What is Tor?

The Tor Project is a non-profit organization that conducts research and development on online privacy and anonymity. It is designed to stop people - including government agencies and companies - from studying your location or tracking your browsing habits.

Based on that research, it provides technology that removes Internet users and websites through “transfers” run by thousands of volunteers around the world, making it very difficult for anyone to find a source of information or location for a user.

Its software package - Tor's browser - can be downloaded and used to use that technology, with a different version available on Android smartphones.

How to use the Tor Browser

For most people, using Tor Browser is as easy as downloading and running it, just as you can download Chrome or Firefox.

If you have never used Tor, the first thing you will notice is that it is slower - or at least, slower than normal internet browsing. However, Tor has accelerated over the years, and with a good internet connection, you can also watch YouTube videos with Tor.

Tor Browser gives you access to onion sites that are only available within the Tor network. For example, try accessing the New York Times at https://www.nytimes3xbfgragh.onion/ and Facebook at https://www.facebookcorewwwi.onion using a standard web browser. Go ahead. We'll still be here when you come back. It doesn't work, does it? You can access these sites via Tor. This allows you to read the news anonymously, which is desirable in a country where you do not want the government to know which news sites you are reading, when you are reading them, and for how long.

Using Tor Browser comes with one major annoyance: Many prominent web services block Tor access, often without useful error messages. If the site you frequently visit returns 404 when you visit Tor, the service may block Tor traffic and unnecessarily opaque it. Non-blocking Tor sites may compel you to click on a ton of captcha. It's not the end of the world, but it's annoying.

Where to download Tor browser

Tor Browser is available for Linux, Mac and Windows, and is also shipped to mobile. You can download desktop types from the Tor Project website. If you're on Android, find OrBot or OrFox in the Google Play Store or F-Droid. IOS users can host OnionBrowser from the Apple App Store.

How the Tor browser works

Tor Browser routes all your web traffic via the Tor network, making it anonymous. As the pictures below show, Tor contains a three-layer representation, like layers of onions (hence the logo of Tor's onions). Tor Browser connects randomly to one of the publicly listed login points, jumps that traffic through random intermediate transfers, and finally drains your traffic with the third and final exit node.

As a result, don't be surprised if Google or another service greets you in another language. These services check your IP address and guess your country and your language, but when you use Tor, you'll often be seen in the middle of nowhere.

If you live in a Torb blocking domain or need access to a Torb blocking web service, you can also configure Tor Browser to use bridges. Unlike Tor's login and exit points, the bridge IP addresses are not publicly recorded, making it difficult for web services, or governments, to blacklist those IP addresses.

Tor network channels for TCP of all types but designed for web browsing. Tor does not support UDP, so do not try to submit free software ISOs, as they will not work.

Is Tor Browser Legal?

For many people reading this article, Tor Browser is legal to use. In some countries, however, the Tor may be illegal or banned by national authorities. China has shut down anonymous service and is blocking Tor traffic from crossing the Great Firewall. Countries such as Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran, are working hard to prevent citizens from using the Tor. Recently, Venezuela blocked all Tor roads.

It is easy to see why the dictatorship hated Tor. This service makes it easier for journalists to report corruption and to help dissenters organize themselves to fight political oppression.

Freedom of communication, publishing, and reading anonymously is a requirement of freedom of speech online, and is therefore a requirement of democracy today. Using and supporting Tor helps to support freedom of speech around the world. Skilled users are encouraged to provide bandwidth to the Tor network through the transmission.

How to get on the dark web?

Let's get rid of this "dark web" nonsense permanently. While it is true that some criminals use Tor to commit crimes, criminals use the normal internet to commit crimes. Bank robbers use fleeing vehicles on public highways to commit crimes. We do not slander highways or the Internet, for that would be foolish. The Tor has official use and is regarded as the cornerstone of democracy today.

So if you hear people talking about scary gossip about the "dark web" or the "deep web" or some nonsense, understand that there is so much more going on here than just "Four Horsemen of Infocalypse using computers in the usual way." -bailiwick for criminals and trolls.

As a matter of fact, Tor belongs to the common people, because criminals who are determined to break the law can achieve better anonymity than what Tor offers.