Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Peacefire Circumventor

Peacefire/Circumventor is a circumvention system nearly identical in principle and method to psiphon. However, It can be difficult to install. Three different software packages must be downloaded and installed, and if your computer is behind a home router it may require additional configuration. Although Peacefire/Circumventor provides some setup help, there is not a detailed user guide as there is with psiphon. Otherwise, Peacefire/Circumventor works along the same principles as psiphon.

How to disable your blocking software

If you're in a setting where your actions cannot be traced back to you personally -- for example, if you're using a school or cybercafe computer where you don't have to sign in individually, or you're using a home computer where the administrator never checks the logs of what you accessed -- you can try using this site:

That site is of course well known (having been publicized on this page), which is why you should not use it if you are being individually tracked. And of course since the site is well known, it may be blocked already, but there are lots of computers with blocking software installed where the admins are not bothering to update the blocked-site lists any more, so it might work.

If that does not work, then:

Ask a friend to install a "circumventor" Web site on their home machine, using these instructions. The instructions can be followed by most people with a reasonable amount of computer experience (i.e. if they have installed and uninstalled software before).

Once they have completed the instructions, they can give you a URL that you can connect to, which will disable the blocking software on your computer.

Additional instructions for specific programs (currently nothing specific, but more info will be added as necessary) :

How to install the Circumventor program, which gets around all Web-blocking software

Please Note!! You don't actually install the Circumventor on the computer that is blocked from accessing Web sites. You, or a friend of yours, has to install the Circumventor on some other

machine which is not censored.

For example, if you want to get around Web blocking at work, don't install the Circumventor on your work computer. Install the Circumventor on your home computer. When the installer is done, it will give you the URL for your new Circumventor, and then you write that URL down and take it in with you to work, where you can use that URL to bypass the Web blocking there. Similarly, if you're in China and blocked from accessing certain sites, don't install the Circumventor on a machine in China; instead, get a friend to install it outside China, and then they can send you the URL that you can use to access banned sites.

If you want to, please enter your email address below if you would like to receive updates about the Circumventor software. This will include announcements about new versions and improvements. We will never share your email address with any third party.

How to install the Circumventor

The machine where you install the Circumventor must have a fast Internet connection (not dial-up), and it must be running Windows XP or 2000 (this includes most computers these days). Also, once you install the Circumventor on your machine, the Circumventor will only work as long as you have your machine turned on and connected to the Internet, so you should only install it on machines that are online more or less all the time.

NOTE: By installing this software, you will be joining an interconnected Web of Circumventor machines, so just as you can surf the Web via other people's machines (at sites like, at times other users will be surfing the Web through your machine. However, they will not have access to any files or programs on your machine.

To install:

  1. Download ActivePerl from this link and install it. It must be installed to C:\Perl (this should be the default). Accept all of the default options.
  2. Download OpenSA 2.0.2 beta from this link (FireFox users -- please right-click and pick "Save Link As") and install it. Accept all of the default options. (If you get to a screen titled "Server Information" and it doesn't have values filled in for "Network Domain", "Server Name" and "Administrator's Email Address", just fill in these boxes with made-up random values -- the Circumventor doesn't use them.)
  3. Download the circumventor-setup.exe program from this link and pick "Save" -- then once you have saved it on your computer, run the circumventor-setup.exe file that you saved.

If the circumventor-setup.exe program succeeds, it will display an "It's ready!" page at the end of the install. If it fails, it will create a file circumventor-setup-log.txt -- send that file to and we will try to figure out what went wrong.

To get around your blocking software:
  • 1. First, try a circumvention site like Be sure to type https at the beginning of the URL, not 'http'. Even though this site has been widely known for months, many networks have their blocking software set up incorrectly so that sites beginning with https:// are not blocked, and will still be accessible.

  • 2. If that doesn't work, you can join our e-mail list where we mail out new Circumventor sites every 3 or 4 days. Of course, employees of blocking software companies have gotten on this list as well, so they add our sites to their blocked-site database as soon as we mail them out, but in most places it takes 3-4 days for the blocked-site list to be updated. So the latest one that we mail out, should usually still work.

  • 3. If you have a computer with an uncensored Internet connection, you can follow these easy steps to set up your own Circumventor site. For example, if you want to get around blocking software at work, and you have a home computer with an uncensored Internet connection, you can install the Circumventor on your home computer. Then it will give you a new URL, and you can take that URL in with you to work and type it into your browser to get around the network blocking software.

  • 4. If you're trying to get around blocking software that's installed on the local computer, and not on the network, use these instructions to boot from the Ubuntu Live CD. (These instructions include tips on how to tell the difference between blocking software that's installed "on the local computer" and software that's installed "on the network".)


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