Qu'est-ce que Freenet ?

Freenet is a platform for censorship-resistant communication and publishing. It is designed to ensure true freedom of communication over the Internet. It allows anybody to publish and read information with complete anonymity. Nobody controls Freenet, not even its creators, meaning that the system is not vulnerable to manipulation or shutdown. Freenet is also very efficient in how it deals with information, adaptively replicating content in response to demand. For more information, see What is Freenet?

Comment Freenet est-il différent de Tor ? Puis-je accéder à Google, Facebook, etc. par Freenet ?

Freenet is a self-contained network, while Tor allows accessing the web anonymously, as well as using "hidden services" (anonymous web servers). Freenet is not a proxy: You cannot connect to services like Google or Facebook using Freenet. However, Freenet has websites, filesharing, forums, chat, microblogging, email etc, all anonymous and hosted within Freenet.

Freenet is a distributed datastore, so once content is uploaded to Freenet, it will remain on Freenet forever, as long as it remains popular, without fear of censorship or denial of service attacks, and without needing to run your own web server and keep it online constantly.

The other big difference is that Freenet has the "darknet" or Friend to Friend mode, where your Freenet node (software on your computer) only connects to the Freenet nodes run by your friends, i.e. people you know (and maybe to their friends, to speed things up). This makes blocking Freenet, e.g. on a national firewall, extremely difficult.

However, most people currently use Freenet in "opennet" mode (that is, connecting automatically to whoever the network assigns, rather than connecting only to their friends). This is much less secure than using Freenet in "darknet" mode, and is relatively easy to block, as it does have some central servers ("seed nodes").

Freenet has many unsolved problems, and is still experimental. Our objective for Freenet is to build a global friend-to-friend darknet, which would be extremely difficult to block, and would provide very strong anonymity and censorship resistance. This will require further work on Freenet, on usability, speed and security, but above all it is a techno-social experiment: Will people know enough friends who are willing to use Freenet to make such an anonymous friend-to-friend network possible? This is why Freenet supports "opennet" mode: to let people try it out before they ask their friends to connect.

Tor is a little less experimental, and arguably is an easier problem; it may provide better anonymity today, provided that it isn't blocked, and of course, Tor lets you access the internet as a whole, whereas on Freenet you can only access Freenet content. However if you can use a large enough darknet, Freenet already provides an interesting level of censorship resistance, DoS resistance and anonymity.

Using the internet "anonymously" is not necessarily easy: Connecting to Facebook through Tor doesn't prevent Facebook from knowing pretty much everything about you, and connecting to your (non-HTTPS) webmail account through Tor may mean the person running the proxy ("exit node") can steal your webmail account password.

Freenet is a separate network, which does things differently, because there are no central servers. This is why we don't support Javascript, server-side scripting etc on freesites: Everything must be rewritten to work on a distributed network. But the advantage is there is no single server which can be compelled to hand over your private communications or which can be shut down.

There are still risks, for example, talking about your home town or internet provider on an anonymous forum, or downloading files which Freenet can't make safe such as PDFs or word processor documents (Freenet will warn you about this). Also, for web content in particular, it may be easier to upload it to Freenet than set up a hidden server on Tor; you don't need to keep your node online for your content to be available, you don't need to figure out how to configure it safely, and most important, if you go away your site will still be available.


Tor (or I2P):

Freenet in general:

Freenet in darknet mode: (friend to friend: connects only to your friends' nodes)

Freenet in opennet mode: (connect automatically even if you don't know anyone on Freenet)

Malheureusement, la plupart des gens utilisent actuellement Freenet en mode réseau ouvert. La grande question étant de savoir si l'on peut construire un réseau invisible mondial d'ami à ami. Joignez-vous à nous et découvrez-le !

PS for an example of how dependant Tor is on centralised hidden services, see this bust. Half the hidden services on Tor were using a single hosting service, whose owner has now been arrested. While we don't approve of these sites, it does illustrate the point: A centralised network is a vulnerable network. Unfortunately, decentralised networks are hard, but in the long run they are more secure.

Qui est derrière Freenet ?

Freenet est né à partir du concept de système de publication anonyme créé par Ian Clarke alors qu'il était étudiant à l'Université d'Édimbourg en Écosse. Depuis, beaucoup d'autres personnes ont contribué à faire de la proposition d'Ian une réalité.

Si les auteurs sont anonymes, comment pouvez-vous faire confiance aux informations ?

La signature cryptographique des informations permet aux gens de prouver leur paternité. Cette technique est fréquemment utilisée pour attester la paternité de courriels. De plus, vous pouvez en fait signer des informations tout en restant anonyme, ce qui vous permet de rester un personnage public anonyme. Vous pouvez prouver que vous avez rédigé plusieurs éléments d'informations sur Freenet, sans révéler votre identité. De cette manière, vous pouvez vous bâtir une réputation anonyme de fiabilité.

