Installing Tor

Installing Tor

Download the program from the Tor site. If access to Tor main website is blocked in your country, there are a few mirrors of it in other places where it can also be downloaded from. You can also go to Google cache for viewing the mirrors page by googlng for " mirrors". Pick the “latest stable release” for your platform and download it onto your desktop. Follow the instructions that are linked to the right of the release you downloaded. You’ll install two software packages and need to make some changes to the settings within your new installation of Firefox.




In case your internet connection blocks access to the Tor website, you can request a bundle by sending an email to the "gettor" robot at gettor [AT] torproject [DOT] org. Remember that the emails to has to come from Gmail, otherwise they won't get a response. Select one of the following package names and put the package name anywhere in the body of your email:

  • tor-im-browser bundle
  • windows-bundle
  • panther-bundle
  • tor-browser bundle
  • source-bundle
  • tiger-bundle


Shortly after sending your email, you will receive an email from "Gettor" robot with the requested software as a zip file. Unzip the package and verify the signature. 

Tor is a very sophisticated network of proxy servers. Proxy servers request a web page on your behalf, which means that the web server doesn’t see the IP address of the computer requesting the webpage. When you access Tor, you’re using three different proxy servers to retrieve each webpage. The pages are encrypted in transit between servers, and even if one or two of the servers in the chain were compromised, it would be very difficult to see what webapge you were retrieving or posting to.

Tor installs another piece of software, Privoxy, which increases the security settings on your browser, blocking cookies and other pieces of tracking software. Conveniently, it also blocks many ads you encounter on webpages.


c) Install Torbutton. Read about it and install it, following the instructions on the installation page. You’ll need to be using Firefox to install it easily - from Firefox, it will simply ask you for permission to install itself from the page mentioned above.


Turning on Tor by hand means remembering to change your browser preferences to use a proxy server. This is a muiltistep process, which people sometimes forget to do. Torbutton makes the process a single mouse click and reminds you whether you’re using Tor or not, which can be very helpful.

You may find that Tor slows down your web use - this is a result of the fact that Tor requests are routed through three proxies before reaching the webserver. Some folks - me included - use Tor only in situations where it’s important to disguise identity and turn it off otherwise - Torbutton makes this very easy.


Turn Tor on in Firefox and test it out
With Tor turned on, visit After clicking, if you get this message telling you, "Congratulations. You are using Tor. please refer to the Tor website for further information about using Tor safely.", then you've got everything installed correctly and you're ready for the next step. 

Using Tor

Otherwise you will get this message telling you "Sorry. You are not using Tor. If you are attempting to use a Tor client, please refer to the Tor website and specifically the instructions for configuring your Tor client."

Not using Tor

It’s always a good idea to see whether the software you’ve installed works, especially when it’s doing something as important as Tor is. The page you’re accessing is checking to see what IP address your request is coming from. If it’s from a known Tor node, Tor is working correctly and your IP is disguised - if not, something’s wrong and you should try to figure out why Tor isn’t working correctly.

What if Tor never connects?
If you have problems connecting to the Tor network you should read the FAQ about problems with running Tor properly. In case your internet connection blocks access to the Tor network and in case the Vidalia onion icon in the system tray is always yellow, you may consider using bridge relays. This would be the next logical step to get you connected to the Tor network.

"Bridge relays (or "bridges" for short) are Tor replays that aren't listed in the main Tor directory. Since there is no complete public list of them, even if your ISP is filtering connections to all the known Tor replays, they probably won't be able to block all the bridges. If you suspect your access to the Tor network is being blocked, yo umay want to use the bridge feature of Tor."

You can get bridged by sending an email, from a gmail account, containing "get bridges" in the body of the email to the following email address After this, you will receive an automatic message with the bridges. It is also possible to acquire bridges from the following url:

Open Vidalia's control panel, go to settings > network and click "My ISP blocks connections to the Tor network". Add each bridge address one at a time by pasting it into the "Add a Bridge" window and then clicking the "+" sign.