Is Calibre Safe to Use?
Fans of reading books should be happy with the development of electronic technology. After all, today one small tablet can contain millions of documents. These can be magazines, newspapers, and, of course, full-length books. But with the development of technology, there are several problems that each user needs to solve independently.
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First, the collection of many books can simply be confusing. As a rule, file names are written in the Latin alphabet. It is complicated to find the right book in your archive. Secondly, there is no universal format that is supported by all devices. Therefore, books must be converted to the format that your device understands.
Calibre solves both problems at once. This is a kind of database of different books published around the world. And here there is a converter that can help out when you have an old smartphone that only supports a certain format.
In a short time, Calibre has gained worldwide popularity. However, few people have considered whether Calibre is safe to use or not. Let’s look at it in this article.
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What is Calibre?
Calibre is an electronic library management program that allows you to download, read, convert, catalog, and edit books in various formats. It can interact with many ebook readers, and allows you to get descriptions and covers for your books from the internet by title and author or ISBN. You can use a computer as a cloud library, and it provides access to online libraries.
The program stores all information about books (title, author, cover, rating, tags, release date, publisher) in a database. When you add a book to the database the book file is placed in the library folder. A single book can have many formats. When you add a book, the program organizes a clear folder structure on your computer, so that even in the absence of the program, it is easy to understand your library.
The program allows you to easily sort and search for books by title, author, publication date, date of addition, size, book series, and rating. There is support for tags, comments, and reviews. The book you need is easy to find with a simple search.
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Calibre supports a variety of ebook formats and conversion between them. The whole list of supported formats and programs, you can find on the official website.
Calibre has many plugins and can easily be extended with its own ones written in Python.
Calibre contains a built-in web server for remote library management. It can also download and send books by e-mail, automatically receive news from some sites and convert them into a book.
Calibre uses a modular driver system for syncing with readers, which allows you to add new devices. The program supports many devices. When syncing, Calibre selects the most appropriate format or converts it to the desired one. It also adds all the necessary metadata and information about the book series to the reader.
Calibre has a built-in ebook editor that edits any supported book format according to certain parameters. Then, all the changes can be saved.
In addition to the editor with Calibre, a viewer for reading ebooks is installed. The viewer does not support all formats supported by Calibre — third-party applications open such books.
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Calibre’s technical side
The Calibre program is based on open-source code. The program’s source code is publicly available, and anyone interested can view, make changes or distribute the code. For example, you can find it on GitHub.
If you think that such openness can be harmful, then you are wrong. On the contrary, any change that is made from outside is checked by the program’s team of specialists. After a step-by-step check, it is decided whether to make changes or not. In addition, the developers of the program hold open forums where they discuss innovations in the system.
So, anyone who notices a flaw in the technical part can easily report it. And most likely it will be fixed, thereby improving the program.
As a rule, commercial programs do not allow outsiders to interfere with the work of the final product. However, in this case, on the contrary, it helps to make the program more perfect and secure.
Is Calibre safe?
The program developers have publicly stated that Calibre does not store or transmit the personal information of users. However, the program still saves the IP address, the version of the program you downloaded, as well as your operating system.
In addition, the program saves an anonymous search history of current news. After that, the collected data is published on the main page in the form of statistics. According to the official version, this is necessary to configure the program as suitable as possible for each user and make sure that everything works smoothly and without bugs.
Another point is the fact that the program scans your device the first time you connect it. It checks all previously saved books and media files. As the developers say, this is necessary for quick verification of existing data that will not need to be downloaded. However, do not forget that your personal data is also checked and stored.
The most insecure point is the ability to share your library via email. This can be done in two ways: by direct mail or through an electronic intermediary service.
As a rule, this method is considered the most insecure since messages can be intercepted, and the email box can be hacked. This way, the hacker can get all the personal data.
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Even though Calibre is a truly multifunctional program that simplifies reading books for millions of people, it is not safe to use. As well as similar programs, it collects and stores user data and has access to the user’s email.