Tor is a network that allows us to access a website anonymously. It is usually used mostly to enter conventional pages maintaining our privacy, but also serves as a gateway to an alternative Internet , a Deep Web in which everyone can set up their own anonymous website for whatever they want.
Today we are going to explain how we can set up our own page with .onion domain. It is a process that usually requires having a server, but we can also perform it very easily on our own computer. The only thing we will need are two applications : a web server and the Tor Browser browser.
Tor is one of the three largest hidden networks in the world, and .onion are the domains in which your content is hosted. In essence, these websites are similar to conventional ones, and the only differences are that we will need Tor to access them and that they are a little slower due to the way in which they maintain our privacy.
To mount one, we will need to create a hidden service in Tor . This type of services can be both web pages and SSH or IRC servers. To have one, we will need to set up a web server, change a couple of things in the configuration and Tor will configure it automatically.
Connecting to the Tor network
Ok, we already mentioned Tor Browser , the fork of Firefox in which everything is preconfigured so that you can access the deep web in an easy way and automatic. Therefore, our first step will be to download and install it.
When we run the browser we can see a window that will indicate that we are connecting to the Tor network. To verify that the connection has been established correctly you can try to enter some web .onion as the Hidden Wiki , which is a directory of many other pages.
We will have to familiarize ourselves with Tor Browser, because at this point and before entering the subject, we must bear in mind that we are going to create your page using the computer as a server. This means that if we turn it off or disconnect Tor by closing the browser, our page will no longer be available.
Mounting our web server
The only thing we will need to create our Onion page, in addition to Tor’s own browser, is to have our own web server configured . To do this we have several types of programs for different operating systems. We will use Wamp Server but the steps we will take with it are applicable to any other application.
Wamp Server automatically configures the web server using our localhost as DNS . This point is important so that the web that we are going to upload is only accessible from our computer . If like me, in Windows 10 running WAMP server causes an error for lack of the MSVCR110.dll, in this page Microsoft links download with which you can fix it. It has served me.
If we open our conventional browser, we write 127.0.0.1:80 in the address bar and the WampServer website appears, it will be that the process will have gone well. With this address we will have access to our localhost , and in it to the page that the server assigns by default.
If we want to change this page to introduce ours we will only have to enter the folder C: \ wamp64 \ www and replace all the default elements with ours . The basic and essential here is the index.php file , which we must edit or delete to replace it with an index.html in which we have our homepage. After reviewing again that everything is fine and we just have to take our page to the deep web.
Configuring the hidden service
What we have to do now is close Tor Browser if we had it open, open the file browser and go to the folder where we have installed the browser. Once in the directory we look for the Tor Browser \ Data \ Tor directory , and there we will open the torrc folder in the notebook or in any other text editor that we prefer.
Do not panic if the file is empty, because it means that we do not have any hidden services configured yet. In any case, there is what we have to add at the end these three lines:
# Hidden Service
HiddenServiceDir C: \ Users \ Name \ tor_service
HiddenServicePort 80 127.0.0.1:80
Here are two things that we have to take into account. For example, that C: \ Users \ Name \ tor_service we will have to replace it with the directory in which we want Tor to be able to read and write in our system. This does not have to be where we have the web , but it has to be empty (we can create one on purpose). Also, if we have set a port other than 80, we will have to change the last number of 127.0.0.1:80 , although keeping the 80 that appears before.
Once done we open Tor Browser, and if the service load goes well we will see that in the folder tor_service (or the one that we have configured) two files have appeared. One of them is the private_key , which contains the private key that protects our website . We will not have to give it to anyone if we do not want them to be able to manipulate our corner in the deep web.
The second file is called hostname, and opening it with the notebook or any other text editor we will see that it contains the address .onion of our web , that we will have to share with all those that we want to enter to see it.
Looking for our own domain .onion
When you create a new hidden service, Tor generates a random name using a 1024-bit RSA key and then calculates the SHA-1 using a piece of the public key. It is a complex process that results in a random and encrypted name for our website. Very safe but aesthetically decadent.
Can we create a website.onion or something similar to facebookcorewwwi.onion on Facebook? It really can not be done by hand , although there are programs like Shallot or Scallion capable of automatically generating .onion keys until you find one to our liking. The problem is that this type of autogenerated addresses may be less secure, so you may prefer to keep Tor’s address.
As for the maintenance of the web, once uploaded, we will only have to apply the changes that we want by saving everything in the C: \ wamp64 \ www folder . Keep in mind that navigation on Deep Web is always slower, so always try to create pages as light as possible to offer a good experience to visitors.