What is all this?
These are services Gary Host can provide. Click on a hexagon to learn about why it's important and how to get going with help from GaryHost.org
I recognized a need to bring the internet-based services we all enjoy down to earth, closer to the people who use them. Large companies are manipulating citizens to live outside of their own best interest so that someone else can make a few billion dollars. I think you should be able to share, create, and communicate without having to worry about the Troll Factory or some corporation trying to get you to do something or think some way.
I want to help my fellow citizens take back their own online experience by showing how, helping to build, and guiding those who want to do the same.
I am a professional who builds these things for a living. I also run each one of these services privately for myself and my friends. I would like to see communities set up their own services and eliminate invisible third parties from their every day lives.
All softwares I suggest are free and open-source. I've battle-tested them and rely on them every day to communicate with people around the world. If you have an old computer or even a small budget, I will show you how to get these going in your own home or on a low-cost (or high cost) cloud server.
It's important to realize that free online services profit because users are the product. By running your own services, no one can track you and monetize your behavior. No one can advertise to you unless you allow it.
Most of these services can run on a raspberry pi or that old computer in the basement you haven't turned on since 2010.
Also realize that nothing is free. You will either pay a little bit of money for hardware (if you don't have any) or in time and effort. It is a great idea to pool money amongst your group of friends and family to pay for an cloud server on a monthly basis. This method will bring the cost to a few dollars a month per user.
Your Own Secure and Private Chat App
It's hard to know who to trust with your private communications. The truth is you should not trust anyone. Especially a large company that profits from your use of their platform without charging you a fee.
You can have your own private instance of Mattermost or Matrix running on your own computer or server. Or I can help you get it setup in the cloud. Then you can invite your friends to join. The software is free and fully-secured. You can communicate safely with your circle and even join other servers within the same app to expand your network.
I will help you get up and running.
Private VOIP Phone System
Don't trust your existing phone provider? Or get terrible service in some places you frequent? As long as you have internet connection, you'll have a full-featured phone system on hand with 3CX.
You'll pay a small monthly fee for a phone number from a SIP provider like Telnyx, then you'll have your own phone server capable of instant messaging, video chat, video conferencing, and free calls between members. Calls to other members will be free even if you don't purchase a phone number from a provider.
Private, personally-curated RSS News Aggregator
Tiny Tiny RSS is an excellent platform for news. Setup is not as easy as these other apps but I can help you get through it quickly and get back to normal.
With Tiny Tiny RSS, you can be certain your news consumption isn't tracked by any third parties. You also get to be certain direputable news sources never appear on your radar because it will only bring you headlines and articles from the sources you choose.
You can also keep up with your favorite podcasts and radio shows on any device.
A Private VPN
Open VPN is the world's most trusted VPN software. All those VPN services that are constantly advertising to you on podcasts and YouTube channels are nothing more than Open VPN installations with custom branding with some hip automation thrown in.
You can run one of these from your home for free or from a cloud server on another continent for less than $10/mo (Give or take depending on cloud provider pricing). Perfect for when you need to connect to an untrusted wifi network. You can also use it to access private services or data at home that aren't available across the world wide web.
When you pay a third party for VPN service, you're taking a major risk. You're not anymore protected than without it in that scenario. Whoever controls that server holds the ey to your data. Eliminate the middle man by running your own.
I can get you up and running very quickly on any device.
There are ads everywhere online. Did you know that ads significantly slow your browsing speed and computer performance? With a Pi-hole ad-blocking DNS server, you can eliminate all of that on your network. This works excellent when paired with an Open VPN instance on the same machine.
You might think your ad-blocking browser extensions are good enough. They're okay. Pi-hole is above and beyond. You won't see ads in your mobile apps, news articles, or on any websites you visit while using it.
Pi-hole can run on a raspberry pi or in a container and uses very little space on your computer. It's full of excellent features and allows you to stop ads (or any other content you choose) from ever reaching your network.
Regional Social Media Network
Open Source Social Network is an excellent platform. You can run it on your server at home or in the cloud very very little cost. You own the data and can choose to deny access to third parties if you choose.
Social Media increases our reach across our community and world. There are a lot of businesses in your community that can't get a word in edgewise when competing with giant multi-national corporations for ad space on large social media platforms. With OSSN, you can sell (or give away) ad space to your local businesses to help them thrive and help your community benefit from their products and services.
I'm a professional Network Engineer, hacker, developer, and tinkerer. I have over ten years experience building, deploying, and maintaining platforms delivered on the web.
I'm willing to help anyone set these services up for themselves and their community with no charge. If you're a business, I do require a donation to Gary Host Org or a Tech charity in exchange for my consulting.
If you have no idea what any of this means but want to know more, don't know where to start, or need help getting started, I'm happy to help you get moving for no charge.
Need Hosting For Your Website, WebApp or Service?
If you don't have any hardware or don't want to deal with a cloud provider to host your services, I can help.
I have plenty of infrastructure available for hosting and I'm also an expert cloud engineer. I can make sure you get the most bang for your buck on any cloud platform, get your services deployed, and maintain them if you don't want to handle that yourself.
If you just need help navigating cloud-hosting as an individual or group, I will help you for free. If you don't want to deal with any of it but want it to work, I can handle that for you at a rate of $125/hr.