We need your good Tor stories

What do you use Tor for? Why do you need it? What has Tor done for you? We need your stories.

We have plenty of practice explaining how Tor works, from technical specifications, design documents, academic papers, and popular presentation. And of course, the code is all open-source.

But explaining why Tor is important is more of a challenge. We can speak in the abstract about the importance of free speech and privacy on the internet, but no abstract statement is quite so persuasive as a real-world example.

We know these examples are out there. We regularly hear from vulnerable populations and people who need to cope with surveillance. We are approached by people who need Tor to stay safe at work, whether they are going after criminals on behalf of their governments, or going after the criminals who run their governments, or just regular people trying to preserve their privacy.

But naturally, most of these stories are ones that we don't have permission to share. After all, it would hardly be in keeping with our pro-privacy beliefs to publish tech-support requests!

Similarly, because we don't gather sensitive data on our network, we cannot (as some networks do) publish regular reports on what kinds of uses we are seeing. (We do not collect this data because we believe that a privacy network should put privacy foremost, and that the best way to protect people's information is not to collect it in the first place.) This is fantastic when it comes to protecting users against advertisers, censors, miscellaneous snoops, and the secret police of authoritarian regimes. But it isn't working out so well when we are asked by donors and other potential allies who want to know what supporting Tor means in less technical terms.

Furthermore, we work on Tor because everybody has the right to their own voice. So while this is on the one hand a plea for information we can use to tell the world about the importance of what we're accomplishing (and try to get donations to do more of it), it's also a request born of the notion that nobody is more qualified to tell your own story than you are.

So, please send us your stories so we can share them with the world. If email works, you can send it to tor-assistants@torproject.org, subject line "Why I Use Tor". And of course, you can just post a comment here.

We won't use names, but if too many details can reveal who you are, please err on the side of caution. There is no point in responding to our request if it puts you in danger. That said: why do you use Tor? Whether you use it to look at cute cats or political blogs, we'd like to know. And since we designed Tor with privacy in mind, we can't know unless you tell us.

Thank you!


August 17, 2011


I imagine something like:
"tor safed my freedom!! No more 4chan fed! .onions has cp!"

I can't comment on this. I will say my failure to use Tor could get me killed. I put the blame directly on the United States and some of its citizens. The media and politicians fuel the fire. This has spread globally. People can't comprehend the danger of draconian legislation or persecution of minorities. They can't comprehend that you should not harm those who harm others. Doing so is revenge, uncivilized, and the exact opposite of justice. The bad people we see most often in the media being tried and convicted have been abused by society and are the real victims.These are the people who never had a chance to live a good life. Most of us are selfish assholes who could care less about our fellow man. We are unwilling to fund social programs for the sick or solve the real problems through compromise. We listen to people who claim to do good and are not impartial. These are people who seek revenge or seek political gain. Many just can't accept a new social order or society.

Jesus, come down off the cross, liberal sissy. Elaborate as to how YOU help your "fellow man," other that to say that others don't? I work hard as hell for what I earn, and for sure don't want it wasted on lifetime welfare recipients. Since you liberals all DEMAND cradle-to-grave bennies for them, then put your money, not mine, where your big, whiny mouths are.

Uh, "shouldn't harm those who harm others"?!?? WTF? Molester gets caught, he *SHOULD* be put down for the extreme harm that he's done and *WILL DO AGAIN* if society doesn't. That's Justice, plain and simple. Cutting hands off of thieves (like the towel-heads do) is revenge. Liberalism is a mental disorder that clouds the mental faculties from distinguishing between the two!

We know this fool is a liberal because he expresses across-the-board sympathy for convicted criminals as if they're all innocent. I worked as a corrections officer for many years and I know that this is NOT the case. Many of the scum inside where I worked were f*'ing child molesters.

