P2P Programs Designed for Anonymity

(P2P Clients & Networks designed for anonymous connectivity)

Alliance P2P
ANts P2P
Emscher P2P
[Other Projects](index.html#other “Other Anonymous Projects & Software”)

P2P file sharing is generating a lot of heat these days as countries introduce new copyright laws, stiffer sentencing for Internet pirates, and ISPs that restrict bandwidth for P2P file sharing programs. Fortunately for us, this new-age anti-P2P movement has inspired software developers everywhere to come up with their own counter-measures: Anonymous/pseudonymous P2P applications, encrypted traffic and safeguarded networks. Internet piracy is not exactly going to wither away and die, but it must evolve and adapt to strange days in order to continue to thrive. We’ve learned a great deal from Napster’s peccadilloes and KaZaA’s decoy-prone freestyle nature.

This is the future of P2P file sharing.

Filesharefreak is committed to providing information about these cutting-edge technologies and applications. Listed in this section are some newer (and some not-so-new) methods that incorporate anonymity into your Internet usage and file sharing. This is beneficial in two ways: First, you are out of the prying eyes of anybody [snooping](../../03/anonymous-p2p-web-solutions/#mpaa “MPAA/RIAA lamers”) on your traffic (like the MPAA and RIAA); second, some client programs/networks support encrypted traffic/routing so that even your ISP can’t tell what you’re downloading (and [throttle](../../../11/03/isps-and-speed/ “Bandwidth Throttling by your ISP”) your bandwidth).

Categories of software include: F2F (Friend-to-Friend), P2P File Sharing, Instant Messaging, Chat, P2P Clients and Networks.

Note that the learning curve on many of these programs is generally quite high, and not intended for the novice PC user.

Alliance P2P (P2P Client/ F2F Network)


**What is it?

**Alliance P2P is a friend-to-friend (F2F) network. The current implementation uses TCP/IP and requires Java JRE. Although Alliance is not a “P2P” search-and-download program, it is useful for users (friends) who want to share files securely and discretely. Cryption method: Basic XOR , Diffie-Hellman key exchange + SSL/TLS 128/256 bits


:**Alliance has file-swarming capabilities like BitTorrent. Unlike BitTorrent it is completely decentralized and designed to be secure. Alliance uses tiger hashes to identify files. All files that a user shares are automatically hashed and indexed in the background. Encryption is a vital part of Alliance, using the SSL package in Java 5.0 (SSLEngine class).


:**Download at their website above. Installation is a snap! New users require a nickname, or node, that’s configured within Alliance.

**Our Notes

:** Read the Alliance tutorial for more information.

“Robust encryption (AES over SSL) has been implemented and is available as an experimental option in Alliance.”

[Screenshot of the Alliance P2P
program](/anonymous/alliance.gif “The Alliance P2P Program Interface.”){: rel=”lytebox”}

ANts P2P (P2P Client/Network)


**What is it?

**ANts P2P is a file sharing client that encrypts all traffic sent or received from others and proxies traffic between participants in the network to make it very difficult to determine the originating IP Address.


:**End-to-end and point-to-point encryption; all search queries are also encrypted; eDonkey link support; in-program IRC chat; anonymous connections; distributed searching; HTTP tunneling; multiple sources downloading.


:**Download ANts from their homepage here. Run the *.EXE (ANtsP2P_Setup_beta1.5.9_p0.9.6.exe) and install. ANts takes some time to establish a connection to peers.

**Our Notes

:** Read the ANts “Quick tutorial” for more information. We had a hard time connecting to peers, and managed to connect to only 12. Visit the #antsp2p channel on IRC (server name: for more information.

[Screenshot of the ANts P2P
client](/anonymous/ants.gif “The ANts P2P Program Interface.”){: rel=”lytebox”}

CSpace build 126 (P2P/F2F Chat)


**What is it?

**CSpace is not a P2P file sharing program where users can search and browse for files to download. It is a decentralized network where users create an ‘encrypted’ key to connect with other known (added) users. Thus, two (or more) users can then share files and chat with each other - similar to MSN Messenger, but with added security.


:**The two main features are chat and file transfers, while using a decentralized Distributed Hash Table (DHT) based on the Kademlia protocol.


:**Download CSpace here. The install file is at the bottom of the page, called “CSpaceSetup126.exe”. Run the *.EXE and install.

