How to surf anonymously?
April 24, 2009 3:47 PM   Subscribe

Are there any sources via programs, web browsers, firefox add-ons, or web services that allow someone to truly surf anonymously?

For those of us concerned with privacy? Searching Google does satisfy my quest.

Would any sources allow:

1. Hide current IP address
2. Block or Clear Out History, Cache and all traces of web browsing.
3. Protect data and IP information.

I have looked at Anonymizer but can't find any reviews about the program that are current. All reviews are from 2007.

The Free Network Project is more for communication and content distribution.
posted by randomthoughts to Technology (6 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
You're after an anonymous web proxy like Tor.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:55 PM on April 24, 2009


Get Tor and install the Torbutton firefox addon to toggle it off/on easily. Set up firefox to clear all data on close (cookies, cache, history, the whole deal).

If this is for dodging IT at work, another option which isn't slow like Tor is to set up a Linux machine at home and run a SOCKS server tunneled over SSH. You can find some tutorials on this, but basically:

$ ssh yourmachine -D 1234

Then set your SOCKS5 proxy to "localhost:1234" in the firefox settings. This will channel your page loads to your home machine. You can run ssh on port 443 so that casual prying would believe it to be legit https traffic. (You need cygwin to do any of this on Windows)
posted by cj_ at 4:28 PM on April 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


With any discussion on Tor I think it's important to note it's anonymous but not secure. Anything unencrypted at the exit node can be read by the whoever's running that node, as several embassies found out.

So anonymous browsing of news sites perhaps critical of the government of the country you're in: Yes. Logging into sites that don't have SSL: No.
posted by sharkfu at 5:17 PM on April 24, 2009


As others have said, definitely Tor, and seconding as well, it's very important that you educate yourself as to how Tor works so you understand its (relatively limited) weaknesses. In addition, depending on what you're doing that requires anonymity, you may also want to consider running something like TrueCrypt for local protection.
posted by glider at 6:44 PM on April 24, 2009


If this is for dodging IT at work, another option which isn't slow like Tor is to set up a Linux machine at home and run a SOCKS server tunneled over SSH.

A competent admin would detect this in about two seconds.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:33 PM on April 24, 2009


A competent admin would detect this in about two seconds.

A competent underemployed admin with THAT much free time, maybe.

Tor is fine, but it's slow and your only easy option.
posted by rokusan at 11:03 PM on April 24, 2009


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