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How does ipfs compare to freenet? (WIP) #18
NOTE: this answer is a work in progress. it is by no means complete and will be evolving over time (updated by @jbenet)
Ipfs and freenet have different goals. Ipfs aims to be a high performance content peer to peer content distribution network (among other things). And freenet's primary goal is the security and anonymity of its users, in order to help them avoid censorship.
Traffic between ipfs peers is encrypted, but encryption in general does not make any guarantees about anonymity.
Many of the use cases of IPFS demand a high performance transport and do not require anonymity or privacy. And yes, there are some cases that do-- for those, special transports and routing systems are how similar guarantees could be achieved. but most IPFS nodes will not operate that way.
Other important semantic differences include:
Think of IPFS as being compared to HTTP.
general note on anonymity
Also, it should be noted that the IPFS protocol itself does not prevent anonymity at all, and a version of IPFS with careful choice of transports (e.g. tor, and not point-to-point tcp/udp links) + routing system (e.g. not the global dht) can achieve anonymity guarantees. But this is an endeavor unto itself worth doing very carefully. We will be guiding design for this in time, but this is not our focus at the moment.
What this might look like is to use things like TOR as only transports, use ephemeral node keypairs (ids generated every run, or per connection).
There will be much more to say about anonymity with ipfs -- and different ways of achieving it -- but for now please do not count on the go-ipfs to provide any guarantees!
This issue has been moved to https://discuss.ipfs.io/t/how-does-ipfs-compare-to-freenet-wip/401.