Dois-je donner de l'espace disque et de la bande passante ?

Vous ne donnez vraiment rien dans la mesure où vous perdez de l'espace disque et de la bande passante ; mais vous ne partagez pas vraiment non plus (en tout cas pas de la même manière qu'avec des programmes de partage de fichiers). Vous apportez plutôt votre contribution au bassin de ressources de Freenet.

Je n'ai pas à donner quoi que ce soit quand j'utilise l'application de partage de fichiers X et je tire plus profit des informations des autres.

Pouvez-vous le faire anonymement ? Freenet est conçu dans un esprit d'anonymat, et les performances viennent ensuite.

Tous mes amis ne donnent que très peu d'espace et de bande passante. Devrais-je en donner plus ?

Si vous êtes satisfait de ce que vous obtenez, alors non. Mais si vous en voulez davantage, vous devriez penser à en donner plus et à faire tourner votre nœud presque jour et nuit, et vous devriez demander à vos amis d'en faire autant.

Si j'en donne beaucoup, mon expérience sera-t-elle sensiblement améliorée ?

Votre expérience sera certainement meilleure, mais pour une amélioration vraiment importante, plus de gens doivent penser comme vous. La bande passante compte plus que l'espace disque.

We don't currently know of any prosecutions for merely using Freenet. Some people claim that the DADVSI makes Freenet illegal in France; the German data retention law might have required logging, but was struck down. Also, the German supreme court has found that not securing your wifi properly makes you responsible for other people's downloads over it; this might or might not be extended to prohibiting anonymous peer to peer filesharing such as Freenet. ACTA might have wide-ranging effects, including on Freenet, should it pass, and similar laws such as IPRED2 have been tried in the past. There have also been attempts to force peer to peer systems to provide wiretapping capabilities in the USA, and there are worrying developments in the UK that might result in it being blocked, but not being made illegal per se. As far as we know none of these things - apart from the first two - have passed. Many of these are arguable either way (depending on how broadly the legislation is applied) and will have to be decided in caselaw. The law can be an ass sometimes. You can read the EFF's (US-centric) advice to peer to peer developers here. If you need legal advice, talk to a lawyer. Also read the next section especially if you are in China; blocking the protocol may suggest the authorities don't like us!

Freenet est-il bloqué par les pare-feu nationaux ?

The Chinese national firewall (Golden Shield) has blocked our website for many years, and was observed in 2005 to block the 0.5 protocol as well. This suggests China doesn't like us, so be careful if you run Freenet in China. Some other countries (e.g. France) are known to be hostile to peer to peer, and may eventually force ISPs to block peer to peer networks (but right now Freenet works fine in France and we have many French users!).

Technically, Freenet 0.7 has some minimal defences against blocking; the protocol is relatively hard to identify (we are working on "transport plugins", which would make it much harder to detect Freenet. Freenet supports a darknet mode (i.e. only connecting to your friends) which makes automated harvesting and blocking of nodes very difficult. Note that many mobile internet providers block all peer to peer networks along with other content, and many corporate or academic networks may block Freenet (but even if they don't, see you shouldn't run Freenet at work for non-work purposes!).

There has been discussion in the US and UK of legislation to require backdoors and presumably blocking of anything that can't be backdoored. This is unlikely to pass, especially in the US, where similar laws have been proposed periodically and are probably unconstitutional. However, even if the government came to us and demanded a back door, we would be legally unable to secretly distribute a trojan'ed build, because Freenet is open source, numerous people have contributed code to it, so legally we have to give you the source code, including that for any government mandated back doors - which wouldn't be secret for long! If this happened it is likely that Freenet Project Incorporated, the non-profit organisation that runs this website and handles donations, would shut down, but the Freenet network itself would live on just fine, the only difference being not being able to pay full time developers as easily.

See net neutrality and the EFF or equivalent organisations in your country for the politics of all this and how you can stop such laws.

Puis-je avoir des ennuis si je fais tourner un nœud ?

This is related to "Is Freenet legal?". We have done everything we can to make it extremely difficult for any sane legal system to justify punishing someone for running a Freenet node, and there is little precedent for such action in today's developed countries. Many legal systems recognize the importance of freedom of speech, which is Freenet's core goal. Having said that, there is risk in doing anything that your government might not agree with; you should make an informed decision as to whether to take that risk. Furthermore, your ISP or hosting provider may have a problem with Freenet. At least one French hosting provider has been known to ban Freenet ( along with Tor and others) from their servers; please read your terms and conditions to make sure you are allowed to run Freenet. Note also that Freenet can use rather a lot of bandwidth, at least 20GB/month, and this may be a problem on a cheap or shared connection. And of course running it at work could get you into trouble too, unless it's for work purposes!

