- How-To Booklet
- 1. How to protect your computer from malware and hackers
- 2. How to protect your information from physical threats
- 3. How to create and maintain secure passwords
- 4. How to protect the sensitive files on your computer
- 5. How to recover from information loss
- 6. How to destroy sensitive information
- 7. How to keep your Internet communication private
- 8. How to remain anonymous and bypass censorship on the Internet
- 9. How to protect yourself and your data when using social networking
- 10. How to use mobile phones as securely as possible
- 11. How to use smartphones as securely as possible
- Hands-On Guides
- avast! - anti-virus
- Spybot - anti-spyware
- Comodo Firewall
- KeePass - secure password storage
- TrueCrypt - secure file storage
- Cobian Backup
- Recuva - file recovery
- Eraser - secure file removal
- CCleaner - secure file deletion and work session wiping
- Riseup - secure email service
- Pidgin with OTR - secure instant messaging
- Jitsi - Secure Audio, Video and Text Communication
- Thunderbird + Enigmail + GPG - secure email client
- gpg4usb - email text and files encryption
- Firefox + add-ons - secure Web browser
- Tor - anonymity and circumvention
- Social networking tools
- Mobile Security
How to Access the Internet Using the Tor Network
List of sections on this page:
- 3.0 About Using the Tor Network
- 3.1 How to Connect to the Tor Network
- 3.2 How to Manually Verify Your Connection to Tor
- 3.3 How to Browse the Internet using Tor
- 3.3.1 How to Configure Mozilla Firefox for Use with Tor
- 3.3.2 How to Configure Internet Explorer for Use with Tor
3.0 About Accessing the Tor Network
To begin anonymously surfing the Internet, you must start the Tor Browser program. First, it will connect your system to the Tor network. After your computer has successfully established a connection to the Tor network, the Tor Browser will automatically launch a separate instance of the Firefox Portable included in the Tor Browser Bundle.
Note: There is a trade-off between anonymity and speed. Because Tor facilitates anonymous browsing, it will definitely be slower than browsing using other web browser on your computer. Tor is bouncing your traffic through volunteers' computers in various parts of the world to protect your privacy and security.
3.1 How to Connect to the Tor Network
To connect to the Tor network, perform the following steps:
Step 1. Navigate to the Tor Browser folder, and then double click to activate the following screen:
Figure 1: The Vidalia Control Panel connecting to the Tor network
As the Vidalia Control Panel initiates a connection to the Tor network, an icon resembling a yellow onion appears in the System Tray as follows: . Once the connection between your computer and the Tor network has been successfully established, the icon turns green:
Note: To learn how to effectively use the Vidalia Control Panel, please refer to the How to Configure the Vidalia Control Panel page.
A few moments later, the Tor Browser will activate the a Mozilla Firefox browser displaying the following screen:
Figure 2: Mozilla Firefox displaying the Are you using Tor? tab
Every time you launch the Tor Browser program, it will automatically open the Vidalia Control Panel (Figure 1) and the https://check.torproject.org/ (Figure 2) screens. The Torbutton add-on will appear in the bottom right corner of the screen as follows:
Note: However, if you already had a Mozilla Firefox browser open when you launched the Tor Browser, the Torbutton will appear in disabled mode in this particular browser window as follows:
The Torbutton is used to configure Firefox to properly connect to the Tor network. Simply click the Torbutton to alternate between enabled and disabled states.
However, if you are not connected to the Tor network, the Torbutton will be disabled, and the following screen will appear:
Figure 3: Mozilla Firefox displaying the Sorry. You are not using Tor tab
If you see Figure 3, a disabled Torbutton (despite your efforts to enable it), or the web page is empty, please refer to section 4.0 How to Troubleshoot Tor.
3.2 How to Manually Verify Your Connection to Tor
To manually verify whether or not you are connected to the Tor network, perform the following step:
Step 1. Open the https://check.torproject.org/ website. It will confirm whether or not you are connected to the Tor network.
If your web browser is connected to the Internet through the Tor network, websites that may be blocked or restricted in your country will now be accessible, and your on-line activities will remain private and secure. You may also notice that some web pages, such as www.google.com, will occasionally behave as if you are located in a different country. This is normal when using Tor.
3.3 How to Browse the Internet using Tor
Although you may begin browsing websites immediately using Firefox with the Tor network, we recommend that you read the following section about configuring Firefox to optimize your online privacy and security.
