When wanting to access the dark web, most people turn to their TOR browser. While this is by far the best-known method of accessing the underbelly of the Internet, it is not the only way. The Invisible Internet Project (I2P) is another option, which allows users to anonymously access the dark net. While I2P has been around since 2003, it was never nearly as popular as TOR. Today, however, it is getting more use than ever, making it a great option to consider. Many people even think that I2P will overtake TOR when it comes to accessing the dark web.
Differences Between I2P and TOR
When deciding whether you want to use I2P or TOR it is important to understand how each of them works. In many ways, they operate somewhat similarly, but the differences do come into play when deciding which option is bets for a specific task.
The TOR system works by routing your traffic through a path of multiple different TOR servers, making it virtually impossible to capture and track the data. Even if one (or more) of the TOR servers is compromised, the chances are that the full path is still going to be secured. The data is encrypted using three layers to help protect the data itself as well as the path through the network that it will be taking.
With I2P, on the other hand, a secured virtual network is created for managing the communication. This is often referred to as a private Internet. All of the data is fully encrypted from end to end, which helps to further protect your privacy.
Choosing an Entrance to the Dark Net
Whether you are experienced navigating the dark web or you are looking to enter it for the very first time, you will need to decide whether you want to use I2P or TOR. There is no single right answer for every person. Instead, you will want to look at a number of facTORs to help decide which is best. The following are some of the different things to consider:
- How Often You Visit the Dark Web – If you just want to visit the dark web one time to do one thing, a TOR browser is going to be easier to set up initially. If you frequent this part of the Internet regularly (or plan to) then it is worth the effort to learn more about I2P and set it up.
- Speed or Bandwidth Requirements – Neither I2P or TOR will give you the same browsing speeds as you would get on the traditional Internet, but I2P is definitely going to be faster. It will provide you with more bandwidth so that you can download files more quickly as well.
- Security Requirements – Both TOR and I2P offer exceptional security and will keep you anonymous. I2P, however, is going to be somewhat more secure because it creates its own network inside of the Internet, which is an added layer of protection.
- Desire to Participate – If you want to help support the dark web, using I2P is a great option because all users and peers are actively participating within the network while they are connected. While you can create a TOR server, it is more complicated and requires more effort to set up and maintain.
I2P and TOR
When learning about this subject, most people will be trying to decide whether they should use I2P or TOR. While it is good to compare these two technologies, the reality is that they are not competing against each other. Instead, they both offer users different advantages and disadvantages. Most people who regularly visit the dark web will actually want to have both of these options set up and available so they can choose which is right for them at any given time.
Accessing the Future of the Dark Web
The dark net has always been a controversial part of the Internet, but as much as many people would love to see it eliminated, it is going to be around long into the future. This is why thousands of people from around the world are contributing to projects like I2P and TOR.
As governments and other organizations continue to try to either shut down the dark web, or at least be able to track those who use it, developers will continue to make improvements to keep it as secure as possible. In addition, as governments around the world continue to crack down on the freedoms of their citizens, more people will be inspired to visit the dark web to be able to share information freely.
Having access to multiple different ‘front doors’ to the dark web will help ensure everyone can always get to the information that they need.
Combining I2P and TOR | The Ultimate in Security
Those who are looking to stay as anonymous as possible and want to make sure their data is as safe as possible, will actually want to combine I2P and TOR whenever browsing the dark web.
While it takes a few extra steps initially, it is possible to configure your computer to use both of these two technologies together. To accomplish this, simply follow these quick steps:
- Download a FoxyProxy Config
- Download and Install the TOR Browser
- Install the FoxyProxy Addon to Your TOR Browser
- Import the Config File
Once done, you just restart the browser, and you should be ready to surf the dark web using the protection of both I2P and TOR.
Balancing Security and Convenience
At first it may be tempting to want to do everything you can to maximize your security when browsing the dark web. As much potential for danger as there is on the dark net, the fact is that once you get used to how everything works, you can stay safe.
You do not want to go over the top to try to maximize security if it is going to make it so inconvenient to browse the net that you never do it. With this in mind, the vast majority of people will be safe using either TOR or I2P, as long as they are now reckless in their browsing.