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Comment Re:tradeoff between anonymity and speed (Score 1) 325

I would recommend trying out Freenet again - it has been improving massively over the past few years. Estimates suggest it has about 10,000 nodes at the moment and increasing steadily, especially in places like France where ISP spying laws have come in recently.

A 700MB file can easily be downloaded overnight.

I was under the impression that I2P had stagnated recently because a main developer had left, but I may give it another try to see how it compares to Freenet.

Comment Re:I2P (Score 1) 325

I've used both I2P and Freenet, and I've found Freenet to be the best in terms of speed, useful content, and community. There is certainly a constant flow of new music, movies and TV shows on there.

I may give I2P another try though, to see how it has progressed.

Comment Re:Freenet as Insurance (Score 1) 340

Freenet's very structure works like Bittorrent, so there is no need to support it explicitly. If you upload a file, you can advertise it openly, and the more people downloading it, the faster it goes and the more widely it will be spread on the network.

There is an experimental IRC over Freenet. The main problem is the latency that gives you the security doesn't work so well with IRC.

As another poster said, the main different between Freenet and I2P is that Freenet contains its own data storage. So you can connect, upload something, and disconnect (not that this is recommended for general users, but it's an option). With I2P, you have to have a webserver (or whatever) online for the resource to be available. That is a bit of a privacy risk if they knock out your server and can see instantly the "eepsite" go offline.

Freenet really is working quite well these days - people share movies, music, TV shows on it all the time, and there are a lot of interesting freesites.

Comment Re:Freedom (Score 1) 212

Maybe you tried Freenet several years ago? It works pretty well now - people are uploading and downloading films from it all the time. It is slower than normal downloads, it's true, but you don't get something for nothing, and the anonymity and privacy have a price. But it is certainly very usable. A 700MB file can come through in a day or two, depending on how much bandwidth you allocate to Freenet.

And torrents aren't really applicable to Freenet, since the whole network works in a distributed way kind of like a bittorrent. You just upload your music or video file and announce it on your "freesite" or on one of the forums, and people download it directly. Like torrents, the more popular a file is, the more available it is and the more quickly you can download it.

Comment Arms race - time to move to Freenet (Score 1) 194

These kind of actions will see an arms race to encrypted p2p networks like Freenet.

After French laws changed to crack down on filesharers, there was a lot more French people on Freenet.

It's worth trying Freenet out if you haven't recently - it's a lot faster than a year or two ago, and music and movies are shared there regularly. It's also good for hosting websites that have political censorship on the regular internet.

Comment Re:Time a truly anonymous network for P2P (Score 1) 165

Freenet's traffic is designed specifically to be difficult to fingerprint. It is all UDP traffic and there are no specific headers to identify it. The UDP part is for firewall-friendliness.

Perhaps in the long run it will need to disguise itself as some other form of traffic like VoIP or VPN but the basic problem is you are always going to have large amounts of constant traffic between yourself and several other IP addresses. Hey, you could be on the phone 24/7 to 10 other people, right?

Comment Re:Time a truly anonymous network for P2P (Score 1) 165

Freenet has an estimated several thousand nodes - it's difficult to say exactly, and there is quite a bit of p2p trading of music and films there. Speeds are much better than they used to be - an album of mp3 can take an hour and a film less than a day. It depends on demand - if more people are downloading it can be even faster.

And Freenet is designed for security so it is virtually impossible for a third party or even your own ISP to see what you are uploading or downloading. The only attacks are statistical ones based on someone being able to control a large percentage of Freenet nodes and connect them to your node.

It's true that porn of various types is present on Freenet, but it's quite low-key and often exaggerated by Freenet's detractors. You can easily avoid it. I'm sure there is a lot more on the normal internet.

Comment Re:Available on Freenet (Score 1) 69

It sounds like you aren't very familiar with how Freenet works. There is no "outside" in Freenet - everything is internal. It's not like Tor where you have content hosted in a specific place and Tor just handles the transport - Freenet hosts all the content too.

A file in Freenet won't be stored in one place, it is split into chunks of 32kB and those will be stored all over Freenet, usually highly redundantly.

Freenet is designed so that even if a large minority of nodes are compromised by law enforcement or whoever, it should still be secure.

There are theoretical statistical attacks on Freenet in some circumstances, but Freenet has stronger modes of protection if you are worried about these, and they don't sound like the ones you are describing.

Comment Re:Time to move to Freenet... (Score 2, Interesting) 352

Freenet has already thought of those problems you describe!

Usenet was fairly centralized, but Freenet works in a similar way to Bittorrents in that the more people that use it, the faster it goes. And it is totally decentralized so there are no costs other than your computer and internet connection, which you have already. You can configure how much bandwidth to allocate to Freenet, and it doesn't require excessive amounts.

And there are spam-resistant forums on Freenet. Instead of messages going to a central place, users publish their own messages to their own place, and other users pick them up from there. So if someone spams, you just don't bother picking up their messages. There is also a web of trust so spammers can be identified collaboratively rather than each person having to flag spammers separately. There are some extra tricks to speed it up and enable it to scale, but it seems to work pretty well in practice.

Freenet's old message forum (Frost) is spammable, but the new ones are called Freenet Message System (FMS) and Freetalk, and they are highly spam resistant.

Freenet is designed from the ground up to assume a minority of its users will be malicious, and takes steps to allow for that. Data flows around in encrypted chunks of 32kB and these could be small messages or large binaries. You really should try out Freenet, it covers all the objections you made.

The only real threat to Freenet is a legal one, of governments making it illegal or blocking its traffic. But even then it has a Darknet mode, where you only connect to trusted friends, and the UDP traffic is designed to be difficult to fingerprint. If it comes to it, the next step would be steganography, where Freenet traffic is disguised as some other form of traffic.

Comment Time to move to Freenet... (Score 2, Interesting) 352

Freenet is where the next generation of filesharing will happen. It's working very well at the moment, Speeds are pretty good and there is a lot of content. Files of 1GB can be easily downloaded in a day, just queue them up. And of course there is a lot of chat on the forums, just like Usenet used to be.

It is a lot more user friendly than it used to be, although the Slashdot crowd are the kind of people who will be the early adopters.

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