A friend-to -friend - computer network ( F2F ) network is a special peer-to -peer network in which one. , Only with friends, that is, with known trusted users can contact User authentication is performed here by passwords or digital signatures.

Many F2F networks support indirect anonymous or pseudonymous communication between users who neither know each other nor trust. So can pass in a F2F overlay network data from one friend to another anonymous such as a node, so that neither of the two friends learn the name or IP address of the other. Even those friends, the data can in turn forward it to their own friends, etc.

Unlike other private P2P networks also called darknet, the user can not find out who, but themselves and their friends, or participate in the network in a F2F network. Thus F2F networks can arbitrarily increase without the anonymity of the user limit.

Retroshare, GNUnet, WASTE and Freenet are examples of software with which P2P networks can be realized, with GNUnet and Freenet are not set by default on F2F mode.

The term "friend -to- friend" network was introduced in 2000 by Dan Bricklin.


  • Users can exchange digital signatures in person with their friends and avoid man-in- the-middle attacks.
  • F2F prevents unauthorized people can access sensitive or controversial, shared files, or that others can prove that those data were available there.
  • Since F2F applications, only the links to the transferred data is encrypted, but not the data itself, any intermediate node can restrict the type of data about them to be forwarded.
  • Since only known friends be able to connect to a user, F2F is seeking to exploit less susceptible to attacks by crackers vulnerabilities in the F2F software.


  • Compared to open P2P networks, it requires more effort in the network to participate. Software for open networks can be used almost immediately in the normal case, F2F software needs to be set up and the signatures of friends are needed. Some networks, such as Freenet, so allow both open and private data traffic. Thus, a user initially participate without much effort on open network and then switch to the more secure F2F network.
  • The data are often not available around the clock, as they are distributed only through relatively few friends and they often are not always online.


  • Alliance ( Open Source, Win / Lin / Mac)
  • Freenet (Open Source, Win / Lin / Mac, Version 0.7 optionally limited to F2F )
  • GNUnet (Open Source, Win / Linux / Mac, optionally limited to F2F )
  • Retroshare (Open Source, Win / Lin / Mac, optionally limited to F2F )
  • LimeWire (Open Source, Win / Linux / Mac, Version 5.0 )
  • Metanet
  • OneSwarm (Open Source, Win / Lin / Mac, based on BitTorrent )
  • Turtle F2F (Open Source, Linux only)
  • WASTE (Open Source, Win / Lin / Mac, optionally limited to F2F )