Tor - The Onion Router - is a privacy-promoting network. The onion and its shells represent the different layers of encryption that are used. This allows data packets to be routed from the sender to the recipient via several intermediate stations, which only their immediate partners know at a time, but never the destination and content of the original request together with the information from where it comes from.
The required software is open source and is ready for use in Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
The route consists of three servers. Currently, approximately 2,000 units with a capacity of over 300 MB/s are available for exit traffic. These nodes are funded and operated by volunteers all over the world.
The connection from the client to the last Tor server (the so-called exit node) is always encrypted. After that, the traffic is like sending without a Tor network. For https z.B. encrypted, but not for http. It is therefore important not to transfer passwords and other important things unprotected.
Installing the client
The Tor Project has not only continued to improve the software in recent years - it has also been made very user-friendly. Is it tor illegal Recommended is the Tor Browser Bundle. This brings Tor, Vidalia (a graphical user interface) and Firefox including Torbutton preinstalled and configured. After downloading, it just needs to be unpacked and started with Start Tor Browser.
Optional configuration of the client
The settings selected by the project fit so far (Torbutton Preferences: right mouse button on Tor Enabled -> Preferences). They are gradually transferred to the browser itself.
If the Google Captcha interferes (which sometimes has to be entered when Google is used via Tor) and does not want to use ixquick or DuckDuckGo, e.B could also be avoided on eTools.ch. This meta-search engine also delivers very good results for our region.
Search engines and other extensions, such as Tab Mix Plus and Adblock Plus can be added to your liking - but not RefControl, User Agent Switcher, QuickJava and Flashblock. These functions are already taken over by the gate button and therefore get in each other's way at best.
Many programs, such as SSH (Remote Secure Shell), Pidgin (instant messenger, chat), Fetchmail (pick up e-mails) and FileZilla (file transfer), can be used via Tor network. However, the Tor client must be installed as an Expert Package. This provides Tor via a local SOCKS proxy (host 127.0.0.1, port 9050). Corresponding instructions for the configuration can be found in the Torifying Software HowTo. Caution is advised when using host names: It is safer to use the IP address for the connection to the server, so that anonymity is not at best removed by a previous DNS request.
In order to be able to publish information in a censorship-resistant manner, Tor offers so-called hidden services. If you operate a Tor server, you can connect it to a web server for example.B. Via so-called rendezvous points, which are automatically selected, both the user and the operator can then communicate anonymously, unobserved and end-to-end encrypted with each other. Hidden services can be recognized by the hostname ending in .onion. If the web browser is connected to the Tor network, URLs with such hostnames can be used normally. Is it tor illegal However, surfing takes some patience...
Tor Server Node
The Tor software can also be easily configured as a server. It should be noted that an exit node is the last recognizable instance in a route (technically called cascade). So if someone insults another person via a Tor network, e.B. in a public web forum, the trace can only be traced back to this server. Therefore, depending on the performance of the node, sooner or later the attention of investigative authorities is to be expected. An exit node should therefore never be operated at home. It belongs in a data center and both logically and physically clearly marked as what it's. Nevertheless, even then, inquiries from authorities are still to be expected. As a rule, however, these can be answered without any problems with a letter.
However, middle nodes and bridges (special entry nodes for people in countries who try to block Tor) can be operated easily and anywhere.
The Swiss Privacy Foundation operates several high-performance exit nodes. Donations are gladly accepted for the company.