Tor Browser is one of the tools usually used by people who want to gain freedom on the internet.
You can use this browser to stay anonymous online and protect yourself from being tracked by the websites you visit, internet service providers, even companies and governments.
In this article, I will give a detailed explanation of what Tor Browser is and how to use it.
What is Tor Browser?
Tor (short for “The Onion Router”) is a free and open-source browser that you can use to surf the internet anonymously.
This browser automatically deletes your browsing history every time you close a tab. Tor Browser also encrypts all traffic.
You can also use the Tor Browser to visit dark websites, i.e. hidden sites that you can’t search using regular search engines like Google and you can’t visit using regular browsers like Safari, Firefox, or Chromium.
Because of its ability to visit these dark sites, several countries around the world block Tor.
The Tor network was originally developed by the U.S. Navy to allow military organizations to communicate online and anonymously.
In 2006, the military stopped the development of this project which was then held and continued by a non-profit organization.
How Does the Tor Browser Work?
Tor Browser is perfect for those who value their privacy on the internet and want to appear anonymous while surfing the internet.
This browser uses the huge Tor network spread across the globe to hide your IP address and secure your connection.
When using the Tor Browser, your data will pass through several different Tor servers (or “nodes”).
That means, anyone who tries to identify you while using the Tor Browser, will only stop at the last server your traffic passed through.
In other words, using the Tor Browser will make it very difficult (if not impossible) for someone to identify you while surfing the internet.
How Tor Works
When Should I Use Tor Browser?
Many people think that Tor Browser can only be used to visit dark websites. Yet the reality is not like that.
We can also use Tor Browser to visit ordinary sites like google.com, wordpress.com, and many more.
The point is that all the sites that you usually visit using a regular browser, can also be visited using the Tor Browser.
Tor Browser is even better at protecting privacy when visiting your favorite sites.
Before getting to the site you want to visit, the Tor Browser will transit your network to 3 Tor circuits run by volunteers around the world.
And it’s all done randomly and changes every 10 minutes. So your IP will change and mix with other Tor Browser users.
This will make it very difficult for trackers (trackers that are usually found on websites) to track you because you will look the same as other Tor Browser users.
What to Avoid When Using the Tor Browser?
The main purpose of using Tor Browser is to protect your privacy and anonymity while surfing the internet.
So, there are some things you shouldn’t do when using the Tor Browser, one of which is logging into the services you usually use, for example, email, social media, forums, and the like.
If you log into a site using the Tor Browser, the anonymity offered by the Tor Browser is useless.
Use a regular browser like Firefox or Chromium if you want to log in to a site.
If you want to use a forum with Tor Browser, then create a new account specifically for Tor Browser. Do not interfere with your main account.
How to Use Tor Browser
Open the default browser on your laptop or computer. Or you can use browsers like Firefox and Chromium to download Tor Browser.
Visit the official Tor website at https://torproject.org. After that, tap the Download Tor Browser button to go directly to the download page.
Currently, Tor Browser is available for 4 platforms namely Linux, macOS, Android, and Windows. Please select the one according to the operating system you are using.
Install Tor Browser on the operating system you are using. For how to install it, I’m sure you don’t need an explanation anymore.
If Tor Browser is already installed on your device, click the Tor Browser icon to launch it.
As soon as the Tor Browser opens, you will see this browser is trying to connect to the Tor network.
Usually, this process takes no more than 5 seconds. However, it may take a little longer if the Tor network is congested.
If the Tor Browser is already connected to the Tor network, you can immediately use it to browse the web as usual.
To find out which Tor circuit you are using to visit the site you are currently visiting, tap the button with the padlock logo next to the site address.
As you can see in the screenshot above, Tor Browser goes through 3 Tor Circuits
before finally reaching the destination site.
To change the circuit, you can tap the new circuit for this site button. Then the IP address will change.
This is useful when the site you are trying to visit is inaccessible because it blocks the Tor network.
Tap the button until the site can be visited.
These circuit changes only apply to the site on the tab you are currently opening.
If you want to use a new identity in the Tor Browser, use the New Identity feature. Tor Browser will restart with the new identity.