What is I2P and how does it work?

So you’ve heard What is I2P before but aren’t quite sure what it is or how it works. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. I2P is short for the Invisible Internet Project, a way for people to connect to websites and communicate privately. Unlike the regular internet you’re probably using right now, I2P obscures your online activity and hides your location. Some people use it to evade censorship or just value their privacy. Either way, I2P makes it much harder for anyone to see what websites you visit or who you talk to.

Intrigued? Let’s dive into how this whole private internet thing actually functions. The key is that I2P creates an anonymous network within the regular internet. When you use I2P, your internet traffic is routed through a global volunteer network of routers that hide the origin and destination. The end result is that your online footprint is virtually untraceable. Sound like the kind of internet you’ve been looking for? Read on to learn exactly how I2P establishes privacy and security, and how you can start using this anonymous network today.

What Is I2P? An Introduction to the Invisible Internet Project

So what exactly is I2P? I2P stands for the Invisible Internet Project. It’s a network that allows people to connect anonymously by hiding their online activity and location.

I2P was created to give people private access to websites and services, as well as a way to publish information without revealing their identity. It’s open source, meaning anyone can contribute to improving the network.

To use I2P, you first need to download the I2P router software. This software allows your computer to connect to the I2P network. Once installed, the router will start up and integrate into your current internet connection.

Now you’re ready to access I2P sites and services, called eepsites. These sites have addresses that end in .i2p and can only be accessed through the I2P network. To visit an eepsite, you enter its address into your I2P-enabled web browser.

I2P also has anonymous file sharing, email, chat, and blogging capabilities. Everything you do is encrypted and bounced through a network of other I2P routers to mask your identity.

The key goal of I2P is to make private communication accessible for ordinary people. While the network has its limitations, I2P aims to give users more control and protection over their data in an era of mass surveillance. For those looking to keep their online activities confidential, I2P provides an open-source solution.

How I2P Works: The Technical Details

what is I2P
Sourch : ubunlog.com

So how exactly does I2P work to provide you anonymity online? There are a few technical details worth understanding:

I2P uses a network of peers rather than centralized servers. Your internet traffic is bounced through a series of randomly selected I2P nodes, making it nearly impossible to trace the origin.

I2P uses end-to-end encryption. Your data is encrypted multiple times as it passes through the network, and each layer of encryption is unlocked only by the next node in the chain. This means no single node can read the full message.

I2P uses garlic routing. Messages are broken up into smaller pieces, encrypted, and sent through different paths in the network before being reassembled at the destination. This adds another layer of confusion for anyone trying to snoop on your activity.

I2P uses a distributed database to find network paths. There’s no single point of failure, and the ever-changing network topology means paths are constantly shifting. Messages can take different routes on each trip.

The software is open-source and freely available to anyone. Thousands of people run I2P nodes, called routers, which work together to build a strong, reliable network. The more people use I2P, the more powerful it becomes.

By combining distributed peer-to-peer technology, end-to-end encryption, garlic routing, and an open-source philosophy, I2P creates a private network where anonymity is the norm and privacy is the default for everyone.

Using I2P: Downloading, Configuring and Browsing

Downloading I2P

The first step is to download the I2P software. You can get the latest version at https://geti2p.net. Install it on your computer like any other program.

Configuring I2P

Once installed, open the I2P program. You’ll go through the configuration wizard which will help you set up the network.

  • Choose a nickname (or leave blank) and password to log in to I2P. Make sure you remember your info!
  • Port forwarding (optional) can help increase your bandwidth. Follow the instructions to configure your router.
  • Review and set bandwidth options. The more you share, the faster your connection can be. But only share what you can afford.
  • Review proxy server options. Leave the defaults unless you have a specific need to change them.

Browsing I2P

After configuring the network, you can start browsing eepsites (websites hosted within I2P) and using I2P applications.

