Here we can Disscuss ,bitch and moan about Ants without interfering with other the other topics and threads . Thier has been alot of disscussion on various p2p forums regarding Ants and some people are against it becuse they are still burnt by Earthstation 5 and its annominity claims so be carefull when posting on forums if you are a supporter of proxy chains,crytography and ant based routing protocol ,and be informative if you can when trying to discuss ANts . Lets make this forum have Inteligent well thought out dicussion without flaming and my p2p is better than yours threads Some claim its not anonymous but they forget annonymous dos'nt mean invisable. Ants may not be what you are used to in p2p its heavilly in development and its beta software it may not always work with the current version. Grwen the developer dosnt care much for GUI improvments at this stage so you wont get a new GUI till you help develop it or he gets everything he wants done protocol wise and fixes up the bugs then you might get your Pretty GUI in Ants If you find bugs ,you work out a exploit or want to know somthing post it @sourcefoge or here . Grwens Ants Homepage http://www.myjavaserver.com.nyud.net:8090/~gwren/home.jsp?page=custom&xmlName=ants Ants Sourceforge Page http://sourceforge.net/projects/antsp2p/ Ants Project description Abstract The main problems of the 2-nd generation p2p nets (as well as the 1-st one) are two: the complete lack of privacy and data protection and the lack of structured queries. Doing queries over the net we can see who's connected and what he's sharing. This is not acceptable if we care about our privacy... furthermore we usually have many problems in finding what we are looking for: queries support in common p2p system is usually not-stuctured and exact text-matching based, so we cannot exploit SQL-like features (join and so on...) over the net data-set. This project tries to resolve both the problems. The privacy problem It faces the privacy one breaking the ebsence of p2p... I mean a connection is not anymore point 2 point in the strict sense... the peers are virtual peers over a virtual net, so when we are requiring a resource over the net, our request is routed through many points utill it reach our peer. The peers are not anymore identified by ip... the have a unique ID produced hashing infos from their time and their location (this yields a unique hash). So a client now knows only the ips of its neighbours (the other peers directly connected to it), but it doesn't know their ID, as only the same node knows its ID. So what about routing, how can a node route a message if it doesn't know where the destination is? Simple... a node will know which are the "best" direction to route a message to, but it will not know where precisely another node is. The routing protocol has been developed over studies on ants behaviour... ants do not know the precise location of their hive, they simply follow a track... the same happends in this system. So the more messages follow a track the more that track will be "strong", if a track produces many failures it'll fade out and it won't be followed anymore. This way we can achieve privacy over our identity, but what about the informations sent? They have to route through many peers so how can we protect 'em? The protection is realized at 2 levels... low level (against man-in-the-middle extern to our net) by crypting communication between each couple of directly linked points of the net, high level (against internal threats) crypting the communication between the two end points. At both level the security is granted using a DH-KA and DES or AES (negotiated at the beginning). The queries problem Another solution has been found for the query problem. Each query is distributed (in a non deterministic and sequential way) over a part of the net. It is processed by each node it passes and at last it is returned to the source following the shortest path. Each node can process operations more complex than the simple text-matching: we can support pseudo high level SQL-queries over the data-set reppresented by our partial explored net. Efficiency issues We talked about a wide spread net that comprises very etherogeneous kind of nodes (lan connection as well as 56k) how can we support efficiency? The routing protocol is studied to find the best path to route a message... but if the path is not present we cannot find it. So we have to create a well structured net with a sufficient number of "routing point" (I mean pseudo server point with high speed connection and high connectivity (about 30 peers connected). The peers don't need to know the address of these points... we can structure the service creating few (hidden) routing points and many access points. At the startup one can choose if becoming an access point or a simple peer, every group of people can also create their own net with routing points and simple peers (a very scalable system). Computer simulation over the routing protocol have shown its efficiency over both the cases: with or without many routing points... in practice the virtual net is a sort of neural network that learns during its life and distributes the traffic in the best way. About the IRC based connection system Is there any threat due to the IRC based connection system? Is it dangerous that my IP appears on IRC? NO! Because ANts Net and IRC net are two distinct nets and the first has nothing to do with the sencond. I mean, when you log on IRC starting your ants client you usually join a chat room. In the chatroom you'll find other peers, each peers in the channel runs a particular server at port 4568, this is called the address server. The address server is a sort of crawler that roams around the ANts net collecting the IPs of every node that has free slots for new peers that want to access the ANts net. So each node of the ANts net will manage a list of these IPs with free slots. Through IRC (by a simple message) you can obtain the address of a peer running the server and already connected to the net. Once you have the address of the address server you can query that peer for IPs you can connect to. Once you are connected to the ANts net you'll crawl the net too for addresses with free slot (I mean your address server), and other peers will crawl through your node. This cause no threat because giving back your address to a query does not give any info to other peers about your location or about the ID you are using. Also if you are the only peer connected to another, the other cannot know if you are the only peer connected or if other peers without free slots are connected to you (same as for normal queries... noone knows who really answers queries). MUTE: a similar system. Mute implements the same idea as Ants p2p using different routing protocols and discovery systems. Also the security policy is different as no endpoint secured connections are used (it uses only point to point secured connections). Main problems of MUTE are the lack of multiple downloads and of the resume system. Sometimes It can also result too slow even if it is used with a broadband connection (probably due to wrong routing policies...).