How to Use I2P and the I2P Browser

Beyond Tor, there are many other “darknets” that you can use for anonymity, albeit ones that work differently. One of these is I2P (which stands for the “Invisible Internet Project”).

How to Use I2P and the I2P Browser

Beyond Tor, there are many other “darknets” that you can use for anonymity, albeit ones that work differently. One of these is I2P (which stands for the “Invisible Internet Project”).

I2P, as opposed to Tor, accomplishes anonymity via a message-based system. It is an anonymous IP layer where messages are addressed to cryptographic keys, referred to as “destinations.”

Accessing I2P

I2P can be accessed in a number of ways. Versions exist for Windows, Mac, Linux, Debian, and Android. You can download and install the I2P software from geti2p.net, and then follow the specific instructions for your device.

Once you have it installed and running, you can access it from any browser. For instance, if you install the Windows version, launch the software and then open Firefox. Go to Firefox’s settings, and find “Network Settings.”

firefox proxy settings

 

Click on the button that says “Manual proxy configuration,” set “HTTP Proxy” to 127.0.0.1, Port 4444, and then hit “OK.” Afterward, you should be able to reach I2P sites (also known as “eepsites”). As on Tor, however, eepsites go offline frequently, so there is a chance that the site in question won’t be accessible.

There is an I2P Browser available on some Linux distros as well, which is a fork of the Tor Browser. By default, its proxy settings are configured the same as those above, so it can access eepsites.

I2P Browser Name Registry

The site above, I2P Name Registry, can be found at http://joajgazyztfssty4w2on5oaqksz6tqoxbduy553y34mf4byv6gpq.b32.i2p/, and is a list of all eepsites. For instance, 2ch.i2p is an imageboard similar to the defunct clearnet site 2chan. When you click an eepsite link, it will add that URL to your I2P router’s address book, making it faster to access the next time you want to visit it.

While browsing eepsites through I2P is an excellent way to maintain anonymity, unlike Tor, I2P isn’t intended to be an outproxy to the clearnet. Whether you’re using Firefox or the I2P Browser, you can’t access clearnet sites unless there is a specific outproxy from I2P to a particular site.

Likewise, you can also use I2P on Android devices with the I2P app, which is available on Google Play at I2P App, or from GitHub at I2P Android

i2p android github

As on other devices, you need to configure a browser's proxy settings to be able to access eepsites. The settings are the same as on other devices, however. Unfortunately, the present version of the Android app seems to crash often, so it may need some updates. When it does work properly, in addition to allowing you to access the network, it also features a handy list of eepsites you can explore.

The White House Market review mentioned that some of its URLs were available via I2P, as such:

eeej5nynwa5pe4slg6ny66l2rck37m2rtaglair53cff56xmssaq.b32.i2p
q3cyf7fa6hwf5jex5e6h6jsewvloc4znovwbjolna2lp2x3kpjea.b32.i2p
q3cyf7fa6hwf5jex5e6h6jsewvloc4znovwbjolna2lp2x3kpjea.b32.i2p

On the last attempt, however, none of them seemed to be online. There are other darknet markets on I2P, although they have not received much coverage and may or may not be reliable. 

For more information, please see I2P’s main site or register for their subreddit at https://www.reddit.com/r/i2p/.