What Is Tor and Why Use It?
The privacy on the Internet is a frequent topic for the last couple of years. There are many different methods for collecting data, mostly used for marketing. With a growing phenomenon of social networking, users’ privacy has been further undermined. If you want to protect your privacy, that is, surf anonymously for whatever the reason, the browser you are using can play a great role to achieve this. The goal of this article is to give the overview of the Tor browser, how it works, why should you use it and what sites are accessed by Tor browser.
Brief overview of Tor characteristics
Tor (an acronym for The Onion Router) is a free Web browser that enables you to surf the Internet securely and anonymously. Originally developed with the U.S. Navy in mind, its primary purpose was to protect government communications. Today, it is not only used by the military or law enforcement officers, but by lot of people such as journalists, activists and those who want to protect their integrity. The diversity of Tors’ users further increases the level of privacy because the activities of many users are disguised by the activities of other users in the Tor network. Therefore, the growth of the number of Tor users and their diversity means the increase in the level of protection that the Tor network provides.
How it works
When you use it, Tor browser sends all your communication through the distributed network of Tor servers, also called onion routers. Precisely, Tor uses random routes to send your traffic towards its destination so that it is impossible for someone to be able to track your activities or expose your identity.
Why use it
You should consider using Tor browser if you want to access the open, uncensored web and at the same time hide your identity as you read or write online. Many political activists, journalists or even average people around the world have the need to express their opinion publicly while at the same time want to keep their integrity, that is anonymity. Tor enables you to achieve this by hiding your IP address (the address of your computer) and preventing the web services to collect information about your device or even your physical location (browser fingerprinting).
Tor browser protects you from the websites that fraudulently collect information about visitors and from the attackers that want to access your confidential information. Also, it does not allow the analysis of your communication and thereby, ensures your anonymity and confidential activities.
Your local Internet provider may block the particular traffic in order to protect you or just prevent exposure to various information and services. In order to bypass this restriction, some people use Tor to access the desirable services. Some people even tend to use it for socially sensitive or abusive communication. Tor also extends the borders of the black online market which is known under the name of Evolution (marketplace). Namely, given the fact that it provides the anonymity, Tor gives the possibility for many kinds of fraud. With that being said, we can conclude that there are some drawbacks of this browser which open up a whole range of questions regarding the usage of the Internet.
Suffice to say, try to “Google” yourself and tell that you did not, for a moment, think about starting to use Tor browser and raise your anonymity to a new level.