Bridge Into an Uncensored Internet

By Lindsay Beck | April 01, 2013

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Tor (incognito)

Elections and other political events can be a time in less transparent environments when there is increased internet monitoring and censorship. With notable elections coming up in the next few months, particularly in countries with a history of internet monitoring and filtering, utilizing circumvention technologies ahead of these events become extremely important. Circumvention technologies enable you to route your internet connection to an IP address outside of your country, allowing you to view otherwise filtered content. One of the best circumvention technologies is Tor.

However, in countries such as Iran and China, known Tor IP addresses (or "relays") had been intermittently blocked in the past, making it unusable. Expanded use of capabilities such as Deep Packet Inspection have even made it possible for some regimes to determine if internet traffic is being routed through Tor.

To counteract this challenge, the folks at Tor have created a system known as bridge relays, or "bridges". Bridges are Tor relays that aren't listed in the main directory. According to Tor, since there is no complete public list of bridges," even if your ISP is filtering connections to all the known Tor relays, they probably won't be able to block all the bridges."

Need to get bridges? Here are two easy ways that you can get them:

1) From your Gmail or Yahoo Mail address, send an email to "[email protected]" with "get bridges" by itself in the body of the email.

2) Visit, fill out the captcha, and 3 bridges will be listed.

To add a bridge, go to Vidalia's Network settings page, and click "My ISP blocks connections to the Tor network". Add each bridge address one at a time in the Vidalia Network settings page, by pasting it into the "Add a Bridge" window and then clicking the "+" sign:

Adding multiple bridges will increase the reliability of your connection; if you only have one bridge and it becomes disabled, you will not be able to connect to the Tor network. You can find more information on the Tor Project's Bridges page. Use TAILS? Check out "How to use bridges in TAILS".

Questions? Drop us a line @NDItech.