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Enable anonymous browsing in Portable Firefox

webfork (Homepage) - July 18, 2007 - 8:25pm

Want to use your current browser settings and configuration but use them anonymously and free?

Why enable anonymous browsing? See: http://tor.eff.org/overview.html.en

Time: Following the basic instructions for PortableTor, Firefox, and TorButton should only take 5 minutes. Configuring for multiple proxies may take about 15 minutes.

Caveat:

  • Anonymous browsing will usually be slower than normal browsing (sometimes very slow).
  • You will need to run both the anonymous program Tor and Firefox side-by-side.
  • This howto was written for Firefox v2.0 but savvy users shouldn't have any trouble adapting previous versions.

Why use this over other pre-packaged programs? I've had some problems with portable, anonymous browsing via Torpark and the new "XB Browser" (slow/broken) so I did some digging and found a better solution.

Configure Tor

    1. Download PortableTor: http://portabletor.sourceforge.net/

    2. Run the install file and put the program anywhere you would like. You can move it later (for instance on to a USB drive).

    3. Run the program. A big white window named "Privoxy" will appear, which you should minimize and don't need to interact with.

    4. Look to the tray icon (in the lower right of your screen) for a small red "X" with a stem. Right click and select "Settings." In the window that appears, check "Start Tor when Vidalia starts" and click save. Right click on the icon again and select "Exit," then close the Privoxy window. Run the program again as in step 2. The program's icon should now have changed to a green onion.

Configure Firefox

That's it! You may now surf anonymously.

Additional Features:

1. You can install some great Firefox plugins to make it more like the XB and Torpark browsers:

  • Adblock Plus - helps cut down on bandwidth by removing most advertisements (I recommend the single language install down the page a bit): http://adblockplus.org/en/installation
  • NoScript - helps increase security and kill annoyances by turning off most Internet scripts and tools until you turn them on: http://noscript.net/

2. You may wish to set your browser to Google's International English page: http://www.google.com/ncr

------

Other Connection Options

    Configure Firefox to work ONLY with Tor (without an on/off switch)

      1. Choose network settings manually. In the menu bar click "Tools" and select "Options". Then select the "Advanced" tab and then Network tab. Click Settings and select "Manual proxy configuration." Enter "127.0.0.1" for the HTTP Proxy and "8118" for the port. Click the box marked "Use this proxy server for all protocols" and click ok.

      2. In the window that appears, click "Manual Proxy Configuration" and enter "127.0.0.1" for HTTP, SSL, FTP, Gopher, and SOCKS. Use port "8118" in all of the "port" boxes.

      3. Finally, click "OK" and, if the onion icon in the taskbar is green, you're browsing anonymously and securely.

    Configure Firefox to work with multiple proxies.

      1. Go to the SwitchProxy Website: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/125

      2. Click "Install Now" and then click the next "Install Now" button.

      3. Restart the browser.

      4. On the menu bar that appears, click "Add." In the dialog window that appears, you'll be using the Standard, rather than Anonymous option here but this does not mean your connection will not be anonymous. Just click "Next".

      In the window that appears, type in "Tor" in the Proxy Label window. In the next series of windows, enter "127.0.0.1" (no quotes) for HTTP, SSL, FTP, Gopher, and SOCKS. Use port "8118" (no quotes) in all of the "port" boxes. Click OK.

      5. In menu bar, Click "Apply". If the Status box on the same bar says "Using Tor", you're all set.

      6. In the menu bar click "Tools" and select "Options". Then select the "Advanced" tab and then Network tab. Click Settings and select "Direct connection to the Internet." Click OK.

      7. Now, from the Proxy Bar drop down menu there will be two options. Choose "None" and then "Apply" to turn off anonymous browsing. To re-enable it, select "Tor" and then click "Apply".

      To add more Proxies than just Tor, click "Add" and enter the information.

-----

AUTHOR NOTE: This is version 3 of this document. I welcome suggestions/additions/feedback.


