What is Invisible Internet Protocol (I2P)?

As top companies of the world compete for access to the most granular of data points relating to users' online activity, it has become important to take your online security and privacy into your own hands and ensure that you are safe online.

If you have been looking into online security, you have probably already run into I2P and the benefits of using it. But is it really the right security solution for you? Let's find out!

What is I2P?

By spreading your traffic, I2P, or the Invisible Internet Protocol, functions as a layer of security against online monitoring, such as censorship, online tracking, and government spying. This makes it tough to keep track of your internet habits and browsing.

I2P also provides secure access to the dark web over an encrypted tunnel, similar to Tor. Even while both methods allow you to safely access the dark web, there are some major distinctions between them that we'll go over later in this article.

You may also use I2P to browse the internet privately, send and receive messages without the worry of sensitive information being captured by other parties, share and store files safely, run a secure website, and even download torrents.

What is the Mechanism behind I2P?

As I2P is a decentralized peer-to-peer network, its functioning is reliant on its users. It encrypts your traffic from beginning to end, and routes it through a volunteer-run network. This network, which has over 50000 devices, is spread around the world.

It will be tough to eavesdrop on your traffic because it is distributed throughout the world.

I2P is a very safe network. This is because of the following reasons −

Secured Endpoints of Data

It secures the endpoints of your data path using end-to-end encryption and cryptographic IDs secured with public keys.

Greater Anonymity

The unidirectional tunnels used by I2P divide incoming and outgoing traffic, allowing for greater anonymity.

No Exposure of IP Addresses

Senders and recipients do not have to expose their IP addresses because of these incoming and outbound proxy routers.

Garlic Routing

Unlike Tor, I2P utilizes a technique known as garlic routing. This separates your message into cloves, which are smaller messages. They're all encrypted and move in different directions until they reach their destinations. As a result, intercepting the entire communication and doing traffic analysis is very difficult; the system is entirely decentralized.

Doesn’t Rely on Single Distribution

I2P is distributed over thousands of devices and does not rely on a single organization. If one device is hacked, the entire system is not jeopardized. I2P is ideal for particular security requirements, yet the network isn't without flaws. Here are some of the network's advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of I2P

Following are some of the notable advantages of using I2P −

  • I2P networks are extremely safe and will allow you to surf the internet anonymously, protecting you from hackers, snoopers, and even third-party monitoring, to name a few threats.

  • The network's strong security and efficiency make it ideal for peer-to-peer file sharing.

  • Packet switching is used in I2P networks. This ensures that the network's performance is always optimal by maintaining a balance among peers.

Disadvantages of I2P

Following are some of the disadvantages of using I2P −

  • One of the most significant disadvantages of I2P is that it does not ensure perfect anonymity when utilizing the surface web to visit indexed sites. However, a decent VPN should be able to address this problem.

  • Given the network's intricacy and the level of protection it provides, it's reasonable that the installation process and browser settings are both rather sophisticated.

  • Because of Tor's popularity, I2P has a smaller user base, resulting in fewer nodes and a higher vulnerability to assaults.