Yes, the US govt has turned America into a police state and the lamestream media has aided and abetted them, providing disinformation, misinformation, non-information and fluff to keep the masses ignorant to the elites like Bilderberg. The elites want to destroy America for their damnable 'New World Order' global regime, and they're winning if the US economy is any indication. And THIS fool thinks we're not spending ENOUGH on welfare! Here's an idea: How about the govt return responsibility for welfare back to the churches and other charitable organizations, and END THE FED along with inflatable fiat money so we can return to an honest money system. THEN EVERYONE WILL BE WEALTHIER just by getting to keep the full value of their labor, and encourage savings.

Mr. liberal, you can take your New Social Order (NWO) and shove it! Everyone else, visit infowars.com for your news, join your local citizen militia, and take America back!

I'm sorry the overwhelming and unimaginable situations in our world that cause you to suffer and endure. I want you to hear that people still exist who care and work to help in many ways. These people often do not seek attention for different reasons, I know many who help at personal risk to themselves as do many who try to make difference in the world.


August 17, 2011


I recently began to use Tor again (having quit a couple of years ago), because the United States government just passed a law requiring Internet service providers to store and provide a lot of intrusive information, including almost everything about your bank account. To compound this issue, I live and work on a university campus with its own ISP that happens to snitch every little BitTorrent "incident" to the media industries. Tor allows me to access my sensitive and undesirable accounts (like my bank, pornography, and Demonoid accounts) without the university logging the information and potentially letting it be against me some day.

SIIIIGH! Bittorrent over TOR is a BAD idea. and it does NOT anonymize your bit torrent traffic.

i am just starting up with tor and if you say bittorrent traffic is not covered then is there any torrent/file-sharing program that is covered ??

i am just starting up with tor and if you say bittorrent traffic is not covered then is there any torrent/file-sharing program that is covered ??

How so? if what you download cant be connected to you then it IS anonymized. now, if you have several downloads and use tor and bittorrenbt that may deanonimize you, as a draconian hostile government might actually monitor all tor connections liink them wit torrent stats etc...

if you mean the client bittorrent is unsafe, I don\t know about it, but there are many others that have options to use tor.

anyways I use tor for my daily stuff, I have (almost) nothing to hide, but I have nothing to show!

right on!

Even though I live in a nordic country I use Tor for writing blogs online. My views are not very popular among my peers and I could easily loose my job.
Freedom of expression is not guaranteed even in a democracy. It's something we have to work for every day. Tor helps to ensure we can speak our minds without fear.

I don't use or particularly need Tor, at least not yet. But I run a relay node because I believe in being a "net positive", i.e. leaving the world a better place than I found it.

I used to run an exit node, but too many services began to block my static IP address, so I dropped back to just being a relay.

Hi, I'm from China.
Some of you may know, we've got motherfucking GFW(Great Firewall of China) here. It blocked a few famous websites and people in China can't access these sites directly using their web browsers. The Chinese government do not want people in china to talk freely on websites that they can't control, such as twitter, facebook.
So some kind of network tool is needed to bypass the GFW and access the websites we want to use.
Some Blocked sites in china:
some services provided by Google,such as google+

Some forums are censored here, political issues will be censored, or deleted. Even worse, some people who made a post or sent emails concerning political topic was arrested and sentenced to several years in prison, for example: Hu Jia(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hu_Jia_%28activist%29). So we need safe tools which are hard to be censored in China.

We've got some methods to do that. We use VPN, ssh tunnel, freegate, TOR and some other tools to get past GFW and send political sensitive topics on forums in China. For me, I like TOR more. Two reasons why I use tor more than other tools:
1. It's free, you need to pay some money for VPN and SSH accounts.
2. It's safer, it can protect my anonymity on internet, so I won't care about being arrest just because I've talk about polical topics.

At last, thanks to all developers, testers of TOR and people who provide their computers and network resource to build a TOR relay or bridge.

