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I have Tor installed on my mac, and Tor-button installed on my Firefox (along with NoScript, BetterPrivacy, AdBlock, and RefControl).

By default, Tor disables plugins like Flash. From what I've read on Tor's website, this is because plugins run outside Firefox, and thus wouldn't route through Tor, revealing my identity (http://www.torproject.org/torbutton/faq.html.en#noflash).

When I use Tor (in default settings) to try downloading from SourceForge, it says that an external application is needed to handle the download. What external application is this, that firefox needs it to download files? I know it's possible to have Tor allow plugins, but then what information would that communicate to my ISP?

Also, I know Tor recommends using a Virtual Machine or LiveCD which redirects all internet traffic (not just from the browser) through Tor. Why is it necessary to have a VM or LiveCD to do that; isn't there a way to redirect all traffic through Tor on my native OS X? Or at the very least just re-route the plugins through Tor?

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Firefox doesn't use a special plugin to download from Sourceforge. But because it tacks on additional info TOR might be looking at it wrong. (downloads.sourceforge.net/project/dcplusplus/DC%2B%2B%200.762/…) –  steve.lippert Jul 19 '10 at 21:15

2 Answers 2

It could be the ads which sourceforge is trying to load (flash ads) or some other type of plugin based thing.

Do you really need to use Tor to download something from SourceForge? They generally don't host iffy content or anything which normally gets you in trouble.

The LiveCD is usefull because otherwise you have to go into your network settings and tweak stuff like your default gateway, but then you still have to worry about other applications installing their own virtual interfaces, etc. With a liveCD you don't have to change your configuration and it's a safe environment every time you boot.

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For normal browsing I'd recommend using Firefox+Foxyproxy add-on+Tor.

Define a SOCKS5 proxy in FoxyProxy (127.0.0.1:9050) and enable that proxy when you need to bypass filtering. I do the same to download from SourceForge since it blocks downloads to my country.

Adding Tor as a proxy to FoxyProxy:

enter image description here

Adding a rule to use Tor for everything:

enter image description here

Of course if your privacy/anonymity is a top priority, you can also get around this without disabling TorButton. If you're on Linux, you can simply configure tsocks to use Tor and then on command line download the file using wget like below:

$ tsocks wget URL

Add/replace the following in your tsocks.conf file:

server = 127.0.0.1  
server_port = 9050
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