Peer-to-Peer Social Networks: MyZone

Today's popular social networks employ a centralized client-server architecture that introduces two key problems:
  •  the privacy of user data is at the mercy of the social network provider, who can mine all the user's data stored on the social network  provider's server
  • if the connection between the server and the social network provider is severed, or if the server goes down, then all social network features are lost, such as posting messages on walls, etc.  
We believe that a peer-to-peer social network offers a better solution for social networking.  It has the advantages that:
  • the privacy of user data is preserved, in that the data is not stored at an unknown social network provider's server, but instead is stored on a user's own desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile devices, and can also be stored on the devices of trusted friends
  • there is no central point of failure, i.e. in a client-server model the system fails if the connection to the server fails or if the server itself fails.  In a P2P model, the distributed social network can continue to exchange messages if any one peer fails or a connection to a peer fails, especially if we permit mirroring of profiles among a users' devices and/or friends' devices.
As a result, we have a built a P2P social network called MyZone.  You can join MyZone by going to and download/install the software.  It should work on any desktop with Java support.  We are working on a mobile Android version.  Our work has been published as follows:
home page