Though total online anonymity may be hard to obtain, using Tor project makes it harder for government surveillance programs or any other party to track the Internet activity of its user. Tor project is the most reliable solution to privacy oriented persons, press reporters, protest organizers, and political activists who are in search of online anonymity.
Users can also connect to a Tor network while using other browsers like Firefox and Internet Explorer after making some adjustments to the network settings. There are more programs that enable users to connect to a Tor network such as TorChat anonymous messaging service and the BitTorrent client.
Tor browser is cost-free software that provides online anonymity. The browser directs internet traffic via free, worldwide, volunteer operated network that consists of more than 4000 relays. It conceals the location of the user and other communicated information from anyone doing traffic analysis or internet surveillance.
Tor is aimed to protect the user’s personal privacy, ability and freedom to carry out confidential business activities without being monitored. With Tor, a user can regain access to websites anonymously. The sites accessed will be unable to track them, or alter what they show them on basis of their previous activity simply because they don’t have an idea of who they are or where they are located.
Tor network is also the most efficient censorship circumvention tool that allows its users to access otherwise restricted content or destinations.
When using Tor project, the original data is encrypted and re-encrypted several times after which it is sent via a virtual circuit comprised of successive, arbitrary selected Tor relays. The last relay decrypts the final encryption layer and passes the original information without revealing its source to the recipient. By doing so, the possibility of the original information being comprehended in transit is significantly reduced and, more importantly, conceals its routing.
The internet address of the recipient and the sender are not in cleartext at any place along the way, as a result, any person eavesdropping at any area along the channel of communication, cannot identify the both ends directly. Furthermore, it appears to the recipient that the exit node (the final Tor node) is the source of the information rather than the one who sent it.
The ongoing trends in technology, policy, and law threaten online anonymity as never before, this is undermining our ability to read and speak freely online. Furthermore, the above trends threaten our critical infrastructure and national security by making exchange of information among governments, organizations, and individuals more vulnerable to internet surveillance. Every new user and relay gives additional diversity, improving the ability of Tor network to bring online anonymity back to the web.