Version 47 (modified by anonymous, 10 years ago) (diff)

Additions and amendments to the site FAQ.

ABCs of i2p

duck: section for the curious but unknowing potential users. shouldnt be too technical, just the first X questions that get asked by those not having used I2P before. I hate the title newbie though, too derogative

  • Why do I need I2P?
  • Privacy, a central tenet of human rights, is seeing a rapid erosion around the world as goverments, in league with big media, seek to infringe privacy in the interests of suppressing copyright infringement. The Hadopi Law in France, the Digital Economies Act in the UK and the proposed firewall in Australia are but 3 examples of increasingly repressive legislation that undermines vital freedoms. In addition, repressive governments that seek to censor the internet and punish those that attempt to express themselves politically are also looking to gain even more control over the internet, and their citizens by extension. If you're a whistleblower or political dissident, the case for I2P is clear. If you're an "average Joe", the freedoms you take for granted today may well be lost tomorrow. Be in no doubt, free flow of information requires your active participation, and by running I2P you're not only helping youself but also others who may have their freedom threatened. If you want to preserve the notion of online privacy, running I2P should be a no-brainer!
  • I've heard of Tor. What's different about I2P? Should I use both?
  • I2P and Tor are both anonymizing tools that run on a variety of platforms, and serve the interests of similar users. Where Tor sees its primary role as a platform for circumventing censorship on the net at large and providing the tools to evade direct monitoring by governments, ISPs etc, I2P takes a slightly different approach. Where Tor creates a two-tier system of clients and relay nodes, I2P by default puts every user in the role of both client *and* relay. However, unlike Tor, by running I2P there is no risk of takedown notices or worse, since I2P keeps all the traffic hidden and encrypted end-to-end. Tor facilitates access to the net at large, and therefore exposes itself, and its users, to some risk of monitoring and legal intervention. Since everything in I2P happens within I2P, there is no risk of external monitoring by ISP's or governments. In this sense, Tor is more a conventional proxy onto the net at large, whereas I2P is a darknet implementation. In short, we recommend you use I2P for the darknet it provides, and Tor as a privacy tool to facilitate access to the net at large. They're great companion tools for anyone interested in online privacy.
  • What is the difference between I2P and Freenet, TOR, JonDoe?.
    • duck: do people still know Freenet? couple years ago it was the privacy thing that everybody was aware of. any other (regional) candidates?
  • Whats an "eepsite"? Who is "Itoopie"? What is a darknet?
  • Is it safe? Has the code been audited?
  • duck: splendid stuff, suggest rephrasing to atleast mention privacy / anonymity. safe is too generic.

  • Is my router an "exit node" to the regular Internet? I don't want it to be.
  • You're confusing Tor and I2P! By default, everyone on the network participates in the network to help route traffic for other I2P users. We do not configure an "outproxy" on a default installation, so the only traffic a default I2P installation will route will be for other I2P routers (nodes) within the network, encrypted and anonymous by design.

  • What is syndie and is it still active?
  • Syndie is a distributed, decentralized forum platform specifically written for I2P. Development is ongoing, but currently the only way to install Syndie is through compiling it yourself from the mtn database. More information can be found at
  • I have a question!

Dig In - Technical Aspect

duck: section for those who have tried I2P, and are interested in the internals / limits, etc.

powerusers but NOT developers.

  • What crypto is used?

  • How does I2P bootstrap?

RN: this question popped up in #-2p-help, and the person asking did not wait long enough for an answer, it expands the question above, and is probably too long but I put it here to illustrate what new i2people want to know… and I'll answer it as best I can..

  • how do the I2Prouters find each other? In public routing there are HELLO packets like in OSPF - but i don't know how it works in a virtual net… read something about garlic routing, but there is no explanation about " how the router find eachother in detail" there must be a central instance which is the first point of contact, or ?
  • RN: When a new i2p router first starts up, it contacts sites that distribute some initial 'seeds' These are information about other routers and are stored in your netDB. They expire after a while, so that's why i2p does not ship with default seeds installed. Once your router has been running a while, it gets information about other routers that it connects to (through the ones it already knows) and stores those as well, this is why your Known-Peers number displayed in the console goes up over time; and why, if your internet connection goes down, the number goes down since it gets no response from each router it tries to contact.
  • How safe is this 'bootstrap' process?
    • duck: what is safe? who'd ask this question? not sure about this one
  • duck: how will they know about floodfill? can we rephrase it elsewhere to make this floodfill clear at the first point of introduction.
  • Will I2P be able to cope with a huge influx of new users? (Does it scale?)

  • What ports does I2P use?

  • What happened to * What happened to jrandom? Is I2P dead?
  • jrandom, the original developer of I2P, had to disappear for reasons unknown. Since the original domain was registered by him, and he never left a forwarding address, it was impossible to take control of the domain, and so was born. I2P is far from dead; we're seeing much growth on the network, and huge strides being made in the development. I2P is definitely here to stay!
  • What do you mean by "no trusted parties"?
  • No trusted parties is an expression used in cryptography/privacy circles to indicate the nature of a network. It means, in essence, that there is no centralized infrastructure that needs to be relied on (and trusted) for I2P to function correctly, and furthermore, the design of I2P is explicitly such that centralized servers that assume critical roles withhin the network are not used. To compare and contrast, Tor uses trusted parties for its "directory servers" to map the network topology.
  • Do I need to mess with my router to get I2P to work? Do I need to port forward to participate?