It would be a beautiful thing if the Chinese people could use the free internet to promote freedom. Maybe put an end to communist rule so they can really be free. People won't know how many of their countrymen feel as they do unless they can talk about it, and they can't do anything about it until they know how many of their countrymen share their views. The free exchange of ideas is essential to throwing off tyranny, however slow that process may be.

I live in a very small and remote community. A company owns the community and lets the residents share internet via their satellite system.

The only problem with this scenario is that the manager likes to follow us around on the net. He has a record of computer names and mac addresses and who owns them. Mac address filtering is used for access and he can and has deleted mac addresses of those he deems to be abusing the system.

I have used Tor for years to thwart him. He has even deleted my mac address on occasion.

I have resorted to cloning his personal mac address and computer name. Delete that sucker!

Thankyou Tor for giving me some degree of privacy.

As a net activist I use and recommend Tor several times a week. It is a crucial and easily installed tool that can be used to circumvent censorship and avoid detection. And it runs on windows, the operating system that most people use (even though it sucks concerning privacy).

As a Linux user I have set up .onion sites, and I use torify on applications very smoothly. Sometimes just to get around a filtered network connection, sometimes to access and send information that is too sensible for a plaintext network.

Tor, along with the smaller but equally interesting I2P-project, have defined how anonymity and distributed networks do work, and can work in the future.

Big ups to everyone making Tor work!


I have a question on Tor's security network with encrypted data transter. It is said that Tor is extremely slow. But in my case Tor works too fast. When I log onto Facebook or any other IP Checker sites, it shows the masked IP. Since my speed in Tor is quite fast, I have a doubt on some sort of technical snag which may be sending my traffic and complaints against the ills of society without encryption. Is there guarantee that it routes all traffic through atleast 3 nodes?

George D'Costa

Yes, you can see which relays you're using with the network map in Vidalia. As long as you're using a Firefox browser that has been configured with Torbutton and check.torproject.org says you're using Tor, you're all good.

Update from my side:
I wish to know something on mixing Tor relays with those of JAP/JonDo (JonDonym). We face two situations:
When we configure TOR through JAP and
when we configure JAP through Tor.

I think it is better for secure/double anonymity. In the method TOR TO JAP (i.e. OUR ISP ---> 3 NODES OF TOR --> 2 NODES OF JAP'S NODES --> internet.

This method works well to access websites or to submit comments, but it is not possible tto log into any website/facebook, perhaps due to double encryption.

I have yet to try another method, JAP TO TOR, i.e.
OUR ISP --> 2 NODES OF JAP --> 3 nodes of TOR --> internet.

Can someone guide me if it will be all more secure or not.

well, I'm confused, since you switched to tor-browser-bundle only...

If I unzip the archive I don't know, which version of TBB I'm running - and don't getting noticed if I have to upgrade.

I have a local tor-instance running for chat and irc - it's a hassle to rewrite the configs of TBB to use other ports and don't check for other tor-processes running on my machine...

It's confusing and not as trustworthy as before. Tor does not support the modern browser-versions of firefox with torbutton anymore - I have to live with an outdated fork with limited abilities.

Before, I'd have written a positive story - but since your switch to a 'portable-app-only' I'm disappointed and confused what this fork does.

Help me understand this situation. We haven't switched to TBB only. All of the packages are still on the download page. At some point in the future, we may simply offer TBB, an expert tor-only package, and the source code.

You appear to have a custom configuration and the skills to change everything around. The TBB is a portable bundle of Vidalia plus Tor. And we ship a browser with torbutton in it. Tor inside TBB runs on port 9050, just like before. Vidalia talks to Tor on port 9051, just like before. There is nothing radically different.

Firefox is releasing versions faster than we have the ability to review the source code changes and adapt. There is exactly one person working on torbutton. He could use the help.

Sorry Tor doesn't work for you any more. Good luck with whatever you find as a replacement.

I'm using TOR to all me to expose criminal activity at my company without being identified in any way. Without absolute confidence that I would be completely anonymous I would not be able/willing to do this, so, this lets me out the criminal executives and related persons w/o exposing myself to possible retaliation or more.

