Infobox Software
name = I2P

caption =
developer = I2P developers
latest_release_version = 0.6.4
latest_release_date = release date|2008|10|6
operating_system = Cross-platform
genre = Overlay network
license = Free/Open Source - [http://www.i2p.net/licenses Multiple licenses] Public domain, BSD, GPL, MIT, Artistic license
website = [http://www.i2p2.de/ www.i2p2.de]

I2P (originally short for Invisible Internet Project, [ [http://www.i2p2.de/meeting59 IRC Meeting #59] : i2p = i^2p (invisible internet project)] though it is not commonly referred to by this name anymore) is a mixed-license free and open source project building an anonymous network (or, more accurately, a pseudonymous overlay network). The network is a simple layer that applications can use to anonymously and securely send messages to each other. Possible uses include anonymous surfing, chatting, blogging and file transfers.

Technical design

I2P is currently beta software. Developers emphasize that there are likely to be bugs in the software and that there has been insufficient peer review to date. Those seeking strong anonymity should look elsewhere. Because of this and a desire to grow the network gradually, so that problems can be identified and fixed before it becomes very widely deployed, developers have asked not to be publicized on the likes of Slashdot, but only on "Targeted, modest-traffic locations." [ [http://zzz.i2p.to/topics/69 zzz.i2p: I2P Publicity] ]

The network itself is strictly message-based (like IP), but there is a library available to allow reliable streaming communication on top of it (similar to TCP, although from version 0.6 there is a new UDP-based SSU transport). 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), so that neither sender nor recipient of a message need to reveal their IP address to the other side or to third-party observers.

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. I2P is an anonymous peer-to-peer distributed communication layer designed to run "any" traditional internet service (e.g. Usenet, E-mail, IRC, file sharing, 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).

Many developers of I2P are known only under pseudonyms. While the previous main developer, "jrandom" (see J. Random), is currently on hiatus, others, such as zzz and Complication have continued to lead development efforts, and are assisted by numerous contributors. [ [http://www.i2p2.de/statnotes0108 Status Update 01 2008] ] He or she has support from numerous others. [ [http://www.i2p2.de/team Team - I2P] ]

I2P software tools

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.


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 is a protocol which allows a client application written in any language to communicate over I2P, by using a socket-based interface to the I2P router. [ [http://www.i2p2.de/sam SAM - I2P ] ]


Several programs provide BitTorrent functionality for use within the I2P network. Each relies on the user being able to access the I2P network with a web browser to download the .torrent files.

"I2PSnark", included in the I2P install package, is a port of the BitTorrent client named Snark. [ [http://www.klomp.org/snark/ The Hunting of the Snark Project - BitTorrent Application Suite ] ]

"Vuze", formerly known as Azureus, is a BitTorrent client that includes a plugin for I2P, allowing anonymous swarming through this network. [ [http://azureus.sourceforge.net/plugin_details.php?plugin=azneti2p Azureus : Plugin Details for I2P Network Plugin ] ] [A tutorial exists for setting it up at http://azureus.sourceforge.net/doc/AnonBT/i2p/I2P_howto.htm] This plugin is still in an early stage of development, however it is already fairly stable.

"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 dialects of Unix in a GUI and command-line environment. It was developed by the individual known as 'duck' on I2P in cooperation with 'smeghead'. It is no longer being actively developed; however, there is a small effort to upgrade the I2P-BT client up to par with the BitTorrent 4.0 release.

"I2PRufus" is an I2P port of the Rufus BitTorrent client. [ [http://rufus.sourceforge.net/ Rufus - BitTorrent Client : Home ] ]

eDonkey iMule

iMule ("invisible Mule") [ [http://www.imule.i2p.to/ iMule homepage] ] is a port of the 'All-Platform' client aMule for I2P.

It's made for anonymous Filesharing using the I2P-network. Because of the included Router since version 1.2.3 no other software is needed to connect with the I2P-Network. Otherwise, if you want to use all the other features of I2P (BitTorrent, Gnutella, anonymous emails and websites ...) you have to install the whole package.

In difference to other eDonkey clients iMule only uses the Kademlia proceeding to connect, so no servers are needed.

Gnutella I2Phex

I2Phex is a port of the popular Gnutella client Phex to I2P. It is stable and fairly functional to work anonymously. It is the first full functional client for an anonymous file transfer, because the client is based on the developed client Phex.


I2P has a free pseudonymous e-mail service, run by an individual called 'Postman'. The mail transfer servers are "pop.mail.i2p" (POP3) and "smtp.mail.i2p" (SMTP).

"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, which is also usable through the Tor network; it is currently at an alpha release.

I2P terminology

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.

.i2p is a pseudo-top-level domain which is only valid within I2P overlay network scope. .i2p names are resolved by browsers by submitting requests to EepProxy which will in fact resolve names to an I2P peer key and will handle data transfers over the I2P network while all this remains transparent to the browser. [ [http://www.i2p2.de/ i2p homepage] ]


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.

ee also

*Anonymous P2P
*Tor - A similar anonymous communication system that is designed as more of an outproxy network to the existing Internet.
*Phantom - A similar anonymous communication system, with several improvements regarding throughput and other factors important to mass adoption.


External links

* [http://www.i2p2.de/ Official I2P website]
* [http://azureus.sourceforge.net/doc/AnonBT/i2p/I2P_howto.htm How to use Azureus with I2P]
* [http://ugha.i2p/ Ugha's wiki] (I2P is required to access this site)

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