(Last updated: 10-August-2010)
I’ve always thought the Tor Project (free internet anonymising service) was a worthwhile initiative. But the idea of having to run a Tor server somewhere seemed like a lot of effort. And I thought putting all my traffic through Tor would probably mean slow internet & possibly some internet services not working properly.
The Vidalia Project is a step in the right direction. You simply install the Vidalia bundle which includes Tor, install a ‘Tor button’ in your browser and – pow! – you have an ‘anonymise my internet right now’ button.
Download Vidalia: https://www.torproject.org/projects/vidalia.html.en
The ‘Tor button’ is reasonably straightforward. Note that right now the Firefox ‘enable Tor’ button extension that comes with the bundle will not work with Firefox 5. You’ll have to go get it here: https://www.torproject.org/dist/torbutton/torbutton-current.xpi
Google Chrome: There isn’t a Chrome ‘Tor button’ extension yet but the instructions for setting one up are super super easy.
It should be noted that internet is slow through Tor, and by default things like YouTube are blocked through Tor because of the personal information that can be passed through Flash. I guess the point here is you don’t really need Tor enabled for things like watching YouTube videos.
(Hat tip to Lifehacker whose What You Need to Know About the Internet Snooping Bill post first got me onto the Vidalia Project)
(Note: I only installed the Vidalia Project on Windows 7 so I can’t speak for the experience on other versions of Windows, Apple OS X & Linux/Unix)