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How to download Tor when their website is blocked?

In some places the website of Tor is blocked in order to prevent people from learning about it and downloading.

So you try your luck on https://www.torproject.org/download/download.html.en and it gives you a warning, a blocking page, a network error. What to do then?

If someone is blocking the Tor website he might be trying to prevent you from using the Tor network as well. In this case you can try the “Pluggable Transports”.

Try to download over Tor

In such cases you can try to download Tor while using Tor provided you’ve got some version of it already.

Ask a friend to provide you a copy

However if you want to use Tor, but haven’t an old version around you can ask a friend for a copy. Please ask him/her to provide the .sig/.asc file so you can check if somebody has tampered with the software.

Look for mirrors

Try to learn about mirrors of Tor by using a search engine that provides https:// and looking for “tor mirrors” (quotes are not required). https:// prevents the censor from filtering the traffic based on keywords. The Tor Project lists mirrors on its website. See the list of mirrors.

You probably can’t access the list of mirrors if torproject.org is blocked.

Here are some mirrors:

HTTPS: https://www.torservers.net/mirrors/torproject.org/
HTTPS: https://tor.beme-it.de/
HTTPS: https://factor.cc/tor/
HTTPS: https://tor.crazyhaze.de/
HTTPS: https://tor.myrl.net/
HTTPS: https://www.torproject.us/

FTP: ftp://ftp.spline.de/pub/tor/

HTTP: http://torproject.antagonism.org/
HTTP: http://tor.amorphis.eu/
HTTP: http://torproject.pt/

I operate a custom FTP mirror, which is not publicly listed. The mirror contains just the distribution for all platforms. If you are in need for a mirror, please contact me.

Provided that one of the mirrors works you can get a list of all mirrors. You can also download Tor from them. Please check the signature of the software regardless of the source you picked. Anyone can provide a mirror, you could provide one, too.

Get Tor via email

You also can get Tor via email. You require a Gmail account because the attachment is big.
Send a message with the body “help” to “gettor AT torproject.org” or “gettor AT gettor.torproject.org” Then a bot replies with instructions, you have to understand a few words English. It asks you for your platform and sends you the right bundle. You can get the source as well. The bot will put the bundle and a signature into a zipped archive. You are strongly advised to check the signature.

Torrents

Torservers.net provide torrent files so you can download Tor packages with your favorite torrent client. They recommend to disable Local Tracker Discovery, which isn’t far spread and should be disabled by default, when you suspect your traffic is being watched. https://www.torservers.net/mirrors/torrents/

At least I hope it’s difficult to block all of them. We can be many, especially with the torrent distribution.

Please remember that torrent over Tor is problematic in terms of privacy. When you pirate over it you can still be caught, due to how Bittorrent works. Also torrent over Tor is unwanted, because it’s bulk traffic. It sucks up the bandwidth of Tor, which leads to congestion, which can lead to anonymity problems.

Also remember that running Tor and a torrent client at the same time isn’t recommended either.

Download websites

(probably the most unsafe way)

Especially for Windows there are thousands of sites where you can download software. Some provide Tor, but I haven’t seen any providing the signature. In general I do not recommend to download software from there and that’s much more valid in the case of Tor. However if all other ways to obtain Tor fail and you are desperate to use Tor it might be an option.

Please use sites that don’t look strange and download over https:// to be just a little safer.

Pluggable Transport Bundles

Pluggable Transport Bundles have been merged with the regular bundles. Those are called “TorBrowser”.

Please check the signatures of the bundles, you’ve downloaded.

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