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How to use Tor to browse anonymously

I was running some test scripts in some applications and needed different valid IPs for the success of the tests. After using several proxy servers available on the internet I decided to test Tor, which I had already read about but never used.

Tor (The Onion Router) is free software that allows you to surf the web anonymously. The Tor network is an HTTP (with tls) tunneling network over the Internet, where network routers are computers of ordinary users running a program and with web access (only). The main objective of the project is to ensure the anonymity of the user accessing the web.

It is widely used for those who need their information not to be disclosed as journalists, activists, crackers, intelligence services and so on. The basic idea behind the software is that when used, instead of following a direct route between you and the destination, all data is randomly transmitted over the Internet through servers and volunteer computers that use the service. From time to time this route changes.

It is software that can be used both for testing purposes, to preserve your data but can also be used by criminals, for illegal content transmission and so on.

Of course there are problems too. One of them that by traveling through several hosts the connection ends up slowing down depending on factors such as the connection speed of the computers used by the route for example. Another issue is that the encrypted route only goes to the last host belonging to the Tor network, then the data is no longer encrypted and passes through the Internet normally. So avoid using some critical service that doesn't implement encryption the same way you would if you use the internet normally.

It is also possible, after Tor is installed, to configure the service so that your computer is on the Tor network collaborating for others to use the service. This can be a problem because if someone is using the network for something inappropriate, such as making illegal copyrighted content available, the IP of your computer that is in the Logs of some audit by a supervisory body.

In the Ubuntu repositories you can find the packages for the installation. At the terminal type:

leoribeiro @ workstation: $ sudo apt-get install tor polyp

Now the torus is installed and running. Tor works on Linux as a proxy server using the Socks5 protocol. Let's use it here to interface between the browser that will be used for anonymous browsing and Tor, a cache-supported proxy server called Polypo.

How Polypo Proxy Works

How Polypo Proxy Works

To configure the polyp to send browser requests to Tor v in / etc / polyp / config and change the following lines with the Tor settings:

socksParentProxy = "localhost:9050" socksProxyType = socks5 

Now restart the Polypo daemon:

leoribeiro @ workstation: $ sudo /etc/init.d/polipo restart

This way you will have Polyp running on your machine running on port 8123 sending requests to Tor via Socks5. Now just configure your browser with localhost: 8123 HTTP proxy.

Your Tor is set for you to browse anonymously, but the network can be very slow because you still do not share your connection with the Tor network. When you share your connection, other people can use your computer to sneak anonymously. If you want to enable this option go to / etc / tor / torrc and add these lines:

ORPort 9001 DirPort 9030 

In my view the tor should only be used for tasks that require anonymous internet browsing, because the network is very slow and sometimes it is not even possible to surf properly. To check if you are on the Tor network go to the project website.