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I2P Browser: Pros and Cons of the Anonymous Network

Are you concerned about the visibility of your online communication? I2P stands for ‘Invisible Internet Project’, and is a popular tool for protecting your identity and keeping your information secure while you browse the web. Originally invented to make government intelligence invisible to hackers, it is now used to protect communications for a range of activities on the internet – primarily the use of the Darknet. So, what are the positives and negatives of using an I2P download, and which I2P download program is best for you?

Just what is I2P, and how can it be used to your advantage? This article will take a look at what you can gain, and what you risk when using the anonymous network. We’ll delve into the details for how I2P actually functions and compare to a similar system – a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

What Is I2P?

What is I2P is something I hear a lot. I2P is a decentralized system that works end-to-end to encrypt and protect information and resources shared between its users. As there is no central control hub, the routers themselves the individual networks being used. This allows full anonymity in the sharing of storage or the sending of files and applications between members of the community.

I2P software is highly secure. It creates proxy channels between routers which scrambles information through several outbound proxy tunnels. By the time the information reaches its destination, all the information is encrypted, and the two messengers are anonymous to each other.

You might have heard of Tor. It uses a system called ‘onion routing’, which transports one message through multiple channels. I2P download has a different system known as ‘garlic routing’, which differs by dividing one message into several smaller messages that are encrypted. These are referred to as ‘cloves’, which break away from each other on their journeys towards their separate endpoints.

Because there are multiple routes and different tunnels, as well as there being no central hub to the system, I2P software is a very secure way to communicate messages without the fear of being hacked. Compared to similar networks, it provides a higher level of invisibility for its users’ information.

What Can I2P Do For You?

There are multiple things you can use I2P download software for. Some of the most popular uses of I2P browser functions are:

  • Creating an anonymous email with @mail.I2P
  • Easily running a website anonymously with your own .I2P domain suffix
  • Using torrent sites to invisibly share files and applications

You can also run I2P services with a range of different plugins. Some of the most common are:

  • Cloud storage solutions
  • Webchat
  • Message boards, blogs, wiki sites, and other only forum software
  • Public gateways so you can share with people outside the iP2 system
  • gateways so users can access the wider web

The Conversation

Originally an underlying system that few spoke about, in recent times, the conversation around I2P has heated up. This is largely due to its use in two publicly prominent Darknet sites.

1 – Silk Road Reloaded

Silk Road Reloaded was created as a forum for illicit, black market goods: drugs, weapons, chemicals – anything that people would likely want to remain anonymous while purchasing. Launched in 2015, the site used I2P to make all information about the company and its clients anonymous.

Silk Road Reloaded got noticed by the media and security experts, and this shift away from its original system – Tow’s Hidden Services – suggested that I2P was now the primary tool for Darknet dealings.

As a result of this attention, more people then had a grasp of the anonymity factor and began using Silk Road Reloaded. This helped the system grow, with more users, storage and bandwidths becoming available.

2 – Cryptowall 3.0

This evolution of ransomware giant Cryptowall culminated around the same time as Silk Road Reloaded. Cryptowall 3.0 used it as part of its infamous mission to attack victims’ computers with a malware in 2015, that effectively stole over $24 million. With the use of I2P, who knows how big this number could grow to?

Pros of the Network

The I2P download remains a popular tool for anonymity on the web. Here are some of the advantages of using an IP2 browser.

No Timing Attacks

Timing patterns of information exchanges allow third parties to monitor and predict traffic through outbound tunnels and exits. This puts the user’s anonymity at risk. With I2P, the tunnels themselves are tightly encrypted to prevent these sort of attacks from happening.

No Middle-Man Attacks

Middle-man attacks are when a hacker intercepts a message by pretending to be its genuine recipient. The garlic system used makes it difficult for hackers to decrypt the information, and the myriad of pathways for the messages also makes it hard for a middle-man to intercept.

Share Files Fast

The system lets users share files Peer to Peer in a very short amount of time. Many users enjoy the benefits of Tracker2.postman.i2p, which allows rapid anonymous sharing of files via torrenting applications.

Cons of the Network

There are some major disadvantages of using an I2P browser. Here is our overview of the drawbacks.

It’s Relatively New

Compared to the likes of Freenet or Tor, this particular browser is a baby in the industry field. Without the large base of users, financial support or literature surrounding it, there could be problems with the system that are yet to be realized. There has yet to be even a 1.0 version and there hasn’t been any news that it’s on the horizon.

Awkward to Install and Operate

An IP2 download only works properly when used with the right specifications. It is not designed for the average user with a Windows or Mac computer. Using a Linux OS is the only way to ensure effective anonymity. While downloading and installing won’t be too alien or complicated to most users, you’ll need to set up your browsers to work with it. The info is on their website, but some users may be put off by the extra effort required.

Access to Content

To be able to share your files and information from peer to peer with I2P browser, you must be logged in to the network. Comparable anonymity systems distribute information and store it, so users can access everything even when the user who published it is logged out.

Risk When Using Public Web

You cannot guarantee anonymity when making use of an outproxy to the public web. You cannot reliably browse common websites without revealing your identity to the server. This looks set to change with their developments in their ‘false.i2p’ system, but for now many users are vulnerable.

I2P Vs VPN – The Lowdown

We hope we’ve answered the question of ‘What Is I2P?’, and given you a deeper insight into the pros and cons of the service?

We want to offer you all the information you need to make an informed decision when choosing privacy options online. Both I2P browsers and VPN services offer benefits for those seeking anonymity online.

It offers complete security for your web pages, email addresses, messaging and torrenting; but there could be more risks on the horizon for this small community of users. There is still the potential for hacking the future, and you are still sharing your information with groups you might not wish to.

When browsing the public web, a VPN is your best option. Unlike I2P, there is no peer-to-peer transfer of information, so all your info is kept away from potential risks such as hackers or criminals. We recommend ExpressVPN:

Thomas

I love to spend my time on the internet - preferably day and night. And I love my job – I’m a computer and security expert. As an author of this website, I can give free rein to my passion: Writing about essential topics like data security and encrypted connections. I also like to get my hands on the newest products and software, to try them and to share my feedback with our readers.

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