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[tor-talk] Am I successfully using Torsocks, SSH, and a VPS? Please advise, thanks!



I, like many other uses of Tor, have become increasingly frustrated with sites like Craigslist which discriminate against Tor. It makes these sites hard to use. I therefore decided to discover if it is possible to use Tor but end up with a non-Tor IP.

I use Torsocks to login to a VPS server via SSH and bind SSH to a specific port with SSH’s -D option.

My configuration is: torsocks ssh -D 33333 name@vps.com (33333 is just a random unused port).

My normal Firefox browser (not the Tor Browser Bundle) has in Preferences / Advanced / Connection the SOCKS host set to 127.0.0.1, the port set to 33333, SOCKS v5 is ticked, and remote DNS is ticked. The “No proxy for” box is blank.

I also use a VPN for added privacy to ensure that my ISP cannot tell that I am connecting to Tor. The result is (in my opinion):

VPN ---> Torsocks (on 127.0.0.1) ---> SSH (bound to port 33333) ---> VPS ---> Internet.

First, I connect to my VPN provider. Second, I connect to port 33333 on 127.0.0.1 where Tor (via Torsocks) and SSH is running. Third, I connect to a VPS (over SSH) and SSH is bound to port 33333. Torsocks transmits the HTTP(S) traffic through three Tor nodes. Finally, the Tor routing ends at the VPS and the traffic goes out onto the internet from the infrastructure of the VPS.

In my browser, I checked https://www.whatismyip.com/ which shows the IP address of the VPS. When I SSH into the VPS, I see that the last IP that logged in is that of a Tor exit node. In Wireshark, I see that my VPN interface connects to the IP address of a Tor entry node.

I have two questions. Does this setup appear sensible and secure? I am sure there are other ways to achieve the same goal but I would like to know my system is valid. I think my system is secure but I would appreciate opinions from more experienced users.

The result of this model is that my IP is that of the VPS which is static. I did add a HTTP proxy to Preferences / Advanced / Connection in Firefox but the result was that the SOCKS proxy (and thus Torsocks and SSH) were ignored so the result was VPN –-> HTTP proxy –-> Internet (which bypasses Tor). Is it possible to use a HTTP(S) (or another type) of proxy to alter the IP. The ideal model would be: VPN –-> Torsocks (on 127.0.0.1) –-> SSH (bound to port 33333) –-> VPS –-> Proxy (e.g. HTTP(S)) –-> Internet.

Thank you for your help. I appreciate any advice and suggestions.
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