Qu'en est-il des droits d'auteur ?

There are some excellent thoughts on this subject on the Philosophy page. Specific copyright-related laws may be a problem, please read Is Freenet legal? and Is Freenet blocked by national firewalls?.

Qu'en est-il de la pornographie juvénile, des contenus offensants ou de terrorisme ?

Alors que la plupart des gens souhaitent que la pornographie juvénile et le terrorisme n'existent pas, l'humanité ne devrait pas être privée de sa liberté de communiquer à cause de la manière dont un très petit nombre de personnes pourrait utiliser cette liberté.

Je ne veux pas que mon nœud soit utilisé pour héberger de la pornographie juvénile, des contenus offensants ou du terrorisme. Que puis-je faire ?

This is a problem that sadly any censorship-resistance tool faces. If the capacity to remove content existed, it might only be used to remove things one finds offensive, but it could be used to remove anything. From a technological point of view one cannot have censorship-resistance with exceptions. Freenet is merely a tool that by itself doesn't do anything to promote offensive content. How people choose to use the tool is their sole responsibility. As a communication medium, Freenet cannot be considered responsible for what people use it for — just like Internet Service Providers, telecoms, or postal services cannot be held responsible for their users either.

Note that files are encrypted and split into pieces. They are not stored on your machine in their entirety. Your instance of Freenet will likely have very few encrypted pieces of a given file, if any. These pieces cannot be used as parts of the file they were made from without additional information. Reassembling a file requires knowing both what pieces to use and the key to decrypt them, neither of which is included with each piece.

Qu'en est-il des restrictions à l'exportation de technologies de chiffrement ?

Le Projet Freenet a informé les autorités étatsuniennes qu'il exportera de la cryptographie. Tant que votre pays n'interdit pas l'utilisation du chiffrement, vous ne risquez rien. De plus, les lois d'exportation présentent maintenant une exception pour les logiciels qui font exactement ce que Freenet fait ! Cependant, Oracle limite la puissance de chiffrement proposée par la machine virtuelle Java qui exécute Freenet ; vous devriez si possible installer les fichiers de puissance illimitée pour Java (Unlimited Strength Policy Files) afin d'améliorer les performances. Freenet fonctionnera malgré tout sans ces fichiers, en utilisant son propre code de chiffrement.

Je n'ai rien à cacher et je n'ai pas besoin d'anonymat. Freenet peut-il offrir autre chose ?

Oui, en fait, même sans la fonction d'anonymat, Freenet est très utile, grâce à sa façon unique de gérer la distribution de contenu et la charge d'informations, Plus simplement, cela signifie que vous pouvez publier un site Web sans vous soucier de la taille du site, et sans avoir à y afficher les bannières publicitaires de quelqu'un d'autre. Bien qu'il est improbable que les sitesFree ne chargent jamais plus rapidement que des sites habituels, ils s'adaptent mieux aux augmentations soudaines de visiteurs (ce qui est fréquent lorsque des sites relativement inconnus sont reliés à partir d'un gros site), et il est possible d'atteindre des vitesses de téléchargement raisonnables pour les gros fichiers. Ne vous attendez juste pas à un court temps d'attente.


Comment utiliser ce logiciel ? Je l'ai téléchargé, mais quand je l'exécute, il n'y a pas d'interface graphique.

Fred (the Freenet REference Daemon) runs as a daemon, or service, in the background. You normally talk to it through a Freenet client. One built-in client is fproxy, which lets you talk to Freenet with a web browser. Freenet should have installed a Browse Freenet shortcut on the desktop and/or the start menu, or a system tray icon (rabbit) with an Open Freenet menu item. Failing that, point your web browser to for the gateway page. Try clicking the various links in the bookmark list to reach an initial set of sites.

Pourquoi Freenet est-il si lent ?

When you first install Freenet, it will be slow, and you may see Data Not Found or Route Not Found errors for freesites. This is normal, and Freenet will speed up significantly over time. For best performance you should try to run Freenet as close to 24 hours a day as possible. This is why we install Freenet as a service.

Please bear in mind that Freenet is inherently high latency: it can take a while to (for example) load a page for the first time, even if it is capable of reasonable speeds (as anonymous systems go!) for large popular files. You can also improve performance for freesite browsing by using a separate browser and increasing its connection limit. You should also set the datastore size and bandwidth limit as high as possible. But protecting your anonymity does cost a certain amount of performance. You can configure how much to a degree by changing the security levels on the page under Configuration.

