Zeronet vs Freenet (Hyphanet) – Battle of Anonymity! 

zeronet vs freenet
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Zeronet and Freenet both are peer-to-peer platforms. But, the point is which one gives you better anonymity? 

In this blog post, I’ll show you where these platforms came from, how good they are, and which darknet resource is better. 

So let’s get started! 

Zeronet: An Overview

zeronet an an overview

Founded: 2015

Founder: Tamas Kocsis 

Programming Language Used: Python 

Zeronet is a peer-to-peer platform for users which utilizes Bitcoin cryptography and BitTorrent network. Without any central server, you can share your ideas, activities, and content with anyone you desire. 

All the private links on Zeronet goes by the .Bit decenteralized domain, which is using Namecoin crypto. 

Key Features 

  • Uncensorable websites
  • No hosting costs involved 
  • Available for Windows, Linux, Mac, and various other OS 
  • Seeding option helps you browse a site even without an internet connection 
  • Simple configuration just like a Browser, just download, install, and you’re good to go

Freenet: An Overview

freenet an overview

Founded: 2000

Founder: Ian Clarke

Programming Language Used: Java

Freenet is a peer-to-peer platform and a great resource for darknet users. 

Recently, developers behind Freenet changed Freenet’s name to ‘Hyphanet.’ And that’s not it, Locutus is now ‘Freenet.’ 

It’s confusing, right?

Let me solve the puzzle for you. Hyphanet is the original Freenet. 

Key Features 

  • Free of cost and censorship-resistant environment 
  • Make your own blogs, websites, forums, and much more without any central authority 
  • Users can use decentralized apps built on the platform and may create their own as well 
  • Darknet mode is almost impossible to detect 

What’s the Difference Between Zeronet and Freenet? 

Zeronet and Freenet are completely different from each other. Let’s consider 8 factors that can help us differentiate between the two: 

  1. Concept and Purpose:
    • Zeronet: A decentralized web-like network of peer-to-peer users for hosting websites or applications, providing a free and uncensored access to websites, even if the internet is unavailable or censored.
    • Freenet: A peer-to-peer platform for censorship-resistant communication, allowing users to anonymously share files, browse and publish “free sites” (websites that can be accessed only through Freenet) and forums. 
  2. Anonymity:
    • Zeronet: Provides anonymity to a certain extent. However, it doesn’t inherently support anonymity. Being a user, I have to use it with Tor to keep myself undetectable. 
    • Freenet: Provides a high level of anonymity, using  a distributed data store to keep and deliver info, making it difficult to determine who is providing the data and who is consuming it.
  3. Content Availability:
    • Zeronet: Content remains available as long as at least one peer is online who has the content. Once offline, you can’t access anything!
    • Freenet: Content is stored in the network itself and remains available even if the original publisher is not online. 
  4. Content Removal:
    • Zeronet: Content can’t be removed once it goes live because it’s distributed across multiple nodes.
    • Freenet: Content can be lost if it’s not accessed or refreshed over a period of time due to its ‘Least Recently Used’ data management policy.
  5. Technology:
    • Zeronet: Uses Bitcoin cryptography and the BitTorrent network. It allows for decentralized websites using a combination of these technologies.
    • Freenet: Uses a custom peer-to-peer protocol for communication. It uses a distributed datastore for storing content and provides a web interface for accessing the network.
  6. Ease of Use:
    • Zeronet: Relatively easy to use. Provides a user-friendly interface and allows users to create their own websites using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
    • Freenet: A bit more complex to use. Requires more technical knowledge and understanding of its working principles.
  7. Speed:
    • Zeronet: Generally faster as it uses the BitTorrent protocol for data transfer.
    • Freenet: Can be slower due to its high level of encryption and routing mechanisms.
  8. Security:
    • Zeronet: Offers security through Bitcoin’s cryptographic functions. However, it does not provide end-to-end encryption.
    • Freenet: Provides a high level of security. It uses end-to-end encryption and a complex routing mechanism to ensure data security and user anonymity.

Zeronet vs Freenet: Which is More Secure for Darknet Users? 

Freenet has a learning curve to it and it’s more secure. But being a darknet expert for years, I’ve seen that a lot of Freenet users have been arrested. This didn’t happen with Zeronet. 

But, is Freenet that bad? I don’t think so! 

Freenet users who have been arrested before must have used low security modes. If they would have applied high-security modes, they wouldn’t have to go behind the bars.