What is Tor Browser?
Tor browser is a free, open-source web browser quite similar to Mozilla Firefox. It was released on September 2002. Tor browser hides your IP and identity while you are browsing websites in this browser. It redirects your requests to at least three nodes and consists of 7 thousand relays. When you send a request to the tor browser by typing any web address, it first sends your request to any random node. That random node forwards your requests to another node and finally, your request goes to the third node. The final node sends your actual request to the website server. As your request goes through different nodes so your identity is safe from other people. Your ISP (internet service provider) only knows that you are using the tor browser but it does not know which websites you visit using the tor browser. This makes Tor browser one of the best web browsers for anonymity.
Tor browser also known as the Onion Router, this is because the method of data transfer was inspired by the design of an onion. Tor represents an increasingly popular way of accessing online content anonymously.
Even the best online surveillance tools struggle to pinpoint where information originated, or where it’s going.
And while some people falsely assume Tor is illegal, it was created – and is still part-funded – by the American government for online communications use in unstable nations.
Are you considering to download and install this browser on your PC but
Advantages/Pros of Tor Browser
- Its free to use– Most browsers that offer this kind of privacy are usually premium and requires some form of subscription or payments. Tor browser is totally free and open source. It is available across multiple operating systems including Linux, Windows and Mac OS.
- Anonymity– Its hard to track users on Tor browser, almost impossible some might say as it bounces your data packets across multiple nodes which makes tracing your IP practically impossible.
- Deep Web Access– This might be most user’s reason for downloading the Tor browser. You can access the deep web using tor.
- Security– Tor browser makes use of a search engine known as duckduckgo which is basically the Tor of search engines. Because Tor is open source, its difficult to hide malware in it and websites opened using Tor browser are secured and encrypted.
- Promotes Democracy- you can carry out democratic activities on the internet using Tor while remaining completely anonymous.
Disadvantages/Cons of Tor Browser
- Performance– Tor browser can be slower compared to other regular browsers this is because of the number of nodes it connects to before loading.
- Large Files– Combined with the issue of slower performance, you cant download large files using the Tor browser.
- Outdated UI– The tor browser has an old feel and look. It looks like a very old version of firefox, so it’s user interface is not really top notch.
- Data isn’t Encrypted– Tor doesn’t bother encrypting data because it’s effectively anonymous. A separate VPN is required for encryption, further slowing average transfer times.
- Illegal Use– Many users use the browser for illegal activities when accessing onion sites or the deep web
If you’re going to download the Tor browser, it has to be for a specific purpose right? Using it as your main browser is not advisable because downloading multimedia would prove extremely difficult. Rather you can use it as a backup browser to major browsers like chrome and firefox. If you want to open blocked websites without using VPN then you can use the Tor browser. Your online activities are hidden from ISP. But you should know that you are still traceable by government agencies if you use tor for illegal activities.