Tor is free and open-source software for enabling anonymous communication. The name is derived from the acronym for the original software project name "The Onion Router". Tor directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer overlay network consisting of more than seven thousand relays to conceal a user's location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. Using Tor makes it more difficult to trace Internet activity to the user.



If you use an anonymity tool, such as a VPN, ideally, your DNS requests should not go to your Internet service provider, but the DNS hosted by your VPN. A DNS leak occurs when a security breach forces your device to forward the DNS request to the DNS server of your Internet service provider.

Your DNS queries indicate your browsing activities, which can be used against you. If someone has access to your DNS requests, it means that your security has been compromised and that you are exposed. Besides, a DNS leak can also expose your actual geolocation and the location of your Internet service provider. This may not be a big deal, but it is the kind of information that hackers can use to find your real IP address. is a great tool that you can use to perform a quick and accurate DNS leak test. You can run a standard test or an extended test. But you can also try some other service such as Browserleaks, Ipleak, or Dnsleak. For this tutorial, we will make a test using website.



As you can see, the site was able to retrieve our IP address as well as information regarding the DNS used by our connection.


It’s possible to route all your local traffic, in a transparent mode, through the Tor network, including all the DNS request. Let’s see how we can achieve it using Arch GNU/Linux distribution. Before moving further, we will need to install some packages such as of course Tor but also Polipo. To do it, simply open your terminal and use the below commands.

sudo pacman -Syyu
sudo pacman -S polipo tor

Configuration of Polipo

Once we are done with the installation of the required packages, we will need to replace the configuration file of polipo located in /etc/polipo/config by the one I'm providing in the below example. Before doing it, please be sure to create a backup of your current configuration file. We will need also to create the polipo logs directory and set up the correct permissions for the program to write logs into that directory.

sudo mv /etc/polipo/config /etc/polipo/config.bak
sudo cat >> /etc/polipo/config << EOL
logSyslog = true
logFile = /var/log/polipo/polipo.log
proxyAddress = ""
proxyPort = 8118
allowedClients =
allowedPorts = 1-65535
proxyName = "localhost"
cacheIsShared = false
socksParentProxy = "localhost:9050"
socksProxyType = socks5
chunkHighMark = 67108864
diskCacheRoot = ""
localDocumentRoot = ""
disableLocalInterface = true
disableConfiguration = true
dnsUseGethostbyname = yes
disableVia = true
censoredHeaders = from,accept-language,x-pad,link
censorReferer = maybe
maxConnectionAge = 5m
maxConnectionRequests = 120
serverMaxSlots = 8
serverSlots = 2
tunnelAllowedPorts = 1-65535

sudo chmod 644 /etc/polipo/config
sudo mkdir -p /var/log/polipo/
sudo touch /var/log/polipo/polipo.log
sudo chown -R polipo:users /var/log/polipo/

Configuration of Tor

Next, we will move on the configuration of Tor by replacing the configuration located in /etc/tor/torrc by the one I'm providing in the below example. Exactly like in the previous step, before doing it, please be sure to create a backup of your current configuration file.

sudo mv /etc/tor/torrc /etc/tor/torrc.bak
sudo cat >> /etc/tor/torrc << EOL
DataDirectory /var/lib/tor
AutomapHostsOnResolve 1
AutomapHostsSuffixes .exit,.onion
TransPort IsolateClientAddr IsolateSOCKSAuth IsolateClientProtocol IsolateDestPort IsolateDestAddr
SocksPort IsolateClientAddr IsolateSOCKSAuth IsolateClientProtocol IsolateDestPort IsolateDestAddr
ControlPort 9051
HashedControlPassword 16:FDE8ED505C45C8BA602385E2CA5B3250ED00AC0920FEC1230813A1F86F
HardwareAccel 1
TestSocks 1
AllowNonRFC953Hostnames 0
WarnPlaintextPorts 23,109,110,143,80
ClientRejectInternalAddresses 1
NewCircuitPeriod 40
MaxCircuitDirtiness 600
MaxClientCircuitsPending 48
UseEntryGuards 1
EnforceDistinctSubnets 1

sudo chmod 644 /etc/tor/torrc

Configuration of Resolv.conf

We will need now to configure our Network to use Tor. In most Unix-like operating systems and others that implement the BIND Domain Name System (DNS) resolver library, the /etc/resolv.conf the configuration file contains information that determines the operational parameters of the DNS resolver. As per the previous step, please be sure to create a backup of your current resolv.conf file before proceeding further.