Peut-on effectuer des recherches dans Freenet ?

Oui, il existe quelques mécanismes de recherche différents. Pour effectuer une recherche dans la toile Freenet (sitesFree), vous devriez pouvoir simplement utiliser la boîte de recherche de l'accueil, ou Rechercher dans Freenet du sous-menu Parcourir. Si vous ne le trouvez pas, rendez-vous à la page Greffons, sous Configuration, et chargez le greffon Bibliothèque. Par ailleurs, Frost et Thaw proposent aussi une recherche des messages et des fichiers. Il est à noter qu'il est bien plus difficile de chercher sur Freenet que sur d'autres réseaux, à cause de l'architecture différente de Freenet et des objectifs de conception.

Comment puis-je faire fonctionner Freenet avec un pare-feu/une traduction d'adresses réseau ?

Mostly, Freenet should just work with a NAT. However, you should forward the ports manually if you can. Click on the Connectivity page. At the top you will see a list of ports used by the node. You should forward (for UDP) the Darknet FNP and Opennet FNP ports. You may need to look up your router's documentation to figure out how to do this. Freenet should have forwarded them itself through Universal Plug and Play, but this doesn't always work (and it never works if you don't have the UPnP plugin loaded, or have one router behind another).

If you have a dyndns address or other domain name pointing to the computer you run your Freenet node on, tell the node about it. Go to the core settings config page (in advanced mode), and find the option "IP address override". Put your domain name in that box, and apply the settings.

Ai-je besoin d'une connexion Internet permanente pour faire fonctionner un nœud ?

Non, mais cela est préférable. Vous pouvez exécuter le logiciel et le tester à partir d'une connexion « transitoire » (p. ex. liaison commutée/modem mobile), mais pour que le réseau dans son ensemble soit le plus utile, nous aurons besoin d'autant de nœuds permanents que possible (la plupart des modems câble ou des configurations xDSL sont suffisamment « permanents » pour cela.) Une version ultérieure de Freenet tirera peut-être meilleur parti des nœuds transitoires.

Pourquoi Freenet télécharge-t-il seulement 1 ou 2 fichiers à la fois ?

Many browsers limit the number of simultaneous connections to something far too low for efficiently browsing Freenet (since Freenet pages often have much higher latency than web pages). This can usually be reconfigured. For example, for Mozilla Firefox, type about:config in the address field of the browser and replace the value of the following settings to the one stated. Filter on "connections" to get only the relevant settings:

network.http.max-connections 200  
network.http.max-connections-per-server 200  
network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy 200  
network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server 200

Veuillez noter que ces paramètres obligeront Mozilla Firefox à utiliser plus de connexions pour tout type de navigation, ce qui pourrait ne pas être souhaitable du point de vue de la congestion du réseau. Mais vous devriez de toute façon utiliser un navigateur séparé pour Freenet afin d'assurer une sécurité meilleure.

Pourquoi Freenet ne peut-il pas stocker les données de façon permanente ?

Because we can't find a way to do this without compromising Freenet's other goals. For example, people often suggest that someone's node could just never drop data they want to cache permanently. This, however, won't work because even if the data is still available on their node, there is no way to ensure that requests for that data will be routed to that node. We have considered many other ways that Freenet could store data permanently, but they either won't work, or compromise Freenet's core goals of anonymity, and scalability.

Content which is popular should persist indefinitely, for example most freesites linked from the main indexes are still retrievable years later (at least their front pages are). If the content isn't very popular the best way to keep it available is to regularly re-insert (re-upload) it. An interesting option is the "Keepalive" plugin, which will do this for you - even if you didn't upload the file/site in the first place. Improvements are planned, such as a special kind of request that allows us to probe whether a file is available from a random point on the network.

Pourquoi Freenet est-il réalisé en Java ?

Opinions differ about the choice of Java for the reference implementation of Freenet (even among the core developers). Ian Clarke and several other developers are Java proponents and the choice for Java was made. Even if everybody could be convinced to switch to a different language reimplementing the current Freenet protocol would be quite a big task, and take up a significant amount of time, while there is only a limited amount of developer-time available. Flame wars on the development list about the language choice aren't welcome, people willing to implement Freenet in other languages however are very much encouraged to try. Don't underestimate the amount of work however.

Comment puis-je autoriser des connexions à FProxy à partir d'autres ordinateurs ?