And being anonymous for this works because one I tweet or post various facts they can then be independently checked and verified, eventually by some 'arm of the law' and it won't matter who initially leaked it.

Thank Tor Berlin Wall and the world did not fight, but has become increasingly difficult to address where I see the outside world, the government blocked foreign friends and I in the normal contact know, cross-border telecommunications costs between the average person is not affordable. hope to upgrade the look of your open source project, the bridge can no longer communicate properly in China, if you can!:) ~[By:Google translate]

I run a blog on a hidden server.
there I share my thoughts on various subjects,
security,hacking, bitcoin, piracy, censorship and so on.

The things I write about is not something I want on the clear web.
This is because I can be easily identified.
Not all around me knows what I'm doing, and none knows that it's me who runs this site.

I also use it because some laws that enables them to log all activity.
So all my computers are on a secure VPN service + tor.
Great way for me to give the government the finger.

Some YouTube.com videos that cant be viewed in some countrys
And mixed sites that are blocked for no reason

Hello world, greetings Tor and Tails programmers :-)

I have been using Tor with linux for a couple of years but the last to months i'm running Tails either native or from Vbox (not so safe because of win7) +never on VMware (it's crap and no open source).
I really like tors anonymity. Using it for login to fb, mail, uploading videos on the bigest spy of the world Google and because i dont want my provider know personal details, net activitiy and whats with my personal netlife.
I will keep using Tails forever. A big thanks to all people who are programming testing and making Tor a reality to users around the world, especialy in depressed countries.

My Tor story is that I as Joe Average been able to use the Internet
to learn and communicate without the fear of having my online history
misinterpreted or misconstrued by people who like to further their own
twisted agenda.

From the moment a Joe Average is looking to participate in politics
there are less scrupelous people who are using whatever at hand to
secure their position of influence.

Snooping mail-, phone- and library records and recording private
communications have often been used by powerful groups in all modern
societies regardless of their boilerplate.

Tor makes it more difficult to abuse these powers for controlling
people and information on the Internet.

I use Tor because there's only one ISP where I live and they have a bad reputation for snooping and I don't like the idea of anyone having a list of every website I visit, especially when I like to frequent forums for fiction writers that often send my inquiring mind off googling random and slightly suspicious things like how long it would take a decent graverobber to dig up a body.

I am an Internet user who cares about personal privacy. Today, privacy on the Internet is something which is slowly being eroded into non-existence. Behavioral profiling by advertisers, and mandated data retention laws (among other things) are a hot trend. I use Tor to protect myself against these abuses of trust.

Showing the emperror has no clothes can be hazardous in the world of respectable photography in a former communist country. Although a lot has changed in the last two decades or so, half the players are the same as before. My writings are mostly my thoughts and my take on public events with a touch of less known facts. Given the context, I believe the moment my identity is revealed I should start looking for something else to do in order to pay the bills.


A few years before the Tor project was initiated, a friend, than a socilology student, started on a bold enterprise: to get a glimpse into the newly founded world of online dating and marriage. She used the local and national websites and created an account on each. The profiles were tempting and declared openness to the unknwon without being sexual. The paper soon changed subject to male aggresivity in the virtual world.

All conversations were made public on a blog along with the declared profile information of the men. The blog got some attention which lead to most of them declaring the discussions were a fake and some threatened to go before a judge. Some even started harrasing her so the project was dropped. If Tor would have been an option than I think the final paper would have been an interesting read.


Thanks to tor a journalist I know can soon start to make public and publish his investigation into the world of far right christians. Given these groups have a history of litigation and are good market for lawyers when it comes to religious rights or perceived libel he risks high damages and even prison time if his identity is discovered. For a while he was one of them so he also might face assault and property damage like others before him.


Because of Tor a young doctor can start writing about things witnessed from his first year of intership. She can start making public the mafia in the health system, especially some of the family relations in some of the Faculties of Medecine. The facts are there and all interns face them on a daily basis so her identity is somehow protected. If exposed she is risking her medical licence.

