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Creating a Hidden Service via Tor for Beginners

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Creating a website is pretty simple. Creating a hidden service via Tor isn’t much different. In fact, if you have any semblance of what you’re doing, it might even be easier. The biggest thing – the most important step – is downloading Tor (obviously).

You can’t do anything without the browser. After installation, you’ll need to install and configure a web server. Tor has recommended both Apache web server and Savant web server on different occasions. They have also recommended thttpd Web server.

Tor’s reasoning behind their suggestion(s):

“[Apache] is big and has lots of places where it might reveal your IP address or other identifying information, for example in 404 pages.”

Ironically, they’ve also noted that “Savant probably has these problems too”.

Whatever hidden service you’re attempting to operate, the configuration is extremely significant. Always double check your settings and make sure your information – such as your IP address – is completely locked up.

Using Savant as an example:

  • Navigate to Savant’s main window & select “configuration” from the top menu
  • Put “localhost” in the Server DNS Entry box (note the port number too)
  • Add your content
  • Test it by typing “localhost:portnumber” into your address bar
  • End the Tor process if it’s running
  • Locate “torrc” file (Tor Browser>Data>Tor usually) & open with Notepad
  • Type the following at the end of the torrc file:
    • # Hidden Service
    • HiddenServiceDir C:\Users\Name\tor_service (replace with relevant directory path)
    • HiddenServicePort 80
  • Save the file and exit
  • Restart Tor and check your message log for any error messages
  • If it’s empty, you’re golden – open the hostname file in the directory you specified to see the domain of your new hidden service

Despite the stigma behind hidden services, they do have some good use. For whatever reason, if you end up exploring your own hidden service and you intend to share it with others, make sure you know what you’re doing 100%.

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