Most of you are familiar with the Tor anonymous network. The usual way to use Tor in Windows is to download the Tor bundle which includes Tor, Vidalia, Firefox and Torbutton. This is all fine but if you want more control and advanced features then you should take a look at Advanced Onion Router. Features include:
- Portable: writes settings to application folder, does not write to the system registry
- Read-only mode, when running from read-only media – no files are written
- All configuration files can be encrypted with AES
- All-In-One application – it can replace Tor, Vidalia, Privoxy/Polipo, cntlm, and more
- Supported proxy protocols: Socks5, Socks4, HTTP, HTTPS (all on the same port, autodetected)
- Support for corporate (NTLM) proxies
- Point and click process interceptor that can redirect all connections of a program, disallow non-supported protocols and restrict some information about the local system (fake system time, fake local hostname, etc.)
- Banlist for addresses and routers
- HTTP header filtering that generates fake identity-dependent headers every time the identity is changed
- Nodes can be banned / added to favorites from any existing circuit or from router selection dialogs
- Avoid using in same circuit nodes from the same countries
- Better isolation between private identities (delete cookies from 5 supported browsers, expire an internal cookie cache, delete Flash/Silverlight cookies, generate new fake browser identity information, and more)
- Plugin support
- And more…
So how do you use Advanced Onion Router (AdvOR)? As an example we’ll use it to surf anonymously with the Mozilla Firefox browser. A good way to start is to use the Firefox Aurora edition that is included in the Tor bundle.
- Download the Tor browser bundle.
- Extract the files and delete everything except the FirefoxPortable directory
- Copy AdvOR\AdvOR.exe and AdvOR\AdvOR.dll to the Tor Browser directory.
- Copy AdvOR\Help\Firefox\AdvOR.ini to the Tor Browser directory.
- You can now start AdvOR.exe from the Tor Browser directory. This will start the Firefox browser and all connections will be automatically intercepted by AdvOR.
Of course you can use Advanced Onion Router with other programs as well. The best way to do that is to start AdvOR and run the program from within AdvOR. This will make sure all connections are intercepted and it is actually safer than using a proxy.
There are many settings that you can change in Advanced Onion Router and many are very technical. We suggest you read the documentation before playing with them. A good starting point is to check all settings in the ‘HTTP headers’, ‘Private identity’ and ‘Sandboxing’ tabs. After choosing your settings, you can encrypt them with AES to add a security layer.
If you want more control over the OR network, try Advanced Onion Router and let us know what you think in your comments.