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Definition - What does GNUnet mean?

GNUnet is a freely available software framework that is used for decentralized, peer-to-peer networking that does not support any centralized activity. This is part of the GNU project and is therefore released under the GNU General Public License, which makes it free to use and modify. This framework is mainly coded using C language but there is a project to make a version using Java. GNUnet provides network services like link encryption, peer discovery and allocation of resources. It is compatible with Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux and Solaris.

Techopedia explains GNUnet

The basic focus of GNUnet is security. In a network, all messages traveling from one peer to another are kept confidential and no one else can access these messages without authentication. This is possible because GNUnet has the ability to encapsulate network traffic in TCP, UDP, SMTP and HTTP messages and it facilitates data sharing. GNUnet uses uniform-resource identification.

The main goal of GNUnet is to become a widely used, open, reliable, egalitarian, non-discriminating, unfettered and censorship-resistant system for exchanging free information. GNUnet envisions being more than a network for file sharing; it wants to serve as a development platform for the next generation of decentralized Internet protocols.

GNUnet's goals include:

  • Privacy and Security: GNUnet aims to protect users against privacy abuse and attacks.
  • Versatility: This is a peer-to-peer framework that must support different forms of peer-to-peer applications. Because of its plug-in architecture, the system becomes extensible while encouraging code reuse and community cooperation between developers.
  • Practicality: GNUnet allows users to choose between security and efficiency and trade one for the other.
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