I use Tor because my isp has misused my misplaced trust i should never have had in the first place. This isp singed a treaty for web filtering. To think they could see my every activity until then makes me hate them. My fucking government is just as dumb. My? They don't belong to me and i don't approve of them to say the least.

Tor lets me see their moves so i can react correctly. To hell with them, they seize Tor-servers because they think they have the ip then they have the person they are looking for. To rob Tor-servers is to rob freedom of speech and they are robbing freedom in general where they can. May they burn in hell forever.

I use Tor to assist others in "iffy" circumstances. My own on-line activities, while not subversive, betray a mind willing to consider all the facts before arriving at my own conclusions. This, I believe, is not acceptable in some quarters.

A right undefended becomes a privilege to be withdrawn at the granters whim. Hard-won rights, once lost, usually require the shedding of much blood to regain. The right to privacy is one right that can be successfully defended simply by exerting it. Exerting it is the less-violent road. Not non-violent, because the opposition will not forever permit that, but less-violent.

I use Tor because I believe that I have a right to privacy of thought that exceeds the perceived rights of others to know what those thoughts are. Tor is one of several technologies / steps that I use in defending that right.

I use Tor because I still can ... and using Tor is one of the ways to retain that option in an increasingly totalitarian world.

Frankly, I am tickled to see that thousands of others are choosing to relay Tor, too. The more servers there are, the more routes there are available and the harder it becomes to compromise any particular one and compile worthwhile data on any individual or group. There is safety in numbers ... and the greater the size of the group, the greater the safety for each individual.

Now, if we could just get PGP / GPG off the ground and into common use!

Tor helps get around school blocks.

I have some questions, i`m new in Tor.. and yes, i know this is not a forum to this kind of questions but i cant find the answers looking by myself.. so here it goes:
Does downloads uncovers me?

i'm using firefox + foxyproxy + "Tor toolbar" (in checktorproject.org it`s says that i`m in) but abou dns.. once and for all, does it leaks by any means??

E-mails, where can i find secure ones to use and logg in forums etc..?

How do i search the web for information that, let`s say, i would not be able to find on a standard google search? Im talking about alternative blogs, discussions, info...

About instant messenges i find the pidgin and it seems that i have configured it right...

(An anticipated thank you very much for any good person with any good answer)

And finally i`m usig Tor because i don`t want to have my thoughts, habits and anything else that may give any information about myself to any third party personal from anyplace on the universe!!! Im tired to see everything that i do or think having the HUGE possibility to be analayzed and used in one or either way!
If someone wants to know something about me, my habitis or anything that is MINE, first of all, they should ASK ME FIRST, and i (WE) should have the right to decided if i (WE) give any information, answer or the finger!

Thank you.

Several websites as forums blocked my IP because of a virus on my computer which was sending span and with TOR, I can go on those websites without being blocked.

I started noticing that I was under surveillance when I noticed anticipatory actions being taken based on what I was doing online.

100% of job searches are done online nowadays, you can effectively blacklist an employee nationally by monitoring their internet traffic. If corporate or government entity wanted to take things further, they could utilize this surveillance to block you from getting multiple offers that could push wages up. If you do this to multiple employees, you can increase your profits substantially at your expense!!!

I lived in company towns and cities and have experienced accidents that were intentionally done at slow speeds.

You can even interfere with their activities on dating websites, a date could approach you based on the website monitored, and perform infiltration type activities to obtain information.

I haven't determine if TOR has been effective at blocking their surveillance, I will know very soon.

As an activist for transgender rights I'm frequently contacted by trans people globally.
In particular, for some reason my name has become known among trans people in the middle east and south asia.
I frequently encourage my contacts to use tor to protect themselves.

