Vidalia is a good way to learn everything you can do with the TOR network. Besides, even if anonymous browsing is all you need, you really should spend some time in Vidalia when you start using TOR. With a little effort, you’ll get a good idea of what that network may do for you, and how it works.

The Vidalia Control Panel makes it easier to start and stop a TOR client .

vidalia Vidalia

The Vidalia Control Panel.

The Bandwidth Usage graph shows a basic fact of life with TOR — namely, what you gain in anonymity, you’ll lose in speed. The graph is also useful to get realistic expectations of what is or isn’t possible online through TOR. For example, interactive, high-definition video or any delay-sensitive application is unlikely.

bandwidth graph Vidalia

The Bandwidth Usage graph.

Another feature you should know from the start is Use New Identity. This will change the TOR circuit you use and therefore the point from which your packets appear to come from. Try it if some web site doesn’t let you in just because it thinks you’re from the “wrong” part of the Internet (it does happen). Switching to a new identity is also a must when, for whatever reason, you don’t want to restart the whole TOR client but need to reload some web site as a different user.

View the network

Its purpose is to show both the approximate locations of the currently active relays (the red dots) and your circuits. These are the specific paths that your TOR  client set up for your own packets inside the overall network. Even more interesting (and useful) than the map itself are the panels around and beside it. The left one lists the currently active relays. The central box at the bottom shows the nodes that constitute the used circuits. Their location, bandwidth, uptime, and other details are all listed in the bottom right corner.


vidband Vidalia


TOR Network Map.


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