Short Bytes: If you want to share files and folders anonymously, you can do so over the Tor network using OnionShare. This simple to use application lets you transfer files of any size. You can even monitor the download progress of the file.There are a number of ways using which you can share files on the internet. Google Drive, Dropbox, and other cloud storage options are among the first preferences. Then comes the turn for platforms like BitTorrent which allow the users to break the size barrier. But all of these file sharing options fall short regarding anonymity. That means it is possible to know the details of what is being shared. Maybe, it’s tough for the ordinary people like us, but what about advanced users, hackers, etc.
OnionShare is the solution providing the anonymity cover to the users while sharing files over the internet in a P2P fashion. You might’ve guessed by looking at the name OnionShare; it is linked to the onion network, i.e. Tor. It uses the Tor network and allows the user to share files anonymously. So, if you’re thinking about being the next Snowden, then OnionShare might help you in some way. And even if you’re not, OnionShare can lift the file size barrier for you.
OnionShare uses TOR’s network to share files. So, you must have Tor browser running on your machine. You can download Tor browser using this link.
After downloading, run the EXE file and extract the Tor Browser folder somewhere, preferably on your desktop. Now, run ‘Start Tor Browser’ shortcut file present in the folder.
How to use OnionShare to transfer files over Tor network?
- You can download OnionShare from its official website. It is available for Windows, MacOS, and Linux operating systems.
- Install OnionShare by following the steps. It’s the usual next, next, next.
- Now, open the OnionShare app from the start menu.
- You can use the Add Folder and Add Files options, or drag the files directly into the app.
- Now, click Start Sharing. The app will automatically generate a .onion link.
- To share the file with anyone, just send the link using any means, like email, etc.
The download link will only work if the person uses Tor browser to open it. Once the file download starts, you can see the progress in the app itself. Moreover, if you want to share the file(s) with more people, untick the checkbox for Stop sharing automatically.
Micah Lee created OnionShare after the ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked confidential documents. Lee is a board member of the Freedom of Press Foundation and writes for The Intercept.
You can know more about OnionShare on Github.
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