’s digital identity may create liability for the node if a User does intend to use the Sentinel dVPN network to access data that may be infringing on existing copyrights etc.

Sentinel has been working on developing a solution for a TOR relay network in order to:

  1. Increase Sentinel Exit Node Privacy — The Sentinel exit node will not be visible to the Destination Server, instead the exit node on the TOR network will be visible.
  2. Increase privacy for users using the TOR network — TOR users can now safely and securely connect to the TOR network through the Sentinel dVPN, further obfuscating the user’s IP address and digital fingerprint from the TOR network.

The flow of the TOR relay solution:

User -> Entry Node-> Relay Node -> Exit Node -> TOR Network -> Destination

Here, with the additional layer of TOR, Sentinel Exit Nodes are protected from DMCA requests & other unwanted exposure. We understand latency in this model is high, but the added security layer also limits nodes going down/offline due to compliance issues.

2) 50 TB bandwidth/data exchanged on the Sentinel Network

In less than a year since the inception of the Sentinel dVPN, it has reached the outstanding milestone of over 50TB of data consumed. The Sentinel dVPN client is available on desktop — Linux, Mac, and Windows. On mobile, the ‘Sentinel Free VPN’ Android app can be downloaded via Google Play or the open source application can be directly installed from Sentinel’s GitHub.

Live Sentinel dVPN network statistics can be accessed at: stats.sentinel.co.

Celebrating the exchange of 50 TB bandwidth/data through the Sentinel network

3) Android App Update

First major update to the Android Mobile Client since October 2018 — mandatory update recommended

Here are key updates to the app:

  1. Added filters to select from total nodes based on Rating, Latency & Country
  2. Added the ability for users to add nodes to their ‘Favorite Nodes list’
  3. Added Persian language — for users in & around Iran and in other Persian speaking areas.
Left : Latest filters that appear from the bottom of the screen || Right : Sentinel Free VPN Android app in Persian with 2 favorite nodes, Germany & UK

Whilst we are focused on solving very tangible problems such as the issue of true network anonymity without an existing relay network, we also keep in mind that we must keep continually improving application UI and UX in order to reduce the learning curve of using the dVPN and to truly appeal to a mass userbase.

We are aiming towards a fully revamped mobile UI that will be on-par with that of industry leading VPN applications. We recognise that the Sentinel dVPN App must be at least as user friendly and aesthetically pleasing as the likes of Nord and Express VPN who’s users are immediately concerned with ease of use and accessibility.

An important update to this version will be the the removal of the BugSnag & Branch packages which raised privacy concerns among community members. While we understand it might be more difficult to track bugs and resolve them without the corresponding packages, the team is not willing to make the sacrifaice of true user privacy.

The latest apps can be downloaded here:

  1. Sentinel dVPN on Google Play
  2. Sentinel dVPN (open source) — Official GitHub repository

Media

We support anyone that wants to start using Sentinel Private Net or any of Sentinel’s tool for their organization or community, partnerships of any kind or media enquiries please email — support@sentinel.co

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About Sentinel Network

Sentinel Network is a network layer that enables a true p2p and decentralized applications and resources marketplace. Sentinel enables anyone to create Public and Private networks that provide access to both free and incentivized, and also payment method agnostic (pre-paid/escrow/post-paid) services (dApps) & distributed resources, enabling its clients to become both producers and consumers in the network.

Sentinel utilizes locking, staking and multi-sig directly from Tendermint core and Cosmos SDK and aims to fully eliminate the disadvantages of previous generation protocols, that couldn’t scale due to limitations of the blockchain they share with other dApps or that have an unsustainable economic model that reduces usability or access to the product they offer.

Follow us on Medium to stay up to date with the latest Sentinel announcements and developments.

View exchanges for trading SENT on the Sentinel website.

Follow Sentinel ONLY ON Official Social Media platforms:

Twitter | Telegram — Official Group | Telegram — Announcements only | Telegram Community Chats — Node Network Group, Chinese, Russian and Spanish

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