Tor is an online system that grants its users anonymity online. By routing a user's connection through a series of virtual tunnels, Tor keeps the user's location and browsing habits effectively hidden. Tor is a useful tool for anyone who is concerned about privacy online. Using Tor in conjunction with P2P file sharing clients (such as Shareaza) is generally not recommended, as the Tor network easily gets bogged down by high bandwidth usage, thus making all users suffer slow speeds. However, if you are determined to keep your file sharing anonymous, "Torifying" your Shareaza client will keep your identity safe.
- Skill level:
Download the installation files for the software bundle from the Tor Project website. Open the files to launch the installation process. Within the "Vidalia Bundle set-up" window, click "Next." The following screen will display four programs that you can select for installation. Tor is the actual network client, Vidalia is the user interface and Polipo is a proxy service. You will need to install all three of these programs. The fourth program, Torbutton, is an extension for Mozilla Firefox users that allows you to turn Tor on and off from within a browser window. Once you have selected the programs you wish to install, click "Next." This will begin the installation process. Follow any on-screen prompts as instructed.
Launch Shareaza. Open the "Settings" menu. Select "Internet," then "Connection."
Open the "Inbound Address" settings. Set the port number to match the same port used by Polipo. By default, this port number is 8118. You may exit the "Settings" menu once you have changed this value.
Tips and warnings
- Using P2P to share open source software, Creative Commons-licensed media or other non-copyrighted material is a legal use of online file sharing. However, downloading or distributing copyrighted material without authorisation is illegal. P2P users who engage in unlawful sharing can face serious legal penalties, including heavy fines and jail time.
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