Posted: 28 Sep 2009 04:49 AM PDT
Tor (The Onion Router) is one of the most popular hide IP tool used on the internet due to its simplicity and efficiency. To be more precise, we have to say that Tor is not actually a tool, is more a network of computers that working together achieve anonymity for its users. [Tor Project]
How Tor Works
A user of the Tor network runs a proxy server on his computer. Internet-facing software can then access Tor through a SOCKS interface. Once inside a Tor network, the traffic is sent from router to router, the Tor software periodically negotiating a virtual circuit through the Tor network, ultimately reaching an exit node at which point the cleartext packet is forwarded on to its original destination.
Viewed from the destination, the traffic appears to originate at the Tor exit node The Onion Router (Tor) is a free software implementation of second-generation onion routing – a system which claims to enable its users to communicate anonymously on the Internet. [Via Wikipedia]
To connect to Tor network easily you need to use an application that performs most of the configuration steps. Here are the best tools that use Tor network to hide your IP address and achive online anonymity:
1. Vidalia Tor Bundle
Vidalia is a cross-platform controller GUI for the Tor software. Vidalia runs on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux or other Unix variants using the X11 window system.
2. OperaTor – Opera + Tor
OperaTor is a portable software bundle which allows you to browse the web anonymously. It combines the power of the Opera Browser, Tor and Polipo. With OperaTor no data will be stored at the computer you plugged your portable memory into.
3. TorFox – The Anonymous Browser
Torfox is a simple secure portable open source browser based on The Tor Project and Mozilla Foundation technologies: an anonymous browser which allows users to browse web pages hiding their IP address and other parameters which may be used to identify user data.
4. Xero Bank Browser
xB Browser is a free and open-source anonymous web browser that can be used to securely and anonymously surf the internet, and bypass firewalls and website censorship.
The main advantage compared to other anonymous web browsers is that xB Browser requires no configuration or technical knowledge in order to achieve anonymity. xB Browser is open-source so you can feel safe knowing what goes into our code. Additionally, it is even portable on a USB stick so you can take it to work, school, or on vacation.
5. Portable Tor
PortableTor allows you to connect into the Tor anonymous internet system from any computer with your flash or thumb drive. This allows you to browse the internet anonymously from public locations, such as internet hotspots, library, or school computers and public terminals.
PortableTor has all of the features as the regular Tor, except without actually installing the application.
Incognito is an open source LiveDistro based on Gentoo Linux assisting you to securely and anonymously use the Internet almost anywhere you go, e.g. your home, work, university, favourite Internet café or local library.
Incognito can be used from either a CD or a USB drive and has several Internet applications (Web browser, IRC client, Mail client, Instant messenger, etc.) pre-configured with security in mind, and all Internet traffic will be anonymized.
7. Tor Browser Bundle
The Tor Browser Bundle lets you use Tor on Windows without needing to install any software. It can run off a USB flash drive, comes with a pre-configured web browser and is self contained. The Tor IM Browser Bundle additionally allows instant messaging and chat over Tor. If you would prefer to use your existing web browser, install Tor permanently.
Torbutton is a Firefox add-on that provides a button to securely and easily enable or disable the browser’s use of Tor. It is currently the only addon that will safely manage your Tor browsing to prevent IP address leakage, cookie leakage, and general privacy attacks.
You may not realize this but every place youFoxTor is a Firefox add-on that provides an easy and convenient way to browse the web using the anonymous and encrypted TOR network. This offers greater privacy compared to regular proxy services or extensions.
TorChat is a peer to peer instant messenger with a completely decentralized design, built on top of Tor’s location hidden services, giving you extremely strong anonymity while being very easy to use without the need to install or configure anything.
Torcap is a tool that allows any network application to connect through Tor, even if the overlying application doesn’t support SOCKS. Torcap works by injecting a DLL into every process running under the current user. This DLL then hooks Winsock API to intercept DNS lookups and TCP/IP connections.
Do you know other good Tor tools?
Share them with us!
Make sure you also read: Pros and Cons of Using Tor.
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