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Turtl. end-to-end encrypted note storage

Douglas Crawford

Douglas Crawford

October 4, 2013

turtl. logoTurtl is a new open source platform for securely storing ‘your thoughts, notes, ideas, and bookmarks’, and is currently only available as a Firefox extension. What makes it different from other cloud syncing services such as Dropbox or Evernote, is that it encrypts your notes etc. before sending them to the cloud, where you can keep them private for personal access from anywhere, or share them and collaborate with trusted friends and family. Basically, it’s like Evernote but with secure encryption.

How secure is it?

The Turtl. Firefox extension encrypts all messages client-side, before sending them to the Turtl. servers, so only you hold the private key. This encryption takes the form of 256-bit AES with 3072-bit RSA key encryption. Transfer to and from the server is performed over an encrypted TLS connection. Despite nagging doubts about NIST developed cyphers (such as AES), this is mighty strong encryption.

Turtl is completely open source, and the code can be found on Github for those who wish to examine it.

Setting up

1. Download and install the Firefox extension from the Turtl. homepage.

2. Click on the Turtl. icon in the Firefox navigation toolbar

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3. Sign up for a new account. Note that no personal information is required for this.

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4. If you want share with others, then you will need to create a ‘persona’. This requires a valid email address.

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Using Turtl.

1. Open Turtl.

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2. Create as many new boards as you wish, then ‘Add note’ to add content to them.

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3. Add any text, link or image you want to create a note.

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4. You can view and organize your notes in the main window

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5. If you want to share the contents of a board, click on the board then ‘Share this board’, and select an email address for the person you want to share with. They will be invited to sign into an account with that persona so they can see and collaborate on your notes.

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Conclusion

It’s early days for Turtl., and the software is still in beta stage (so it may contain some bugs) but it is shaping up to be a good secure alternative to Evernote. At present Turlt. is free, and all current features will remain so, although the plan is to add additional premium features, for which a fee will be charged. If you are interested, why not pop along the turtle.it website, and have look.