Everyone who owns a personal computer and has free access to the Internet is surfing the Internet every day. In doing so, sites and providers collect information about users based on the data that enters the network – that is, we leave traces of our presence there. This is always a risk, as not only may ISPs have access to any insignificant data about us, such as our location and address, but criminals may also take advantage of this openness and attempt to steal personal data.
But the anonymity regime helps to eliminate many risks, including hackers. If you want to surf the Internet in secret and put on a privacy veil, then use special tools. This does not have to be a VPN service, because you can install a browser TOP, which will be discussed in this review.
What is a TOR browser?
Tor browser is a special program, which is an improved version of the Mozilla Firefox browser and has a privacy function.
It is available on a free basis, has open source code, and built-in functionality to ensure anonymity online and bypass all blocking web resources. All your online activities will be hidden, and your traffic will also be over a secure connection. This browser is perfect for bypassing censorship and also offers a number of advantages:
- complete anonymity for the user;
- hidden IP address;
- online circumvention of censorship;
- access to blocked sites and web pages;
- access darkweb websites;
- there are no built-in tracking systems in the program.
While TOR’s browser offers a wide range of possibilities for creating a confidential surfing experience on the Internet, there are some features that it is important to know for every user:
- sites downloaded via Tor are slower;
- Some web services may block users using an anonymous browser;
- in countries with authoritarian regimes where it is forbidden to read or publish anything anonymously.
The TOR browser is based on a network with the same name, free software and open source. The Tor network brings together thousands of servers from around the world and is managed by volunteers. When a browser creates a connection, the network chooses three repeaters and forms an Internet connection. Each segment is encrypted, so the repeaters themselves do not know its full path of data transmission.
When the user uses a TOR browser, the connection to the Internet comes from an external IP-address, which is located in another country, perhaps even at the other end of the world. The program effectively hides your real IP from the sites you visit, as well as the web resources themselves are hidden from unauthorized persons who can intercept traffic.
How to download and install the TOR browser
Using the program is very simple – just download the Tor browser and perform the installation procedure. It is adapted for Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems, and can be installed on mobile gadgets running Android or iOS. Download a Tor browser for an Android – is to install OrBot or OrFox from the Play Market, and for iOS devices – OnionBrowser from the App Store.
Follow the instructions on how to download the Tor browser on yout PC:
- go to the Tor Browser website;
- press the Download Tor Browser button – you will be taken to the page where you can download the version of the program;
- select the appropriate link to download;
- specify the path to save the file for installation;
- click the Save File button – the download process will start.
Next, we go to the disk and the folder where the installation package was saved – most often it goes to Downloads, and we do this:
- right-click on the Tor Browser – Open file;
- elect the language in which the program will work – confirm with the OK button;
- select a folder to install, for example, you can use the Desktop – click the Install button;
- during the installation process there will be such a window on the screen;
- click Done when the installation is complete.
On the Desktop there will be a corresponding shortcut, clicking on which you can start the program and use it for anonymous access to the Internet.
How to set up a TOR browser
When you are ready to use an anonymous browser, click on the shortcut program icon (you can pre-download the torrent browser). The first time you start up, you are asked how you want to connect to the Internet. There are two options available:
- Direct access is an option if you have unlimited access to the global network and the TOR browser is not banned or blocked, and its use is not tracked from your location;
- Limited connection – you choose this if you have limited access to the network and the browser is at risk of being blocked or denied if you are being tracked.
No more settings need to be made. However, you can change the type of connection at any time when you travel and change the geography of your location. This is what we’ll talk about next.
How to connect directly to the TOR network:
- start TOR browser – Connect;
- the browser will load.
How to connect to a TOR network with limited access:
- via predefined bridges;
- over other bridges.
The connection via predefined bridges is as follows:
- button Configure;
- configure TOR Browser bridges;
- connect to predefined bridges;
- select No in the answer to the question whether you need a local proxy;
- click the Connect button to launch the launch Tor Browser;
- wait for the browser window to appear.
The connection via other bridges is as follows:
- send a request to email@example.com to get a list of bridges. Emails can only be sent from Riseup, Gmail or Yahoo accounts. Enter the word “get bridges” in the body of the letter. This option is relevant for users who are unable or unable to connect to the Tor Project;
- go to https://bridges.torproject.org/options click Just give me the bridge addresses;
- enter the captcha – Enter;
- there will be three bridge addresses;
- enter these addresses manually in your browser settings.
To change the program settings, follow the instructions:
- press the button to open the browser menu;
- select Tor Network Settings to specify how to connect to the Internet;
- you can enable or disable bridges, set manual activation and other options;
- confirm all changes with the OK button;
- restart the TOR browser.
Using this browser allows you to hide your IP from the sites you visit. To check how the Tor browser works after the settings are made, whether everything is going on correctly, whether your anonymity is confirmed, you need to go to https://check.torproject.org/
If the program is inactive, this image will be displayed:
If launched successfully, the image will look like this:
You can also create a new identity, and the program will select a new set of repeaters:
- open the settings menu via the button;
- select New identity.
Next, the history of all opened web pages and cookies will be cleared, the restart will take place and you will be able to access the Internet under the new IP-address.
How to uninstall TOR browser
Any installed program is built into the operating system’s system folder and registry. But TOR is installed in a portable mode, so all its elements are only on the desktop in a single folder.
Deleting the program is done by deleting the folder with its contents. Clearing the registry is not required.
How to uninstall Tor browser from Windows 10 (Windows 8.1 or Windows 7):
- close the program;
- open the Task Manager – press the Ctrl+Alt+Delete combination to start the section with the corresponding name in the blue menu;
- Applications – Magazine – Tor Browser;
- click Remove task;
- processes tab – check if there is a tor.exe file. If there is one, terminate it;
- delete the browser folder from the Desktop;
- clear the Trash.
How to uninstall Tor browser from Linux:
- close the program;
- Menu – System Utilities – System Monitor;
- complete all processes on TOR browser activity;
- delete the folder with the program files in the Recycle Bin – clear the Recycle Bin.
How to uninstall Tor browser from MacOS:
- close the browser;
- Applications – Tor Browser – move to Trash;
- clear the Trash.
Tor Browser is a useful program when you need to ensure complete anonymity and security when surfing the Internet and bypass blocking sites. Be aware of the specifics of the program so that it is really useful and functional for you. You can always hide your location if you run Tor and thus protect yourself from hacking attempts.