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I2P logo.svg
I2P Router Console
Original author(s) I2P Team[1]
Initial release 2003
Stable release 0.9.18 / February 22, 2015 (2015-02-22) 0.9.18 Release[2]
Development status Active development
Written in Java; C[3]
Operating system Cross-platform
Available in English, Spanish
Incomplete translations: Russian, French,Romanian, German, Swedish, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Dutch, Polish, Hungarian, Arabic, Japanese, Estonian[4]
Type Overlay network
License Free/Open Source – Multiple licenses[5] Public domain, BSD, GPL, MIT, Artistic License
Website https://geti2p.net

The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is a computer network layer that allows applications to send messages to each other pseudonymously and securely. Uses include anonymous Web surfing, chatting, blogging and file transfers. The software that implements this layer is called an I2P router and a computer running I2P is called an I2P node.

The software is free and open source and is published under multiple licenses. The name I2P is derived from Invisible Internet Project, which, in pseudo-mathematical notation, is represented as I²P.

Technical design[edit]

I2P is beta software since 2003.[6] Developers emphasize that there are likely to be bugs in the software and that there has been insufficient peer review to date.[7] However, they believe the code is now reasonably stable and well-developed, and more exposure can help development of I2P.

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 Invisible IRC Project (IIP)[8] 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, email, 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, or DNS).

Many developers of I2P are known only under pseudonyms. While the previous main developer, jrandom, is currently on hiatus, others, such as zzz, killyourtv and Complication have continued to lead development efforts, and are assisted by numerous contributors.[9]


I2P router console

Since I2P is an anonymous network layer, it is designed so other software can use it for anonymous communication. As such there are a variety of tools currently available for I2P or in development.

The I2P router is controlled through the router console which is a web frontend accessed through a web browser.

General networking[edit]

  • 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 (Simple Anonymous Messaging) is a protocol which allows a client application written in any programming language to communicate over I2P, by using a socket-based interface to the I2P router.[10]
  • BOB (Basic Open Bridge) is a less complex app to router protocol similar to "SAM"[11][12]
  • Orchid outproxy Tor plugin[13]


File sharing[edit]

  • Several programs provide BitTorrent functionality for use within the I2P network. Users cannot connect to non-I2P torrents or peers from within I2P, nor can they connect to I2P torrents or peers from outside I2P.[14] I2PSnark, included in the I2P install package, is a port of the BitTorrent client named Snark.[15] Vuze, formerly known as Azureus, is a BitTorrent client that includes a plugin for I2P, allowing anonymous swarming through this network.[16] This plugin is still in an early stage of development, however it is already fairly stable. I2P-BT is a BitTorrent client for I2P that allows anonymous swarming for file sharing. This client is a modified version of the original BitTorrent 3.4.2 program which runs on MS 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.[17] Robert (P2P Software) is the most actively maintained I2PRufus fork. And there is "I2P-Transmission".
  • iMule (invisible Mule) is a port of eMule for I2P network. iMule is made for anonymous file sharing. In contrast to other eDonkey clients, iMule only uses the Kademlia for proceeding to connect through I2P network, so no servers are needed.
  • I2Phex is a port of the popular Gnutella client Phex to I2P. It is stable and fairly functional.
  • A port of Tahoe-LAFS has been ported to i2p. This allows for files to be anonymously stored in Tahoe-LAFS grids.


  • Bitmessage.ch can be used over I2P or Tor.
  • I2P has a free pseudonymous e-mail service run by an individual called Postman. Susimail is a web-based email client intended primarily for use with Postman's mail servers, and is designed with security and anonymity in mind. 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. It is currently included in the default I2P distribution, and can be accessed through the I2P router console web interface. Mail.i2p can contact both i2p email users, via user@mail.i2p and public internet email users from a user@i2pmail.org address.
  • I2P-Bote is a fully decentralized and distributed email system.[18] It supports different identities and does not expose email headers. Currently (2015), it is still in beta version and can be accessed via its web application interface or IMAP and SMTP. All bote-mails are transparently end-to-end encrypted and, optionally, signed by the sender's private key, thus removing the need for PGP or other privacy software. I2P-Bote offers additional anonymity by allowing for the use of mail relays with variable length delays. As it is decentralized, there is no email server that could link different email identities as communicating with each other (profiling): Even the nodes relaying the mails do not know the sender, and apart from sender and receiver, only the end of the high-latency mail route and the storing nodes will know to whom (which I2P node – the user's IP address is still hidden by I2P) the mail is destined. The original sender can have gone offline long before the mail becomes available on the other side. No accounts need to be registered, all you have to do in order to use it is install and connect it, and create a new identity. I2P-Bote can be installed as an I2P plugin (i2p-link).[19]

Instant messaging[edit]

  • I2P-Messenger is a simple Qt-based, serverless, end-to-end-encrypted instant messenger for I2P.[citation needed] No servers can log the user's conversations. No ISP can log with whom the user chats, when, or for how long. As it is serverless, it can make use of I2P's end-to-end encryption, preventing any node between two parties from having access to the plain text. I2P-Messenger can be used for fully anonymous instant communication with persons the user doesn't even know, or, alternatively, to communicate securely and untraceably with friends, family members, or colleagues. In addition to messaging, file transfer is also supported.
  • I2P-Talk is another simple instant messenger incompatible with I2P-Messenger, but having the same security properties.


