Lubos Rendek

The only solution is determination.

Get Secure and Anonymous Browsing With Tor, Privoxy and Debian

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Here is a quick tutorial on how to setup secure and anonymous browsing with tor, privoxy and Debian linux. First install tor and privoxy:

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# apt-get install tor privoxy

Check a tor log file and see whether it started correctly. You should see something like:

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cat /var/log/tor/log
Apr 01 21:46:32.000 [notice] We now have enough directory information to build circuits.
Apr 01 21:46:32.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 80%: Connecting to the Tor network.
Apr 01 21:46:32.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 85%: Finishing handshake with first hop.
Apr 01 21:46:34.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 90%: Establishing a Tor circuit.
Apr 01 21:46:36.000 [notice] Tor has successfully opened a circuit. Looks like client functionality is working.
Apr 01 21:46:36.000 [notice] Bootstrapped 100%: Done.

You can also check privoxy logs for any suspicious errors /var/log/privoxy/logfile. Furthermore, confirm that privoxy is listening on port 8118 and tor on port 9050.

Why do we need both privoxy and tor? Both are standalone services. Privoxy is a proxy server with additional security features such as content filtering and advertisement blocker. Tor on the other hand will provide you with anonymity using onion routing techniques.

At this stage what we need to do is to make any requests from privoxy forwarded to tor on socks5 9050. To do that we need to uncomment a:

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forward-socks5   /               127.0.0.1:9050 .

in /etc/privoxy/config the privoxi config file and restart privoxy:

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# /etc/init.d/privoxy restart

Now, we are ready to configure our prowser to use a privoxy as a proxy server: Note: Although now you are anonymous to all destinations hosts you can improve you privacy by using personal DNS. What I mean is that if you for example use google’s 8.8.8.8 as a nameserver than all your DNS data are owned by google which means that google know exactly what websites you are visiting as they have all your DNS resolutions! This is just a thought to be considered !

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