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Looking for TRUE web anonymity

Discussion in 'Software' started by dlb, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. dlb

    dlb MajorGeek

    A friend is looking to be truly anonymous on the web... not all the time, but maybe set up one browser to be anonymous, and another for regular stuff. I don't know. We tried using a program called Tor but it really slowed down the connection, I mean REALLY slow.... so we removed it (which it's built-in uninstaller doesn't do that well, or at all, but that's another story). We now have Firefox configured for 'open' surfing, and Opera configured to go through a free anonymous proxy. Opera is now slower, but it's bearable. But since the proxy is apparently in a non-English speaking country, we tend to get a lot of foreign language stuff (like Yahoo or Google do not open in English). Again, it's bearable, and we can usually navigate away and get to English pages. The main reason we started all this is because his ISP has started to 'throttle' his downloads. It can be any download: a regular app from Major Geeks, a driver from Nvidia, a 100% legal and legit Linux distro via P2P/uTorrent; we also tried some 'not-so-legal' downloads from some torrent sites, just to see. All downloads were noticeably slower than they were 2 weeks ago. So we configured Opera via the proxy, and the downloads increased by at least 40%, even though the proxy is in Europe (I think). We then configured uTorrent to go through the proxy, and the Linux download was previously at about 100k, was now downloading at over 700k! So, obviously something is going on. But it seemed that after a bit of time, the P2P downloads would start getting errors "HTTP error 404" and "the connection was actively refused" and some others I don't remember. The download would continue, but the errors were strange. Anyway- I have no idea where I'm going with this.... does anybody have some input? Can his ISP throttle ALL the downloads? Even the totally legal ones?
  2. elbiatcho1

    elbiatcho1 Specialist

    Yes, ISP can throttle anything they want.
    Is the throttling occuring 24/7? Sometimes ISP's will throttle during the busy time of day.

    Using a proxy can help, as you have already noticed, but even that is not totally anonymous (if proxy has logging). Unfortunately sometimes it is difficult in finding a good proxy. Also some people setup proxies to be used as "honeypots" for collecting info.

    Hijacking someone else's wireless (wardriving) is about as anonymous as you can get, but that is very illegal.

    For uTorrent, you may want to look into the new Alpha v1.9 which involves using a different protocol (udp). Beware, its very alpha but it is at least a new transition in p2p. Different protocol may help in circumventing the usual TCP throttling techniques.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2008

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