If you want everyone to be able to use your node you have the following options:

In both cases change the following parameters:


Of course, this leaves your node wide open, unless you control access with a firewall of some sort. If you'd prefer to use access controls within Freenet, then you can use lines like this:


Or even (find your IP address from ipconfig/ifconfig/winipcfg and substitute it for


And if you want to grant full access (i.e. change config settings, restart, etc) to the node (WARNING: Be very careful who you give full fproxy access to!):


Qu'y a-t-il de nouveau ? Y a-t-il un journal des changements ?

On every new build, a brief summary of all the main changes is posted to the support and devl lists and the eng.freenet board on Freetalk. This is usually relayed to FMS and Frost too. Alternatively, for a much more detailed view, check out the git repositories. Also, you should check the developer blogs (from the default bookmarks, or over the web, e.g. toad), but be warned they are often not regularly updated and frequently go off on rants on unrelated topics!

Pourquoi il y a-t-il tant de messages dans mon fichier journal avec une trace de débogage jointe ?

Freenet journalise des messages de façon excessive pendant un fonctionnement normal. Nous en sommes conscients et nous y travaillons.

J'ai l'antivirus Kaspersky, et Freenet ne s'installe pas ou affiche « La base de données de la file d'attente de téléchargement/téléversement est corrompue ! »

Kaspersky can be a problem with Freenet. See here. We recommend you turn off Kaspersky during install and during node startup, and exclude the directory you installed Freenet in (most likely C:\Program Files\Freenet or C:\Program Files (x86)\Freenet).

J'ai oublié le mot de passe que j'avais défini, que puis-je faire ?

The password protects your downloads and uploads and the client-cache (cache of what you've recently browsed on Freenet). It is stored in the file master.keys. There is no way to recover the password, but if you forget it you can wipe your downloads and uploads and the client cache by securely deleting the file master.keys. See the question on private data and local security for more information.

Freenet se plaint d'un décalage d'horloge

Freenet éprouvera des problèmes si votre horloge est constamment réajustée. Cela arrive habituellement lorsque quelque chose réajuste votre horloge régulièrement de beaucoup. Sous Linux, vous devriez exécuter ntpd afin de garantir que votre horloge n'est pas trop déréglée (ce n'est pas essentiel, mais utile), mais si vous remarquez des décalages, essayez d'y ajouter l'option -x afin d'éviter les gros bonds en arrière. Une autre bonne idée serait d'exécuter ntpdate lors du démarrage afin qu'il y ait un grand bond avant que Freenet démarre. Cela peut aussi se produire parfois sous Windows. Indiquez-nous comment vous avez réussi à le corriger... bien que ce ne soit généralement pas si sérieux que ça, particulièrement si les grands bonds d'horloge ne se produisent qu'une fois par jour.


Si je publie quelque chose sur Freenet, comment les autres pourront-ils le trouver ? Ne doivent-ils pas connaître la clé que j'ai utilisée ?

Yes, people will have to know what key you used to publish your information. This means you will have to announce your key in some way.

The most common way to do this is to send a message, containing your key and brief description of your information, to the author of one of the existing Freenet sites. Most of the "portal" sites which are linked from the Freenet web interface (fproxy) read the Freetalk or FMS forums, and there are boards specifically for announcing sites (usually the boards are called "sites"!). You could also send your key to people by using the Freenet mailing lists, in the IRC channel ( #freenet), by private e-mail, or by advertising your Freenet site on your World Wide Web site. If you're feeling extravagant, you could even try skywriting it. (Graffiti is not recommended, for legal reasons.)

Comment puis-je publier une clé de hachage de contenu (CHK) ?

Une clé de hachage du contenu se base sur le contenu même de la clé, et, à ce titre, la clé ne sera connue qu'après avoir été insérée dans Freenet. Pour insérer une CHK, il suffit de l'insérer en tant « CHK@ », Freenet vous indiquera ce qu'est la CHK une fois que l'insertion sera terminée.

Les documents de Freenet peuvent-ils être mis à jour / supprimés ?

Currently, a document posted to freenet with the same name as one already present may actually serve to propagate the existing document. there is also currently no means of deleting a document from freenet. documents that are never requested are eventually removed through disuse.

however, you can use an updatable subspace key (usk) to provide a form of updatable freesite: your node will automatically look for later editions of the site (after you visit it, or always if you bookmark it), and show you the latest version. you can force it to search for the latest version by changing the number at the end of the key to negative.


I have this great idea...

Good! First step: read the mailing list archives. Odds are good that someone else had the same idea and discussed it with the group. Either a flaw was found in the idea, or perhaps it was decided to postpone implementing the idea until later. Some examples of ideas already discussed are storing information by content hash, key redirection, signed keys/data, use of UDP, server discovery, URLs, document versioning, and others. If you don't see the idea discussed in the archives, by all means bring it up in the appropriate mailing list.

