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I2P is the Invisible Internet Project that creates its own internet and focuses on secure internal connection between users. TOR is the The Onion Router that creates a secure path to the internet. One is orange and the other is apple.

There is no such comparison that could tell us which one is better, but since the argument keeps coming up again and again, it is time to bury the hatchet once and for all. In this guide, I will be discussing I2P vs TOR in detail.

What is I2P and how does it work?

I2P concept was coined in 2003 that focuses on anonymizing network and creates a secure connection between users. It creates its own internal internet and can be accessed by a special software to communicated between other users.

I2P is all about anonymous communication and prevents anyone from knowing what you’re saying and who you’re saying to. For example, if you want to send a message to Michael, it will pass through 3 different I2P users before it reaches to Michael. If Michael wants to sen the message, then the process will happen in reverse.

So, why don’t you send the message directly to Michael and save a lot of time? That’s because, if someone is keeping a close eye on your message they wouldn’t know which message is yours and to whom are you sending the message exactly. If you’re worried that someone among your peers would look on to your message, then that’s not true as well. You see, the message is highly encrypted using AES encryption. All-in-all, your message is protected at all times.

Benefits of I2P

  • It is designed for viewing hidden services on the dark
  • Peers are only selected based on strong profiling and ranking performance
  • Even when an attacker enter the tunnel, it would detect the activity
  • Tunnels that carries the message are short-lived that prevents an attacker from attacking it. TOR tunnels are long-lived
  • All peers and users participate in routing

What is TOR and how does it work?

TOR allow users to surf the internet anonymously (referred to as clearnet). It creates a safe path for users to reach the internet. It creates an anonymous communication through volunteer overlay network that consists of thousands of relays. It means, the message goes through thousands of peers that conceals your original location from authorities.

Benefits of TOR

  • It has a greater number of followers and user base
  • It is more popular in the hacker communities
  • TOR is funded more by the community because it has more developers
  • TOR has greatly adapted to unblocking content and DOS attacks
  • It has low bandwidth overhead

Difference between I2P vs TOR

Both I2P (Invisible Internet Project) and TOR (The Onion Router) are considered as anonymous proxy networks. These proxy networks are famous among different Darknet websites like Agora Marketplace. I2P was developed using the concepts of Java and it uses a distributed peer to peer model. I2P follows the rule of API design feature, which itself is helpful in providing more anonymity.

The onion router (TOR) was developed to secretly surf the visible internet. TOR typically follows a centralized directory-based approach to manage and monitor its own network. This centralized approach helps TOR to accumulate and report web usage statistics.

There are three different types of nodes involved in the TOR network. These nodes are known as directory servers, exit points and internal relays. As you connect to a TOR network, your internet traffic bounces between different replays and then reaches the final destination through exit nodes.

I2P vs. TOR: Comparison of speed

I2P is not know for its speed, but still it is faster than TOR. If you try downloading Torrent, it can give you a maximum speed of 1 Mbps. If you are interested in effective out-proxy, you must opt for I2P. Whereas, if you are interested in attaining great onion routing network, you must select TOR for this purpose.

One of the reasons for TOR being slow is due to its network. As your data travels through multiple nodes, it tends to be slower in terms of speed. I2P

Which Tool Should You Use for Darknet

Although we wouldn’t advise anyone to enter the Darknet, as it is full of danger, both these tools can be used to remain anonymous over the Darknett.

I2P as a Darknet

I2P was developed to be called as a true Darknet security tool because of its “network within the internet” feature.

TOR as a Darknet

The onion router (TOR) is a small part of deep web that remains confidential. Since, anonymity is one of the most important features of Darknet. You can easily access Darknet networks through the help of TOR. The darknet websites’ URL are usually incorporated with “.onion”, “.com” or “.org” that are reachable to TOR users.

How can I use I2P and TOR together

In order to use I2P and TOR together, you should follow the below mentioned steps. These steps include:

  • Firstly, download the FoxyProxy configuration file
  • Download the TOR browser: https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy.html.en
  • Install the TOR browser, after installing open the browser and connect it to TOR
  • After connecting, go to FoxyProxy Addon page (available in TOR browser) then install it
  • After installing, restart the TOR browser then hit keys like: CTRL+SHIFT+A, click the options button for FoxyProxy
  • From the FoxyProxy options, go to File>Import settings and select the .xml file that was downloaded prior
  • The browser may crash or not however you should restart it then you will be able to use it

This is how you can use TOR browser to surf both I2P and TOR in Windows.

Final Thoughts

I2P and TOR are two different methods to make communication safer. I2P creates its own internet and make communication anonymous, while TOR only providers a safer communication channel by keeping the message encrypted. In short, both I2P and TOR offers different methods to access information and surf the visible internet anonymously.

TOR has the edge when it comes to providing efficient anonymous access to the open internet, while I2P is a true Darknet tool since it is a network within its own internet. If you compare I2P vs TOR in detail, you would realize that both have some advantages and disadvantages, which cannot be overlooked. But as I said earlier, oranges and Apples cannot be compared.