Tor Browser and I2P are two very useful software for anonymous browsing, both provide users with a tool that can protect communications and overcome regional restrictions on certain websites, but what are the differences between Tor Browser and I2P?
In this article we will make a quick presentation of the two services and we will go to see both strengths and weaknesses of both so as to provide users with all the information necessary to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Tor was born in the mid-90s, conceived by Paul Syverson and Michael Reed, their idea was to protect the conversations of the American secret services from possible interceptions of third parties. The project was released with a free license in 2004 by DARPA thanks to the funding of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
How does Tor Browser work? Trying to simplify the concept as much as possible, the system does not connect clients and servers, but it also distributes information through Tor servers, servers that some volunteers of the network make available.
This set of servers gives life to a virtual stratified outer layer, the communications that take place inside are encrypted, except for the exit node, that is, the exit node, in this way nobody can intercept information or conversations.
I2P is a free open source software that provides the user with a series of services that allow it to perform the most common actions on the web, it is a peer-to-peer project to ensure secrecy and overcome censorship.
I2P is written entirely in the Java language and requires the installation of this component in the computer to work properly; its task is to make connections anonymous, works on all operating systems, the latest release was released on August 23, 2018 in version 0.9.36.
We have titled our article “Tor Browser vs. I2P: What are the differences?” Because we want to bring out the pros and cons of the two software.
The fundamental difference between Tor Browser and I2P is the way in which the information stored on the network is stored, in Tor there is a centralized system based on directories, while in I2P the internal network database is divided between the clients, so to avoid attacks or abuses by the managers.
Tor Browser vs I2P: What are the differences? The pros and cons
Among the pros to bring in evidence of Tor Browser there is certainly ease of installation, speed thanks to low latencies, the ability to configure any parameter and to navigate in clearnet, the support of the TOR community and the extensive documentation put at available to use the program; greater efficiency in the use of memory; The client nodes have a demand for very low bandwidth; present a central control that protects from Sybil attacks.
Turning to examine the cons of Tor Browser, there are some points to take into account: using Tor with SMTP protocol there is the risk of strong waves of spam; some services do not take advantage of those who use Tor because it is often used for acts outside the law; in the network some hostile Exit Nodes spy information of the data transmitted in clear text; high risk of counterfeiting software with possible risks of anonymity and privacy, and imitations only to TCP protocols.
I2P pros are easily summarized in: fully distributed and self-organizing; presence of services planned and optimized to the best of potential; support for both TCP and UDP protocols, possibility to browse in clearnet; subdivision between multiple clients of the database; constant protection against attacks; peer-to-peer friendly, peer classification according to performance evaluation.
Among the cons of I2P is to highlight the lower documentation and the lower content of resources compared to Tor Browser.
Basically we are in front of two software to browse anonymous high quality, Tor Browser vs I2P has no real winner, the choice of using one or the other depends on the type of evaluation of each individual user and the importance that from or not to certain pros and cons that we tried to bring to the attention, without adopting a method of judgment that penalizes one of the two.