Dig in - Non Technical Aspect


  • How can I be sure I'm not being spied on?
  • Do they know I will be running I2P? Is running I2P illegal?

  • Is using an outproxy safe? (What are these inproxies and outproxies?)
    • Inproxies are services which allows an user from the regular internet have a look into the anonymous network of I2P. So … the opposite of this is an outproxy. An Outproxy allows you to visit websites of the regular internet through the anonymous network of I2P. Is it safe? It depends on what you are doing with that. Never use an unsecure connection (http w/out "s") to send privat data like username with passwords. The operator of an outproxy can log your informatione if he wants to do that. You don't know what happens with your information which leaves the I2P net through an outproxy. In I2P your connections are safe with encryption of your data. At the outproxy your information will be decrypted and send out unencrypted to the regular internet.
  • Steganography rants

Political / Ethical / Philosphical

  • Isn't I2P encouraging copyright infringement?
  • I2P is a network. We provide a framework for encrypted, anonymous communication. How our users choose to use these freedoms is entirely their call. Some people may feel more comfortable engaging in practices that may put them in some risk in the "wider world", such as filesharing, over I2P, but we don't explicitly take a view on this, save to ensure that publicly visible content on the network doesn't actively infringe on criminal legislation. Note that, to date in most regimes, copyright infringement is a civil law, or tort, and not a criminal infraction.
  • Criminal Activity (snuff/bestiality/cp/terrorism etc)
  • Through the provision of a dns overlay that allows I2P users to map b32 public encryption keys to a memorable .i2p domain, users can have easy to remember domains on I2P for their webservers etc, though it's entirely optional. If a service is made available this way and is seen to contain questionable material, revoking the service's .i2p domain is likely to happen. If a service operator chooses not to make his service visible this way, then it's much harder to discover the service, and more or less impossible to shut it down. Similarly, the main torrent tracker on I2P, http://tracker2.postman.i2p also implements some fundamental requirements with regard to content that prohibits certain nefarious types of content including, snuff, gore and child pornography.

  • I am opposed to certain types of content. How do I keep from distributing, storing, or accessing them?
  • Although I2P and Freenet share some characteristics, in I2P you are never obligated to store encrypted files for other users on the network; this is a Freenet feature. In terms of accesssing dubious content, the same rules apply as on the net at large: proceed with caution!

In Operation


  • I'm missing lots of hosts in my addressbook. What are some good subscription links?

  • My active peers / known peers / participating tunnels / connections / bandwidth vary dramatically over time! Is anything wrong?
  • My router is using too much CPU?!?

  • My router has very few active peers, is this OK?

  • I can't access regular Internet sites through I2P.

  • I2P is running, but I can't get to my gmail (or other regular websites) .. (https://)
  • I2P out of the box provides a web proxy (what we call an outproxy in I2P terminology) to the web at large. Intended for casual, occasional use, this proxy only supports unencrypted traffic, so any website such as gmail that requires an https:// connection will fail. If your proxying needs are more than occasional, we recommend you use Tor in conjunction with I2P to facilitate better access to the web.

  • How do I connect to IRC within I2P?
  • I2P comes pre-configured with an IRC tunnel ready to go. You don't need to configure a proxy in your IRC client; simply connect to server port 6668 with I2P running and you'll gain access to I2P's IRC server network. Note that both OFTC and Freenode also host I2P channels, but access via these servers do not offer anonymized access.
  • How do I access IRC, BitTorrent, or other services on the regular Internet?
  • In short, use something like Tor to access services on the regular net. I2P does not provide a gateway to IRC or bittorrent services on the regular net, although it may be possible to access external services through a custom proxy service provided by a network member. The default I2P web proxy (false.i2p) is only rigged for unencrypted web (http://) traffic.
  • Most of the eepsites within I2P are down?
  • Have a look at one of the eepsite tracking sites, for example http://perv.i2p. This site gives a good idea of active eepsites. Bear in mind that many of the websites hosted on I2P are run on desktops or laptops that may not be up 24/7.
  • How do I set up my own eepsite?
  • Why is I2P so slow?
  • There are several reasons for this, not least the overheads placed on network communication by end-to-end encryption. That said, the main reason that I2P is perceived to be slow is the nature of the network itself.. since I2P relies on your upload speeds, or upstream in order to provide service to other users on the network, and the majority of users are running from domestic adsl/cable services, the speed of service is limited this way. For example, a user with an 8Mbit connection to the network may well only have 256Kb/s upstream; it is the upstream value that determines the speed a given user can offer to the network.

  • What do the Active x/y numbers mean in the router console?
  • Is it possible to use I2P as a SOCKS proxy?
  • How do I reseed manually?


  • How can I access the web console from my other machines or password protect it?
  • How can I use applications from my other machines?
  • How do I startup I2P automatically on boot time?
  • Ideally I2P should be run as a system service which makes I2P available even before you login to your system. On Windows, we provide a .bat script in the I2P dir to install I2P as a service, and this is the preferrable method on Windows of running I2P. Once the .bat file is run, I2P will automatically run at next boot. In the event you do this, there is no need to manually launch I2P. [Info on installing I2P under Linux/OS X as a service needed, please]


duck: I dont think these should be part of the I2P core FAQ.

  • Bittorrent / I2PSnark / Azureus I2P Plugin Questions?
  • WTF is all this noise about Seedless?
  • I've heard a rumor of something called I2FS. What is it?
  • IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is weird! What is a changate? Who is Fox? Who is CIA?