Etherpad is a web-based collaborative editor. It is an open source alternative to Google Docs, Slack and Trello. Etherpad allows multiple users to edit a text document simultaneously and view edits in real time. In addition, Etherpad includes a chat box, which enables real-time communication between users while they are editing a text document.
There are many etherpad services you can use for free, such as Riseup or Mozilla.
Tool type: Web-based collaborative real-time editor
Ease of use: Web-based platform which is easy to use
Open source: Yes
Encryption support: Yes, when HTTPS is offered in the case of Riseup and Mozilla.
Benefits: Etherpad offers users the opportunity to simultaneously work with others on text documents in a similar fashion to Google Docs, however without supporting business models that revolve around the collection and selling of data.
Independent code audit: "None that we know of"
Cost: Free of charge
Languages: Multiple languages and ongoing localisation via translatewiki.net
Compatibility: Firefox, Chrome and Safari on computer and mobile device
Developed by: Etherpad was developed by David Greenspan, former Google employees Aaron Iba, J.D. Zamfirescu and Daniel Clemens, and designer David Cole. Etherpad was initially launched in November 2008. The software was acquired by Google in 2009 and released as open source.
Version as of this writing: 1.5.7
Websites: Riseup and Mozilla
Last updated: 01 March 2016