After reading these mine is kinda weak :P but I work at Office Depot and while I completely understand why they block what they do I do not understand why I, as one of the few techs there, have to deal with this on our machines. Everyday I receive between 30-60 questions from people who most of the time don't know enough to even explain their question properly and i'm blocked off of the internet around answer number 15 or 20. From there its such a hassle trying to find a computer in the store that will let me access google or anything to answer the question. Other times people bring their pc/laptop in for repair and even though we aren't allowed to do much at the store (they have us connect them online and some other company remote desktops in to do most work because they don't want any liability from mistakes) I do like to try and fix it before we have to use that route to save people money and time. But most of the time I end up needing to download something that I can't because of websense. So ty Tor for helping me provide better customer service, which OD says its all about, and save people money by allowing me to do my job.

There may be a new bill that may pass soon that will make it so the government can block websites like how they can do in china, if this bill passes Tor is going to be the app that saves me ass, i hope it doesn't though as tor is slow from time to time, but its still amazing software.

I am a citizen militia commander in the United States. Netizens keeping track of civil liberty issues in the USA are well aware that there is a huge disconnect between what the media says about individual liberty in America versus what the government here is actually doing. The US federal government, and many state governments, are dismantling the freedoms that too many Americans still take for granted. People in the freedom movement have been directly threatened; the commander of militia in Indiana (http://www.indianamilitia.org) was visited by federal agents and told that if he didn't stop his activism, his family would be brutally murdered. I witnessed this communication; so I know that threats like these are happening...which is why I use Tor. I strongly urge all militia activists to use Tor and all other forms of digital security that they can get their hands on!

I have no doubt that with the current state of things happening in the USA, it is only a short matter of time before the US government and its state subsidiaries openly go the way of Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. I need Tor to maintain my privacy because not only am I a militia leader, I am also a public safety officer who takes his oath to the Constitution seriously. I know there are other public servants out there like myself who would be out of work (or worse) if our privacy were compromised. If we fail to fix things from the inside, the USA could experience another civil war within the next few years, and internet security / privacy / anonymity / circumvention will all become matters of life & death! Even if I'm wrong about the future, the US government is already treating freedom activists as though they are enemies of the state, terrorists, whatever. That's all the reason why I need Tor and why I use it daily!


We have it bad in the UK but NOTHING (yet!) like the USA (although they're trying)

Good luck

Tor is and ok program but it also sucks becauses there are some hackers and assholes that send there attack programs throu tor to attack other sites and chats and it looks like that every ip in tor is attacking us and that sucks ...... tor should try and stop this use tor for good is ok but useing it for bad things make tor look bad and tor should realize this soon ...... Madashell

Fishing for good-press worthy quotes, I see.

As long as there are different cultures in the world, tor project will always be caught in a bind. It will face condemnation for permitting speech proscribed by 'us', and milk and cookies for enabling 'them' to get around blocks we deem unreasonable or evil. Few people will have the sense to question 'our' proscriptions, and they will be looked upon like enablers, fools or extremists. Makes defending tor tricky.

But this much we should agree on. Any minority that has no recourse to community outside of tor must be facing formidable forces. To be robbed of the right to assemble, freedom of speech, and the ability to be members of society is the greatest theft imaginable. And yet it happens, right under our noses. Tor, in a sense, grants a right not found in any constitution, the right to basic survival. As long as functioning anonymity systems exist, heresy can continue. And heresy is essential to the functioning of a free society.

I´m using TOR to relay my way into heaven.

I use Tor to hide from hackers and stalkers on the web.
Some time ago someone started to follow me on the web, there was no place for me to hide because they hacked all my accounts.
I'm blogger and, I guess, someone doesn't want me to say what I think online.
I don't write about politics or infringe someone's copyrights. I write about conspiracy theories, but to find information about them on the web without being followed is impossible. So, I use Tor to not get followed around.

I know there are other public servants out there like myself who would be out of work (or worse) if our privacy were compromised. If we fail to fix things from the inside, the USA could experience another civil war within the next few years... where to get backlinks