Puis-je participer au Projet Freenet ?

Absolutely. Even if you don't have the time or skills to become a co-developer of the project, you can contribute in other ways:

If you are a developer, you can help by working on Freenet itself, or by creating other applications to run on Freenet. External applications (such as FMS, the main forums system used on Freenet) use the Freenet Client Protocol to talk to Fred. Another possibility is writing plugins - these are written in Java and run in Freenet's JVM, and can be bundled with Freenet when they are ready. A popular plugin is Sone, which is a microblogging/social app over Freenet. You can see how to install FMS and Sone on e.g. the Freenet Social Networking Guide freesite.

If you want to work on Freenet itself, see here to get the source code.

Improvements to this website, fixes for spelling/grammar mistakes, new ideas (see the previous answer), are all welcome. You may find the wiki helpful.

If you have any questions about contributing, please contact us, via the developers mailing list, the chat channel, the support mailing list or anonymously via the freenet board on FMS.

Last but not least you can donate to support our paid developer(s) and cover server costs.

Comment puis-je accéder au code et au site Web ?

See our GitHub repository.

De quels outils ai-je besoin pour aider au développement ?

Building Freenet requires JDK 1.6 or later. You can download the source tarballs on the download page for a specific build, or use git to get an up to date copy of the source, see here for details. Further instructions for building and deploying the server are included with the code itself. Generally speaking, joining our IRC channel is a good idea: #freenet on

Il y a-t-il un site d'assistance qui couvre plus en profondeur les questions qu'un novice peut avoir sur Freenet, et où les gens peuvent contribuer ?

Have a look at our wiki. An older wiki, which is now read-only, but has a fair amount of content so is sometimes helpful is here. There are also several implementations of wiki's over Freenet. The most recent one is called Jfniki. There is a link in the default bookmarks on the Browse Freenet page after you install Freenet.

Où puis-je signaler des bogues ?

You can use our bug tracking system hosted by MantisHub or send a mail to our support mailing list.

Je suis informaticien/mathématicien théoricien, comment puis-je aider ?

See here.


Puis-je utiliser mon navigateur habituel pour parcourir Freenet ?

Freenet has a web interface: much of the content on Freenet is in the form of "freesites", and downloads, configuration and friend connections can be managed from the web interface. However, because of weaknesses in current browsers, we strongly recommend that you use a separate browser for Freenet. Specifically, browser history stealing, in all its forms, is a major threat if you share a browser between Freenet and the WWW at large: malicious web pages will be able to probe which freesites you have visited, and report this information to their owners.

Privacy/incognito mode may be sufficient, and Windows tray app will start a browser running in this mode.

L'attaque X ne compromettra-t-elle pas l'anonymat de Freenet ?

Short answer: Probably, on opennet. Maybe, on darknet.

Long answer:

Freenet has a different threat model to Tor and the Mixmaster remailers. Freenet is designed to resist censorship: The network must therefore be robust, and content must be distributed without requiring a central server, whether anonymous or not. Anonymity is important for requesters and especially for those who upload content in the first place. The typical example is a corporate or government whistleblower. Generally to find the originator of some content, the attacker must be able to predict the data in advance, must be able to move across the network relatively quickly, and must be able to perform the attack while the data is being inserted; after that, it is distributed across the network and is much harder to trace, and the originator may have left the network. However, if by chance or by overwhelming force the attacker is connected to the whistleblower (or e.g. seizes the computers of everyone on the network), he may be able to identify this much more quickly. All of this is vastly more difficult on a darknet, where everyone connects only to their friends, where it is very hard for an attacker to find nodes, and where to connect to a given node he must social engineer its operator! Freenet does support opennet mode (plug and play), but darknet is far more secure, and far more difficult to block on a national firewall.

Tor on the other hand is designed to anonymise real-time data streams, on the assumption that the list of nodes can be public, that there is a free world where nodes can be operated safely, that the authors of controversial content will be able to either host (hidden) web servers themselves or upload it to other (hidden, but usually centralised) storage systems, and so on. And Tor has a concept of a "client", which is somebody who uses the service without providing any value to it; on Freenet, every node relays data for its neighbours. Hence the attacks on Freenet are completely different to the attacks on Tor. Both compromise to some degree to enable more or less real-time performance.

If you can use the darknet, trust your friends, don't reinsert files, always use the "Insert a random, safe key" option, and change your anonymous identity after some volume of inserts, you should be relatively safe using Freenet. However this has not yet been quantified. If you can connect, build up some trust in your anonymous persona, insert your controversial content, and then disappear, again, you are better off with Freenet, especially if the content is a website (but if you are connecting on opennet, beware of seednode compromises). In some other cases, Tor is better.

