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This could do with further expansion to include other stuff mentioned in Newbie Start Guide Unix ... or those bits need moving to separate pages and linking from both ...

Windows

It will automatically install Freenet and other required components for you.

After installing, Freenet should start automatically, if not, launch Freenet from your Start menu. Freenet can take several minutes to start, especially if your data store is large. When the small rabbit in your task-tray (by the clock) turn blue, double-click on it. This will launch FProxy, the web interface for Freenet. You are provided with some default "bookmark" links (which you can change) on the front page to start you off.

(Freenet contains NO spyware or adware, it's Free Software! The source code is publicly availible for review.) Freenet works best with Windows 2000, XP Professional or NT. Windows ME, 98 and 95 work less well.

If the webdownload is not an option for some reason, you can also try the Freenet SCIP; see index.

If you are using Java JRE 5.0 (1.5) and receive an error about a JVM not being installed, see the fix on Installing Freenet . This bug is supposed to be fixed now however so hopefully this won't happen.


Please remember however that it is not safe to use Internet Explorer to browse Freesites. This is because it does not honour MIME types, which could lead to malicious content on Freenet compromising your anonymity. It is recommended that you use a free Mozilla browser e.g. Firefox (http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/) and configure it as per Speeding Up Freenet tip 2 for optimal performance. Then, you can go to the web interface at http://localhost:8888/ and from there surf around Freesites...

When you first set up a Freenet node, you won't be able to retrieve any pages or data. You will likely receive numerous Route Not Found (RNF) and Data Not Found (DNF) messages. This is due to your node not being integrated with the rest of the Freenet network. It takes many hours for your node to learn about others in the network. Over time, your node will discover more nodes and your download speed will increase. On average, it takes 48 hours for a node to become fairly integrated. If at all possible you should leave Freenet running constantly to help integrate your node. If you only start Freenet when you want to retrieve data, you will not have any success.

Please bear in mind that Freenet is inherrently high latency, so whilst quite high speed downloads are possible once your node is integrated it will usually take some time before they start. The same applies to loading Freesites, which is why it is important to set your browser to use large timeouts etcetera as described in Speeding Up Freenet.

If you are behind a firewall or NAT, you will need to configure it to forward the Freenet port to your node. If Freenet can't communicate on the required port, you will have a very hard time retrieving data off the network. To determine the required port, open freenet.ini (usually in C:\Program Files\Freenet\) and find the line listenPort=XYZ. Freenet doesn't use a default port, it chooses a random port for FNP-connections (Freenet Node Protocol, connections between Freenet nodes) on setup. (For this reason you should never tell people e.g. on Frost what FNP port you use!) Next, configure your firewall, router, or NAT device to forward TCP connections from the Freenet port to the computer running Freenet. Freenet also needs to know what your external IP address is. You need to set this in your freenet.ini file by removing the % in front of ipAddress= and entering your external IP after the equals sign. If your external IP address is dynamic (changes), which is often the case with dial-up, DSL and cable, you need to sign up with a free Dynamic DNS provider such as http://www.dyndns.org/ who will provide you with a non-changing hostname for your dynamic IP address. Enter your hostname for the ipAddress. Save the file and remember to restart Freenet. Also, remember to get one of the many dynamic IP update clients (also free) available from your dynDNS provider's page and set them up so your hostname still works when your IP changes.


Datastore Size

Up to a point, the bigger your datastore is the better your node will perform. (The limit depends on how much RAM you have, how much of it is allocated to freenet and your CPU speed.) It is recommended that your datastore be at least a few gigabytes, especially if you intend downloading / uploading large files like movies. Some freenet users report using datastores of hundreds of GB in size. If you want such a large datastore, you will need to increase the maximum memory available to freenet. You can do this by editing the JavaMem line in Flaunch.ini, e.g. "JavaMem=256" without the quotes for a maximum of 256Mb.

To increase the amount of disk space Freenet uses for the data store, open freenet.ini and find the line beginning with "storeSize=" then set a new value. Alternatively, you can use the node configuration tool "Node Config.exe" but it's probably easier to just edit the file manually.

Remember, big datastores will help both you and the network. They increase performance for popular files, and also help rarely requested, but perhaps important, content "hang on" and not get pushed off the network.