Tag Archives: anonymity

Tor GUI `SelekTOR` Sees New Major Release

SelekTOR, an open source Java-based GUI front-end for Tor, was updated to version 3.12 (now 3.12e) recently and it includes new advanced options as well as a new Tor Monitor panel that shows the Tor client startup info and its current status.


For those not familiar with SelekTOR, here’s a quick list of features:

  • automatically sets up your web browser to use Tor, without any addons (supports Google Chrome, Chromium, Opera, Palemoon, Iceweasel and Firefox);
  • can be used in two modes: Proxy all Traffic or Proxy by Pattern (with the latter, Tor will only be used for websites matching a pattern you can set in the SelekTOR settings);
  • allows you to quickly select the Tor exit nodes by country (useful to access websites which aren’t available in your country, such as Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ABC, Pandora, British TV, HBO Go and so on);
  • Nodes are filtered to ensure that they support HTTP on port 80, and thus ensuring greater reliability when used with web browsers;
  • Whois and Atlas Node details (pretty graphs) available with a single mouse click;
  • more.

If you haven’t tried SelekTOR yet, I suggest reading our initial SelekTOR article which includes more information, instructions for how to install SelekTOR and Tor in Ubuntu or Linux Mint (and optionally, using the latest Tor from its official repository), as well as how to use Tor and SelekTOR with Privoxy, useful for apps that don’t support SOCKS5.

The latest SelekTOR V3.12 (V3.12e) ships with a new Preferences layout and quite a few new advanced options, such as an option to toggle Safe Socks on/off, useful for applications that use unsafe variations of the socks protocol – for instance, without disabling Safe Socks, Spotify doesn’t work with Tor as a SOCKS5 proxy.
Another new option, called “Use 2 hop circuits“, can be used for improved latency however, because this option reduces your anonymity, it is only active in Proxy by Pattern mode so if you switch to Proxy All Traffic mode, Tor will use 3 hop circuits.
Other new advanced options available in the latest SelekTOR include:

  • set the Tor logging level (Debug, Info or Notice;;
  • re-implemented the default HTTP proxy (any traffic not routed through Tor will be redirected through this HTTP proxy);
  • avoid disk writes (when enabled, Tor tries to disk less frequently);
  • optional startup arguments which can be passed to Tor.
Another new feature added recently to SeleKTOR is a Tor Monitor panel, which shows the Tor client startup info and its current status:

It’s also worth mentioning that SelekTOR is now available for Windows, but it’s not free and a license costs $14.95 plus tax. The Linux version remains free and open source software.

Download SelekTOR

Ubuntu / Linux Mint and derivatives: check out our initial SelekTOR article for installation instructions (and more).

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SelekTOR: Tor GUI With Country Exit Node Selection, Useful To Bypass Country Restrictions For Various Websites

“Tor is free software for enabling online anonymity and resisting censorship. It is designed to make it possible for users to surf the Internet anonymously, so their activities and location can’t be discovered by government agencies, corporations, or anyone else”. More information @ Tor & Wikipedia

Selektor TOR gui

SelekTOR is an open source Java-based GUI front-end for the Tor Client which has a few advantages over Vidalia (the official Tor GUI), such as:
  • Simplifies the usage and configuration of Tor in client mode, SelekTOR does most of the hard stuff for you;
  • you can quickly select Tor exit nodes by country;
  • SelekTOR can continuously monitor and maintain a connection to the exit node with the best response time, with as little downtime as possible;
  • as well as proxying all traffic through the active Tor node, SelekTOR can also do selective routing of traffic through the active tor node based on URL patterns.
The option to select the Tor exit nodes by country can be used to access websites which aren’t available in your country, such as Netflix, Hulu, CBS, ABC, Pandora, British TV, HBO Go and so on (these depend on your country, obviously).

SelekTOR needs very little configuration: simply select the exit nodes country (and optionally the proxy mode) and you’re ready – you don’t have to configure your web browsers manually and there’s no need to install any browser addon. Supported web browsers include: Google Chrome, Chromium, Opera, Palemoon and Firefox.

The application also features Atlas Node details as well as built-in IP Whois:

Selektor TOR gui

Other SelekTOR features:

  • supports non-unique (Un-named) nodes;
  • nodes are filtered to ensure that they support HTTP on port 80, and thus ensuring greater reliability when used with web browsers;
  • built-in proxy pattern editor, Import and Export pattern files as a single zip file;

Install the Tor client in Ubuntu / Linux Mint

To be able to use SelekTOR in Ubuntu / Linux Mint and derivatives, you must firstly install the Tor Linux client. In Ubuntu 14.04 and newer, install it from the repositories, using the following command:
sudo apt-get install tor

For older Ubuntu / Linux Mint versions (or if you just want to install the latest Tor version), you can install the latest Tor by using its official Ubuntu repository. Add the Tor repository and install Tor using the following commands:
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://deb.torproject.org/torproject.org/ $(lsb_release -cs) main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/tor.list'
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv-keys 886DDD89
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install tor

Once installed, you should disable the Tor service from starting automatically (so it’s started by SelekTOR) by editing the /etc/default/tor configuration file and replacing RUN_DEAMON=”yes” with RUN_DEAMON=”no”. To do this automatically (and also stop the tor service in case it’s running), simply copy/paste the following commands in a terminal:
sudo sed -i 's/RUN_DAEMON="yes"/RUN_DAEMON="no"/' /etc/default/tor
sudo service tor stop

Download and install SelekTOR

Download SelekTOR (select to download the binary, not the source code)

1. SelekTOR requires either the latest Oracle Java 7 or the latest OpenJRE 1.7. Either search for OpenJRE 1.7 in Ubuntu Software Center / Synaptic or whatever and install it, or install Oracle Java 7 as explained HERE.

2. Once you install Java, it’s time to install SelekTOR. Firstly, extract SelekTOR in your home folder, then run the following commands to install it:

– for Debian-based Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian, etc.)

cd ~/SelekTOR*
sudo ./install

– for other Linux distributions:

cd ~/SelekTOR*
su -c ./install

That’s it. SelekTOR should now be installed and it should show up in your menu / Unity Dash.

If later on you want to uninstall SelekTOR, use the commands below:

– for Debian-based Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Debian, etc.)

sudo /opt/selektor/uninstall

– for other Linux distributions:

su -c /opt/selektor/uninstall

Important: to make sure SelekTOR works properly on your system, read the instructions from HERE.

How to unblock websites using SelekTOR

Selektor TOR gui

To be able to access a website that’s blocked in your country (or whatever other reason you have for using Tor), using SelekTOR, you have two options:
1. Use “Geoblock Bypass” which uses Tor only for websites that match a certain pattern. To use this, select the country you want to use (the country which isn’t blocked by the website you want to access) from the SelekTOR drop-down and then from the SelekTOR menu choose Menu > Proxy Pattern Editor – here, click “Add new” and enter the pattern for the website you’re trying to access (use the already existing patterns as an example), then click Save.

This option has the advantage of allowing you to only use Tor for the websites you want (like Netflix for instance), leaving all other traffic / websites unproxified. There’s a disadvantage too: if some website, like Netflix for instance, uses code placed on some other domain, to check your country, this method will fail so for such cases, use “Anonymous (Proxy all traffic)” (see below).

2. By selecting “Anonymous (Proxy all traffic)” from the Proxy Mode drop-down, all the traffic is proxified (so there’s no need to enter any patterns) so simply select the country you want to use from the “Active Country” drop-down and you should be able to access the blocked website(s).

app seen @ +LinuxNewsHere

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