The New Cups Messenger Web App!
Installing a Cups node on your Embassy has always been easy, but until today, actually sending and receiving messages required command line skills.
Today we say goodbye to the command line and say hello to the web app! Now, anyone running a Cups node on their Embassy can interact with it simply by navigating to their own unique “.onion” URL in any Tor Browser.
Getting a Tor Browser
There are multiple Tor Browsers available on the market. For Linux, Mac, Windows, and Android, we recommend using the Tor Project’s official browser. You can download it at https://www.torproject.org/download/. For iOS, the best browser we have tested is called Tor Browser and can be downloaded at https://apps.apple.com/us/app/tor-browser-private-web/id1444388609. By default, the iOS app shows advertisements. We highly recommend paying the $2 fee to make them go away.
Simply copy your unique Cups .onion URL from your Start9 Companion App and paste it into the Tor Browser and VIOLA! Your very own Cups app will appear in the browser, served up directly from your Embassy. The initial load could be upwards of 30–60 seconds, so be patient. We recommend bookmarking your private page as well as backgrounding (rather than closing) the Tor Browser to avoid extended load times for future visits.
Once you are viewing your Cups App in the browser, you will be prompted to enter your password. Your password was randomly generated when you first installed Cups on your Embassy and can be found in the “Config” section of the Start9 Companion App. The randomly generated password is good, but you may change it to whatever you like. Just remember, anyone who knows your .onion URL and gets their hands on this password also gets your entire message history. So keep it secret, keep it safe.
Sending and Receiving Messages
Your .onion URL is your Cups address. Give it to anyone with whom you want to communicate privately and securely. Don’t worry, as long as your password is safe, the only thing someone can do with your .onion URL is message you. If you have the .onion URL of a friend, simply add them as a new contact and type a message. That’s it. When they log in to their Cups App, they will see the message and can reply to it.
At Start9, we are out to build awesome, liberating technology that is actually able to be used by everyone. The Cups Web App for Tor Browser is far from perfect and still needs a lot of work, but it’s a huge step in the right direction for bringing trustless, private communications to all.