Mycelial Communications has released an app called Spore that gives the users access to the company’s Open, Secure, Source, and Standards Telephony Network (OSTN). The network allows the users to make free voice over IP (VoIP) calls. The service is similar to Skype or Viber but with an added advantage of all the communications being completely encrypted. Apart from this, another major point of this app is that it is open source.
You can obtain the setup file of Spore from the company’s website, or you can also get it from Google play that would cost you Rs 107. The price is considered as a donation to the company that will help it further develop the project.
The app is quite easy to set up and very easy to get started with. Spore uses the Zimmerman Realtime Transport Protocol (ZRTP) to access OSTN. The protocol uses a very specific method of exchanging cryptographic keys, known as the Diffie-Hellman key exchange. The keys are exchanged between the phones without going to the server.
This app integrates with the default Android dialer nicely. While, you have to register an account, you don't have to enter any details. You just have to choose a username and password. You get an SIP code which is also your VoIP phone number for the encrypted OSTN network. You can call other Spore users with their respective SIP codes.
On connecting a call, you get a four letter code with which you can verify the caller and confirm that the connection has been encrypted. The OSTN technology is still under development with the aim to define a standard by which a VoIP service can be considered secure from end to end. At present Spore offer services similar to Skype, except being open source and offering encryption, but in future it is expected to offer much more and gain popularity.
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