How to circumvent Stack Exchange blocking Tor users from registering accounts?

This question on Stack Exchange Meta summarizes the problem.

Anyone trying to register an account on the Stack Exchange Network will be blocked if the site judges from their IP that they are using Tor.

There are some legitimate reasons for them doing this. But it’s also a problem for privacy.
I don’t want to enter a philosophical debate about the pros and cons.
Obviously people on this forum understand.

But is there a way to register an account on Stack Exchange while still browsing anonymously with Tor?


Potentially with a Tor → VPN configuration.


Would they not see a VPN connection in the same light as a Tor connection. They both hide the real IP. What could they get more out of an IP from let’s say Verizon or Comcast?

This also gets me wondering about how I connect to this forum. When I first registered, I saw there was a way to do it with a Github logon. I used that from my ISP IP. So what am I giving away as opposed to a standalone account via the Tor browser.

1 Like

For one, the spyware company known as Microsoft (who owns Github), knows who you are. Since they have your github account credentials, they can theoretically log into your account here too, if they wanted to.

That being said, if you sign up normally, you need to give an email address. It is difficult to get an anonymous email address that cannot be traced back to you.

1 Like

How could this be done? I do not know how to set it up.

Presumably, you would want to pay for the VPN in monero and NEVER connect to the vpn with your real ip address, since there is no guarantee that they or anyone else would not be logging your connection.


There are many methods, so I will list the path of least resistance first, Mullvad VPN.

Create an account, use an anonymous payment method, then follow the instructions for installing the Mullvad VPN app. I will assume you are using a supported Linux distribution such as Debian or Fedora.

After you have completed that, you can learn about how to use it using this documentation.

At this point, you can attempt to sign into Stack Exchange. If you are having difficulty with their aggressive temporary email address blacklist, use a webmail provider with more public credibility such as Tuta.

If this is enough, mark my post as a solution.

I think there are two approaches.

  1. Tor + hidden node. Specifically, a hidden node is bound after the exit node, which is not made public like the Tor node. The web service provider sees the IP of the hidden node, so it does not trigger the IP blacklist.
    Unfortunately, since the ExitSniffer paper was published, Tor metrics likewise detects such hidden nodes and publishes them.
  2. Tor + Onion service. As mentioned in the paper, Tor is not using exit nodes to access web services, instead using onion services. Configuring this model is very simple and only requires volunteers to contribute onion services and inform users about them via out-of-band.
1 Like

Guess it’s a bit late now. I should have figured that out then. I knew about the Github and Microsoft connection.
Maybe it should be stated up front, when Tor offers to register with Github or Discord, that both will know when you login to Tor.

Would the Github login work when using the Tor Browser? … and even if it works, there is now a connection to my real IP and a login using Github and thus irrelevant. So I am SOL. :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

I do not know, as I cannot create Big Tech accounts due to my strict security practices.