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Personal Web Page Archiving and Encrypted Bookmarks

If you read a lot on the web or off, you probably experience is quite often: you recall an article that you read a few days, weeks or years ago and want to consult it again or pass it on to a friend. But you just can’t find it.

When you search the web for past articles that you read, search engines' bias towards recent articles and articles from popular sites, will stymie you. You may very well find articles related to your search, but you may not find the article that you previously read. This problem becomes more severe the greater the time difference between reading and searching.

More importantly, the way our brains remember articles we read may make it difficult for web search engines to help us. We remember enough words and phrases from the article to distinguish it from all the articles we’ve read. We usually remember the broad topic of the article, some details about when we read, and what website we read it from.

However, what we remember about the article will likely be insufficient to distinguish the article from all articles on the web.

The words you remember will match many other articles on the web, and the search engine will do it’s best to rank them by relevance (which is where the bias towards recent and popular articles comes in). Sometimes, you’ll get lucky and get the article you read before, but there’s no guarantee.

For serious readers, we feel it’s worthwhile to solve this problem properly and help you find your exact article.

PurpleRails doesn’t have this problem. Since we search only the pages you’ve already read, what you remember about the article is highly likely to be returned among the top results for your search.

Save all the pages image meme

Since we won’t know in advance what articles you will want to later search for, PurpleRails takes a liberal approach and saves most web pages that you read. It doesn’t save pages that you immediately close, but otherwise it pretty much saves all pages.

We probably use multiple devices and computers every day. We certainly will use multiple computers over the years of using PurpleRails. It makes sense to sync saved pages and links to the cloud, so that the information will be easily available all devices today and in the future.

Since it’s saving pages automatically, PurpleRails uses strong cryptography, specifically the variant known as end-to-end crypto to encrypt your data with your password on your computer before it leaves your computer to be stored in the cloud. The data can be decrypted only on machines on which PurpleRails is installed and on which you’ve entered your PurpleRails password.

This is very different from the approach used by most companies today: they may use secure web connections to transfer data (HTTPS aka TLS aka SSL). The problem with such an approach is that once the data reaches the other end, it is not encrypted and the service provider and read the contents. Others may encrypt your data with a password of their choosing (that is essentially what "encryption at rest" and similar phrases mean). This again means the service provider can access your data at will.

Happy reading!!

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