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I2P is an open source project for building an anonymizing overlay network layered over the Internet. The software manages the connection to the I2P network and provides services that can be accessed by network-aware applications (such as web browsers, mail readers, instant messaging clients). The I2P network itself aims to be fully decentralized, although ordinary client-server protocols can be run on it.

I2P is considered to be by far more secure than Tor within the I2P distributed Network compared to Tor. It is not however as good for outproxy to the 'clearnet', though it does have the ability to be used as an outproxy to the clearnet. Most hackers today agree that I2P is the superior Darknet software while Tor remains the superior clearnet proxy service. Tor is better for helping people access blocked sites and bypassing restrictive firewalls. I2P is better for hidden services that are strictly inside of the darknet, though it has its own Onion protocol as well (Garlic) for having an I2P mirror of sites that are accessible to the clearnet.....For this reason it is suggested that you use all of the browser protections otherwise suggested in OPNewBlood.

At the time of this writing and for the last few years I2P has been providing full websites and IRC servers and other hidden services, torrents, video streaming, graphics, and most of what you would expect from clearnet sites only hidden in the darknet. All communication is end-to-end encrypted (in total there are four layers of encryption used when sending a message), and even the end points ("destinations") are cryptographic identifiers (essentially a pair of public keys). I2P, unlike Tor, uses 1 way 'tunnels' that increase your anonimity. Tor (In contrast to I2P) uses 2 way circuits. I2P therefor makes it twice as hard to trace the sender's IP address. In Tor it is possible for the final outproxy to spy on the content sent by the sender, though the IP of the sender is still hidden. Logging into a website while using Tor however would destroy your anonimity inside of Tor. I2P does not have this problem when using it inside of the I2P darknet. In I2P you can log into "eepsites" and maintain your anonimity, though using the I2P service as an outproxy to the clearnet might be considerably LESS safe than using Tor (at the time of this writing, August 2012).

In I2P the path to your destination could differ from the path back towards you, making it more secure than Tor and offering more anonimity within the I2P service. However, where there are hundreds or thousands of outproxies to the clearnet for Tor (some of them being run by feds), there are only a few sporadic outproxies to the clearnet for I2P. I2P is not ideal for clearnet traffic, but is superior for its darknet capabilities.

Although many of the developers had been a part of the IIP and Freenet communities, there are significant differences between their designs and concepts. IIP was an anonymous centralized IRC server, Freenet is a censorship-resistant distributed data store, but I2P is an anonymous peer-to-peer distributed communication layer designed to run any traditional internet service (e.g. Usenet, E-mail, IRC, Web hosting and HTTP, Telnet), as well as more traditional distributed applications (e.g. a distributed data store, a web proxy network using Squid cache, and DNS).

I2P is currently in the BETA development stage, and is close to offering its first stable release, though it is already regarded as being more secure than Tor as of 2011, but only within its own darknet network. The first stable release, version 1.0 was planned to arrive in August 2005.

The main developer of I2P is jrandom, with support from numerous others [1].

I2P software tools[edit]

Since I2P is an anonymous network layer, it is designed so other software programs can use it for anonymous communication, the so-called application layer. As such there are a variety of tools currently available for I2P or in development.

I2P is one of the primary applications that is advocated by the Anonymous "OPNewBlood" guide, which is itself a work in progress. Both Tor and I2P are suggested, but for different uses.



Azureus is a BitTorrent client that includes a plugin for I2P, allowing anonymous swarming through this network.


I2P-BT was a BitTorrent client for I2P that allowed anonymous swarming for file sharing. This client was a modified version of the original BitTorrent 3.4.2 program which ran on Windows and most Unices in a GUI and command-line environment.

I2P-BT was developed by the individual known as 'duck' on I2P in cooperation with smeghead. It is no longer being actively developed. The main reason for this is that the Azureus BitTorrent client took over with a new I2P plugin, but many have found it is a bit troublesome to use. However, there is a small effort to upgrade the I2P-BT client up to par with the BitTorrent 4.0 release.



I2Phex is a port of the popular gnutella client Phex to i2p. Although currently still in alpha development, it does tend to run with stability and without crashing and is fairly functional. Some issues with file transfers still exist and there is much cleanup left to be done concerning its GUI. It does already provide a halfway decent way of sharing content. Though BitTorrent would probably remain the best way to release new content.


I2PTunnel is an application embedded into I2P that allows arbitrary TCP/IP applications to communicate over I2P by setting up "tunnels" which can be accessed by connecting to pre-determined ports on localhost.


SAM [2] is a protocol that allows a client application written in any language to communicate over I2P.


I2P has a free pseudonymous e-mail service, run by an individual called Postman. The mail transfer servers are pop.mail.i2p and smtp.mail.i2p. Susimail was created to address privacy concerns in using these servers directly using traditional email clients, such as leaking the user's hostname while communicating with the SMTP server. Susimail is a Web-based email client intended primarily for use with Postman's mail servers, designed with security and anonymity in mind. It is currently included in the default I2P distribution, and can be accessed through your I2P router console web interface. (Note that this is only used to read and send e-mail, not to create or manage your mail.i2p account; the latter must be done at www.mail.i2p.)


Syndie is a blogging application for i2p (and also useable through Tor); it is currently at an alpha release.

I2P terminology[edit]

I2P users will see references to the following terms on the I2P home page and on the router console.


Eepsites are websites that are hosted anonymously within the I2P network. Eepsite names end in .i2p, such as ugha.i2p or orion.i2p. EepProxy can locate these sites through the cryptographic identifier keys stored in the hosts.txt file found within the I2P program directory. Typically, I2P is required to access these eepsites.


The EepProxy program handles all communication between your browser and any eepsite. It functions as a proxy server that can be used by any web browser.


Other machines using I2P that are connected to your machine within the network. Each machine within the network shares the routing and forwarding of encrypted packets.


Every ten minutes, a connection is established between your machine and another peer. Data to and from your machine, along with data for other users, passes through these tunnels, and are forwarded such that the packets eventually reach their final destination.

See also[edit]

  • Anonymous P2P
  • Tor - A similar anonymous communication system that is designed as more of an outproxy network to the existing Internet.

External links[edit]

I2P links[edit]

(I2P is required to access these sites)
anonymity | anonymous web surfing | anonymous e-mail | anonymous usenet posting | proxy server
Anonymous networks: Freenet | I2P | Tor | Entropy | garlic routing | onion routing
Related subjects: outing
This article contains content from Wikipedia. Current versions of the GNU FDL article I2P on WP may contain information useful to the improvement of this article WP