Tor Browser Bundle is free software that provides anonymous communication across the internet. Tor-Project created this browser for people who wanted to avoid internet tracking and surveillance. But today, the software has become more famous for its use in cyber-crime. This post will share some of the key points to understand the Tor Browser Bundle and how you should use it for better privacy.
What is Tor Browser or Onion Browser?
Well, to understand the Tor browser, you need to understand the history behind its development. Tor Project concept came into the world after the development of the Onion Router, which was developed in the mid-90s to provide anonymous communication using Onion Routing.
Onion routing is a technique to provide unknown transmission over a computer network. The Onion browser encapsulated the message in different layers of encryption which is analogous to the onion.
The goal behind tor browser development was to help people stay anonymously online and avoid internet tracking.
We are all aware of internet companies that track people’s online activity and pass it to other private companies and organizations for their profit and research purpose. In such cases, Tor Browser helps people from being tracked by continuously pinging users’ IP addresses across the globe. Hence, tracking precise location is not possible.
The onion browser has now become the primary weapon in Deep Web and Dark Web. Dark Web is the black part of the World Wide Web whose contents aren’t indexed by search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo, etc. The content on Dark Web is only accessible by specific software, like Tor Browser Bundle. Because the website which is hosted in Dark Web is onion websites and You can only access them by using Onion Browser (Tor).
How Does Tor Browser Work?
So, now you have an idea about what is TorBrowser and why it is popular among users. Now you may wonder, how does it work? To properly understand its functioning, you need to have an idea about onion routing and communication. Onion routing encrypts your location and bounces it across the globe to not trace your precise location.
Also, you can use TorBrowser to bypass censorship in your country, and access blocked websites using Tor. You can follow the below steps to get the Tor browser working on your computer/smartphone.
- First of all, you need to download and install Tor browser Bundle from its website. Tor Browser is available for Windows Computer, Apple OS X, Linux, and Android.
- After installing, launch it, and it will ask to Connect or Configure (if TorBrowser is censored in your country.)
- You can also configure security settings later from the drop-down menu. Make sure you have correctly configured security for more anonymity.
- It would be best if you disabled external scripts and plugins as these can track your location.
Why should I use Tor Browser?
Tor Browser primarily works to keep you anonymous in the internet world. It will ensure your security and privacy over the internet. If you don’t mind sharing your internet activity with some private companies and government agencies, you can use regular web browsers. Using the Tor Browser Bundle, you can also talk about the topics that your government has banned and don’t give you the right to voice your opinion. In such cases, Tor Browser is helpful to use.
Is Tor illegal?
However, TorBundle is not illegal, but people are using it in illicit activities. Tor Project invention is a good cause development. Its main motto is to protect your privacy online.
Unfortunately, the onion browser has become a top-rated weapon in cybercrime. Criminals use this browser for illegal activities such as Sharing malware, drug trading, child pornography, sensitive information about people. Although such things are happening in the dark web, which is regretful, this was never the intention behind its creation.
Do you want Tor Browser to work?
If you want to use Tor Browser Bundle for your good, you need to take care of a few things. Otherwise, you may end up putting yourself in some trouble.
Your entire internet is not secure!
Please keep in mind that you cannot secure your computer’s entire internet traffic by using Tor. Tor Browser only provides anonymity to the internet and application, which is routed through Tor Browser. Outside this Onion Browser, everything else will be trackable. And you should never configure it according to your other browsers.
Do not enable or install plugins in the browser
The browser will automatically block all plugins such as RealPlayer, Flash, etc. These plugins can manipulate your browser and try to reveal your IP address. Also, please do not use this browser in full screen to monitor your computer’s screen size. We do not recommend you install any plugins or addons to your browser.
Never torrent with the Tor Browser
All the torrent file-sharing applications ignore proxy settings to make a direct connection with your computer. We do not recommend you Torrent over the Tor Network. If you think Tor Browser will guarantee privacy in case to Torrent, then it’s not possible.
You may even download the Torrent file from the browser, but when downloading and seeding start on your computer, you will end up sending your IP address in the trackers GET request. Not only this, but you will also slow down the entire Tor network for everyone else.
Prefer HTTPS version of Websites:
Although, the Tor Browser will protect your identity and send you to the websites you want to visit. But the browser cannot guarantee what kind of websites you may see. So, always make sure you visit websites with HTTPS.
It applies to every browser, including the onion browser. For your privacy, Tor Browser automatically forces all websites to push the use of HTTPS everywhere. But it would be best if you avoided opening Google or checking your email on Tor Browser.
Never open downloaded documents when you are online:
You will get a warning before you try to open any downloaded content from Tor Browser Bundle. Always be careful with what you have downloaded from the internet. A PDF viewer is already there in Tor Browser, so make sure you are opening DOC or PDF files within the browser.
If the content asks you to open an external application, it may reveal your identity while opening and downloading files on your computer. It’s a good idea to use a Virtual Machine computer or disconnect your computer from the internet before accessing such files.
Extra protection with Tor Browser & VPN
Tor Browser provides you anonymity over the internet. But, it’s still not foolproof, and you need to take care of many things. VPN allows you to spoof your actual geolocation and connect you to the internet over a virtual geographical location.
VPN is much faster than Tor browser and can be a good alternative. But the VPN providers may even track your actual location and pass the information to other organizations. VPN may seem beneficial and fast, but it isn’t as secure as Tor Browser Bundle.
That’s why many people prefer only Tor Browser Bundle over VPN. But, using both altogether can be a great way of protecting your identity over the internet.
There are following two ways in which you can use the VPN-Tor Browser combination to connect with a network:
- VPN-Through-Tor Browser: In this method, you will first connect with the onion browser (Tor Browser Bundle), and then you will connect to VPN. In this case, you will not reveal your actual IP address to your VPN provider.
- Tor Browser-Through-VPN: In this method, you need to first connect to VPN and the to Tor-Network. Now, with this method, you can prevent your ISP (internet service provider) from seeing you’re using TorBrowser, and TorNetwork will not be able to see your real IP. But, your VPN provider can see your actual IP.
Tor Browser Bundle is an excellent invention by Tor-Project to provide an onion browser for anonymously using the internet. Although many people use this browser in good and bad works both but that’s all depends on the people they want to use resources.
There are a few things that you need to take care of before using Tor. So make sure you collect all necessary information before installing TorBrowser to your computer.
If you face any issue with connecting VPN & Tor Browser Bundle together, please contact us. Also, if you like our work, then share it among your circle and help us grow.