How to Become Anonymous on the Internet Using Tor

The internet is a scary place, and if you're like me, you don't want anyone tracking you or learning your search habits. It's a blatant invasion of privacy for companies to do this, but at least we have methods of fighting back—one of which is Tor.

Tor stands for The Onion Router. It operates by donated bandwidth from its users. Tor encrypts your traffic, then forwards it through multiple nodes, like the layers of an onion, hence the name "The Onion Router". It protects you by masking your IP (Internet Protocol) address, which is synonymous to your home address. It also protects you by tunneling all of your traffic automatically, as if you had set up a VPN, or SSH tunnel. Most of the time, Google Sharing, a Firefox plugin by Moxie Marlinspike, will suffice. But sometimes I need to be fully anonymous.

Now, be forewarned, Tor isn't fully anonymous. Some things are left to the user to fix, such as changing your User Agent. A User Agent reveals your OS (operating system) and browser information. I'm a privacy nut, so I don't like people having that either. Also, you probably shouldn't be logging onto Facebook, as that will obviously reveal your information.

In this Null Byte, we're going to go briefly go over how to set up Tor, after which I will forward my traffic through it to show you that it's working. The methodology is the same on Windows and Linux, but I'll use Windows to avoid confusion.

Download & Configure Tor

Follow along with the video and the instructions below.

  1. Download Tor.
  2. Install Tor.
  3. Navigate to the Data/Vidalia folder, and comment out the Browser line with "#" prefacing it.
  4. Run Tor.
  5. Download Torbutton.
  6. Restart Firefox and click the Torbutton, and it will run using Tor.

If you have any questions or comments, hop on IRC, or start talk in the Forums!

30 Comments

No one is ever safe. we live in a prying world and especially web based.some people will protect what they own and ruthlessly. thats the world you live in. rock the boat and watch them take you to pieces. big brother got more reason today to watch the web an people. just dont be to personal or pay bythe web for goods.play safe and bless ya...

Great advice :), everyone should be playing it safe. I'm sure you'll like to read my pending tutorial on Anonymity. It should be written sometime this upcoming week. Can an eye out for it if you want.

Interesting article.. Thank you

This might not be possible but Is it possible to get a US ip address so as to watch hulu ?
Also an article on posting torrents would have been nice. These days to share files with friends, dropbox + Truecrypt is prettty ok. But with torrents it seems there is no limit to the file size.

You're very welcome :).
Yes, it's possible, you can also get US VPN's to get an IP from the states.

Most proxies I find are located in the US, so it's not too hard to find one, thankfully :).
I'm not sure I understand what you mean on the "article on posting torrents". Do you mean downloading? Or creating them?

Creating torrents. Once created a torrent to transfer a file to a friend in a country where the govt uses a proxy and monitors mp3 and video files. uTorrent created a torrent, but my friend was unable to download it.. duh. So resorted to True crypt + dropbox.

Okay, consider it added to my list of articles to write :).

What if you are using Chrome? Any alternative to TorButton?

Hmm still something is wrong with it. I have in Tor settings the control port at 127.0.0.1:9051.
Do i still need to use port 8118 with Proxy Switchy? Also in which field (Http or Socks)?

Anyway when i put the Tor IP and port settings in Proxy Switchy i get a "514 Authentication required" error.

Tried a lot of combinations, haven't figured the solution to get it work yet :(

The Tor settings should be 127.0.0.1:9050 O_O.

I have use proxy address and the only problem I've found is that they all disable flash, and you can't watch no movies at all.... I have tried this in all the browsers for windows, with same results.
So, if you have some magic trick to spare, I (an a lot of people) will be grateful whit out a dub...

A VPN would trump that. I know Tor allows flash...but trying to stream media via Tor, or a proxy is a bad idea. Check out my guide on SSH, and PPTP.

Interesting article, thanks for sharing! ;))

Thank you very much :), I'm glad you enjoyed.

Is it possible to create a private network using Tor?

I think you are looking for a VPN. You can always chain a VPN to Tor, shells etc.

excllent program. I have used it for years. I used it in a perl bot that was a form filler. It disguised my IP perfectly and wreaked havok on certain enemy sites. ( my way of fighting the war )

A site without captcha? D;

No it will not do a captcha. The perl script is retired. When pure HTML was replaced by javascript, it made it obsolete. In the time it was running, I could fill a target email box with 20,000 emails in 24 hours using . The spider portion was published in 2600 (last summer issue.)

Hehe, my friend and I coded a ridiculous mail bomber that gets around your issues with the perl script. It's got threading, and massive networked bombing as well as a single target botnet emulator via threaded proxies. It can send 1000 emails in under a minute, it's very nice. Dude, you should come in IRC sometime and hang around with us.

Irc: server and channel?

irc.darchoods.net/6667 #nullbytez

Hi Alex,

Shot description about me i am working as a computer and server maintenance engineer from last 18Years. Have Different passion for Linux and Internet. But from few months i have very different hunger to feed my cravings for to check the security of systems and network as a hobbyist. And hope if u choose me a small part of your team or assistant. That would be very big favor for me. your answer still the flames for us now. Thanks being inspiration and sharing the knowledge.

I went out to give blood today and ended up with a 3 bedroom condo. I think I'll stay home tomorrow.

The diff of my form filler is that after and name address, SS, phone, license was entered it told the web site to sent the email with a targets information so that the web site sends the email and any residual email. It never pointed back to me because of TOR.

Bots? Nothing but bots??? hmmm...

I dunno. So far on irc channel and no intelligent talk yet.

And so I am kicked off. Not unlike IRC. Sorry I tried Alex

You were spamming and using a script. So an op kicked you. Feel free to come back! :D

Does null byte have a .onion counterpart / link?

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