View Full Version : Freenet: New Version Released

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006, 07:26 PM
Is somebody already using Freenet? How fast can you make pages load?

3rd April, 2006: Freenet 0.7 Alpha 1

Freenet is a decentralised "peer-to-peer" system designed to allow the anonymous sharing of information on the Internet. After many months of work, the first alpha version of Freenet 0.7 is ready for testing.

Freenet 0.7 represents a major new approach to peer-to-peer network design. To protect the network, and the user's anonymity, Freenet users will now have the ability to connect directly to other people that they know and trust, together forming a "global darknet" making it extremely difficult for any third party, whether a government or another powerful organisation, to determine that a user is participating in Freenet, let alone what they are doing with it. This new version is a complete rewrite of the Freenet software, representing numerous other improvements, including:
Freenet now operates over UDP rather than TCP
Freenet can transparently operate through firewalls
Freenet's core architecture and algorithm has been redesigned for simplicity and efficiency
A new and even simpler API allowing the rapid development of third party software that interacts with FreenetThe new Freenet employs a simpler and more flexible routing model than previous versions, which in the future may allow diverse applications ranging from efficient search, to near-real time instant messaging and chat between anonymous participants. Initially Freenet 0.7 will be a "pure darknet" model, in that all connections must be trusted, however future versions will permit a mixed opennet/darknet approach where the user can opt to allow untrusted connections to their node, which will improve connectivity and convenience at the expense of security.

Note that this release is still a very early alpha; users should neither expect it to be secure, nor user friendly. Rather, the purpose of this release is to facilitate wider testing, to inform people of the progress we have made, and to attract fresh development talent, both to Freenet itself, and to third party applications that use Freenet as a platform.

This release would not have been possible without the work of numerous volunteers, and Matthew Toseland, Freenet's full time developer. Matthew's work is funded through donations via our website, we ask that anyone who can help us to ensure Matthew's continued employment by visiting our donations page and making a contribution at:

http://freenetproject.org/index.php?page=donate (http://anonym.to/?http://freenetproject.org/index.php?page=donate)

The new version of Freenet may be downloaded from:

http://freenetproject.org/index.php?page=download-new (http://anonym.to/?http://freenetproject.org/index.php?page=download-new)

What is Freenet?

Freenet is free software which lets you publish and obtain information on the Internet without fear of censorship. To achieve this freedom, the network is entirely decentralized and publishers and consumers of information are anonymous. Without anonymity there can never be true freedom of speech, and without decentralization the network will be vulnerable to attack.

Communications by Freenet nodes are encrypted and are "routed-through" other nodes to make it extremely difficult to determine who is requesting the information and what its content is.

Users contribute to the network by giving bandwidth and a portion of their hard drive (called the "data store") for storing files. Unlike other peer-to-peer file sharing networks, Freenet does not let the user control what is stored in the data store. Instead, files are kept or deleted depending on how popular they are, with the least popular being discarded to make way for newer or more popular content. Files in the data store are encrypted to reduce the likelihood of prosecution by persons wishing to censor Freenet content.

The network can be used in a number of different ways and isn't restricted to just sharing files like other peer-to-peer networks. It acts more like an Internet within an Internet. For example Freenet can be used for:
Publishing websites or 'freesites'
Communicating via message boards
Content distributionhttp://freenet.sourceforge.net/ (http://anonym.to/?http://freenet.sourceforge.net/)