is tor the best solution ?

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by mantra, Apr 11, 2011.

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  1. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

    Jan 25, 2005

    is Tor the best solution for the privacy on the net?

    is there a better free alternative?

    what i did not understand , does tor protect only http traffic?

    or tor can protect and hide any type of traffic from skype ,emails and so on

    i would appreciate your feedbacks
  2. Cutting_Edgetech

    Cutting_Edgetech Registered Member

    Mar 30, 2006
    I do not use Tor, but from what I have read it can be very slow at times. So if speed is a top priority then no it is definitely not the best. I can't really comment on anything else since I have not used it. I have tried several similar VPN services. I chose paid VPN providers to have better speed / more bandwidth.
  3. redcell

    redcell Registered Member

    Sep 27, 2010

    TOR provides anonymity but not privacy. Never use TOR for your personal email or banking transaction. I have high suspicion that it's a surveillance honeypot. Also, you'll be exposed to UDP/TCP attacks when you connected to TOR. Thus, you need sufficient firewall, anti-virus and protections on your side.

    In my own testings, TOR effectively covers HTTP transmission only.

    You may refer to

    It's imperative for your sensitive communication not to be traceable in anyway. Try hard to get free VPN account somehow.

    Encrypted drive > Wifi hotspot > VPN A > VPN B + TOR

    Good luck.
  4. hugsy

    hugsy Registered Member

    May 22, 2010
    use TOR and encrypt anything you are sending with GPG. If you are entering passwords then look for a https if it is not there don't type it in. For everything else, TOR will do fine, but it is a bit slow.
  5. SteveTX

    SteveTX Registered Member

    Mar 27, 2007
    Tor has its pros and cons. The question is what problem you are trying to solve, or are you looking for a proactive solution to an unknown threat?

    Tor performs poorly in a few areas:
    1) Speed,
    2) adversary protection
    3) side-channel attack protection
    4) trusted communications

    Tor is very good at a few things:
    1) Reachability / Censorship evasion
    2) Hidden services
    3) Encrypted communications in minimal telecom infrastructure.

    These three positive things overlap in a specific demographic: 3rd world countries.

    So if you live outside of the US/UK/EU, and have no high-speed communications needs, or minimal protection/threat issues, or are of a collectivist bent, tor may be a good choice for you. If not, you may need to use additional software to access tor, or upgrade to an anonymous vpn for more speed/features/protections.
  6. nightrace

    nightrace Registered Member

    Jun 2, 2010
    For being anonymous on the open Internet there is no better free alternative. Privacy would depend on the destination being https encrypted. Tor can be used with a free webmail account which you could then use with InstantCrypt for anonymity and privacy. An alternative would be to use I2P-Bote.

    VPNs whether free or not will not make you anonymous. The service provider will always have your real IP and will log without your knowledge if compelled to by local law enforcement, possibly at the behest of foreign or international agencies. You could try using a public WiFi and a free VPN while wearing a disguise to thwart security cameras. Or perhaps a solution involving virtual machines and several providers in different jurisdictions.

    As I have said before people who want real privacy use darknets. They do not rely on a ToS contract to protect their identity. Contrary to what Steve said I am pretty sure most hidden service users are not from 3rd world countries.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  7. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    It's the best (legal) means to anonymity on the Internet. Privacy is a different issue all together. If the Tor exit node is snooping, then it can see the things you're doing, but it cannot see who you are. This is why if you need privacy over Tor that you ensure the destination is using SSL/TLS. And since the exit node could possibly be attempting a MITM attack on SSL, it is imperative that you do certificate checking to ensure the site you're visiting over SSL is really the site you think it is.


    It can protect any protocol over TCP. This includes HTTP, IRC, FTP, etc. I almost always connect to IRC over Tor in order to hide my IP from malicious people that like to hang out on some of those channels. You can also use Tor to anonymize your chat protocols like AIM, MSN, Jabber, etc. Some people also use it for e-mail clients, but I haven't experimented with this.

    If you're going to use Tor for anything other than HTTP, you will need to read the documentation to ensure you have taken the proper steps to secure the connection. The Tor devs have focused mostly on HTTP, thus it will take a bit more caution if you plan on using it for other protocols.

    P.S. Never use Tor for BitTorrent -- the way that protocol works leaves you open to attacks. A paper was released a while back demonstrating how to track torrent users over Tor. However, the Tor devs have always warned not to use BitTorrent over Tor (so the paper didn't really tell us what we didn't already know).
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