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I get the distinct feeling that Tor uses the same identity/circuit from day to day. I use Tor solely to defeat (low) paywalls in online publications.

Say a newssite allows the reading of 5 articles per session/logon to that site. Unless I manually choose New Identity each day (I typically have one Tor session/day, then close it) then that site keeps count of the number of articles and I hit the paywall after a) reading the allowed 5 articles in one session or b) after reading 2 on one day, then 3 the next.

This suggests to me that the site in question can keep count of the total number of sessions for subsequent logins just as when using my regular browser.

This defeats the very purpose of using Tor I subsequently manually choose New Identity each day (session were I to log on several times that day).

So, can I automate this procedure of getting a new identity/circuit on each new session?

  • It's possible that other Tor users are using the same website through the same exit node as you, thus hitting the paywall limit. I thought Tor created a new identity every time you opened the browser, but I could be wrong. – SuperSluether Oct 13 '16 at 16:51
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I get the distinct feeling that Tor uses the same identity/circuit from day to day.

It doesn't, it will use a new circuit for every "session". You can also use Tor Button's New Identity feature which will force all newly created circuits to be previously unused ones.

If you are keeping Tor Browser open and running then you will be trackable from day-to-day and between visits, this is because it is data associated with the state of the browser that is trackable, it is not related to Tor's circuit choice (which will be different after 10 minutes of no new connections being made to the site in question).

You should consider a "session" as a period of time between when Tor Browser was last started or the last time that New Identity was used until it is closed or the next New Identity is issued. During any sessions the site you are visiting will be able to link your session together regardless of the circuit you're using or how long the session is, this is intended functionality of web browsers.

Note also that Alexey's suggestion of "ExcludeNodes" will both diminish your anonymity set and make you more trackable while also failing to stop the site from actually tracking you since the tracking is, as mention, unrelated to Tor's circuit choice. His suggestion is dangerous (and I increasingly believe, potentially malicious) and should not be attempted.

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You can use ExcludeNodes and StrictNodes 1 in your torrc to prohibit usage of the exits you've recently used. In ExcludeNodes list you should specify hashes/fingerprints - and rotate them to fit your needs

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