Not So Seamless – But Oh, So Delicious

Sometimes, you have way too many balls in the air.  I saw the shiny bauble (Tor on my Droid 2) and I had to chase it.  Here is what happened:

  1. I tried to download the tool from the Tor site.  That proved fruitless.  I was connected via 802.11 to my home network.  And my home network has content filtering through a third-party.  And this site was blocked.
  2. Consequently, I had to disconnect from the home network and connect via the 3G network.  The download still had some problems.
  3. So I downloaded to my PC and connected up the USB cable.  From there, I moved and launched the package installer.  The installer did it’s job and Tor was on my phone.
  4. Too bad I couldn’t connect to the Tor network.  I tried the default test site from my Android browser and was greeted with the fact that my browser wasn’t using Tor.  That made some sense as I hadn’t pointed my browser to a local proxy that was configured to use the Tor connection.  Since Orbot uses Privoxy, I had the proxy.  I just had to configure the browser to use the proxy.
  5. Unfortunately, changing the proxy on the default Android browser is not as easy as you might think.  There are plenty of articles about how to update the settings if you have rooted your phone; I have not as I want to see what an average user can do with their phone.  But most articles also said that you could use adb to update the settings.
  6. I went ahead and tried to use adb.  But I had some issues getting adb to work from my PC to my Android phone.  The basic trouble is that I had already change my SDK to support Gingerbread.  And adb was moved in the new SDK to the platform-tools directory.  That one was easy to fix: I just had to change my PATH to include the new directory.
  7. The next attempt was also unsuccessful; I had authorization problems.   Rather than keep stumbling, I turned to “off-the-shelf” solutions to update the proxy setting.
  8. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools in the Android Market to change the proxy settings.  Once I downloaded one of them, I changed my browser’s proxy settings and retried the test that comes within Orbot.  The results of that test are found in the image above.

I’m not done with my tests.  But I am encouraged that I can now encapsulate everything from within a Tor tunnel.  More to follow…


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