Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Facts About Dargens p2p

Facts About Dargens p2p

First of all I'll explain how ANt p2p works (notes taken from notes on MUTE a very similar network). Then I'll explain some of the differences between ANts p2p and Dargens p2p.

How ANts p2p Routes Messages

In a network, we have messages that need to travel from a sender to a recipient. Since ANts p2p users are anonymous, none of the nodes in the network know exactly where to find a particular recipient (or, more precisely, which computer a particular recipient is using). Like ants that are unaware of the overall environment layout, ANts p2p messages must be directed through the network using only local clues.

Each ANts p2p node maintains connections to several "neighbors" in the network, and these neighboring connections are used for message passing. Suppose that ANts p2p node X receives a message from Alice to Bob through node Y, one of its neighbors. X may have no information clues about where Bob is in the network. However, upon receiving this message, node X learns something about Alice: it learns that messages from Alice come through node Y. In the future, if node X ever receives a message to Alice, it can send it back through node Y using this clue.

Regardless of what X learns about Alice, it still has no information about Bob. The best strategy here, using ants as inspiration, is to "send ants in all directions", or to send a copy of the message on to each one of X's neighbors (what we will call "broadcasting" the message). One of the neighbors may have more information about which direction Bob is in. If none of the nodes in the network have clues about Bob's location, they will all broadcast the message to their neighbors. If Bob exists in the network, this technique will eventually find him.

Notice that throughout the search for Bob, the message has been leaving a trail of clues about Alice. If the message reaches Bob, and then Bob sends back a response, the response can follow these clues on a rather direct path back to Alice.

As the response is routed to Alice, it leaves a trail of clues that can be used to route future messages from Alice back to Bob. Other nodes can make use of these clues too. For example, if the owner of node X sends a message to Bob, the message will travel on a rather direct route using the existing clues.

We can see that ANts p2p's routing mechanism is quite similar to the technique of "Painting Arrows in the Forest". Each node can be thought of as a tree, and each neighbor connection can be thought of as a path between neighboring trees. Each node maintains a collection of arrows, and each arrow says something like "To get to Bob, use this path." In these diagrams, we follow the blue arrows backward to find Bob.

We can also think of each message leaving a "scent" as it travels through the network. Messages from Alice leave Alice's scent, and we can follow this scent when sending messages to Alice. The darker arrows in these diagrams represent messages, while the faded arrows can be thought of as the scent left by messages.

Routing Clues and Privacy

In terms of anonymity, the notion of "clues about Alice" sounds scary. Keep in mind that all of these "clues" are just local hints that will not enable anyone to directly pinpoint Alice in the network. A node's routing clue essentially tells it, "my neighbor knows more about Alice than I do." Of course, none of the nodes have a good measure of how much they know about Alice, so the fact that a particular neighbor knows more gives a node little extra information. For example, none of the nodes along a path between Alice and Bob know enough to conclude that "my neighbor is Alice."
Additionally Ants Features
  • Open Source Java implementation (GNU-GPL license)
  • Multiple sources download
  • Swarming from partial files
  • Automatic resume and sources research over the net
  • Search by hash, string and structured query
  • Completely Object-Oriented routing protocol
  • Point to Point secured comunication: DH(512)-AES(128)
  • EndPoint to EndPoint secured comunication: DH(512)-AES(128)
  • Serverless GWebCache-based peer dicovery procedure
  • IRC based peer discovery system
  • IRC embeded chat system
  • Full text search of indexed documents (pdf, html, txt, doc etc) -> QUERY REFERENCE.
  • Distributed/Decentralized Search engine
  • HTTP tunneling
  • ANts allow P2P communications through any kind of HTTP Proxy
  • ANts allow P2P communications through any kind of NAT or traffic filtering system

ANts vs Dargens

Users join ANts by boot-strapping from irc this results in a network with a random topology. Although this has the a short path length between any two nodes it is very difficult to find that path even with DHT so it does not scale well.

Dargens p2p (kerjodando) is based on ANts p2p except users join the network by connecting to either their friends or users that they share an interest with. This is a social network, a type of small world network. This also has a short path between peers but this path is much easier to find either with DHT, greeedy routing or ANt routing.

So Dargens p2p scales far better than ANts and is much faster.

To allow users to connect and form social networks, the Dargens tracker maintains a record of users' friends, that it shares with new users who connect.

Although the network information is kept on the site no information about who is sharing what files is kept on the site of communicated directly with any outside party by ANts.

As the system is web based it is very easy to configure.

There are several different level of security available.

Security Example

A user could be either public (general public can connect to him) or private (only invited friends can connect).

Uses can also publish files to the website in much the same way as done with bit torrent on a tracker.

The biggest drawback of the system is ANts because it uses Java which confuses many inexperienced web users.

Also it can take up to 2 minutes to download the client and connect even on fast dsl/cable networks.

Goals of Dargens

The aim of the system is to spread information to those who find it difficult to access information freely.

It has been designed (STUNT and SSL spoofing) to penetrate national censorship system such as the great fire wall of China.

However, it is not meant to circumvent national laws but to give privacy to responsible adult users which is a right we take for granted in the physical world but which is diminishing in the virtual world.

Sorry for my poor communication in the past but I suffer from a mild form of Aspergers Syndrome which affects every part of my life.

I am a lot more social than I use to be.

BTW it would be good to hear from any other sufferers.

We are all connected, if not directly then via friends of friends of friends etc. It has been prooved both theoretically and experimentally that everyone in Europe and North America are connected by a maximum of six steps.

This is how Dargens p2p works all nodes are connected but not randomly. They are connected like a social network a society. So path lengths are short and everybody can download and upload from everybody else.

And as it is ANts p2p (only change is network topology) it is anonymous.

And as to the single point of failure. I agree there is a single point of failure but it is open source (including the website) so it is like bit torrent. Sure they can kill a few trackers but they will never kill them all.

Lastly by being web based allows the featured files to be quality checked. So now you can download quality files anonymously. Of course you still have the ability to search and download like limwire etc again anonymously.

Nothing is 100% anonymous; this is safe enough to prevent snoopers from knowing what you're downloading without slowing downloads.

Go on download a file.

or join my private network: