It’s is free software for enabling anonymous communication. The name is an acronym for the original name of the software project, “The Onion Router.”
Tor does not prevent online services from detecting when they are accessed via it. Tor protects a user’s privacy but does not conceal the fact that they are using it. Some websites prevent “The Onion Router” users from accessing them.
The Tor Browser is the Tor Project’s flagship product. It is a fork of the Mozilla Firefox web browser that has been optimized for use on it’s network.
It’s is supported by Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android. For FreeBSD, there is an experimental port.
How to use Tor?
To begin, go to the project website and download the Tor Browser. (link to download page)
You must install it after downloading it. This is as simple as running the downloaded file on Windows. On macOS, unzip the file first, then drag the application into your Applications folder. On Linux, unzip the file and then launch it from the unzipped folder.
After installing it, you can start it by double-clicking on the icon. Because it is from an unknown developer, you may need to right-click and select “Open” the first time you launch it on macOS.
When you first launch the Tor Browser, it will ask you if you want to connect to it’s network. Select “Connect.”
The Tor Browser will then launch, allowing you to surf the web anonymously.
Things to keep in mind
Keep in mind that the Tor Browser is simply a modified version of Firefox, so it operates in the same manner. When using it, there are a few things to keep in mind.
For starters, because your traffic will be routed through it’s network, it will be slower than usual. This is understandable. If you asking yourself How to use Tor just because you believe you are doing it wrong because of speed, you might be wrong. It’s gonna be slower than normal browsing internet speed.
Second, because your traffic is anonymous, some websites may fail to function properly. This is because they are designed to track users, whereas “The Onion Router” effectively hides your tracks.
Third, it’s not a perfect solution for anonymity. While it is extremely effective, it is not impossible for someone to deanonymize you.
If you want to be completely anonymous, use the Tor Browser in conjunction with a VPN (check What is a VPN). This will help to conceal your traffic from your ISP and make deanonymization more difficult.
Fourth, the Tor Browser is not intended to be a replacement for your primary web browser. It is intended to be used in conjunction with your regular web browser. When you have finished using the Tor Browser, you should close it and return to your regular web browser.
Finally, the Tor Browser isn’t a panacea. It will not completely conceal your identity on the internet. It will, however, make tracking your internet activity much more difficult and, as such, is an important tool for anyone concerned about their online privacy.