Tor competitors - Orchid Protocol, Mainframe, Obsidian, Skrumble, Dusk, Marconi, Loki, Nym


The Protocol is interesting but everything else same old shitcoin formula.
The Hashrate is also laughably low which indicates a low interest in the Network.
Adding a neat Protocol to a useless Token won’t make it more private or secure because of the small/minute audience…

I’m honestly amazed by the amount of BS and PR Twists they still come up with (not talking about Loki only).
Imagine someone tries to sells you the Outranets which is a new spin on the Internet with amazing features and so on but with only a limited amount of people,services who use it and you have to buy some wothless Token to buy in to it.
Would you buy the Outranet? :wink:

If so i got some amazing Snakeoil for sale…

The only real question regarding these “Projects” is:
Why do they need a Coin for that ?

I am not seeing anything near as detailed or knowledgeable as a single Tor spec let alone the entire protocol in their low level “explanation”:

Its description of Tor and I2P’s “shortcomings” is dishonest and ill-informed. Tor lacks UDP support because of the huge number of anonymity attacks this would open. Dir Auths are much safer than a DHT network as far as some attacks are concerned like flooding the network with low quality nodes or sybils.

Nym looks to me serious, good work. I’d bet on it! License is free, ideas fresh, new, they look feasible, but hard work to do.
But I spent just a few minutes looking into it. Maybe someone will notice faults and tell us.

No technical research paper or specs. Lots of buzzwords and unsubstantiated claims. Wants investors in a testnet which isn’t even production level yet.

Nym | The Next Generation of Privacy Infrastructure (their tech is based on the things in these papers)

Kinda the point in wanting investors - to gather funding to make it production level.

That’s just a bunch of different papers (some authored by big time researchers). Still doesn’t answer what exactly they are implementing or what the track record of the programmers behind it is. With the avalanche of scam/shitcoins many of whom are posting “whitepapers” you have to be careful before you trust the tech with your privacy/data/money or even life.

Wanting users to pay before it has had a a chance to prove itself is only going to be a bigger obstacle to get it off the ground IMO. These systems need as much users/volunteers as they can get to provide any good protection.

The papers are not arbitrary. They use the exact things described in some of those papers.

Refer to the second link. E.g. describes how they use Coconut, describes how they use Loopix, etc.

There’d be no point in them writing full papers themselves as they’d just be duplicating the contents of the pre-existing papers.

The team is listed at Nym | The Next Generation of Privacy Infrastructure and the papers listed at Nym | The Next Generation of Privacy Infrastructure include some of their work. E.g. Ania Piotrowska was one of the authors of the Loopix paper, Harry Halpin led the NEXTLEAP project, etc.

Nym is the only option that appears to be alright to me with all of the other unpopular networks being sketchy vaporware. Nym uses already established technology, is frequently updated and from what I can tell so far, has decent anonymity and security. Their software is even written in Rust, a memory-safe langauge for example. Although, it is still too early for it to be a serious Tor contender. It could be great once it is extensively audited / battle-tested.

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What about using lokinet and tor in the same time?
user --> lokinet --> tor (obfs4 bridged) --> destination

More specifically: un ubuntu host install the lokinet package (following their wiki), start the service and launch “lokinet-vpn --exit exit.loki --up”, this will result in all the system traffic being routed through lokinet. After this boot whonix up, the gateway will connect to a obfs4 bridge then to the rest of the tor network.

This should result in a tor over loki scenario.
Is this ok to use? for both clearnet and .onion browsing.
thank you

Tor competitors - Orchid Protocol, Mainframe, Obsidian, Skrumble, Dusk, Marconi, Loki, Nym, …

Did any of them read a bit, any, a lot, much or all of the research available on Tor and Tor Browser?

Seems futile me to attempt to design a better anonymity network while not having any clue about the existing research.

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I want to point out, that routing inside of Loki is free (in sense of money). Only using exit nodes can cost money (at the moment there are free ones).
Also the devs have built Session messenger (getsession [dot] org) which points in a good direction for me.
The speeds of Loki in comparison to Tor is amazing (5-15Mbps up/down). Also there is a build in bottleneck at the moment for, because Loki is still in development.
The size of Loki is also interesting: There are 1760 service nodes (relays) at the moment.

There is no comparison until at least loki audit their code. (which is not done yet)

I am not sure that’s a fair metric? Was Tor code audited?

Then also “audit” isn’t one well defined thing. Every audit has a scope, quality, whatnot. Not necessarily meaningful, it becomes dated, and not mostly directly comparable.

  • Tor heavily being studied on the past 20+ years (i dont think there is
    protocol being studied the way Tor had) It pass any audit company.

  • Tor is considered stable

  • Tor is deterministic:

  • Tor is available within debian main packages

  • Tor (might be) rewritten in safer language: (Rust)


None of that at the moment is done for loki (Beta) (Name will be changed
to oxen)

So better to leave it for more time to mature.

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Nym network - security theater? They are after all 15+ years behind Tor in terms of development, regardless of how good their design may be.

@HulaHoop for your reading interest. (Whonix wiki also talks about transitioning to/pairing with a better anonymity network in the future if one emerges. Maybe this mixnet has potential.)

