I use The Onion Router (Tor) as a backup VPN and as a way to test my DMZ. I’ve come across free Wi-Fi hotspots that don’t allow connections to known home network segments or they block VPN access. There are lists like this to enable organizations to prevent access to home networks. Some hotspots prohibit PPTP but I find many of these hotspots allow Tor. So, I have a Tor hidden service which connects home to my Squid proxy. I use this proxy to get to the web from remote Wi-Fi locations. Nowadays, there are so many free Wi-Fi spots that it hasn’t been necessary to use this. I could simply try the spot around the corner. This same Tor design can be used on a physical machine, connecting the Tor LAN to an open Wi-Fi antenna to give free anonymous public access.
Tor is a great way to test my DMZ while on the inside of the network. It gives me external access without wasting my 3G bandwidth. External access is gained by using two VirtualBox nodes. One is enough, but I use two. Tor has a mode where you can tunnel all network traffic thru Tor. I setup a Tor router server which serves DHCP to the internal Torrified LAN. I then setup the client on the internal LAN. You can use anything you want. I used Damn Small Linux and Linux Mint. For Mint, I have to load the Virtualbox X11 guest drivers from the repository to get the display large enough to be useful. OpenSUSE‘s boot disk already has the drivers for VirtualBox on the boot disk.
A configuration using two separate machines to use Tor is overkill. There are many distributions of Torrified Open Source platforms that route all communications through Tor and you can use these as Live CDs.
- Securing Wi-fi Hotspot Connections: Free Encryption Tools (brighthub.com)
- How To Protect Your Wireless Surfing With Sidestep (appreaders.com)