Tor Browser

by torproject

A protocol that grants users anonymity when they are online

Operating system: Windows

Publisher: torproject

Release: Tor Browser 9.0.7

Antivirus check: passed

Last revision: Last week

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Tor (The Onion Router) Browser for Windows allows users to hide the shadiest of behavior performed online from anyone who may be watching. It is called "The Onion Router" because it builds up so many layers (like an onion), making it near impossible to be tracked. You ever watch "Mr. Robot"? Have you ever heard of the Dark Web? Tor is the type of thing used by people that don't want to be found. It hides your IP address, your physical location, and anything else tracked by your browsers and the websites that you don't want people to find. But it is not for the faint of heart. If you are a random guy looking to hide your porn from your wife, this isn't what you are looking for. It is easy to use if you have computer programming knowledge. And if you are "hacking" or looking at stuff that you could get arrested for, Tor Browser makes hiding your ID simple enough.

Tor Browser was developed by the US Navy and received funding through national science groups. This sort of thing could be and is very useful to computer analysts that work for the government that need to hide where they are too. The question is, why use Tor Browser when you could easily use a VPN? Or, if you can just use Incognito mode on your computer? Well, Tor falls between those two sides of the spectrum. Incognito is for the guy hiding his porn from his wife. It's not going to keep the government from tracking you. All it does is delete your cache and cookies, leaving your IP address is still traceable. And a VPN actually encrypts data, making it very difficult to be found. However, a VPN is super accessible and simple to use by anyone with basic computer knowledge. So why wouldn't anyone just go that route? I'm still unsure of what the answer to that question is.

If you do decide to go with Tor, it does promise a super easy installation process, that is, if you know code. But if you do, the system is installable through Windows and Mac.

So what does it do exactly? Well, it works with your browser and implements additional security add-ons like not caching data from the websites you visit (like Incognito). But then you have to let Tor know what your internet connection is, so it configures properly for use. Once that happens, Tor will launch your browsers, and you will have access to its "project's page," which lets you see where you are and your actual IP address, compared to what is being transmitted out to anyone paying attention. Again, a VPN does the same thing.

One thing that is nice about Tor is your ability to adjust the level of "security" you want to be using. A slide bar allows you to go from your basic hidden cache stuff to Javascript blocking. But is that really necessary? If you are hiding your identity, just hide it. It is basically saying, well today, and I'm just going to do something a little illegal, so don't need to turn it up.

Tor is upfront with its users and says straight out that it no way guarantees that you will not be found out, whatever it is that you are doing. And it comes right out and says, only visit secure sites online, so no Torrents, no add-ons, no media. So again, what is the point? On top of that, it kills your speed and ability to move quickly through the browser. So, all in all, I find Tor to be a bust.

If you want to do something illegal and are afraid you'll get caught, TOR is for you!

Features:

  • Easy to get set-up and use for coders
  • Testable connectivity check
  • Pre-designed privacy tools
  • Adjustable levels of security
  • Nice interface
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