**Our Notes

:** CSpace is an extremely simple application designed for secure chat and transfer connections, without any bells & whistles. We further recommend using RetroShare for this type of service since it offers a better variety of features, and it’s more secure.

Emscher (P2P Client)


click to view the Emscher P2P
programEmscher is a File Sharing program for anonymous file sharing. It uses a decentralized Protocol using RSA/AES(Rijndael) encryption based on Gnutella. The data (files, searches etc.) will be redirected through several Emscher-Hubs before it arrives. Keep checking back at the Emscher homepage - it’s under development and online documentation is soon to follow. NOTE: If you run a firewall, you’ll need to allow Emscher on UDP Port 10984. Or you can just grant it “full access” or similar in your Firewall software if you can’t be bothered (or don’t know how) to give it that port number.

Filetopia v3.04d


Click to see the Filetopia
screenshot**What is it?

**Filetopia is P2P client/chat software, somewhat of a hybrid between mIRC and a P2P program. Like IRC, there are specific ‘channels’ that a user can join and chat in, plus there is a search function in the style of Limewire.


:** Filetopia offers full encryption and security. To quote their website, “What is unique to this software is the level of security and privacy that it provides. It uses a choice of strong ciphers and public key techniques for all communications and sophisticated techniques to protect your IP and thus make you truly anonymous and safe from attacks”. We like this!


:**Download Filetopia here. (Click the Download button at the top left). Run the *.EXE (Ftop3.exe) and install.

**Our Notes

:** Click the link called “Support” on their main page for information about encryption and protection mechanisms used in Filetopia. While this sounds like dream software, we garnished only 217 search results for metallica (through all 901 channels - the entire network), and download speeds were just ‘average’ at around 40KB/s (which is not too bad for anonymous P2P software!). The last known major development for Filetopia was way back in 2004.



[Click to enlarge the GNUnet
GUI](/anonymous/gnunet_5.gif “GNUnet - search window”){: rel=”lytebox”}“GNUnet is a framework for secure peer-to-peer networking that does not use any centralized or otherwise trusted services. Service is implemented on top of the networking layer; this allows anonymous censorship-resistant file-sharing. GNUnet uses a simple, excess-based economic model to allocate resources. Peers in GNUnet monitor each others behavior with respect to resource usage; peers that contribute to the network are rewarded with better service.” - the GNUnet website.

Having always been a fan of GNUnet, it’s nice to see they’ve come up with a really good Windows installer package. GNUnet’s primary application is anonymous, censorship-resistant P2P file sharing, allowing users to anonymously publish or retrieve information and files of all kinds.

GNUnet Installation


Download and execute the GNUnet installer from their download page. At the end of installation, the GNUnet setup will launch. READ and follow each page of the setup carefully - this is important to the GNUnet configuration. On the first ‘page’ of the setup, you’ll either need to enter your IP address (or leave it blank). We recommend that if you DO have a static IP address, you’ll want to add it here - this helps with peer connectivity. On the next ‘page’ of the setup, you’ll be able to change the upstream and downstream limits imposed. You’ll also want to change the default setting of “100%” for the Maximum CPU Usage to something a little less (say 50%). For the rest of the ‘pages’ in the setup, just leave them as the default values. See the screenshots below for configuration TIPS.

[GNUnet setup screen - page
1](/anonymous/gnunet1.gif “GNUnet - setup page 1”){: rel=”lytebox”}[GNUnet setup screen - page
2](/anonymous/gnunet2.gif “GNUnet - setup page 2”){: rel=”lytebox”}

Start the GNUnet service


Launch GNUnet, and click on the GENERAL tab, and click on “Start process”. This will also launch an MS-DOS program window (the error log).

To start P2P searching, click on the FILESHARING tab, then click “Search and Download“. Transfers are displayed in the STATUS tab. To ‘publish’ your own files/directories (sharing), select the Publication tab. If you’d like to make changes how you set up GNUnet, do this through your START BUTTON > GNUnet > GNUnet Configuration Wizard. You’ll need to restart the GNUnet ‘GUI’ after making any changes.

I2Phex (P2P Client/Garlic Routing)


I2Phex is a P2P client that uses the I2P anonymous network, combined with Phex, or I2P over Phex. Phex is P2P software that connects to the Gnutella network.