  • Syndie is a content distributing application which support blogs, newsgroups, forums for I2P, which is also usable through the Tor network and the normal unencrypted web.


  • I2PBerry is a Linux distribution which can be used as a router to encrypt and route network traffic through the I2P network.[20]

The Privacy Solutions project[edit]

The Privacy Solutions project,[21] a new organization that develops and maintains I2P software launched several new development efforts designed to enhance the privacy, security, and anonymity for users, based on I2P protocols and technology.

These efforts include:[22]

  • The Abscond browser bundle.
  • i2pd, an alternate implementation of I2P, written in C++ (rather than Java).
  • The "BigBrother" I2P network monitoring project.

The code repository and download sections for the i2pd and Abscond project is available for the public to review and download.[23]


  • Release builds of an I2P Router application for Android can be found on the Google Play store under The Privacy Solutions Project's Google Play account or on an F-Droid repository hosted by the developers.[24]
  • Nightweb is an Android application that utilizes I2P and Bittorrent to share blog posts, photos, and other similar content.[25] It can also be run as a desktop application. It is no longer in development.[26]


Current crypto currencies that support I2P, or plan it are listed bellow.

  • The Anoncoin[27] crypto-coin project.
  • The Monero[28] crypto-coin project.


Eepsites are Websites that are hosted anonymously within the I2P network. Eepsite names end in .i2p, such as ugha.i2p or forum.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.[29]
'I2p' is a pseudo-top-level domain which is only valid within the I2P overlay network scope. .i2p names are resolved by browsers by submitting requests to EepProxy which will resolve names to an I2P peer key and will handle data transfers over the I2P network while remaining transparent to the browser.[30]
The EepProxy program handles all communication between the browser and any eepsite. It functions as a proxy server that can be used by any web browser.
Peers, I2P nodes
Other machines using I2P that are connected to user's 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 the user's machine and another peer. Data to and from the user, along with the data for other peers (routed through the user's machine), pass through these tunnels and are forwarded to their final destination (may include more jumps).[31]
The distributed database that holds information on I2P nodes and I2P eepsites. This database is split up among routers known as "floodfill routers". When a user wants to know how to contact an eepsite, or where more peers are, they query the database.[32]

See also[edit]

Software :


  1. ^ "Team", About, Get I2P .
  2. ^ "Release", Get I2P (blog) (0.9.18 ed.), Feb 22, 2015 
  3. ^ "The invisible Internet project (I2P)". I2P Dev Team. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  4. ^ I2P (project), Transifex .
  5. ^ "Licenses", Get involved, Get I2P .
  6. ^ Get I2P (blog) .
  7. ^ "Benefits of Tor over I2P". I2P Dev Team. Retrieved 23 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "IIP", Invisible IP, Source forge .
  9. ^ "Status Update Jan 2008", Get I2P, Feb 1, 2008 .
  10. ^ "SAM", API, I2P .
  11. ^ "BOB", API, Get I2P .
  12. ^ BOB: Basic Open Bridge API to the I2P router (official eepsite) .
  13. ^ https://github.com/bitcoinj/bitcoinj/tree/master/orchid
  14. ^ I2P Bittorrent FAQ (forum), DE: i2p2 .
  15. ^ The Hunting of the Snark Project – BitTorrent Application Suite, Klomp .
  16. ^ "How To for I2P Network Plugin", I2PHelper (Howto) (setup tutorial), Vuze .
  17. ^ "Rufus – BitTorrent Client". Sourceforge. .
  18. ^ I2P-Bote, US: I2P .
  19. ^ Plugins, I2P 
  20. ^ I2PBerry .
  21. ^ Privacy Solutions project .
  22. ^ List of ongoing Privacy Solutions projects .
  23. ^ Active development, The Privacy Solutions 
  24. ^ Android App Releases 
  25. ^ The Nightweb Project .
  26. ^ Discontinued, Nightweb .
  27. ^ Official Anoncoin Information .
  28. ^ The Monero Project .
  29. ^ https://geti2p.net/en/about/intro
  30. ^ https://geti2p.net/en/docs/naming
  31. ^ https://geti2p.net/en/docs/how/tunnel-routing
  32. ^ https://geti2p.net/en/docs/how/network-database

External links[edit]