Abstract. The Nym network (“Nym”) is a decentralized and incentivized infrastructure to provision privacy to a broad range of message-based applications and services. The core component of Nym is a mixnet that protects network traffic metadata for applications, providing communication privacy superior to both VPNs and Tor against global adversaries that can watch the entire internet. Nodes in the mixnet are rewarded via a novel proof of mixing scheme that proves that mix nodes are providing a high quality of service. Rewards given by NYM tokens allow anyone to join the Nym network and enable asustainable economic model for privacy. NYM tokens can be transformed into anonymous credentials that allow users to privately prove their “right to use” services in a decentralized and verifiable manner. The Nym network can serve as the foundation for a vast range of privacy-enhanced applications that defend the fundamental freedoms of people across the globe against traffic analysis by powerful adversaries.

How does Nym compare to VPNs?

The most popular network-level privacy solution currently is the VPN (virtual private network), which provides network-level protection via an encrypted tunnel between a user’s computer and one run by a VPN provider. VPNs are often misconfigured, however, and even when configured correctly, don’t offer real privacy or adequate resistance to censorship.

VPN providers can also fully observe all network traffic between users and the public internet, knowing exactly what services its users are accessing at a given time. The user must trust that the VPN provider is not using their information in a malicious manner or keeping logs.

The Nym mixnet is an anonymous overlay network that provides strong network-level anonymity, even in the face of powerful systems capable of passively monitoring the entire network. The mixnet is decentralized, with no trusted third parties, and so does not require a trusted provider like a VPN. More importantly, Nym provides superior privacy to VPNs and can support high-quality of service and low latency through incentives.

How does Nym compare to Tor?

Tor is the best-known anonymous overlay network today. Unlike VPNs, Tor provides a ‘circuit’ of three hops that provides better privacy than single-node VPNs, so any single node in Tor can’t deanonymize traffic. Tor’s onion-routing encrypts traffic between each hop so that only the final hop, the Tor ‘exit node’, can decrypt the package.

However, Tor’s anonymity properties can be defeated by an entity that is capable of monitoring the entire network’s ‘entry’ and ‘exit’ nodes, because while onion-routing encrypts traffic, Tor does not add timing obfuscation or use decoy traffic to obfuscate the traffic patterns which can be used to deanonymize users. Although these kinds of attacks were thought to be unrealistic when Tor was invented, in the era of powerful government agencies and private companies, these kinds of attacks are a real threat. Tor’s design is also based on a centralized directory authority for routing.

While Tor may be the best existing solution for general-purpose web-browsing that accesses the entire internet, it is inarguable that mixnets are better than Tor for message-passing systems such as cryptocurrency transactions and secure messaging, and we believe well designed incentives can also enable the use of Nym as a general purpose decentralized VPN. The Nym mixnet provides superior privacy by making packets indistinguishable from each other, adding cover traffic, and providing timing obfuscation. Unlike both previous mixnet designs and Tor, the Nym mixnet decentralizes its shared operations using blockchain technology and uses incentives to both scale and provide censorship-resistance.

How does Nym compare to I2P?

I2P (‘Invisible Internet Project’) replaces Tor’s directory authority with a distributed hash table for routing. How to design a secure and private distributed hash table is still an open research question, and I2P is open to a number of attacks that isolate, misdirect, or deanonymize users. Like Tor, I2P is based on ‘security by obscurity’, where it is assumed that no adversary can watch the entire network. While security by obscurity may have been cutting-edge at the turn of the millennium, such an approach is rapidly showing its age.

Nym’s cutting-edge mixnet design guarantees network anonymity and resistance to surveillance even in the face of powerful deanonymizing attacks. Unlike I2P, Nym adds decoy traffic and timing obfuscation. Rather than a centralized directory authority or distributed hash table, Nym uses blockchain technology and economic incentives to decentralize its network.The Nym mixnet can anonymize metadata even against government agencies or private companies who can monitor network links and observe the incoming and outgoing traffic of all clients and servers.

Does Nym scale?

As privacy loves company, systems wanting to ensure network-level privacy should scale to millions, if not billions, of users – but existing anonymous communication designs that scale to millions of users are secure only against weak adversaries or otherwise require high latency, while existing systems offering strong anonymity scale only vertically.

Nym’s mixnet design combines strong security properties with horizontal scalability, enabling it to operate effectively even with millions of users. The Nym network increases in speed as more traffic and users are added, as less cover traffic and timing obfuscation are required as the anonymity set grows.

Networks like Tor and I2P suffer for lack of an economic incentive system, leading to poor performance and difficulty scaling. Tor is dependent on crowdfunding and government grants that don’t cover the costs of running and maintaining its own network relays. There are no incentives to run a Tor relay, much less a higher-risk entry or exit node, so Tor has trouble adding the nodes necessary to scale with increased traffic. One sign of Tor’s lack of an incentive model is the geographic uniformity of its relay locations.

In contrast, Nym uses economic incentives to ensure the system always scales to meet any increase in demand.

Not talking about any specifically. Generally… While can be a valid point, new networks might end up with better code bases. Established projects such as Whonix, Qubes, Tor, Debian, Windows, you name it have users, legacy, existing code bases, don’t want to break things, want to keep compatibility, support upgrades. Related: Kicksecure ™ Stable Version User Experience

On the other hand, new projects can start fresh without any legacy, users and therefore more easily make major design changes. In theory if Tor Project would abandon it’s existing Tor relay/client code base, develop a new, protocol incompatible code base and/or added a paid service and/or changed to a paid-only service then there would be major complaints, resistance. Nym probably won’t have any resistance against its token since that’s the core how the project started. Nym however therefore might have other issues such as the difficulty of generating traction (contribution, research, users, …).


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Leaked documents from intelligence agencies having extreme difficulty tracking Tor users was a pretty good audit in 2013.
I see what you’re saying though.