sudo mv /etc/resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf.bak
sudo cat >> /etc/resolv.conf << EOL

sudo chmod 644 /etc/resolv.conf


Flushing current Iptables setting

We will need now to flush our current iptables rules. Before doing it, it's better to create a backup of our current configuration to be able to restore it once we are done.

sudo iptables-save > /etc/iptables.rules.bak
sudo iptables -F
sudo iptables -t nat -F

Launch of all required services

We can now proceed and start all the required services. In the case that required services are already started, you will need to use reload instead of start as a command parameter.

sudo systemctl start iptables
sudo systemctl start tor
sudo systemctl start polipo

Configuration of Iptables

This is one of the most crucial steps. What we are going to do now, is to configure our Firewall iptables to allow only the request made to/from Tor network and block any other one.

## Set Iptables Nat
## ----------------
sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -m owner --uid-owner tor -j RETURN

## Set DNS Redirect
## ----------------
sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p udp --dport 53 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 9053
sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p tcp --dport 53 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 9053
sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p udp -m owner --uid-owner tor -m udp --dport 53 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 9053

## Resolve domains mapping address space
## ---------------------------------------------------
sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p tcp -d -j REDIRECT --to-ports 9040
sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p udp -d -j REDIRECT --to-ports 9040

## Exclude Tor CIDR
## ----------------
sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -d -j RETURN
sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -d -j ACCEPT

sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -d -j RETURN
sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -d -j ACCEPT

sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -d -j RETURN
sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -d -j ACCEPT

sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -d -j RETURN
sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -d -j ACCEPT

sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -d -j RETURN
sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -d -j ACCEPT

## Redirect all other output through Tor
## -------------------------------------
sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p tcp --syn -j REDIRECT --to-ports 9040
sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p udp -j REDIRECT --to-ports 9040
sudo iptables -t nat -A OUTPUT -p icmp -j REDIRECT --to-ports 9040

## Accept already established connections
## --------------------------------------
sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -m state --state ESTABLISHED,RELATED -j ACCEPT

## Allow only Tor output
## ---------------------
sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -m owner --uid-owner tor -j ACCEPT
sudo iptables -A OUTPUT -j REJECT

Creating New System Rules

Believe me or not, we are almost done! This is going to be the final step. We will need to create new system rules to prevent anyone from outside your NAT to reach your machine while you are connecting over the Net. As we did in all the previous steps, do not forget to create a backup of your current sysctl configuration.

sudo sysctl -a > /etc/sysctl.conf.bak

## Swappiness
## ----------
sudo sysctl -w vm.dirty_ratio=10 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w vm.dirty_background_ratio=5 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w vm.dirty_expire_centisecs=2000 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w vm.dirty_writeback_centisecs=1000 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w vm.swappiness=10 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w vm.vfs_cache_pressure=70 &>"/dev/null"

## Disable Explicit Congestion Notification in TCP
## -----------------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_ecn=0 &>"/dev/null"

## Window scaling
## --------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_window_scaling=1 &>"/dev/null"

## Increase Linux auto-tuning TCP buffer limits
## --------------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_rmem="8192 87380 16777216" &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_wmem="8192 65536 16777216" &>"/dev/null"

## Increase TCP max buffer size
## ----------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.core.rmem_max=16777216 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.core.wmem_max=16777216 &>"/dev/null"

## Increase number of incoming connections backlog
## -----------------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.core.netdev_max_backlog=16384 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.core.dev_weight=64 &>"/dev/null"

## Increase number of incoming connections
## ---------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.core.somaxconn=32768 &>"/dev/null"

## Increase the maximum amount of option memory buffers
## ----------------------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.core.optmem_max=65535 &>"/dev/null"

## Increase the TCP-time-wait buckets
## Pool sizeto prevent simple DOS attacks
## --------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_max_tw_buckets=1440000 &>"/dev/null"

## Try to reuse time-wait connections
## ----------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_tw_reuse=1 &>"/dev/null"

## Limit number of allowed orphans
## Each orphan can eat up to 16M of unswappable memory
## ---------------------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_max_orphans=16384 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_orphan_retries=0 &>"/dev/null"

