Tor is a system of networked computers run by volunteers, which provides extra protection for internet users. It is sometimes linked to criminal activity, but it is also used by activists living under oppressive regimes, journalists, whistleblowers and ordinary security-conscious individuals. It’s used to access what’s known as the dark web, where websites and servers can offer anonymity by hiding the visitor’s IP address and location.
Tor Browser routes all web traffic through the Tor network, which is comprised of thousands of volunteer-run relay servers. Its layered encryption, similar to layers of an onion (hence the name), protects your browsing habits from being spied on. Your data is first sent to a public entry node, then to one or more randomly chosen middle nodes, and then to the final exit node.
As you’re connected to the Tor network, your IP address is not visible to web services, although it may be detectable by anti-fraud tools that correlate your unique IP address with a recognized Tor exit node. Tor can be used to access the regular web, but it’s most commonly paired with other Tor software, like Tor Hidden Services, which provide a more complete online privacy solution.
Tor is slow, and it can be difficult to use P2P applications with it. It’s also vulnerable to tracking, and even with its built-in tracking prevention features, you can still be fingerprinted by revealing your browser or device information to a website that doesn’t use HTTPS. what is a tor browser