What is Tor/Onion Router?
The Tor project is a non-profit organisation that conducts research and development into online privacy and anonymity. It is designed to stop people including government agencies and corporations learning your location or tracking your browsing habits.
Tor Browser isolates each website you visit so third-party trackers and ads can’t follow you. Any cookies will be automatically cleared upon exiting the browser. Also your browsing history.
Not too many computer users have heard of the terms “proxy” or “proxy server,” or understand what they mean or do. A proxy server is a website/server that acts as a middleman for you to get on the Internet. When you using a proxy server, you’re not contacting a website directly but your information runs through a special computer that passes along your request for you.
Using Tor makes it more difficult to trace Internet activity of the user like visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages, and other communication forms.
Tor’s intended use is to protect the personal privacy of its users, as well as their freedom and ability to conduct confidential communication by keeping their Internet activities unmonitored
To say in a nutshell, people use proxies because they don’t want anyone to track where they are located. But the truth is, even someone with limited technical skills can “track” your IP address to a general location, such as the city where you live. They cannot exactly pinpoint the address or figure out who you are, but if they got your name or city in an email or somewhere, they could guess where you are.
So what can people do who want more anonymity have? That’s where a Special Browser, Tor comes in.
What is Tor Browser? Does Tor hide your IP?
Tor is a free software program that we can load onto your computer (like a browser) that hides the IP address every time data is sent or requested on the Internet. The process is layered with heavy-duty encryption, which means your data is layered with privacy protection.
Tor will bounce those Internet requests and data through a vast and extensive network of relays (servers) around the world. That data path is never the same because Tor uses up to 5,000 Tor relays to send the data request. Think of it as a huge network of “hidden” servers that will keep your online identity (meaning your IP address) and your location invisible.
By using Tor, websites will no longer be able to track the physical location of your IP address or what you have been looking at online and neither will any law enforcement or government security agencies that may want to monitor someone’s Internet activity meaning. Tor is like a proxy on steroids.
Tor has extreme value because it can work with your website browser, remote log-in applications and even with instant-messaging software.
Who uses Tor? Is it illegal to use the Tor browser?
Tor is used by people all over the world to search and buy products and communicate with others with restricted Internet access, such as what exists in some foreign countries.
Tor goes beyond simple anonymity, it provides access to a world of information that the normal web (Clearnet) does not. Some may consider this to be a good thing, some will think of it a bad thing, but it depends on how the user looks at it.
Tor is used by a variety of people and organizations. But, it’s a fact that many individuals and organizations are up to no good on the Internet, and Tor is their network of choice. They deal in merchandise or information that is illegal and would be blocked by most Internet Service Providers.
Tor is used to access the hidden wiki links and other underground markets.
So while Tor does provide peace of mind for those who seek the highest level of Internet security and privacy, it also creates a haven for those who want to do online business out of the light of law enforcement.
And that brings up another problem. If you do business on Tor and you run into a problem or dispute or if you’re scammed there might not be anything you can do about it. A recent article cited that a higher percentage of Tor transactions are fraudulent ( compared to ordinary Internet transactions). Russia is working on blocking all incoming Tor traffic for anti-terrorist purposes. Wikipedia, the online public encyclopedia, is working hard to prevent Tor users from accessing their website.
Does Google block Tor?
Google and Yahoo don’t block Tor users outright. But People won’t be able to access dark web sites in the normal browser or even getting the reliable links for dark web sites is a little hideous task.