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How To Use Tor With Internet Explorer (IE) Web Browser (With Polipo) For Beginners

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Before reading on, be sure to read our short tutorial on What Tor is. Clicky

So you've decided that you want to use Tor with Polipo in Internet Explorer (IE). In this short, beginner's tutorial we'll show you how to do so. For this tutorial we'll demonstrate in IE8, however it is the same in all versions.

First things first, you'll need:

  • Internet Explorer
  • And you'll need to download (and install) Tor. Check out the screenshot below, and then grab the "Vidalia Bundle" as shown below, from this link. Clicky

How to use Tor with polipo in IE
Just make sure to check all of the boxes (including Install the Firefox plugin / extension) in the installation, and let it install. You probably won't need to choose the option to let it start with Windows, but that is your choice.

Once you've got everything installed, run the "Vidalia" program. It's already setup to load Polipo by default once it connects. You'll see the icon in your system tray first turn Yellow as it's connecting, and finally Green once it's actually connected to the Tor network, as shown below:

Connecting to the Tor network for beginners
Once it connects, the next thing you'll need to do is start IE (if it's not already running), and go to it's settings pages, AKA "Internet Options" (shown below):

surfing anonymously with internet explorer using tor

Next, click on the "Connections" tab, following the numbers shown in the screenshot below, and entering in the same information in the "Proxy Server" lines as also shown:
anonymous surfing the web and email
Polipo by default uses port 8118. If you've changed it or it's different, you can enter the port to use above instead of 8118.
The first thing you'll always want to do after connecting is to go to an IP displaying website, to confirm that you're connected to Tor and anonymous. I prefer using IP Chicken. Also, see our "How To Do I Find My IP Address" thread.

surfing the internet anonymously

A few quick things to note:

1. To disable Tor in IE, just uncheck the checkbox in "Proxy server" in IE again, so that it's not using a proxy server.

Once you do that, you're still running Tor (in your system tray), however, your Browser isn't using it, so any web surfing you do is back to it's original state. Your own IP address, you're original surfing speed, and so on. To use Tor again, simply click the Tor button again, until it's green.
2. You may (often) notice that some websites show up in different languages while using Tor. This is because some of the nodes (people) are living there! And you're going through them (the end node is from there), so it returns the website page in that language. Either you can tough it out and try to figure which buttons do what, or you can change your "Tor Identity" and hope you get a new IP in your own language.
Tor newbie tutorial<br />
new identity
Changing your "Identity" fetches you a new IP address each time you click it, it may or may not be a faster or better connection.

3. To disconnect from the Tor network, just right click the Tor icon in the system tray, and choose "Stop Tor" or "Exit".

4. You may not be able to get to some websites. Tor has alot of people using it's anonymity to abuse websites. In return, some websites block Tor users, or any user who is on a proxy. when this happens, a page may just seem to hang forever, or you may get some sort of notice or error message.

5. Tor has plenty of configuration options that you can play with and tweak. We have shown you the basics on simply how to get up and running on Tor. Feel free to play around with the settings!

6. You may want to try using Tor with Privoxy (or other ways) as well! Be sure to either click the links below, or search/surf GeekDrop for our tutorials for beginners on how to do so!

And that's it!, Happy anonymous surfing!

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missb's picture
missb
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Re: How To Use Tor With Internet Explorer (IE) Web Browser ...

Does this take up a lot of memory on a laptop? and would this be something I could use to watch TV shows from Europe??

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Smartmom's picture
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Re: How To Use Tor With Internet Explorer (IE) Web Browser ...

I haven't used TOR in some time but when you use it you don't get to pick a European proxy. There are European proxy sites - heres one

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Re: How To Use Tor With Internet Explorer (IE) Web Browser ...

Oh COOL!!!! thanks SM, my mom will be thrilled. I'll let you know how it works later !

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Re: How To Use Tor With Internet Explorer (IE) Web Browser ...
missb wrote:

Does this take up a lot of memory on a laptop? and would this be something I could use to watch TV shows from Europe??

It can take up a decent chunk of memory, but that's not the real factor regarding watching tv shows. Tor itself is usually so painfully slow it would never play the video smoothly enough to be able to enjoy it.


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abakelite301's picture
abakelite301
Re: How To Use Tor With Internet Explorer (IE) Web Browser ...

Thank you.

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