Monday, June 22, 2009

How to set up a Tor bridge to help users in Iran reach the Internet #iranelection #iran #gr88

I've gotten a lot of email asking me how to set up a Tor bridge. Instead of typing instructions out over and over, I'm going to post the instructions here. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or corrections you might have.


1 Go to and download Tor.

2. Set it up like any other software (accept all the defaults)

3. Now, a program called Vidalia should start. If it doesn't go to all programs and under Vadalia Bundle, start Vidalia. This is the Tor configuration manager.

4. . Once Vidalia is open, if it says Tor is running. Click STOP TOR.


6. Click the third button from the left (SHARING) at the top of the screen

7. Select "Help Censored Users Reach the Internet"

8. Under BASIC SETTINGS tab give your proxy a name and (OPTIONALLY) provide contact email address. You do not have to provide an email address and, in your case, I'd advise you don't.

9. Under RELAY PORT select a port OTHER THAN 80, 8080, or 443. Those are all blocked in Iran. Any port under 65500 is good. I suggest staying under 10000.

10. Check (if it isn't already) "MIRROR RELAY DIRECTORY" and set the directory port to something (again, not 443, 80, or 8080 and NOT the same as the one you just chose).

11. You will now see, under the boxes you were just filling out and towards the bottom of the screen a box that says "Let others access your bridge by giving this line". This is the line you will give to friends and family. It needs to be COMPLETE including the long string of characters after the IP and port. They will put this into their browser or other programs proxy configuration to access your relay.

Ok, now, that's done. Tor is now setup. But there are a few more things you need to do.

1. Make sure that your Windows firewall (or whatever firewall you use) allows access to the ports you chose above. If you don't, nobody will be able to connect to you.

2. If you are behind a router, you'll also need to forward the two ports you chose above from the router to your machine. Since each router does it differently, I won't discuss that here but, if you need help, let me know.

After that, you're done! Give that line to people in Iran and they can connect through you completely anonymously. Then, send your bridge information to a few people:

1. Anthony Papillion
2. Austin
3. Fruity Pebbles

Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you announce ANY information about your bridge publicly on Twitter or ANY OTHER social network. The government is monitoring those sites and block proxies as soon as they find them. It has to be via word of mouth.