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There are times in our Internet life when we need to surf anonymously, isn’t there?

Maybe we are visiting an Internet café or using someone else’s computer and we would prefer there not to be a record of what sites we have visited.

Alternatively, we may wish to hide our Internet address from some sites, because it is possible for them to record the address of every visitor.

Again, maybe we would just prefer to keep our visits secret for other personal reasons.

So, how can you surf, but do so anonymously?

Let me introduce you to Torpark from Torrify. It is a free utility, which can be found here. It will enable you to have the program on your USB stick (flash drive) or key ring and run a little program from there, which will totally “anonymize” your Internet surfing for you.

Below is their home page and you should click on the Download button (circled) first.

That will open up and you will be offered several sites from which you can download the program.

Save this file in a convenient place. Either to your hard disk or else directly to your USB stick (shown in this illustration).

This file contains the program in a compressed form and when you click on it, it will give you the option of extracting it to where you want it. (In this case, you should choose the USB location of F: in the illustration, but change it to wherever yours is located).

Click Extract and you will see the progress.

When it’s finished, if you now examine your USB stick, you will see that there is a new folder called Torpark, which you must double click to open.

After that, another similar one with the version number will appear. You must also double click that to open it. (Incidentally, if you don’t think you will need it again, you may now delete the original downloaded file).

Then you will be presented with the following file and folders:

Of course, it is Torpark.exe that you will click to start the process.

After a short while, you will see the below screen appear, which warns you that although your surfing will be “invisible,” your information (username, password, etc.) will not be hidden, so you should use the same amount of caution as with regular surfing. If you are happy with that, click Continue.

Now, here is the really good news.

This means that everything has gone fine and you will soon be connected to the Torpark anonymous surfing site.

However, if you have a firewall installed (and you do, don’t you?!), you may be asked to grant permission for this site/program to be allowed access (here is the Zone Alarm warning):

Again, if you are happy with this, click Allow.

Finally, you are there! This is what greets you:

You may use this to surf as you normally do, but with one exception; nobody knows who you are. You are anonymous.

Finally, before we leave Torpark, a couple of “nice to know” things, as shown on the screenshot below:

The button, (1 above) Tor Network, enables you to switch in and out of anonymous mode. As going through the Tor network will slow your surfing down very slightly, there may be times when you want extra speed on sites where it is not necessary to remain anonymous. In that case, click the button to exit Torpark and click it again to reconnect.

Button 2, Flush Circuit, is worth explaining. If you find that your surfing via Torpark is very sluggish, click on this button and then after a couple of seconds, hit the Refresh button on your browser (or F5) and all should be okay. (What has happened is that Tor has switched you over to a fresh circuit to speed up the surfing).

So, provided you remember the fact that your data is not any more safe on the Tor network than it is in normal Internet use, Torpark will prove an excellent way to enable you to surf anonymously. And better yet, you can take the utility with you on your USB key ring everywhere you go and nobody will know you are there!

~ David Woodford