3.3.1 How to Change Configuration of Mozilla Firefox for Use with Tor
The Torbutton is an add-on or extension for Mozilla Firefox, a small program designed to protect the anonymity and security of your on-line activities by blocking certain vulnerabilities in Mozilla Firefox.
Important: Malicious websites or even a Tor server could still reveal information about your Internet location and your on-line activities, even while you are using Tor. Fortunately, the default configuration of the Torbutton is relatively safe; however, we recommend that you modify the following settings to optimise your on-line privacy and security.
Note: Advanced users with a strong understanding of browser-related security issues may further refine these settings.
The Torbutton Preferences window has three tabs that let you specify different options:
- The Proxy Settings tab
- The Security Settings tab
- The Display Settings tab
The Torbutton Preferences window can be accessed regardless of whether Torbutton is disabled or enabled. To activate the Torbutton Preferences window, perform the following steps:
Step 1. Right-click the Torbutton to activate its menu as follows:
Figure 4: The Torbutton menu
Step 2. Select the Preferences... item to activate the following screen:
Figure 5: The Torbutton Preferences window showing the Proxy Settings tab
- The Proxy Settings tab
The Proxy Settings tab controls how Firefox accesses the Internet when the Torbutton is enabled. You should not need to change anything in this tab.
- The Security Settings tab
The Security Settings tab is designed for Experienced and Advanced users for users with in-depth knowledge of Internet security and web browsers. Its default settings offer a high level of privacy for the average user. This Security Settings lets you configure how Torbutton manages browser history, cache memory, cookies and other features in Firefox.
Figure 6: The Security Settings tab
The Disable plugins during Tor usage option is among the few security settings that you may need to enable, but only temporarily. To display online video content through Tor - including DailyMotion, The Hub and YouTube - you must disable the Disable plugins during Tor usage option.
Note: You should only enable the plugins of trusted websites, and you must return to the Security Settings tab and enable the Disable plugins during Tor usage option once again, after you have finished visiting these sites.
For more information on the specific function of each option in the Security Settings tab, please refer to Torbutton.
- The Display Settings tab
The Display Settings tab lets you choose how to display the Torbutton in the Firefox status bar, as either or , or or . It will function as designed to, regardless of your choice.
Figure 7: The Display Settings tab
Tip: When you have finished browsing, be sure to delete your temporary Internet cache and cookies. This can be done in Firefox by selecting Tools > Clear Recent History..., checking all available options in the presented screen and clicking the Clear Now button. For more information, please refer to the Hands-on Guide chapter on Mozilla Firefox.
For more information on the Torbutton, please refer to Torbutton FAQ.
3.3.2 How to Configure Internet Explorer for Use with Tor
Note: Although Tor is designed to be used with any web browser, Firefox and Tor are the ideal combination for avoiding detection or discovery by hostile or malicious parties. Internet Explorer should ideally be a browser of last resort!
However, if you are in a situation where using Internet Explorer is completely unavoidable, perform the following steps:
Step 1. Open the Internet Explorer web browser.
Step 2. Select Tools > Internet Options to activate the Internet Options screen.
Step 3. Click the Connections tab to activate the screen shown in Figure 8 below:
Figure 8: The Connections tab of the Internet Options screen
Step 4. Click to activate the Local Area Network (LAN) Settings screen as follows:
Figure 9: The Local Area Network (LAN) Settings.
Step 5. Check the Use a proxy server... option as shown in figure 9, and then click to activate the Proxy Settings screen.
Step 6. Complete the fields for the proxy settings as shown below:
Figure 10: An example of a completed Proxy Settings screen
Step 7. Click on each of the preceding configuration screens to exit the Internet Options window and return to the Internet Explorer browser.
Note: You will need to repeat steps 1 through 4 to stop using Tor. In place of Step 5, you should disable the Use a proxy server... option.
Tip: You must delete your temporary Internet cache, cookies and browser history after your browsing session by performing the following steps:
Step 1. Select Tools > Internet Options to display the default General tab as follows:
Figure 11: The Internet Explorer General tab
Step 2. Click in the Temporary Internet files section, to activate the Delete Cookies confirmation dialog box as follows:
Figure 12: The Delete Cookies confirmation dialog box
Step 3. Click to delete the temporary Internet cookies.
Step 4. Click to activate the Delete Files confirmation dialog box, and then click to delete the temporary Internet files.
Step 5. Click to activate the Internet Options confirmration dialog box, click and then click .
Note: To access the Tor network using Internet Explorer you must keep the Tor Browser running with Vidalia connected to the Tor network.