Greeting's, given recent events of FBI taking down silk road 2.0 and 3.0. I have few questions, please keep in mind that i'm not technologically too sound.

  1. Is I2P better than TOR?
  2. Can i have a system which will use I2P + TOR? Something like whonix (although whonix only uses TOR but has a dual system model - so can i configure one system to use i2p to connect to TOR gateway part of whonix OR can i have i2p on a system and use TOR browser bundle?)? does that configuration make anonymity stronger?
  3. Is this useful or stupid - install TOR on a system and connect to a VPN service provider and surf? (i'm pretty sure it's dumb since VPN service provider will keep a record of inbound connections and exit will show directly to wherever I've tried to surf too plus the part of paying the service provider leaves a trail). So secondly, can i use TOR to connect to a VPN service provider and use TOR on the system to surf further? If the server is fully rented to me? (again stupid, since he can monitor the server; but at this point I am asking this to ensure my knowledge isn't fully degraded or if i'm not missing anything.)

Lastly, if anonymity is paramount; Which would be the best system / protocol suite to use (including combination of) to use?

Cheers!

edit: I must mention that my question is in terms of accessing clearnet using any of the above mentioned protocols.

  • 2 different beasts but your system needs to be secure to use any of them. 99 percent of the systems are not secure enough for either. If I do not configure Tails after boot about 4-8 hours anonymity in my neighborhood is less than 5 minutes. If you have this question you can only be a pawn on either of the networks helping or hindering. – RamOnly Jun 4 '17 at 14:16

There are a lot of questions here.

  1. It's up to you to decide which you prefer. This is a Tor related stackexchange so even if "better" was quantifiable, it would be biased. Tor is not I2P, and vis versa. It looks like I2P has the difference in their design here. Good luck.
  2. TAILS did this for a while until a vulnerability in I2P was found that compromised the entire TAILS distro.
  3. It depends.

All of these questions should be based on "What is my threat model." Know what you're concerned about, what you want to feel free to do, what would stop you from doing that, and what are their capabilities. There is no single answer to your question.

  • 1
    Tails still includes I2P; you just have to enable it with the i2p boot flag. – str4d Jun 4 '16 at 12:22

Answering in the context of the edit (accessing clearnet):

  1. Tor is better than I2P for accessing clearnet, because that is what it was originally designed for. Exit nodes are a fundamental part of the Tor architecture, whereas I2P was designed for in-net communication (there is no difference between a client and server at the network level). In I2P, we call "exit nodes" outproxies, because they are an application-layer service run over I2P (just like websites and IRC servers).

  2. Two-part question:

    a) Yes, you can do this; it is how we recommend our users configure their clients or servers if they require both I2P and Tor/clearnet access (rather than relying on the outproxy, which by default will only work for HTTP traffic anyway). See e.g. this question for in-browser, or use a local proxy like Privoxy or Polipo. We have also bundled Orchid (Java Tor) as an I2P plugin if you don't want to run a separate Tor instance; if installed, I2P will use Orchid as the default outproxy for all tunnels (so then you can just use e.g. the I2P HTTP proxy, and I2P will handle the routing of non-I2P requests into the Tor network).

    b) It will affect your Tor anonymity only inasmuch as if a Tor or clearnet site contains an I2P link, the Tor exit nodes will not see your browser attempt (and fail) to look up the .i2p address in the global DNS. This could possibly be used as a distinguishing fingerprint, but it would be trivial for Tor developers to address if it concerned them (by blocking lookups of .i2p addresses through Tor).

  3. It depends on the exact configuration - in some setups you could end up leaking your local IP address through Tor. Not relevant to I2P unless someone ran a VPN provider as a service inside I2P (none exist that I know of), which would not have an IP leakage problem if done correctly because the VPN provider would only see your I2P address. If they required you to use an I2P client SOCKS tunnel with regular client software, then again it will depend on the exact configuration.

  4. See 1. Additionally, I2P only has one HTTP outproxy by default, run by an I2P team member as a donation/convenience for the community.

Disclaimer: I'm a core I2P developer.

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