During the first start-up after the installation of TorBox, a handful of dialogue boxes have to be answered. To protect people in authoritarian countries, TorBox will only connect to the tor network after answering these questions. The questions are the following:
- In highly authoritarian countries connecting the tor network could be seen as suspicious. The default hostname of TorBox is “TorBox<nnn>” ( <nnn> representing the version). When a computer connects to an ISP’s network, it sends a DHCP request that includes the hostname. Because ISPs can see, log and even block hostnames, setting another hostname or using a randomized hostname may be preferable. We recommend randomizing the hostname in highly authoritarian countries or if you think that your ISP blocks tor related network traffic. (Currently only available, if you install TorBox with one of the installation scripts)
- By default, the countermeasure against tightly configured firewalls is used. Do you want to keep using the countermeasure against tightly configured firewalls? If you don’t use bridges or are setting up an OBFS4 bridge relay, we recommend answering this question with YES. This will increase the probability that TorBox can connect to the tor network. Don’t use it if you plan to use bridges or to run an OBFS4 bridge relay!
- Select from where the Internet is coming from. After choosing a source, TorBox will give you some more information and ask if you want to continue. Answering YES will ask you if you’re going to have a direct connection or if you have to use a captive portal. Open access means that you already have entered a password to access the provided network and don’t have to fill out an additional login/authentication page. Contrarily, captive portals have additional login pages for which you must register. See here for more information on how to pass through a captive portal.
- TorBox’s automatic counter actions (TACA) is activated by default. TACA avoids downtime to the tor network and improves user experience, especially on connections with lower bandwidth (for more information, see also here).
- TorBox asks if you want to adjust the system time. The date and time have to be synchronized with UTC. If this is not the case, tor will fail to build circuits. It happens if TorBox cannot connect to the Internet and automatically synchronize the system time during the bootup. If you answer yes, TorBox tries to synchronize the system time automatically. If that fails, it asks for the correct date and time (UTC), which you can find under the following URL: https://time.is/UTC
- TorBox asks if OBFS4 should be used, which is recommended if TorBox is used in a highly authoritarian country. If this is not the case, we recommend choosing NO.
- After the last question, tor will be unblocked, and TorBox will connect to the tor network. If successful, the highlighted message “Bootstrapped 100% (done): Done” is shown. The log screen can be exited with pressing q, and TorBox will ask you if you saw the “Bootstrapped 100% (done): Done” message.
- If TorBox was unable to connect the Tor network and you answer is NO (you didn’t see the “Bootstrapped 100% (done): Done” message), TorBox will ask if you want to change the countermeasure against tightly configured firewalls or if you want to switch to the “Countermeasure sub-menu” to choose Meek-Azure or Snowflake.
If you need to rerun the “First Start-up” script again, you can use entry 13 in the Update and Maintenance sub-menu.
Problems and questions
- Can Tor protect me against tracking and/or fingerprinting in webbrowser to guaranty my anonymity accessing a website? –> see here.
- How can I access the TorBox Menu? –> see here.
- I selected to use OBFS4 bridges with pluggable transports when I started TorBox the first time, but so far I’m unable to connect to the Internet. TorBox received a valid IP from the router, but tor stuck at “Bootstrapped 0%”. What can I do? –> see here.
- Is it possible to activate an OBFS4 bridge relay and simultaneously use OBFS4 bridges on the same TorBox? –> see here.
- Is it possible to activate an OBFS4 bridge relay and simultaneously use the countermeasure against tightly configured firewalls? –> see here.
- Is it possible to use bridges and simultaneously the countermeasure against tightly configured firewalls? –> see here.
- Is the use of a TorBox (or tor in general) considered secure? –> see here.
- My TorBox is connected to a captive portal (used in airports, hotels, coffee houses etc.) and cannot connect to bridges. What’s wrong? –> see here.
- Why is tor so slow – is the tor network broken? –> see here.