  • To visit an eepsite, enter the .i2p address into your browser URL bar. Popular sites include Eepnews, I2P-Bote mail, and I2Phex (file sharing).
  • Use the built-in Eepsite search to find more anonymous websites and services. Be aware that not all content within I2P will be legal!
  • Install I2P apps like I2PSnark (torrent client), I2P-Bote (email), or I2P-Messenger (chat). These apps can be found on the I2P website or through links within the I2P router console.
  • To access regular internet websites, use the I2P proxy through a “jump service” eepsite. Enter the website URL into the form on the eepsite. Your connection will be proxied through the I2P network, hiding your IP address.

Exploring I2P can be challenging at first, but with some practice navigating the network anonymously will become second nature. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Security and Anonymity on I2P

I2P is designed to keep your online activity private and anonymous. It does this through a few key security features built into the network.


All communication within I2P is end-to-end encrypted. This means your messages are scrambled into code that only you and the recipient can decrypt and read. Even if someone were to intercept your communications, they would only see gibberish.


I2P uses layered encryption and a technique called garlic routing to hide your identity. Your messages are wrapped in multiple layers of encryption, like a matryoshka doll, and bounce through other peers on the network before reaching the final destination. This makes it extremely difficult for anyone to trace the message back to you.

Peer Review

The I2P network is made up of a large number of peers that volunteer their bandwidth and computing resources to keep the network running. However, not just any peer can join the network. New peers are reviewed by a group of trusted network participants before being allowed access. This helps weed out any peers that could compromise the security or anonymity of the network.


There are no central servers on I2P that could be targeted to take the network down or collect user data. The network is made up of interconnected peers with no single point of failure. Your information is split up and spread across multiple peers, so no one peer contains the full picture.

Using these safeguards, I2P allows people to communicate and access information freely while protecting their privacy. However, as with any technology, there are limitations to I2P’s anonymity and security. You should never consider your activity on I2P to be completely untraceable. But when used properly, I2P does offer a high level of privacy protection for everyday internet use.

Related Article : Express VPN does not work on iPad! 7 steps to fix it!

Common Questions About I2P Answered

So you’ve heard about I2P but still have some questions about what exactly it is and how it works. No worries, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about I2P answered.

What is I2P?

I2P is short for Invisible Internet Project. It’s a decentralized anonymous network built on top of the regular Internet. I2P encrypts and hides all of your internet traffic and masks your IP address, allowing you to access various internet services anonymously.

How does I2P work?

I2P works by encrypting all communications and routing them through a network of peers, or nodes, making it very difficult to determine who is sending the data. Your internet traffic is passed between multiple I2P nodes before reaching its final destination, obscuring the original sender.

What can I do with I2P?

I2P allows you to do many of the same activities you do on the normal internet, but anonymously. You can browse eepSites (I2P websites), share files, blog, chat and email anonymously using services like I2P-Bote (email) or I2P-Messenger (chat).

Is I2P legal?

I2P itself is legal as it’s simply a tool for anonymizing internet traffic. However, some activities conducted through I2P may be illegal, so users should exercise caution. As with any anonymizing network, I2P can potentially be used for both good and bad.

How do I access I2P?

To use I2P, you need to download the free I2P router software. Once installed, you can configure your internet connection to route through I2P by “tunneling” your traffic. You can then access eepSites and various I2P services through a browser on your local machine. I2P is available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and Android.

Hope this helps answer some of your questions about the anonymous I2P network. If you have any other questions, check out geti2p.net for more info.

So now you have the basics down on I2P and how it provides anonymous communication. While the technology can seem complex, the core ideas around layered encryption, garlic routing, and constant network changes are straightforward. I2P continues to gain more mainstream interest as people look for ways to protect their privacy online. If you do decide to start using I2P, just take some time to get familiar with the interface and tools. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be anonymously browsing and sharing files in no time. The internet can be a place where our data and identities are constantly at risk, but tools like I2P give power back to the users and help make the web a little more private and secure for all.

Related Articles

Back to top button