We are still working on Freenet's security and there are major security enhancements which have not yet been implemented, most of which will go in before 1.0. Cryptographic tunnels similar to Tor's onion routing are one possibility, which would greatly reduce the impact of many of the below attacks, but there are several other enhancements planned, both to anonymity and to network robustness/undetectability.

Major known attacks:

In the interests of giving would-be users as much information as possible, and on the assumption that any serious attacker would do their homework, here are the major classes of attack on Freenet we are presently aware of:

More information on the current practical state of Freenet security is available here.

Freenet est-il exposé aux attaques par inondation ?

Short answer: no.

Long answer:

We don't think so. Aside from protecting freedom of speech, Freenet is also designed to be an efficient dynamic caching system. If information is requested a lot from a limited number of nodes, the nodes that the requests pass through will cache the information, lowering the load on the network. If information is inserted on a limited set of nodes and then subsequently requested a lot from a separate set of nodes, with repetition, the sets will close in on one another in the network topology until they are "neighbors" and only the originally targeted nodes are suffering from the attack.

In other words, in order to harm Freenet with a flood you need to consistently change your point of entry into the network and continually insert and request new data, and you will still only increase the workload for the network that is linear to your own. Given an immense will and capacity greater than the total of the entire network, it is possible to cripple any public network (including the Internet itself) with floods, but it is our intention to always keep Freenet as resistant to this as theoretically possible.

Curiously enough, the above analysis only applies to Opennet. On Darknet, you might have a little more success, although it would be much harder to change your entry point in any significant way. Nonetheless, you have a reasonably low bandwidth multiplier (the total number of nodes visited, around 20 on average), and you are severely limited by the number of nodes you can connect to, which will be low on a darknet.

Pourquoi hacher les clés et chiffrer les données si un opérateur de nœud peut de toute façon les reconnaître (les données) s'il essaie ?

Le hachage de la clé et le chiffrement des données ne visent pas à empêcher les opérateurs de nœuds Freenet de déterminer quelle sorte d'informations se trouvent dans leurs nœuds s'ils le souhaitent vraiment (après tout, ils peuvent simplement trouver la clé de la même façon que quelqu'un qui demande les informations le ferait), mais plutôt pour que les opérateurs en question n'aient pas à savoir quelles informations se trouvent dans leurs nœuds s'ils ne le désirent pas. Cette distinction est plus juridique que technique. Il n'est pas réaliste de s'attendre à ce qu'un opérateur de nœud tente de recueillir continuellement ou de deviner les clés possibles, et de les comparer aux informations dans son nœud (même si une telle attaque est faisable sur le plan de la sécurité), et ainsi une société lucide est moins susceptible de tenir un opérateur responsable de la présence de telles informations sur le réseau.

Qu'en est-il des nœuds cancéreux hostiles dans le réseau ?

The existence of malicious nodes within the network is the most difficult problem that a distributed network must face, and has been the bane of many previous ideas. Many systems (such as multiplayer gaming networks) try to avoid malicious nodes by keeping the protocol and code closed, but we have yet to see an example of that working in the long run. And anyway it is opposed to Freenet's philosophy.

Freenet is based on a balance of positive and negative feedback loops that bring requests for information to a node when it is functioning well, and keep requests away from it when it is not. The key to avoiding "cancers" is (as in the body) to make sure these loops can correctly identify even the most carefully designed malicious node and not keep sending requests to it. This issue is not fully dealt with by the current test code, but you can rest assured that a number of possible solutions have been on the table and discussed for some time now. Several have been implemented (enforcing hashes or signatures on content, per node failure tables, backing off from a node that causes timeouts ...)

Qu'en est-il de l'attaque Y ?

Freenet est encore en phase de test, et il est normal que nous n'ayons pas encore réglé des attaques connues. Ainsi, si vous arrivez à trouver une nouvelle sorte d'attaque vraiment nouvelle, nous aimerions le savoir. Cependant, gardez bien à l'esprit ce que Freenet est et n'est pas. Aucun réseau ne peut tout offrir à tout le monde, et en raison de sa nature, il existe des problèmes de sécurité que Freenet ne pourra pas traiter aussi bien que vous le souhaiteriez. Si cela vous dérange, tout notre code est entièrement accessible, et vous êtes libre d'en prendre autant que vous le désirez afin d'écrire votre propre réseau distribué, qui répondra à vos besoins.

Quelles données confidentielles Freenet stocke-t-il ? Comment puis-je m'en débarrasser ? Comment puis-je sécuriser mon ordinateur afin de pouvoir utiliser Freenet en toute sécurité ?

