Saturday, June 2, 2012

Using the Tor Browser package

The Vidalia Tor package can be used to obscure your location and identity. Your reasons for doing this may vary. The normal use of this package is for secure and anonymous communications in regimes where there is oppression. Tor should not be used to circumvent copyright restrictions.

When you download the Tor/Vidalia package, as opposed to a separate download of the Tor program that can be configured to your specifications, it will install a pre-configured "private" browser (Firefox) that can be used to surf the Internet anonymously.  The proxy settings are automatically set, and at least the version that I was using, the browser has TorButton configured allowing you to toggle its operation.

The install will be made to a directory on your computer that will contain a short-cut to the "private browser" that when run will load Vidalia, selecting an appropriate exit server and then load Firefox allowing you to browse without your identity being revealed. You have the option of selecting a different identity and carry on with your anonymous browsing.

I have used this package and also the Tor bundle on its own and have configured it to exit in specific countries.

The Tor package is not entirely secure on its own, to ensure complete anonymity Vidalia provide a means by which a "bridge server" is used. These "bridge" servers are not listed on any of the references to the active Tor servers on the network. To configure the Tor package to use a "bridge" you have to first select a "bridge server" and then tell Vidalia to use it. The instructions for this can be found on the Vidalia Onion website

 You need to use a "bridge" in situations where your ISP blocks known Tor servers. This would be the case in a repressive regime such as Communist China.

In addition to your IPv4 address being revealed (your IPv6 address may also be able to be determined) the IPv6 (DOCSIS) world will probably allow the determination of in individual devices that are behind a Network Address Translation device such as a router or firewall.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how to use Tor to access the BBC and iPlayer??