Bittorrent is an extremely useful file transferring protocol, however that has not stopped it from coming under attack because of the large potential for misuse. Despite there being many legitimate purposes for this protocol, its use has increasingly become a target for blocking and in some rare circumstances, litigation. This is because Bittorrent by design doesn’t obscure the paths data takes from one peer to another. Each connected peer knows the IP address of the other.
There however, is a way to get around this limitation, with I2P-Snark.
Enter the Snark
Snark is I2P’s implementation of Bittorrent over their network. It functions similarly to how Tor reroutes internet traffic, packets are encrypted and bounced between participants in the network so that the origin and destination locations are obscured by all parties, however unlike Tor, I2P can only resolve within its own network, and this extends to Snark torrents too.
tl;dr What you download is hidden, but only torrents created for Snark will work with Snark, so no, PirateBay won’t work.
But don’t despair, I2P has its own trackers too so it’s just as easy to browse, download and even upload your own content as it is with conventional Bittorrent trackers.
Getting with Snark
2P and Snark have historically been a little difficult to get up and running, however thanks to the Tor Browser Bundle, the FoxyProxy Plugin and the I2P Router, this process has become a whole lot simpler.
First off, if you have decided to install and use Snark, you will need to install those components, which involves following several simple steps.
1.Install the [Tor Browser Bundle](https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en) as per their instructions for your platform. 2.Install the [I2P Router](https://geti2p.net/en/download) as per their instructions for your platform. Note, you will need to have a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed for this to work, so also check to see if you have that installed too. Windows users can install Java from [here.](https://www.java.com/en/download/) 3.With your default web browser (**NOT Tor**), go to the [FoxyProxy](https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/foxyproxy-standard/) plugin page, press the ‘Continue to Download’ button, then right click and save the link from the ‘Download Now’ or ‘Add to Firefox’ button. Save the .xpi file to a place you can easily navigate to. 4.Open the Tor Browser Bundle, go into the Add On screen, press the small gear icon near the top right and click ‘Install Add On from file’. Navigate to where you saved the plugin, open and install it.
This takes care of getting all the programs, the next step is configuring it all to work with I2P.
Configuring your Proxies
This part of the tutorial is accompanied by some visual cues.
After you open the Tor Browser Bundle, you will be greeted by this screen, but navigating to any other website won’t work yet. This is because we need FoxyProxy to forward all non-I2P addresses through the Tor router, and then configure it to use the I2P router to access I2P eepsites and the localhost configuration page, which will let you access Snark. This is quite simple to do though, by following a few steps in the pictures below.
++Images are located in the link!!!++
Make sure to change the mode to: Use proxies bases on their per-defined patterns and priorities; then select Manual Proxy Configuration; set the Host or IP Address to: 127.0.0.1 with Port: 9150; make sure SOCKS proxy? is selected with SOCKS v5 also selected.
Then select Add New Proxy and make sure the setting match the one just previously entered. Then click on ‘URL Pattern’ and copy the following out: make sure enabled is selected; enter i2p into Pattern Name; enter '.i2p/; select Whitelist. Finally, select Wildcard.
Now save that, and click the Add New Proxy button again with the following settings: select Manual Proxy Configuration*; set Host or IP Address to 127.0.0.1 with Port:7657. Repeat the Pattern Name step above. This’ll let you access the I2P Control Centre and Snark by navigating to http://127.0.0.1 in the Tor Browser.
And that’s it. Now every time you want to browse sites hosted on Tor or I2P, or access I2P-Snark, just fire up the Tor Browser and I2P Router (you MUST open both) and start browsing away.
The next post will demonstrate how to access Snark trackers on I2P and how to add torrents for download to Snark. (I will finish the next post soon...)