I’ll tell you all about the Tor browser and how you can use the Tor browser to protect your privacy. You already know that all of your networking activities can be monitored from entirely different locations (seen pages of the internet, downloaded images, seen videos) (by contacting your Internet provider, digging into your computer, or searching in the logs of those sites that you visited ). Network anonymity only occurs if “digging deep” does not commence.
Anonymity and privacy on the Internet are becoming more and more important for the average user every day. Users resort to different software tools such as proxy sites, VPN services, and alternative browsers such as TOR. In this article, we will look closely at what TOR is and how to use it.
What is project TOR?
TOR is a browser that makes your traffic and visits to various sites anonymous and secure. Basically, the TOR browser anonymizes and protects your identity on the Internet. Tor allows you to remain secure while browsing by encrypting the data being transmitted. The TOR browser is very popular with journalists and dissidents for its online democracy and free speech. TOR technology enables you to go on sites and download something from the network.
This is, if, for example, you open a site using the Tor Browser, no one can trace your computer’s IP address on this site (and therefore can’t locate you). Even your ISP would not know that you have accessed this website (if you wish) (and it will be impossible to prove it). Even your own browser won’t store every trace of your online wanderings.
How does it work?
Now let’s take a closer look at how the TOR browser actually makes us anonymous and secure. The word TOR is an abbreviation for (The Onion Router). When using a browser, TOR redirects all your traffic through its TOR servers. Thanks to this, your data is encrypted and no one can track your actions on the Internet and you remain anonymous.
The TOR browser works on the principle of onion routing and from here comes its name. TOR has three levels of confidentiality (Intermediate relay, End relay, and Bridge).
The Tor browser sends data to the first level of confidentiality, where the encrypted address of the second level is already located. The level already knows the cypher key and, recognizing the address of the second, redirects the packet there (as if the first layer was removed from the bow).
At the next level, having received the data, it has an encrypted key to decrypt the address of the third level. Thanks to this, it is impossible to understand in the end who has accessed that website in their browser.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the privacy levels :
- Intermediate relays are routers through which all your traffic passes and is processed.
- End repeaters are the final part of the chain, the so-called numeric identifier from which you connect.
- Bridges are the TOR routers themselves whose addresses are not disclosed and they are protected from blocking IP addresses
Thanks to this scheme, traffic is encrypted and protected even where Tor relay is regularly blocked. Loading web pages and other content through the Tor Browser is noticeably slower than when using conventional (non-anonymous) browsers; however, it is due to this that anonymity is ensured. As already noted, the connection to the remote server does not occur directly, but through many other nodes.
How to use it?
Using the Tor browser is easy – you need to download and run it just like any other browser like Chrome or Firefox. Tor browser is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows operating systems. You can download Tor browser here.
Tor is also available on mobile devices. If you are using Android OS, download OrBot or OrFox from the Google Play Store. IOS users can install OnionBrowser from the Apple App Store.
Tor is secure but you have to set it up
All privacy settings are enabled by default, but the level of protection is at the lowest level so all the browsers functionality will only be available for you in this situation.
When you set the Tor browser’s security settings to “high” position, only after forced activation is a whole series of browser functions available (ie, everything is disabled by default).
You will automatically be led to use the anonymizer at disconnect.me to check when you first load the browser. This service is currently used in this browser as a “default search” (you can change this in the settings).
The anonymizer disconnect.me will open when you insert your question on freshly opened window tabs or if you enter it on some tab through the address bar.
The search is still done by Google, but there is no proof on which you have precisely checked (you can pick from the settings in the top panel of the service).
From this moment, your fascinating acquaintance with the dark side of the Internet will begin.
When using the TOR browser, the following disadvantages (or features) arise:
• The ISP (or someone else monitoring your traffic) may know that you are using Tor. Even though they would know TOR is being used, what exactly you are watching or doing on the network is something they’ll be unaware of. But sometimes the very fact that you are hiding something can have consequences. Consider this and, if possible, study ways to enhance camouflage (and they exist), if this is critical for you.
• The TOR network uses not special high-speed equipment, but, in fact, ordinary computers. Hence, another drawback emerges – the speed of information transfer in this secret network can vary significantly and sometimes it is clearly not enough for, for example, viewing media content.
Basically, the .onion pseudo-domain is analogous to regular top-level domains such as .ru or .com, in which regular Internet sites are located. But unlike regular domains, the .onion domain contains sites that are part of the so-called Darknet.
Sites in the .onion domain are not indexed by regular search engines. There are special search engines for .onion sites, but due to the nature of the Darknet, such search engines do not do their job very well. Therefore, various collections of links are popular on the Darknet, with the help of which you can quickly find a site of the desired topic, especially if you are on the Darknet for the first time.
In the .onion domain, there are many sites of very different directions, including those whose existence on the regular Internet for one reason or another is impossible.
Read More about Onion Sites In This Article
Privacy on the Internet is similar to our privacy in life, we do not want strangers to come to our apartment just like that or follow us. Since it is becoming more and more difficult to remain anonymous and not leave traces on the Internet, people are looking for alternatives and go to the dark no.
But even there we are faced with problems such as the security of our connection and the safety of communication because due to complete anonymity, it is almost impossible to find out with whom you are currently communicating on the darknet.
If you follow the basic rules of Internet security and never share your personal data, then even on the dark side of the Internet you can find a lot of useful information.
For safer use of the TOR browser, we strongly recommend using additional software that allows you to completely hide your location, such as a VPN. We will talk about VPN in more detail in the next article.