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Tor Browser

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Privacy, Data Privacy, Digital Privacy, Social Media Privacy, privacy from trackers, privacy from government, All these things have became very important these days. One of the most important factor for Privacy is the usage of personally identifiable information which include name, address, email and mobile number with now evolving AI, machine learning algorithms, and neural networks now things like interests, online behavior, mostly anything that can be unique is being recorded and stored.

The main reason for collecting personally identifiable information is to provide better ads which in turn convert them into selling products and services, One of the most successful model used by Facebook, Instagram, YouTube almost any freemium model mostly works the same. The worrying factor about this model is the amount of data being collected is also being used for displaying biased ideas over internet, political agendas and other unethical ways. The storage and security of the data is also a questionable thing.

Now what is TOR browser and Onion Network :

Tor

Onion Network is a network of special network of tor relays which isolates from SURVEILLANCE, trackers only accessible via Tor Browser. Tor is free and open-source software run by individuals and Privacy supporters. The name derived from the acronym for the original software project name “The Onion Router”, Tor directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer overlay network consisting of more than seven thousand relays to conceal a user’s location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis, It also triple routes traffic increasing more privacy. Using Tor makes it more difficult to trace Internet activity to the user: this includes visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages, and other communication forms,used to protect the personal privacy of its users, as well as their freedom and ability to conduct confidential communication by keeping their Internet activities untracked.

Tor Project Home Page

Along with Tor browser, Tor community also provides Hidden services also known as Onion Services which provide anonymity to websites and other servers configured to receive inbound connections only through Tor. Tor also provide free domain with TLD .onion but the problem is that the domain that will be generated is a random string mostly. Rather than revealing a server’s IP address (and thus its network location), an onion service is accessed through its onion address, usually via the Tor Browser. The Tor network understands these addresses by looking up their corresponding public keys and introduction points from a distributed hash table within the network. It can route data to and from onion services, even those hosted behind firewalls or network address translators (NAT), while preserving the anonymity of both parties. Tor is necessary to access these onion services.

Difference between Tor and VPN :

  • The main difference between Tor and VPN is that VPN’s tunnel the traffic over the internet but Tor sends it over a special network.
  • Mostly Tor need Tor browser or an browser that can connect to the Onion Network to work but most of the VPN’s work with most of the browsers
  • Tor is slow because it runs by community in different types of servers and providers different layers of anonymity, VPN’s are fast because they run on special servers with regular updates with direct tunneling with the host.
  • Tor can’t always provide complete security because its run by volunteers and different people have different intentions, VPN’s are more secure than Tor
  • Tor is free which you can’t beat, almost every best VPN comes with a price
  • Tor also provide hidden services.
  • Tor and VPN’s are available for macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS

Advantages of using Tor Browser :

There are several advantages to using the Tor Browser, including:

  • Anonymity: The Tor Browser allows you to browse the web anonymously, making it difficult for anyone to track your online activity.
  • Security: The browser comes with several privacy-focused features that help protect your online activity from being tracked or monitored.
  • Access to censored websites: The Tor network allows you to access websites that may be censored or blocked in your country.
  • Protection against surveillance: The Tor Browser protects you from surveillance by government agencies and other entities that may be monitoring your online activity.
  • Free and open-source: The Tor Browser is free and open-source software, which means that anyone can inspect the code and verify that it’s secure and trustworthy.

Disadvantages of using Tor Browser :

There are also some disadvantages to using the Tor Browser, including:

  • Slow speeds: The Tor network can be slow, especially when browsing websites with a lot of content or when downloading large files.
  • Vulnerable exit nodes: The final node in the Tor network, called the exit node, can potentially see your internet traffic in plain text, which could compromise your privacy.
  • Websites may treat you differently: Some websites may treat you differently when you’re using the Tor Browser, such as blocking access or presenting different content.

Conclusion :

The Tor Browser is an excellent tool for protecting your privacy and anonymity online. It comes with several privacy-focused features that help protect your online activity from being tracked or monitored. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential disadvantages of using the Tor Browser, such as slow speeds and the vulnerability of exit nodes. Overall, if you’re looking for a web browser that prioritizes your privacy and anonymity, the Tor Browser is definitely worth checking out.

You can check more about Tor from Tor Homepage and Wiki


Last Updated : 28 Mar, 2023
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