How to browse anonymously

There’s a lot of services available on the Internet that claims to be able to let you browse behind proxies and firewalls. However, even though most of these services work the bandwidth you get is close to what you had back in the nineties. A decade later you simply wont be happy surfing with the speed of an old dial-up modem.

Today I discovered Tor. Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. Tor helps to reduce the risks of both simple and sophisticated traffic analysis by distributing your transactions over several places on the Internet, so no single point can link you to your destination.

The idea is similar to using a twisty, hard-to-follow route in order to throw off somebody who is tailing you — and then periodically erasing your footprints. Instead of taking a direct route from source to destination, data packets on the Tor network take a random pathway through several relays that cover your tracks so no observer at any single point can tell where the data came from or where it’s going.

I successfully bypassed the company’s proxy server today after only a few minutes configuration. Not only did the whole set-up process run smoothly, but the end result was quite amazing. Previously blocked URI’s opened fast, not as fast as normal, but fast enough. Through the Torbutton Firefox add-on you can turn it on or off with a single mouse click. Finally it appears I’ve found a solid HTTP tunnel that works!

Sounds good? Well give it a try! Windows users should follow the Windows howto, OS X users should follow the OS X howto, and Linux/BSD/Unix users should follow the Unix howto.

I’d be happy the hear what you think of it if you decide to give it a go…

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