The Onion Router (TOR) is an open network that users from all over the world can access to improve their anonymity online. It basically works similar to cascading proxy servers with a few finesses that make the system more flexible and harder to trace.
The default client is offered at the TOR Project site for Windows, Mac OS X and Unix variants. The standard client should work fine for most usage scenarios.
Advanced TOR, as the name suggests, improves the capabilities of the TOR client. The free portable software for Windows offers an easier to configure interface.
Users who are in a hurry can connect to the TOR network right away. The program establishes a local proxy port automatically, and offers to restrict connections from certain IP addresses or IP ranges.
On top of that, and this is a feature that TOR is not offering right now, is the ability to force TOR on specific processes in Windows.
Some applications are capable of bypassing proxy restrictions, which would mean that the real IP of the user would be revealed. Forcing those applications to use TOR will prevent this from happening.
The feature is currently labeled beta, and works the following: The application is intercepted by Advanced TOR, and Winsock calls are redirected to a dll of the program.
Advanced users will notice that the software client is highly configurable. It is possible to switch identities with a click, force exit nodes, configure node families, define specific connection details like bandwith rates and the maximum number of connections.
There is a lot to explorer and no setting is further away than two clicks.
Windows users who make use of Tor extensively may want to try out Advanced Tor, especially because of the Force TOR option but also because it's a little bit more accessible.
Advanced Tor is available for download at the Sourceforge project website.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.