First of all, we strongly suggest that you install Freenet inside an encrypted drive using, for example, Truecrypt. It is not possible for Freenet to prevent all leaks of private data, especially if you download media files etc. Even if you only browse freesites and use the chat plugins, there will still be potentially incriminating data in your swapfile, which needs to be encrypted (on recent versions of Windows you could try the command "fsutil behavior set encryptpagingfile 1", but really the solution is to encrypt your whole system including swap). It is also essential that you use your web browser in privacy mode, or with cache and history turned off; we try to do this if you launch Freenet via the rabbit icon, but there are no guarantees as unfortunately this functionality seems buggy in current web browsers. Browser plugins could also be a problem, and you should use a separate browser for Freenet if in any doubt. Be careful with the files you download from Freenet - not only could anyone seizing your computer see you have them (media files are likely to be written to disk even if you open them directly in your web browser and never save them), but also they could contain threats to anonymity themselves, such as calling back to a malicious website etc; this is possible in for instance PDFs and some video formats. Freenet tries to warn you about this when it can't filter out such malicious content: Currently it can only filter HTML pages, GIF/PNG/JPEG images and CSS, and MP3s, but we will add support for Ogg soon and other formats later. And of course there are many other threats - you should take standard security precautions, such as not running operating systems that are no longer updated, not running software not from a trustworthy source, using appropriate security software etc (if you have a firewall make sure it allows the two UDP ports Freenet needs through).

Because not all users will have installed encrypted drives at the time when they first install Freenet, Freenet itself attempts to encrypt all the potentially incriminating data that it stores on disk. Details are below but as explained, leaks are inevitable: you really should encrypt your disks!

The main datastore does not store data you request or insert (or that is requested or inserted by nearby nodes), because it can be probed by other nodes: This was introduced to fix this attack publicised by The Register. Freenet has a separate client-cache, which stores data which you have recently requested to avoid having to go back to the network every time (which would not only reduce speed but also security, by giving attackers more opportunities to see your requests). Also, Freenet stores the list of your downloads and uploads (which you can see on the Filesharing menu), their current progress, and various other data, in the file node.db4o (or node.db4o.crypt). The actual data is kept in the persistent-temp- directory. Unless you set the physical security level to LOW, this data is encrypted. At MAXIMUM, the encryption keys are never written to disk, so the data is effectively wiped on restarting the node; otherwise the encryption keys are stored in a file called master.keys (on HIGH this is passworded). You can wipe the data by either using the panic button on the downloads/uploads page or by securely deleting master.keys. Freenet also creates temporary files for other requests, which are also encrypted unless physical seclevel is LOW, which are in temp-. Also, some plugins may create their own data files, which may contain for instance messages you have posted or downloaded from chat forums, and currently bookmarks and recently completed files are stored in plain text. It is our intention to move these into node.db4o or store them in separate encrypted databases, as soon as we have automatic backups for node.db4o. See here for details on some of the files.

Le filtre SmartScreen de Windows m'avertit que le programme d'installation de Freenet pourrait nuire à la sécurité de mon ordinateur. Que se passe-t-il ?

SmartScreen is sometimes incorrect in classifying a file as dangerous. We believe our installer is not infected with malicious software, and if you are a developer you can check the installer source code here.

Quelqu'un a-t-il déjà été confronté à des problèmes juridiques pour ses activités anonymes menées sur Freenet ?

Yes. There is one such instance that we know of. United States law enforcement can identify anonymous users of Freenet and Tor. Without further information we do not know how they did this, but we suspect it affects people using the network security level "normal" or lower. It is reasonable to assume that other governments have access to the same technology, which is provided by private contractors. If you are concerned about governments, you should use Freenet's capacity to connect only to users you trust, ("high" network security level or higher) and bear in mind that no anonymity technology provides perfect protection.

While we applaud law enforcement's apparent success in apprehending suspects allegedly sharing child abuse images, any security flaws they may have used are not limited to such noble usage. Many governments persecute and prosecute political dissidents for legitimate speech published online. Therefore we hope to discover and fix these flaws to protect those who fight for human rights, against corruption, for a peaceful future, and for other legitimate goals.

Additional information sources

Listes de diffusion

Voici les listes de diffusion qui peuvent être utilisées pour de l'assistance ou des informations générales sur Freenet.

The lists


Obtenir du soutien

If you need help installing Freenet for the first time, or have trouble using Freenet and can't find an answer to your problem in the FAQ above or in the Knowledge Base, please create a new discussion on our support forum.

When writing your support request, please make sure you include a full description of the problem, your current version of Java, your operating system and current Freenet version.

Create a support discussion

Clavarder avec nous

Many of the developers and users of Freenet are on the IRC channel #freenet on

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