When you first install I2P, you'll notice that your address book only has around 40 websites in it, many of which are no longer active or updated. You may have noticed that in the documentation that suggest adding subscription lists and offer suggestions as to what to add. It can be off putting to a new user of I2P to have to search and locate additional lists just to explore the network.
Luckily this problem is easy to overcome, and you can easily expand the usefulness of the I2P network in a matter of a minute or less.
Do you have a minute?
It's quite simple, just go to: http://localhost:7657/susidns/subscriptions
See that lonely line?
Remove it and replace it with:
http://notbob.i2p/hosts.txt http://notbob.i2p/hosts-all.txt http://skank.i2p/hosts.txt http://stats.i2p/cgi-bin/newhosts.txt
Any of the active sites in the original list will also be in the above lists, so it's not needed.
There are two notbob lists in the above example. You only need one of them. The host-all.txt file contains everything in the hosts.txt file as well as some NSFW sites. Choose which one you prefer.
Also: With the above subscription lists you'll be able to access some websites that are considered NSFW. If you're clicking randomly through your new addressbook, you may find websites that are offensive or contain content you may not wish to see. (Just like if you were to click random links on the clearnet)
Of course, not all of the websites work, or they do, but not all the time. But now you certainly have a better place to start from if you're wanting to hit the ground running.
You can also take a quick look at places like http://notbob.i2p/ for a list of I2P websites that are currently up. I took his index and made https://ramble.pw/wiki/i2p_links (Clearnet link) with a brief description of each site that I found working after having done a quick visit of each site on the list. I did the hard part for you. Definitely some neat websites on the network that you wouldn't have been able to see if you had stuck with the default subscription list!
Do you have another minute?
Let's change your outproxy from the default one to one that is a bit faster, has built in ad-blocking, and will allow you to browse .onion domains through it.
You ready? Let's do this thing.
I2P HTTP Proxy
Your default outproxy is likely
false.i2p. Lets change that to
purokishi.i2p for both the
SSL OUTPROXIES . Before you click Save, make sure you update the Encryption type to
Both Encryption Types
You should notice an increase in your outproxy speed as your browse clearnet websites as well as notice a decrease in served advertisements, as this outproxy has a built in ad-blocker. You can now also resolve .onion domains! After you've done all of the above steps, feel free to test it out by checking out our .onion website here: http://rambleeeqrhty6s5jgefdfdtc6tfgg4jj6svr4jpgk4wjtg3qshwbaad.onion/ , which you can load from your new I2P outproxy.
This outproxy routes most traffic directly, though some traffic is in fact routed over the Tor network.
Address helper links:
- skank.i2p (Should be noted that skank.i2p is completely safe for work and the name is after a dance. This is the I2P+ project website.)
Final considerations: I2P is a great network, and to get the most use out of it you have to spend some time playing with it. Unfortunately some of the things like adding new subscription lists to your address book, things that add a world of content and functionality to the network, are not enabled by default and may be easily overlooked by a newcomer.
It should also be noted that I2P was not designed originally for clearnet web browsing, which explains why the default outproxy choice(s) are so limited and congested. It's simply an added perk. Luckily we can speed this up a bit by using a less congested (for now, at least) purokishi one which is ran by the fine folks who are behind the I2P+ project. I2P+ is I2P but with better out of the box functionality and performance increases that aren't present in the vanilla I2P install. After you have had time to explore the I2P network, you may consider upgrading to I2P+ at anytime by following the instructions here: https://i2pplus.com/