Ipredia OS is a Fedora based Linux operating system for anonymous web browsing, email, chat and file sharing, unlike similar projects like Tails and Liberte Linux based on tor, Ipredia anonymity takes root around the I2P anonymous network, with websites and services only accessible through an i2p proxy tunnel. The distribution can be downloaded with the Gnome or LXDE desktop, I tested the LXDE version because it is best for a live CD since it is lightweight and it should load quicker, there is the option to install Ipredia OS in your hard drive and some people might prefer the Gnome desktop for that.
The operating system includes all of the basic applications an average computer user needs. In the LXDE menu you can find a text editor, Abiword, a PDF viewer, image viewer, Gnumeric, the Osmo calendar, the Robert bit torrent client configured to anonymously share files through the i2p network, Sylpheed email client, a packet sniffer called Wireshark, eekboard virtual keyboard and SE Linux Alert browser, a Linux security enhanced version enforcing file permissions. The desktop contains shortcuts to XChat to anonymously connect to IRC channels through i2p, I could see a few dozen users in the most popular channels, with names like “anonops“, “bitcoin” and “tahoe-lafs“, related to privacy and i2p development, Firefox proxy settings come already preconfigured to use the i2P network.
To debate about privacy you could find useful the i2p forums at the internal URL forum.i2p where highly technical computer privacy discussions take place and new .i2p sites can be announced, Ipredia has its own .i2p site (ipredia.i2p), other useful addresses are planet.i2p and echelon.i2p with software addons, but the best way to find new eepsites is using the uncensored eepsites.i2p search engine. In the desktop you will also find a direct shortcut to the I2P Router Console, it will be overwhelming seeing so many configuration options in a single place, it’s best to leave the defaults on and not to touch anything unless you know what you are doing.
The I2P software comes with a volunteer run anonymous email service called Susimail, accessible through webmail on the i2p network or with POP3 and SMTP, you can get a free firstname.lastname@example.org address for internal communications or a email@example.com to communicate with the external world outside the I2P network. Susimail administrator makes it clear that abusers using the email account for illegal activities, such as selling illegal substances or spamming, will be immediately terminated. I also found a The Pirate Bay site on the URL tpb.i2p where you can share files without worrying about abusive copyright take down notices, you can add new sites to your personal address book in the I2P Router Console using Susidns to regularly update host.txt from distributed sources. To publish information on I2P network there is support for Syndie, a Java run application to distribute content in multiple forums, accessible with tor and the unencrypted web.
After booting the operating system and the first time you start I2P it will take a few minutes to integrate your I2P router into the network to find additional peers, you will not be able to surf the Internet during that time, you will have to be patient, it took me in between 5 or 10 minutes to be able access the first I2P website, after that, browsing was reasonably quick.
Another thing that makes Ipredia operating system different from Tails is that it allows for torrents and I2P sites access, these two distributions are not competing against each other, their security and service model is different, both anonymous operating systems are complementary.
In comparison with tor, the I2P network appears to be equitable allocating bandwidth, while tor relies on volunteers to run servers bouncing traffic around, I2P tunnels encrypted traffic P2P style in between all network users with multiple jumps to make traceability difficult, I2P user IPs are not used for exit nodes to the Internet, only a few people installing separate applications relay I2P traffic to the regular Internet. Another main difference with tor is that while tor uses the onion routing layer model to guarantee anonymity, I2P uses what they call the garlic routing, encrypting multiple messages together to stop traffic analysis.