( categories: )

Can you describe the

Can you describe the problems you were having with Torpark and its successor?

Can anyone else verify that the solution proposed here is as secure as Torpark?

A SwitchProxy walkthru would be good.

"If someone requests, I can post a how to on this plugin as well." quoted from webfork above.

That would be appreciated. It would be good to have the ability to change on the fly like that. I had been trying to simply exit firefox and use TorPark when I wanted to browse anonymously, but this would be easier.

EDIT: Also I would add to your list of add-ons - TrackMeNot http://mrl.nyu.edu/~dhowe/trackmenot/

EDIT2: Is there a way to get PortableTor and Privoxy to only load when its being used? Seems a waste to have running all the time, even when I'm not using it.

Re: walkthru

I'm gradually working on an updated walkthrough that includes a switchproxy setup but - to my knowledge - there is no way to have PortableTor/Privoxy running only when they are in use.

Thanks for your suggestion on TrackMeNot. I'll check it out.

--
Use your computer to help cure many types of disease:
http://folding.stanford.edu

Portable

I have seen democrakey, torrify, XB browser and TorPark, but I want Tor running inside my already configured portable firefox, miranda, mIRC, Skype, etc... how can I make Tor protable? or it exist and already portable version?

------------------
I have no signature again... :'(

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
and the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
and the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
then the socket packet pocket has an error to report Laughing out loud

Where are all the questions

Where are all the questions and confusion coming from? In the original post, the website linked in #1 has all the info on creating (or downloading) a portable install of Tor+Vidalia+Privoxy. It is 100% portable, started on demand, and will work with any program properly configured to use it. If you install the optional TorButton Firefox extension, you can enable/disable the use of Tor on the fly with one click. I've used this setup from the start, and never saw the point of using TorPark or OperaTor as a bundle, not to disparage these obviously great packages.

Sorry

I didn't noticed it... downloading...

------------------
I have no signature again... :'(

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
and the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
and the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
then the socket packet pocket has an error to report Laughing out loud

Not true

You state above that it is started on demand. This is not true. You must have PortableTor running in order use Torbutton. I simply cannot find a way to have Tor (and subsequently Privoxy) start when I hit Torbutton and then stop (exit out of memory) when I jump back out of it. I even tried to incorporate an Ejet script to end PortableTor and that didn't work either. Because of this I have reverted back to my initial solution which was to use Firefox for normal browsing and TorPark when I want anonymous browsing. However, again I cannot seem to get TorPark to work without running Portable Tor either. So I am left in the same boat.

I am continuing to search.

Just Some Options.-

1. If you use PStart, ASuite or a PAM Mod with the option with the autorun on start, you can autorun Tor when you run your Menu.

2. If you use the normal PAM you can try AppsLauncher (search in this forum)

3. Or you can make a batch file to run both files together (Tor an PFirefox).

a. To autoclose Tor you can use ejectscript (search this forum)

b. Or you can use CMD (search this forum).

c. Or you can right-clik -> exit... Eye-wink

In particular I like the idea of Tor portable, that way I can use not only PFirefox, but also mIRC, Miranda, TeamSpeak, and Skype.

And, I use PStart (autorun on start) and planning to use CMD (just downloaded Tor last night so still don't try it - it's 8:00 am).

------------------
I have no signature again... :'(

If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port,
and the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
and the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
then the socket packet pocket has an error to report Laughing out loud

On-demand means just that,

On-demand means just that, it's started when you start it. Starting it with FF would be an auto-start. If you must have a one-click solution, just add FF to the bat script described on the web page. TorButton just changes the proxy settings in FF to use Privoxy/Tor, but does so in one click (I like it).

To close everything....right-click, exit isn't so bad. I suppose if you wanted to you could write an NSIS launcher that would start everything, then waits on the FF process, then when you close FF forcefully terminates Privoxy+Vidalia+Tor.

