Sharing files securely is always a open discussion topic. Somehow the
relationship between security/privacy and usability stand in the opposite
sides. But, OnionShare managed to create a bridge
between them. It is a tool written by Micah
Lee which helps to share files of any size
securely and anonymously using Tor.
In the rest of the post I will talk about how you can this tool in your daily
How to install OnionShare?
OnionShare is a Python application and already packaged for most of the Linux
distributions. If you are using Windows or Mac OS X, then visit the
homepage of the application, and you can find the
download links there.
On Fedora, you can just install it using
sudo dnf install onionshare -y
For Ubuntu, use the ppa repository from Micah.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:micahflee/ppa sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install onionshare
How to use the tool?
When you start the tool, it will first try to connect to the Tor network. After
a successful connection, it will have a window open where you can select a
number of files, and then click on Start sharing button. The tool will take
some time to create a random onion URL, which you can then pass to the person
who is going to download the files using the Tor Browser.
You can mark any download to stop after the first download (using the settings
menu). Because the tool is using Tor, it can punch through standard NAT. Means
you can share files from directly your laptop or home desktop. One can still
access the files using the Tor
Because of the nature of Tor, the whole connection is end to end encrypted.
This also makes the sharer and downloader anonymous, but you have to make sure
that you are sharing the download URL in a secure way (for example, you can
share it using Signal). OnionShare also has a rate-limit so that an attacker
can not do many attempts to guess the full download URL.