About I2P: I2P’s technology uses ‘Garlic routing’ which is a variant of onion routing that encrypts multiple messages together to make it more difficult for ISPs or attackers to perform traffic analysis, with each layer being separately encrypted.

The leading team on this style of routing is I2P, who are working on a final release for I2Phex, which is “anonymous Gnutella over I2P”. Imagine the possibilities: Anonymous Limewire with encrypted downloads! Woot!! A ‘beta’ version has been released - here’s how to install and run it:



: (Our Quick Guide to I2Phex)

If you run a firewall, before installing I2P (and I2Phex), you’ll need to allow UDP port 8887 in your firewall’s configuration first. It is required by I2P.

1. You’ll first need to install the I2P framework in order to run I2Phex. Visit[]7, and download “I2PInstall.exe”. Install and follow instructions (do not change the default installation path). See our [I2P section](../internet-tunneling-traffic-routing/#i2p “Internet Tunneling & Traffic Routing with I2P”) for additional info, if needed.

2. You need to start the I2P service. Do this through your start button:

The ‘I2P’ icon should now appear in your Quicklaunch menu:

3. Next, visit the I2P site at http://localhost:7657/index.jsp and see if you have any connected peers (on the left). This usually takes anywhere from 5 - 35 minutes to completely connect:

Checking for I2P peers

4. Now that I2P is loaded (with connected peers), click here (or here) for the latest version of I2Phex - currently it’s v0.1.1.38. Download the *.EXE and install (but do not change the default installation path). Run I2Phex from your start menu after installation - this should now launch the program interface (GUI). To connect to I2Phex, click on the network icon as shown in the screenshot below:

[Screenshot of the I2Phex
Client](/anonymous/i2phex1.gif “The I2Phex P2P Client.”){: rel=”lytebox”}

After installation, you’ll need to change your I2Phex speed settings, do this through the “Settings > Options” menu and then click the bandwidth tab, see below:

[Screenshot of the I2Phex
Client](/anonymous/i2phex2.gif “The I2Phex P2P Client.”){: rel=”lytebox”}

The official home of I2Phex is: (or click here to jump right to the I2Phex forum). Also, here is a file that will update your I2Phex program; unzip with WinRAR, run SETUP.EXE and install to the default paths. Run it from your Start Button (either ‘anon’ or ‘Full’ update) and it should fix connectivity issues. Thanks go out to PlanetPeer for the patch!

On a side note, there is a beta version of I2P Messenger now available (for the I2P network). Either you can download it from this eepsite ( http://i2pchat.i2p/files/ ), or download it from here: ( ). At the moment it will only works with Windows OS with the .NET framework 2.0 installed. The client works with the I2P - SAM Protocol, default Port 7656 TCP. The communication goes “direct over i2p” from client to client, no server required.

iMule (P2P Client)


iMule is an eMule port that runs under the I2P network. In short, it is anonymous eMule with multi-tiered encrypted traffic. Requires the [I2P service](../internet-tunneling-traffic-routing/#i2p “Installing the I2P Anonymity Service”).

Downloading iMule: The official home of iMule is here, however, to access it you’ll need to be running the I2P service, and have it configured through your browser. We could only find one other location (non-I2P) to download iMule in it’s most recent form, and that is from here (and it was really slow < 2.0KB/s). Read the notes on the screenshot for download instructions if you chose that site:

[Click to enlarge the iMule download
screenshot](/anonymous/imule1.gif “iMule - Download page.”){: rel=”lytebox”}[Click to enlarge the iMule
screenshot](/anonymous/imule2.gif “iMule - screenshot.”){: rel=”lytebox”}

You’ll need to start the I2P service before running iMule. Repeat steps 2 and 3 as documented in I2Phex above.

NOTE: We put the iMule installer file on since it’s hard to find. Download it from here.

Kommute (P2P Client)


Kommute is a KDE file sharing client using the anonymous file sharing network MUTE, although it also comes as a Windows (i386) version. Click the “installation” link on their homepage to jump to the Windows installer package. NOTE: Kommute requires the use of Port 4900 in order to connect to other users.

