Step by Step: How to be anonymous on the internetSubmitted by White4Paul on Sat, 07/05/2014 - 15:37
I hear the word TOR thrown around a lot here and I would always hope everyone has access to, and can use this technology, but some things are better left explained instead of assumed.
I'm going to explain 2 examples of why you might want to use it, and other times, it isn't necessary to use.
1. You want to create an email account that cannot be traced back to you. You can want this type of email account for any number of reasons and to be quite honest, it is nobody's business. Most large "mainstream" email providers keep pretty good tabs on who you actually are (meaning they know that Joe Shmoe uses account JSdawg@gmail.com because of the content that is in your email that can be extracted through numerous means including metadata (can tie your IP address your ISP provided you to IPs of people who have logged into your account, etc)) There are a few email providers out there (who you can search for with the TOR browser) who dedicate their business to email privacy. Meaning nobody, including them, can access your email. This means, if you lose your password, you are SOL and have to make a new account.
2. You want to search for anything your heart desires on the internet but you are concerned about who may be looking over your shoulder at what you've been looking at (not physically looking over your shoulder, but your ISP, the Police, the GVT, etc). I will admit, this is a double edged sword. You COULD use this for looking for information about how to bake POT brownies, or join your local militia, or you COULD use this for any number of illegal activities (also immoral activities). I am not advocating the latter, but I do believe you should be free to do what you want on your own PC, to look for whatever you want, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Libertarian... dying breed.
Those are basically the two biggest reasons to use TOR. So why NOT use TOR all the time? It is generally slower, many websites don't like to display content to TOR browsers because of the lack of Scripts, cookies, and other tracking methods it prohibits, etc. You don't want to go to youtube.com using TOR because it defeats the purpose. If you have to install 2 addons just to look at Flash or HTML5 videos on their website, you have probably broken the privacy that TOR provides anyway, so it wouldn't be worth it.
So how do you use TOR? Simple. Download the browser from the following webpage, choose your OS, and install it:
Once installed, when you want to be browsing anonymously, make sure that your PC cant be physically seen by anyone else, ensure that no software has been used on your computer that can remotely view your screen (detailed topic, way to advanced for this forum topic), and open the TORbrowser. Mine installed as "Start TOR browser.exe"
If you want to get a little more fancy, you can install the browser on a Linux box instead. With less loopholes, it is even more unlikely that your browsing traffic will ever catch up with you. Then you can drive to a coffee shop 20 miles away, get on their internet, open the TOR browser and browse, and there is a very low likelihood anybody will ever know it was you.
I am just a regular guy, so if I can answer anything Ill do my best. Otherwise I'd leave it up to the website above as people have dedicated countless hours to making that type of product available to you for FREE.
P.S. There are little buttons along the top of the browser that allow you to select a new identity. What this means is that your IP address appears to be coming from a completely different location. You can check this by going to "WhatIsMyIp.com" or news.google.com. The first site will tell you your IP is coming from numerous locations around the world, while google will assume you are in korea or something. Play around with it to get comfortable first!
Also, this good old guy named Kim Dotcom made a file sharing site named MegaUpload a few years ago. He is still being chased around the world for legal reasons, however he is making a new product called MEGA. This is already available, but there will be a new addition to MEGA for email. This email product is so secure that nobody in the world can break it.... NOBODY. What this means is if you and a friend both have MEGA email, and you both use TOR to access the MEGA webpage, and you send an email to one another, nobody but the two of you will be able to see it, unless you forward it along to somebody else, etc. Best of luck!!!