I2P (Invisible Internet Project) is an encrypted peer-to-peer (P2P) anonymous network layer that protects your online browsing activity and geographical location
I2P is a scalable, self-organizing, resilient packet switched anonymous network layer, upon which any number of different anonymity or security conscious applications can operate. All communication is untrusted and encrypted to the endpoints.
The combination of these properties makes I2P ideal for anonymity-aware applications such as peer-to-peer application protocols, internet telephony, web browsing, secure shell, and other applications.”
What makes I2P special is that there are no servers involved in the transfer of data – instead, each user becomes both a sender and receiver for another user. I2P cares about privacy and route traffic location blocking so the network relies on peers.
For example, if Alice wants to send Boba a message, Alice wraps up the data and gives it to her I2P router. When Bob wants to reply, he sends his reply to Alice’s router as well. It’s an encrypted private network layer that uses encrypted unidirectional tunnels with a router console and resistance to pattern recognition.
I2p uses what is known as garlic routing which adds multiple layers of encryption (like an onion) to messages as they travel through the network. The first layer of encryption is used to encrypt the data so that no one can read it except the sender and the recipient. Additionally, i2p offers resistance as I2p traffic is internal.
Each router then peels off a layer of encryption before passing it on, ensuring that no router has enough information to determine where the message came from or went to.
I2p consists of over 33,000 active peers which are currently Cq transferring approximately 880 GiB per day. The invisible internet project i2p network offers a fully encrypted private network for pattern recognition and blocking.
How does I2p work?
Almost all privacy-preserving p2p traffic is indistinguishable from spam. Unless you’re in a private network, like Tor, your IP address is visible to peers that connect to you and that may well keep the logs (or pass it on to their “friends”). So when you use I2P, all the messages you send are still readable from your IP address by anyone willing to invest the effort. How does I2P work then?
Layers of I2P
I2P works using multiple layers, so let’s start from the lowest one. I2P hides the server from peers to route traffic and nodes in the router. You can connect to the i2p network which means my IP address is working fully.
First of all, there is a datagram layer that provides anonymity for low-bandwidth applications, like email and file transfers. This layer consists of end-to-end encryption with a constant key, so even the routers that relay your traffic don’t know what they carry.
The next layer is actually where I2P really shines: it’s a tunneling service. It provides application proxies for TCP and UDP protocols, allowing you to create applications that look just like any other network service running on your machine, but that instead talk to distant peers through I2P tunnels. Get the overview of the network for assistance.
A tunnel is created with a router at each endpoint: the client which initiates it and the server which accepts it. The client starts by contacting its configured inbound proxy (i2ptunnel) and asking for a destination.
The proxy looks up the destination in its list of peers and uses its tunneling session with this peer to send the request.
When the reply arrives back through the same tunnel that was used to carry the request, it is decrypted by I2P, then encrypted again (inner authentication) and forwarded to the proxy.
The proxy finally decrypts (outer authentication) and forwards the message to the original sender. All of this work is done automatically and you don’t need to know any of it nor understand how it works in detail.
This process just described is quite costly: several connections must be created, established, and then torn down. It would be much more efficient if we could reuse an existing connection instead.
This is why I2P supports Advanced Encryption Services (AES) . It allows you to create encrypted sessions that are only decrypted by the endpoints of the tunnel, preventing any observer from seeing what’s being transferred.
This way our application proxies can be more lightweight since they don’t need to encrypt manually each data packet.
After setting up this simple tunnel, our application can just send its data to the inbound proxy that will happily forward it through the encrypted session.
AES encryption is quite slow though. A quick way to speed up our data transfers is by using Garlic Routing, which bundles several messages together into a single encrypted packet. This makes the overhead of each packet small enough so that the extra CPU cost of AES encryption is more than paid for.
What is the use of I2P?
I2P (Invisible Internet Project) is a network layer that allows for censorship-resistant, anonymous communication. Privacy and security are built-in aspects of I2P, protecting the users as much as possible from any outside interference.
This makes it suitable for activities like blogging, sharing files through websites or kept, chatting, and VOIP calling (through Jappix). The network itself is strictly message-based – meaning there is no “content”-based routing, every piece of data sent over I2P is treated equally.
When discussing what I2P can be used for, we must distinguish between anonymous communications and anonymous storage. All messages sent over the network are encrypted so you get plausible deniability even if someone manages to get hold of your messages.
However, there is no way to hide the sender and receiver of the messages unless you establish a website and route all traffic through it. This limits anonymity to communications but gives a high level of security since nothing can be linked back to your computer.
Advantages of I2P
I2P offers several advantages over traditional web serving:
1) The server (in this case a user’s computer)does not know who is accessing the site, only that someone is. I2P encrypts each piece of data multiple times as it leaves a user’s computer so there is no way to determine where the information originated from. This makes it ideal for evading authorities or other adversaries.
2) There are no hosting costs – everything about andesite is out in the open for anyone to see. I2P can be used to build an internal, private site inaccessible from the outside internet (for example, a corporation’s intranet).
3) Sites are not dependent on any particular hosting provider – no more uptime concerns or DDoS attacks. A user always has the ability to connect and retrieve data, even if their preferred tunnel or router goes offline.
4) Sites cannot be blocked based on content (unless you consider encryption “content”). The closest analogy here is an encrypted Usenet feed. As long as there is at least one active router with the site in its cache then it will remain accessible.
Is I2P legal?
The short answer is, “Yes”. I2P’s design focuses on anonymity and privacy. As such, it includes a number of components that can be used to transfer data not normally considered legal by some individuals or organizations.
It is important to note that exactly what will and won’t get you in trouble will depend on your local laws and the type of data you’re trying to send. It offers resistance to pattern recognition as I2P is a fully developed platform.
Data Not Allowed by I2P What Types of Data Will Get You In Trouble? One example is copyright-protected material such as music, movies, or software. In most countries, copyright law dictates that distribution and/or use of copyrighted material may only be allowed under certain conditions.
These conditions may include but are not limited to the payment of a licensing fee, agreeing to restrictions on the use of the material, and sharing of any revenue derived from its distribution.
I2P is designed to allow users to securely and anonymously share data with one another. As such, it may be used as a tool for violating your local laws related to copyright.