## Don't cache ssthresh from previous connection
## ---------------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_no_metrics_save=1 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_moderate_rcvbuf=1 &>"/dev/null"

## Increase size of RPC datagram queue length
## ------------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.unix.max_dgram_qlen=50 &>"/dev/null"

## Don't allow the ARP table to become bigger than this
## ----------------------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.neigh.default.gc_thresh3=2048 &>"/dev/null"

## Tell the gc when to become aggressive with arp table cleaning
## Adjust this based on size of the LAN. 1024 is suitable for most /24 networks
## ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.neigh.default.gc_thresh2=1024 &>"/dev/null"

## Adjust where the GC will leave ARP table alone set to 32
## --------------------------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.neigh.default.gc_thresh1=32 &>"/dev/null"

## Adjust to ARP table GC to clean-up more often
## ---------------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.neigh.default.gc_interval=30 &>"/dev/null"

## Increase TCP queue length
## -------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.neigh.default.proxy_qlen=96 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.neigh.default.unres_qlen=6 &>"/dev/null"

## Enable Explicit Congestion Notification
## ---------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_ecn=1 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_reordering=3 &>"/dev/null"

## How many times to retry killing an alive TCP connection
## -------------------------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_retries2=15 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_retries1=3 &>"/dev/null"

## Avoid falling back to slow start after a connection goes idle
## keeps our cwnd large with the keep alive connections (kernel > 3.6)
## -------------------------------------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_slow_start_after_idle=0 &>"/dev/null"

## Allow the TCP fastopen flag to be used
## Beware some firewalls do not like TFO (kernel > 3.7)
## ----------------------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_fastopen=3 &>"/dev/null"

## This will ensure that immediatly subsequent connections use the new values
## --------------------------------------------------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.route.flush=1 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv6.route.flush=1 &>"/dev/null"

## TCP SYN cookie protection
## -------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_syncookies=1 &>"/dev/null"

## TCP RFC 1337
## ------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.tcp_rfc1337=1 &>"/dev/null"

## Reverse path filtering
## ----------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.conf.default.rp_filter=1 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.conf.all.rp_filter=1 &>"/dev/null"

## Log martian packets
## -------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.conf.default.log_martians=1 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.conf.all.log_martians=1 &>"/dev/null"

## Disable ICMP redirecting
## ------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.conf.all.accept_redirects=0 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.conf.default.accept_redirects=0 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.conf.all.secure_redirects=0 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.conf.default.secure_redirects=0 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.accept_redirects=0 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.default.accept_redirects=0 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.conf.all.send_redirects=0 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.conf.default.send_redirects=0 &>"/dev/null"

## Enable Ignoring to ICMP Request
## -------------------------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv4.icmp_echo_ignore_all=1 &>"/dev/null"

## Disable IPv6
## ------------
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6=1 &>"/dev/null"
sudo sysctl -w net.ipv6.conf.default.disable_ipv6=1 &>"/dev/null"


We will now see if all this work leads us to a satisfactory result. To do this we will simply repeat a what we did at the beginning of this tutorial by going back to the site and conduct a new test.



As you can see, the site was unable to determine our IP address as well as our Internet service provider DNS. We can, therefore, consider that these efforts give us a result that lives up to our expectations.


Yes, we can! And to make it easier, you can get all this to be done from a single command line! Why didn't I say it earlier? Because the purpose of this tutorial is to understand how Tor works and how to protect against DNS leaks.

First as stated above, you will need to install Tor, Polipo, and also Macchanger on your target system using the below commands in case you don't have it yet installed.

sudo pacman -Syyu
sudo pacman -S macchanger polipo tor

Then once it's done, all you have to do is clone the script we have created a few days ago and available on Github. This script is based on Torctl which is available on BlackArch but few optimizations were made and Polipo has added to minimize latency.

Polipo is a lightweight caching and forwarding web proxy server. It has a wide variety of uses, from aiding security by filtering traffic to caching web, DNS and other computer network lookups for a group of people sharing network resources to speeding up a web server by caching repeated requests.

Clone the Script

cd /opt/
sudo git clone
sudo chmod +x /opt/torbridge/torbridge
sudo ln -s /opt/torbridge/torbridge /usr/local/bin/torbridge

Display the Help Menu

sudo torbridge -h



Start the Script

sudo torbridge -c start



Stop the Script

sudo torbridge -c stop



For more information on how this script works, I encourage you to watch the video below.