Iranian Surfers Downloading Anonymous Surfing Tools

Over the years I have written a number of articles on anonymous surfing and the applications, generally free, that make that possible. I’ve noted, over that time, that the majority of readers seem to come from countries that have restrictive human rights policies which I found intriguing, but not particularly surprising.

The recent, and continuing turmoil in Iran, has led to a major increase in readership on this site from Iran on my anonymous surfing articles, and application download links. Small wonder, when one considers the human rights violations committed by this regime – which includes such abhorrent practices as hanging teenage girls and homosexuals.

For our friends in Iran the following is a repost of a recent article “OperaTor and XeroBank – Anonymous Surfing Tools”.

image There are numerous reasons why someone would want to surf anonymously: to ensure protection from snooping web sites, annoying advertisers, employers, or curious family members.

Additional good reasons for anonymous surfing include, surfing in internet cafes, at public terminals in libraries, or hotel business centers.

In fact, you may want to surf anonymously on any PC where you don’t want to leave traces of your private surfing activities.

Interestingly, previous reviews of anonymous surfing applications on this site, have been read disproportionately by readers from Middle Eastern countries. Perhaps, there are more reasons to surf anonymously in these countries, than in others.

Most typical PC users are amazed at the amount of information their browser provides to web sites they visit. For example, the information below is available to every web site I visit. I have X’d out certain parameters for privacy purposes only.

Your computer is connecting to the internet at xxxxxxx, xxxx, in the xxxx, with an IP address of 24.xxx.xxx.142

Your User Agent is being reported as: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: 1.8.1.12) Gecko/20080201 Firefox/2.0.0.12

Your Referrer is being reported as:

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&client= ient=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en

Your IP Address is 24.xxx.xxx.142

Your Host Name is d235- xxx.xxx.home1.cable.net

A trace to your phone comes back with an area code of: 0

The objective of anonymous surfing then, is to conceal this information from web sites and other computers, and typically you would use an anonymous proxy server between you and the web site to accomplish this.

When surfing anonymously, your web browser talks to the proxy server; the proxy server talks to the web site. Effectively this means, the web site does not know you; it knows only the anonymous proxy server.

image

You have a number of choices when it comes to anonymous surfing. You can use a free proxy server service; not my personal first choice – but that’s fodder for another article!

More reliable and safer, in my view, is to download and install a client application which manages the details of anonymous surfing for you.

One such application is OperaTor, a free utility that includes the Opera browser, the Privoxy Web proxy , and The Onion Router, which is a method used for anonymous Internet communication. All components launch simultaneously.

OperaTor, and the component pieces, does not require an installer and the utility can be installed and launched from a USB flash drive. This makes it ideal for surfing at public computers.

Download at: Download.com

A second free utility, XeroBank Browser, is a special version of FireFox that runs in conjunction with the free Tor anonymizer service and that can also run directly from a USB flash drive. Just plug in your USB stick to any PC with a USB port and FireFox V2 is automatically launched and set up for secure and private surfing.

TorPark creates a secure encrypted connection between the PC you are using and the first Tor server. This allows you to safely transmit information without fear of local interception. This makes it ideal for surfing on open Wi-Fi networks.

Download at: Download.com (30-day trial)

One caveat you should take note of however; since all transmissions are encrypted and transmitted across many nodes, anonymous surfing can be very slow.

17 Comments

Filed under Anonymous Surfing, Browser add-ons, Firefox, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Interconnectivity, Internet Paranoia, Personal Perspective, Privacy, Software, Software Trial Versions, Windows Tips and Tools

17 responses to “Iranian Surfers Downloading Anonymous Surfing Tools

  1. Pingback: Iranian Surfers Downloading Anonymous Surfing Tools « Bill Mullins … » webtoolmonster

  2. Great point Bill, TOR was designed exactly for situations like we have in Iran today. Being anonymous online can actually be the difference between life and death.
    Cheers
    Mark

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Mark,

      The downloading of these applications, through my site, continues today in increasing volume. As you say “TOR was designed exactly for situations like we have in Iran today”. I totally agree with you.

      Thanks Mark.

      Bill

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  5. Good article Bill, although you do mention this in your article I think it’s worth stressing as it’s possibly peoples liberty we are talking about.

    There is a misconception that ‘anonymous proxies’ do grant anonymity on the internet but on their own its very limited. They only provide anonymity from the web sites you visit and only then if they are configured correctly.

    All the information you send and receive using HTTP is unprotected so all of this can be read by your ISP – in countries like Iran and China especially so even if you use an anonymous proxy.

    You do need to use something like TOR, a VPN or a private service that encrypts via an SSH tunnel or similar in order to encrypt your connection, and protect your anonymity properly.

  6. I surf anonymously with http://www.anonymous-vpn.com it works perfect!

  7. juddy

    dear Bill
    I live in Iran,I need to know news about my hometown,
    but in Iran we faced with filtering…very hard filtering
    it made me depress,but one my friends introdused your website to me & told me you can help me
    please send anti filters to my Email..if it’s possible for u
    I’m waiting for your answer

    thanks
    Juddy

  8. juddy

    I forgot to say Plaese send anti filter adresses (links) to me not soft wares
    because there isn’t possiblity to download soft wares in my country

    thanks again

  9. patrick30

    I am presently using http://www.vpnmessenger.com that will not only change your IP address it also provides a VPN messenger and VOIP service all within the software.
    Highly recommended if your looking for this kind of service

  10. Firstly, Bill thanks for your reply.

    I respect the fact that you have spent allot of time researching for your last posting and as such created a very good article.
    The plight of the people of Iran is a very sad situation of its something that I have commented on in my blog below.
    http://patrick30.wordpress.com/

    One good source of info that I have referenced that contains good content is the forum http://iran.whyweprotest.net if you need and further info.

    I am presently involved in the development of the beta software version of http://www.vpnmessenger.com which has been designed with similar objectives as TOR, to provide a VPN service that provides its own encrypted VPN messenger and VOIP platform. As far as I am aware it’s the first service of its kind to provide all of these features.
    We are trying to help internet users who are been suppressed by the government or local Internet Service providers and after reading your blog it would be nice to hear any constructive comments about our service if you ever get the time?

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Patrick,

      Like you, I am very conscious of the erosion of fundamental rights and freedoms that seems to be happening at an ever increasing pace. I commend you for your work in developing vpn messenger, an application that’s needed, more than ever before.

      I frequently have guest writers submit articles that are of interest to my readers, and I would be pleased if you would consider writing an article, on vpn messenger, for publication here.

      I look forward to your response.

      Best,

      Bill

  11. Bill, it would be great to write an article for your blog. At the moment I have been writing a brief progress journal for http://www.vpnmessenger.com when time permits on my blog http://patrick30.wordpress.com ,if this is something that would interest your viewers? It’s basically an overview of the service, but also a guide of how I am marketing the service and fine tuning the service to make the software perform better. I have found good response from this as it encourages fellow internet users to participate and offer valuable advice and help
    Alternatively, I will write an article which gives an overview of the service and why these services are becoming so important for internet users security.
    Either way i am flexible!
    Look forward to your response
    Best Regards
    Patrick

    • Bill Mullins

      Hi Patrick,

      Terrific!

      An article on Vpnmessenger should be a hit with the kind of reader who visits this blog.

      Looking forward to it. If you have any questions please let me know.

      Best,

      Bill