Quiestion:

I installed the SwitchProxy addon and it shows my status as "Using No Proxy". Now, to be honest with you, I have no idea what proxy is, how to use it, whether it's good or not to be using no proxy, etc. Does this mean I cannot be tracked? Can my bosses still know what pages I'm going to? Can someone help me? Thanks.
BTW, I'm using FFPe on a work computer and I remember the IT guy coming to my computer (and everybody else's) to change the IE settings to "Connect directly to the internet".

---------------
"Truth is a river that is always splitting up into arms that reunite. Islanded between the arms, the inhabitants argue for a lifetime as to which is the main river." -- Cyril Connolly

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." -- Robert Frost
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: baby ain't mine." -- Adam Holguin

re: Question

> I have no idea what proxy is, how to use it, whether it's good or not to be using no proxy

A proxy allows you to send and receive information through another source. There are a variety of uses but most often its used nowadays for connecting to the Internet from behind a restrictive firewall. "Privoxy" is a totally separate software that uses proxy techniques to enforce higher security. You technically don't need it to use the Tor network but its strongly recommended, hence they are packaged together.

SwitchProxy is to switch between different proxies, including Tor. My howto will just focus on turning Tor/Privoxy on and off.

--
Use your computer to help cure many types of disease:
http://folding.stanford.edu

Tor Button extension?

Why not use this extension instead of SwitchProxy?

https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/2275

Just add the button to your menu (View/Toolbars/Customize-pull the TorButton to somewhere in your Navigation Toolbar) and you can easily switch Tor on and off as you like without any further configuration...

SwitchProxy instead makes more sense if you plan to add JAP besides Tor and would like to switch between these too (as realized in the very interesting VM of anon-web.de; https://anon-web.aioe.org/anon-xubuntu-vm.htm )

re: TorButton

Yes... I'll use that instead. Thanks for the suggestion. Its a considerably easier process. I wish I'd tested that earlier.

--
Use your computer to help cure many types of disease:
http://folding.stanford.edu

Getting an error

As stated before, I (we) don't use proxies at work and I really have no idea about the whole "proxy" thing. With that said, can anybody help me with this error:

First I get an error message that states:
Jul 26 14:12:41 Privoxy (00000478) Fatal error: can't bind to 127.0.0.1:8118: because WSAEACCES - Permission denied

Then I check the message log and I find this:
Jul 26 14:14:28:816 [Notice] Tor v0.1.2.14. This is experimental software. Do not rely on it for strong anonymity.
Jul 26 14:14:28:926 [Notice] Initialized libevent version 1.3b using method win32. Good.
Jul 26 14:14:28:926 [Notice] Opening Socks listener on 127.0.0.1:9050
Jul 26 14:14:33:889 [Warning] Could not listen on 127.0.0.1:9050: Permission denied [WSAEACCES ]
Jul 26 14:14:33:889 [Warning] Failed to parse/validate config: Failed to bind one of the listener ports.
Jul 26 14:14:33:889 [Error] Reading config failed--see warnings above.

Any ideas as on what to do? Thanks.
---------------
"Truth is a river that is always splitting up into arms that reunite. Islanded between the arms, the inhabitants argue for a lifetime as to which is the main river." -- Cyril Connolly

"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on." -- Robert Frost
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: baby ain't mine." -- Adam Holguin

Re: Error

It may well be that your work place has a strong firewall that denies access to the Tor network. Beyond that, I don't recognize the elements of the error message. You might try the Tor website: http://tor.eff.org/

--
Use your computer to help cure many types of disease:
http://folding.stanford.edu

Portable tor adn squid

Good morning,
I've used xbbrowser for a while to bypass my proxy at work (for work)
is possible to do the same think with portabletor?
I'm tryng to set it but unfortunatelly i'm not able to meke it woking...

My proxy is a squid that require an autentication
for example
proxy : 12.12.12.12 User: Runner Passwd: 75Runner75

someone can help me?
thank you in advance
Runner75