Most of the things that we search online through laptop or PC is tracked and our searching behavior is getting monitored. You might think “Are we secured or our privacy is maintained online? ” the answer to this simple question is NO. Unless and until you take precautions you cover is exposed. Most of the people don’t even think about these things but if you use internet then you are at risk. In many countries the internet searches and the online search behavior gets recorded by ISP’s (Internet Service Provider) by the rules imposed by the government of that country. In this article we are going to discuss about TOR.
What is TOR?
The Tor started as a project which was launched in the year 2002 as a non-profit organization that conducts research and development into online privacy and anonymity. It was developed by US Navy. The main objective was to stop people from peeping into your location or tracking your browsing habits. TOR stands for THE ONION ROUTER. This browser makes different layers of connection between users computer and web server like layers of onion.
Tor browser is used by many different groups of people. But most of the people think TOR is used to access dark web where many criminal activities are done. But there are many good uses of Tor which includes, used by journalists, activists and campaigners to protect their sources and to protect themselves from government interference. In countries like China, Russia, and Middle East it is used to speak against the law and the government for any kind or protest or criticism. Now a days it is also used by ordinary Internet users to make sure that they are not being tracked and traced online about their browsing habits.
In a normal browser when an website is opened then there is a direct connection is established between the users machine (laptop/PC ) to the web server. In between if any one spoofs in then they can get the source and destination details. In other words it can track you IP and see what you are searching over internet.
In TOR browser the Internet traffic first gets re-routed through several public TOR servers. This connection is completely unknown which server it will connect next. If any ISP tries to block the IP of these public TOR servers then your TOR browser will be redirected to a relay which can be anywhere in the world. These relays are not publicly registered so they are very difficult to trace. This browser is available for Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. These are also available in Android and iOS mobile platforms.
Since TOR helps you to be anonymous on internet but there are some drawbacks of using it. The browser speed is slow as compared to a normal browser since it connects through multiple layers and hops. Some plugins are blocked and cannot be used since it is considered to be unsafe for being anonymous. Few sites might not respond or might reject the traffic coming from TOR.
You can visit here to download TOR browser for free. Click on Download and get the file downloaded. Save the file and run it.
Install it like you would do with any other program, and start it up. You will first see this.
Then proceed with the normal installation
Once Installation is completed then launch browser. You will see the below screen. Click on first connect option as highlighted
Then it will start connecting to TOR network which might take few min for first time.
After final configuration the browser will launch
To test the connectivity you can click on “Test Tor Network Settings”
You can check the layer of connectivity and IP circuit as shown below
Windows Portable Version
People who doesn’t want this browser to install in their laptop or PC they can use this portable version. This can be downloaded and installed on USB drives, Micro SD card and any portable storage device. You will not have any kind of traces of using it from your computer or laptop. You can download portable version from here.
This browser is available in Android and iOS platforms. If you wish to install and stay more secure then you can use this in your smartphones.
If you are looking this browser for iPhone and iPad then Onion Browser is best and server the purpose like a desktop browser. It is also a free and open-source app and cookies, cache, and Internet history can be wiped with a click. Very useful for iOS users.
Orbot is a free proxy app that helps other apps to use the internet more securely. Basically Orbot uses Tor to encrypt your Internet traffic and works in the same way as discussed above. Orfox is a browser which is a Android form of Tor Browser. This is built upon Firefox but with a few changes from security point of view. Orfox requires Orbot app for Android to connect to the TOR network.
I hope this article has given you a good understanding about TOR and how we can be anonymous over internet and secure our self from getting tracked. This article should be used for making yourself secure and not to harm or use this knowledge for doing something wrong. If you have any wrong intention then author will not be responsible for this.