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Step by Step: How to be anonymous on the internet

Hey Everyone,

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.

TOR is a technology that in the simplest terms, makes your internet browsing anonymous. It can be used with more than one browser (Firefox, IE) however it is most secure if you use the default browser that comes with the TOR software suite. When you use TOR, it can be used almost exactly like any other browser (type the website you want to go to, surf, post, etc) however there are a few additional things to keep in mind. One being that it doesn't like to use streaming technologies like Flash or JavaScript

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.

Happy browsing


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!!!

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Anything out there that is good for my MAC?


"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves." William Pitt in the House of Commons November 18, 1783
"I know major allies who fund them" Gen. Dempsey referring to ISIS

ChristianAnarchist's picture

MAC (like windows) is already

MAC (like windows) is already compromised. I think most of these steps really should be taken under an open-source operating system...

Beware the cult of "government"...

Your forgetting DNScrypt

DNS traffic can be intercepted, used to track you, and is susceptible to Man in the Middle attacks, redirects ect. Everywhere you go, every site you lookup, requires DNS queries.

DNScrypt is free and open source, The package installer can be manually installed if you don't need the GUI interface; to avoid .net (bloatware) required by the GUI interface.


install as a windows service (manual install)



"Take hold of the future or the future will take hold of you." -- Patrick Dixon

How to opt out of PRISM

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I used to use TOR

Now I use a good VPN. You can get some free ones, but I paid for one. It had more connections in U.S. and worldwide. Nothing is really safe though.

VPN plus TOR

Thanks for the post. You've laid some ground work for internet privacy, but, as you and Smudge have mentioned, it's just the beginning. Left alone, TOR provides a false sense of security that might create problems for some indiscriminate persons.

I believe starting with a good VPN (that uses 4096 bit encryption) is a must. A VPN that does NOT log your sessions is a must (there are very few of these). Once connected to the VPN tunnel, then fire up the TOR browser. Think of it as layers of protection. There are additional advanced features of the VPN service that you can use (proxies, port forwarding, etc.), but generally speaking, a TOR layer on top of a VPN foundational layer offers the necessary layers of protection that it takes to maintain your privacy.

However, when seeking privacy and anonymity, you can NEVER sign-in to any kind of online account that can be linked to the real you, even when connected to a VPN and/or TOR. When this is done they can begin to track you by connecting the dots of your web session. Of course, when you disconnect and then reconnect to your VPN and TOR, a brand new anonymous session begins.

It should be noted that your ISP cannot see any of your activity when you are using a VPN. All they know is that you are connected to a VPN, and some ISP's don't like it. Some will throttle back your bandwidth. However, using advanced features of your VPN you can get around their efforts to throttle back.

See: https://airvpn.org

I hope this might be helpful.

I hope folks read and understand this

Tor is a target and already partially compromised. And oh yeah, did you know it came from DOD?


And no discussion of SSL/TLS? No third party email provider can help you if your link to them is in the clear.

You might want to steer people in the Maidsafe direction. But what you promise, how to be anonymous on the internet is very, very difficult to do. You have by no means told anyone how to do this. These two steps only offer a false sense of security for persons ignorant of the threats.

Be brave, be brave, the Myan pilot needs no aeroplane.

I wouldnt try to mislead people

And I think it should be pointed out that nothing in this world is truly fail proof. The idea that TOR makes you completely anonymous is a fantastic idea, but I wouldn't trust it to the point of looking into some very devious things that could land me in jail or worse.

True TOR was developed by the government at some point of time, but so was the internet. Even if the GOV has some backdoor access to some TOR relay nodes, they don't have access to all of them. Plus, the more people who use TOR worldwide, and the more people choose to become a TOR relay node, the more difficult this type of communication will be to track.

Almost any website about the topic would admit that TOR isn't perfect, but most do admit it is a lot better than browsing using Chrome/firefox/ie/safari/etc.

Just because I don't own a tank to shelter myself from bullets, doesn't mean I wont wear a bullet proof vest once in a while....

Was just about to post that

Was just about to post that article. ;-)

ChristianAnarchist's picture

I wish Mega would move a bit

I wish Mega would move a bit faster. They announced a year ago about a planned encrypted tunnel for skype that would guarantee your privacy but I haven't heard anything more about it. I have a paid Mega account for the bigger storage and I like their cloud storage. I did not know about the email until now. I hope it's available soon.

Beware the cult of "government"...


double comment by accident

Probably too early to

Probably too early to say...

But how would you compare Startmail vs ProtonMail vs Mega?

I like

startmail. But I think that each has its positives. Try a few of them out I guess. I know I use more than one of them....

I looked around. It doesn't

I looked around. It doesn't look like Mega has come out with their email program yet.

Any pros and cons you give regarding startmail vs protonmail? I'm on the waiting list for protonmail. Startmail is okay so far.