OnionShare is a very simple app that allows you to send files anonymously over the Tor network (popularly known as the “dark web”). Complicated as this may sound, it’s rather simple.
You can download the app from onionshare.org, GitHub: OnionShare, or other ways (for instance, it’s included with the Linux distro Whonix). Once installed, load the app, and it should connect to the Tor network automatically.
If you want to share a file, you merely click on the “Add” button, and select whichever file you want to send. Once the file has been uploaded, click on the green button that says “Start sharing.”
Once you do this, OnionShare will create a v3 onion site in order to share the uploaded files, along with a randomly generated key, such as: “bullion-squander.” Copy this onion link into the Tor Browser, or whichever version of Tor you like to use, and you should see the file you uploaded. Share the link with whomever the recipient is to send them the file.
Obviously, all they have to do is click “Download Files” to start downloading the file. OnionShare will send you a notification when the file has started sending, and has completed downloading. Of note: once you close the onion link in the Tor Browser, it disappears, and you can no longer download the file!
Likewise, if you want to receive files from someone, you can use the “Receive Files” tab (pictured above).
Warning: as it states in the window above, anyone with the OnionShare address can upload files to your computer with the Tor Browser, so don’t share it with anyone you don’t trust! (The one in the screenshot is no longer active at this time.)
In some instances, if you have the cross-site scripting (XSS) blocker activated on NoScript, it will prevent files from uploading to OnionShare. In this case, you need to do the following (as written in the screenshot):
- Click the menu icon on the top-right corner of the Tor Browser and open “Add-ons”
- Next to the NoScript add-on, click the button that says “Preferences”
- Open the “Advanced” tab
- Uncheck “Sanitize cross-site suspicious requests”
This should solve the issue. All in all, OnionShare works quite well and is simple to learn. It also seems to be quite anonymous, though even Tor has leaks on occasion, so if the files you’re sending really are of a sensitive nature, take care to follow instructions exactly so that nothing risky is revealed.