[Click to enlarge the Kommute Search
menu](/anonymous/kommute1.gif “Kommute - Search features”){: rel=”lytebox”}[Click to view the Kommute
menu](/anonymous/kommute2.gif “Kommute - connected users.”){: rel=”lytebox”}

MLDonkey/Sancho (P2P Client/Network)


MLDonkey offers SSH2/tunneling support and anonymous transfers when used appropriately. See our review of MLDonkey on our “[Other P2P Methods](/2008/01/02/a-list-of-p2p-file-sharing-programs/ “Other Methods of P2P File Sharing”)” page, with full installation instructions.

MUTE (P2P Client/Network)


**What is it?

**MUTE protects your privacy by avoiding direct connections with your sharing partners in the network. Most other file sharing programs use direct connections to download or upload, making your identity available to spies from the RIAA and other unscrupulous organizations.


:**(see below for clients that support the MUTE network - we recommend MFC MUTE). The original MUTE client can be downloaded from here. Run the *.EXE and extract the files to a folder. Now, run “fileSharingMUTE.exe” to engage the program. A proper connection takes about 2 minutes or so.

**Our Notes

:** Read the MUTE FAQ for more information. We also recommend adding a few more server lists (host caches) to the existing database: Go to the /MUTE/SETTINGS directory and open the file “webHostCaches.ini” file, and enter these to the list:

NOTE: You’ll have to change the properties for ‘webHostCaches.ini’ to be a READ-ONLY file AFTER you add the new Host Caches in. (Right-click it, select PROPERTIES and put a checkmark where it says “Read-only”, click OK and now you can run MUTE).

[Click to enlarge the MUTE
screenshot](/anonymous/mute1.gif “The MUTE Search window.”){: rel=”lytebox”}[Screenshot of the MUTE 'Download'
Tab](/anonymous/mute2.gif “The MUTE Download Tab.”){: rel=”lytebox”}


(A MUTE Client)

An even better option for connecting to the MUTE network is to use the MUTE MFC Client, available for download here. This client has a nice interface, too! After installation, we recommend that you “Update SeedNodes” and “Update WebCaches” from the Start Menu > MUTE folder (see below).

[Click to enlarge the MFC MUTE
screenshot.](/anonymous/mute4.gif “MFC MUTE (Client for MUTE network).”){: rel=”lytebox”}

**NapShare 2.2.4

** (A MUTE Client)

Another client for the MUTE Network, but with some additional automated processes. Download it from here.

Nodezilla (P2P Client/Network)


**What is it?

*Nodezilla is a secured and fully encrypted anonymous routing system for P2P file sharing (and more). It works on a “Grid” architecture and displays search queries from its specific *NZ Grid (storage system) in which all users are connected.


:**For Windows OS, download it here. Run the *.EXE file and follow onscreen instructions. Nodezilla requires some MS C++ runtime files as well as JRE (but it will install both of them if they are missing from your system).

Click to enlarge the Nodezilla
screenshot.**Our Notes

:We found Nodezilla to be extremely CPU and RAM hungry, as quoted by their website, “This is normal behavior, Nodezilla uses your idle CPU power to do the forward error encoding. Even if your CPU is 100% used in your system monitor, you should be able to use your computer as usual with no slow down as only the UNUSED CPU is taken by nodezilla.” **Also note: This project is currently active - check back at their site often for updates.

**Nodezilla Plugins

:** There is an Azureus plugin that supports Nodezilla, which allows Azureus users to search the NZ Grid for .torrent files. Here is an excellent webpage that documents how to install it (with screenshots). Download the plugin here - it is not listed on the ‘Azureus Plugins‘ website. We recommend this plugin because it increases the availability of viable working torrents (sans decoys and spoofs found on public BitTorrent sites.)

Retroshare v0.3.52a (F2F/IM software)


Click to see RetroShare
screenshot**What is it?

**RetroShare is a private and secure decentralized P2P communications platform, very similar to MSN and other ‘messaging’ software (IM). Users create a specific ‘key’ which can then be shared with other users to add/connect to. All communication is SSL-encrypted, and thus secure from outsiders. Although all traffic is crypted, it is not ‘anonymous’ software.


:**RetroShare is F2F (friend-to-friend) messaging software, not a P2P file sharing application with search capabilities that span across a network. However, it does support most features found in popular IM software (chat, file transfers, instant messaging and channels). Read their wiki here.


:**For Windows OS, download it here. Run the *.EXE file (current file is “RetroShare_0.3.52A_setup.exe”) and follow onscreen instructions.

