Tor stands for The Onion Routing. Onion routing means that when you connect to the Internet, all of your Internet traffic is routed through multiple servers and encrypted each tap. Thus, the uniqueness of the Tor browser is that it offers confidentiality and its code is free and open-source.
At that time, when almost the whole world is connected online, there are also the problems of online monitoring, censorship and surveillance which can be real obstacles for those who do not want their identity to be revealed online or want have censorship without Internet access. For them, the Tor browser can act as a savior. Using the Tor browser, you can connect to the Internet anonymously. Even if someone tries to monitor the Internet traffic of a user in the Tor browser, they will not be able to see that you are using Tor.
See also: What is the best Internet browser for Mac?
Install Tor browser
Go to https://www.torproject.org/download/ and click the download option for the operating system on which you want to install Tor. You must use the official link to download Tor or you may end up installing malware on your system instead of Tor. After downloading the configuration, its installation is similar to any other normal software installation. For example, for Windows OS, simply double-click the tlcharg installation file and confirm any prompt displayed in a dialog asking if you want to install this software. Now wait for it to finish installing.
The Tor browser is portable software. So once you've installed it, you can also run it from a USB stick. You just need to select a location (which can also be a USB key) to install during configuration.
First performance of Tor
There are some initial settings you need to make when you run the Tor browser for the first time.
- When you open Tor for the first time, you will see a network settings window. Here you will see two options: connect and configure. The connect option must be clicked if your connection does not use a proxy or if your connection is not censored.
- After that, you will be connected to the Tor network after waiting a while. The wait may depend on your Internet connection.
- However, if your connection uses a proxy or your connection is censored, you must click on the configure option. Then choose if Tor is censored in my country and / or I use a proxy to connect to the Internet.
- Depending on the options you have chosen, you will also be asked to choose sub-options.
- If you chose the I use a proxy to connect to the Internet option, you will be asked to provide details about the proxy connection.
- In case you chose the option “ Tor is censored in my country '', then you have to choose how you want a bridge. In other words, whether you want to select an integrated bridge or request a torproject.org bridge or provide a bridge that I know of.
- Then click on connect and wait for it to establish a connection to the Tor network.
- Once connected, you are done and you can surf the Internet anonymously.
Some facts and good practices
- The Tor browser is based on a modified version of the Firefox browser.
- Tor is available for Android, Windows, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems.
- There is no Tor door. In addition, the official Tor website promises that there will never be a Tor door.
- Installing plug-ins or additional add-ons in the Tor browser is not recommended as they may compromise the protection of your privacy.
- You must use an https encrypted connection for each website, otherwise your Internet traffic can be observed through the Tor circuit exit node.
- The Tor browser is only useful for protecting your anonymity on the Internet, but it cannot fully protect you from computer viruses or malware if you go to the darkest parts of the web.
- You should avoid using torrents on the Tor network as this may reveal your IP address and therefore put your anonymity at risk.