Many Internet services offer access to their services only if you are visiting the websites or applications from certain countries.
System IP addresses and sometimes additional information such as the system time, are checked when a user wants to access a country restricted service. If the IP is located in an allowed country access is allowed, otherwise it is rejected.
Many workarounds exist that help users access these restricted services even if they are currently residing in a different country. This articles look at how you can configure the anonymization client Tor to have the exit node of the network in a specific country.
Tor offers lots of so called nodes which are servers in a specific country running the Tor software. If you just run the software, an exit node is picked for you automatically. What most users don't know is that it is possible to customize the selection.
I'm using Vidalia, a package that contains all necessary programs, to explain how a specific country can be selected when using Tor. Note that it is included as part of the Tor Browser which you can download here.
Download The Tor browser and install/run the software afterwards. The main program interface looks like the one on the screenshot below when you run Vidalia for the first time.
The control panel displays the current status of Tor. Additional information is displayed which we are going to use to find servers located in the country that we need an IP address from. A click on view the network displays a visual representation of all Tor servers but only if Tor is running.
Servers can be sorted by country flag and do have a performance indicators next to them as well. Write down some server names with the best performance and leave the menu again. We need to add those servers as exit nodes to the Tor configuration. A click on Settings and there on the advanced tab displays a menu where you find the entry Tor Configuration Menu.
A click on browse opens the browse for files dialog. Left-click on the file "torrc" and choose edit from that menu. Now add the following two lines to the configuration, just paste it at the beginning for instance:
ExitNodes server1, server2, server3
Replace server1, server 2 and so on with the server names that you have written down in the network display window. Stop and restart Tor afterwards and the changes should have been made.
Note: the following step is not required if you are using the Tor Browser bundle directly. If you plan to use a different browser, it needs to be made.
Now we have to add a http proxy to our browser. Firefox users click on Tools > Options > Advanced Network and there on the button Settings. Select Manual Proxy Configuration and enter localhost and port 8118 there.
You can test if everything is working fine by visiting my IP lookup script which should display a IP from the country that you have selected the servers from.
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