**Our Notes

:**RetroShare is anything but retro. It has a real “Messenger” feel to it with added security features. (And more secure than “CSpace”, with a more robust interface and options make RetroShare the preferred secure P2P/F2F messaging software.) NOTE: There is also a portable version called RetroLocal which can be run from a pen-drive, flashdrive or memory stick (it works from a computer hard drive, as well).

Rodi (P2P client/Network)


**What is it?

**Rodi is a low-level anonymous java P2P client. Users ‘register’ anonymously using ‘keys’ and conduct searches through other members. Requires Java RE.


:**Download it here. Extract the files (with WinRAR). Run “runRodiWin32.bat” and follow instructions.

**Our Notes

:**We had some concerns about the amount of content between Rodi users. While we connected without errors (with other peers listed) queries remained at zero for most of the searches. Rodi supports the addition of specific IP Addresses of users, but we were unsuccessful in finding a public ‘list’ of users to add - hence increasing search results. Here is a good link to Rodi forums with helpful information.

[Click to enlarge Rodi
window](/anonymous/rodi1.gif “The Rodi GUI window - successfully connected.”){: rel=”lytebox”}[The Rodi GUI
window - A list of connected
peers](/anonymous/rodi2.gif “The Rodi GUI window - A list of connected peers.”){: rel=”lytebox”}

StealthNet (P2P client for RShare Network)


Click to enlarge the StealthNet
screenshot.**What is it?

**StealthNet is a P2P client for the RShare network. All traffic in the RShare network is routed trough other nodes in the network. Furthermore, traffic is encrypted with point-to-point encryption. In combination, these two techniques provide a very high level of anonymity.


:**Download here and install. Some good English instructions/wiki can be found on the planetpeer website.

**Our Notes

:**Our only issue is that the program interface is only in German. OK, wait, there’s one more issue: All of the search results contained German songs and German-dubbed movies. Unless you know some good ‘custom’ servers to connect to, this P2P program won’t be much help - we achieved a whopping 6 connections!

OTHER Anonymous Projects

Here are a few different projects currently on the go:

PeerSoul - PeerSoul is the new approach to F2F programs to share your personal files with your trusted friends. And it takes care about your personal security like other P2P programs (WASTE or similar), so you can share without risks!

TorK - TorK is an Anonymity Manager for the KDE Desktop. Browse anonymously on Konqueror/Firefox/Opera. Send anonymous email via the MixMinion network. Use SSH / IRC / IM anonymously. Control and monitor your anonymous traffic on the Tor network.

Gazzera - A secure, encrypted peer-to-peer (P2P) filesharing client where you only connect to people you trust (a friend-to-friend network). You can indirectly share with friends of friends. Supports multi-source downloads, sharing of partial files, eD2k and magnet files.

Ring-Community - An application allowing to chat, share files (multisource), into a small community, allowing to give rights (chat/download/upload), and choose people you want to add to your community.

  1. Ezzy Elliott Says:

    A new version of ANts p2p is hosted at Dargens (

    It is quick and easy to use yet is still anonymous.

    Follow the get started on the home page

  2. Stivo Says:

    You missed our one :) But thats ok, were pretty new.

    It is a friend 2 friend network, with visibility settings for each Share for each User. Also it features one drag file transfer functionality (if allowed).
    It uses a custom encryption scheme with a RSA Authentification Key, one RSA for each Session and then AES keys which are exchanged each 2 minutes.
    Installation: Needs java 1.6. Download from and use tcpfile.exe or tcpfile.jar to start it.

    About the alliance encryption: Exactly what I was thinking, because I looked up the basic encryption: It only adds 33 to the byte before sending…

  3. Ezzy Says:

    New Version of Dargens p2p launched.

    Faster downloading - multi source download fully implemented.
    Featured files - can submit files to website to share anonymously
    One click group membership - Can click on group to join without logging in.
    Email friends - Can now import address book to tell friends about your new network
    More content including adult xxx files.

    Java p2p (like Vuze) public anon. p2p using updated anonymous p2p client.

  4. Free Proxy Says:

    I dont browse the net now without a anonymous proxy like, it protects my computer from the nasties on the net

  5. iPad Accessories Says:

    I can’t wait until the actual apple ipad is out with friends in the united kingdom, i have seen a few reviews online through Us all clients also it appears brilliant. I have seen several awesome add-ons ^ around the corner as well! ipad PWNS!

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