With privacy becoming much more of a pressing issue in today’s modern world both online and off, many people are turning to use The Onion Router (TOR) for their web browsing.
TOR offers a wide array of privacy protection when moving between websites, preventing your ISP from recording the sites that you are visiting. If you’d like to shake the feeling that every move you make online is being recorded, then using TOR will make it virtually impossible to track your movements across the web.
Using a VPN for general security and peace of mind when online is highly recommended. They're very easy to set up and use, and unobtrusive to work with. Check out our list of the best VPNs of 2018 here.
How to use TOR
Considering the level of security and the technology behind it, TOR is very easy to use as it functions just like a regular web browser.
Start off by downloading and installing the TOR browser.
Fire it up, and you’ll have a settings box pop up. Click “Connect” to move forward.
The TOR browser will then connect to the network which may take a few moments, as your connection is routed through several different nodes around the world, making it almost impossible to track. Once this connection has been made, the browser will be ready to use.
While it might look a little less fancy than a regular browser, it will function in much the same as Chrome, Edge and Firefox (TOR is based on Firefox code).
The goal of TOR is to strike a balance between your web security and efficiency when moving around the web. You could have the highest level of TOR security activated, but it would take you longer to load pages and certain elements on the page wouldn’t load at all.
To adjust this level of security, click on the green onion to the left of the address bar at the top left. The more security you apply, the slower and less complete your experience may become – but the safer you will be. It’s a balancing act that comes down to personal preference, but even the lowest security rating allows you to be far more secure compared to using a regular browser.
If you’re using the internet, you’re almost certainly using a search engine like Google or Bing. To stop these sites from tracking you online, you’ll have to start using a search engine such as DuckDuckGo or Disconnect.me which will stop your data being harvested as you search.
TOR also allows you to access sites with the “.onion” address. These sites are not found by search engines, and you have to access them directly. They offer one of the most secure ways to access information on the internet, but that does also mean that because of their anonymity and security, they can contain illegal content – so do take care.