Everything You Need to Know About I2P Network and How it Compares to Tor
The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is known to be an anonymous internet layer designed to
resist censorship, and peer to peer communication. It encrypts user's traffic through end-to-end
encryption, and they channel it through over 55,000 computers worldwide in a volunteer-run
network. Similar to the Tor network, I2P was built using Java, and it is effectively classified as an
internet within the internet. Once this anonymous network is connected, users can take
advantage of the decentralized file storage, engage in an anonymous chat, send emails, access
and use blogging and forum software, browse websites, and also host websites. Using the I2P
network, individuals can surf the surface web anonymously.
How I2P Works
Unlike some of the anonymous networks that provide anonymity to just one end of a
communication network. For example, keeping the sender anonymous and not the recipient
and vice versa. The I2P keeps both the sender and recipient anonymous. It has no central
network of which mounted pressures can manage to compromise the security and the integrity
of the network. As pointed earlier, I2P runs on tens of thousands of computers across the globe,
and each computer runs an I2P router which ensures that one-way connections and encryption
are established for communications sent and received from its other users. All messages passing
through the network are meant for cryptographic keys, and can sometimes be larger than IP
packets. Messages being sent passes through outbound tunnels and make their way to other
tunnels. Similarly, messages are received through inbound tunnels of other routers, making it
very secure. Each user has absolute control over the length of their inbound and outbound
tunnel. In this case, users can take advantage of reliability, throughput, latent, and balance
anonymity. Interestingly, once I2P is connected, users can access eepsites using a standard web
browser. Users can create and host an anonymous eepsite as the I2P tunnel service allows users
to do that.
The I2P service also allows users to access streaming apps. A video streaming application like
I2PSnark allows users to access and stream videos as well as other resources making use of the
BitTorrent protocols via the I2P network.
Can I2P provide a Complete Anonymity
There is nothing like complete anonymity or perfect anonymity as the whole idea of the
anonymous software is to assist in hiding some information you do not want to appear online.
Every software can be compromised, and the strength depends on a number of factors. The
level of anonymity provided by the I2P network depends on the strength of encryption, the
number of concurrent users, the size of the network, and the internal architecture of the
system. The possibility of Breaching the anonymity also depends on the kind of actor and the
resources at his disposal. Defeating any of the above factors can put users at risk. Regardless of
the weakness, the I2P network has its strength. I2P provides protection against external tagging
attacks, brute force attacks, timing attacks, traffic analysis attacks, partitioning attacks, and central resource attacks.
A Brief Introduction to Tor
Tor uses a network of volunteer-run servers to channel messages from user computers to the
content on the internet. With millions of users across the globe, it is one of the most used
networks to access the dark web. Messages sent over the network are encrypted and goes
through three random layers of encryption. Tor is designed in a way that third parties or ISP and
any other person monitoring your connection will not be able to read messages. However, they
will be able to see that the user is using Tor. A number of users are configured to follow the
same path via the network. Every 10 minutes, the route that all data follows via the network is
How I2P Compares with Tor Generally
There are a number of differences between I2P and Tor. Firstly, I2P makes use of a one-way
connection between servers in its tunnel. This is different from Tor which uses two-way
encrypted connections between Relays. This means for any third party to obtain the same
amount of information from both I2P and Tor, he may need to work extra hard by compromising
twice as many nodes compared to the Tor.
In terms of addressing scalability issues, Tor has an edge over I2P as it has much funding. In
addition, it is far larger and mature compared to I2P.
I2P also relies on a distributed network database which makes it more secure as it has no fixed
point to attack. This is more different compared to Tor which relies on a set of trusted directory
servers. They are in charge of maintaining the list of available relays.
In addition, accessing the Tor’s Onion Hidden sites is much slower than the I2P despite hidden
services. Also, the I2P has an edge over Tor as peers are chosen through continuous profiling
and ranking performance. It is small enough compared to Tor that it has benefited with its size
considering the fact that it has not been blocked or Dosed.
I2P is much preferred as it encourages protection against the browsing activities of the client.
Attackers have no chance even when they are participating in the same tunnel. Another
advantage of I2P over Tor is how its tunnel is short-lived. This ensures that the number of
samples an attacker can use to stage activity is decreased. Tor on the other side has a circuit
that is long-lived.
Benefits of Tor over I2P
Tor has better documentation, better websites, more translation, formal research, and
specification compared to I2P. It is also optimized for exit traffic and has a large number of exit
nodes compared to the I2P. Tor is more efficient when it comes to memory usage, and also, its
client node has low bandwidth overhead. The size of Tor has given it the advantage to adapt to blocking and DDoS attempts.
How to Use I2P
First, download and install Java. It is important to note that I2P has a Java programming
language, so its important to first have the Java.
Download, install and Run I2P
After running it, a console window will open, and a browser window will open as well at
the I2P router console. This will indicate that you have connected to the network.
The router Console will show that you are connected.
To be able to browse through eepsites in the I2P network, you need to configure your browser.
The I2p website has an
on how to go about this.
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