Insights on the use of Tor (“The Onion Router”), a worldwide network that allow you explore the internet with privacy.

With complaints and worries on the impermissible collection of data or cracking of IP addresses, legally and illegally on the rise, Tor is one of the global systems built to provide a means to pass data on the internet without fear of it falling into the wrong hands and free from prying eyes through making you invisible by hiding your IP address. However, Tor also belongs to the internet and that means it is equally open to misdeeds and unfortunate occurrences.

Tor was built with excellent features that has been improved and proven dependable over the years but it still doesn’t give it a one hundred percent assurance that it is infallible. As an individual that wishes to stay anonymous on the internet and secure your data, there are several things to consider before issuing the go-ahead with Tor.

How to Use Tor Browser?

Although Tor browser appears to have a complex system if you are just seeing it for the first time, it is quite very easy and lovely to use. You just download and install Tor browser, next connect to the internetjust like you do with other browsers.

Tor uses a unique system developed by the US Navy to prevent government intelligence communications from getting outside.

It works in a way that your data is gathered into segments of encrypted packets before it goes into the Tor network. It starts with volunteers worldwide and each volunteer runs what is called a relay, when your data passes through one of these relays, a layer of encryption is removed to open up a location for the next until it gets to the last one known as the exit node before you become anonymous.

Is Tor illegal?

Tor is a free-to-air network run by volunteers with a browsing software overseen by the non-profit Tor Project.

Based on the assumptions that hiding your identity or deeds from the public outrightly means you are harbouring odd intentions, there is also the fact that you are avoiding superfluous snoops. Tor makes it possible to access and explore the internet without fear of your data getting hacked or stolen and that doesn’t make it illegal but the opposite actually.

Is Tor Browser Safe?

Tor browser effectively hides your location and prevents your IP address from being tracked.With all the built-in technology of Tor browser, it is almost impossible to track your activities on the network but that does not make it entirely secure.

The system has few holes in it. Provided it is run by volunteers and your data passes through several relays, you never know who is behind the relays your data travels through and that leaves you vulnerable even though the possibilities of you being tracked is slim. However, this isn’t a tough issue in the general sense, as each relay can only access the location of the previous and next relays, except the exit node because it removes the final layer of encryption on your data. Your real location and IP address will only be visible and accessible if you visit a dangerous HTTP website that is unsecured. It is advisable to switch off the browser’s plugins and scripts if you are trying to stay anonymous, because these can be used to reveal stuffs like your IP address.

What is a Tor Browser?

Tor browser is just like the normal browsers you can find on the internet. It isn’t difficult to use and the only difference is that it connects you to the internet through the Tor network. 

Tor is free, global network that helps you access the internet in anonymity. While using Tor browser to access the internet, your traffic is randomly directed through a network of servers before it reaches its final destination, in order to secure your location and identity.

“Tor” is the abbreviation of The Onion Router. It automatically explains the wrapping of your data in several layers of encryption like an Onion.

How anonymous is Tor?

Tor’s network is not 100% anonymous but it sure shades you from the prying eyes of the public to an acceptable and commendable level. There were times IP addresses was able to be discovered from the relays of network using a particular standard network but the flaw was worked on and the hole covered. Right now, the only apparent way your privacy is detected and your data accessed is if you log into an unsecured HTTP website.

Does Tor Hide your IP?

With the system process of your data passing through layers of encryption thereby making it difficult for your IP to be detected, it is safe to say that Tor does truly does hide IP address.

Using Tor without VPN

According to Wiki, Virtual private network also known as VPN helps connect the reach of a private network across a public one, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks.

Using Tor without VPN is way better than with it, VPN connected with Tor browser slows it down to a frustrating level not minding the convenience both combinations bring to the table.

The first thing to do if you wish to use Tor with VPN is to connect to your VPN, and then use Tor to direct your traffic to the internet, encrypting your data before it gets rerouted. This adds a layer of encryption before anonymity. However, using Tor without VPN prevents you from accessing Tor’s secured and secured services.

So, is Tor safe?

The answer to this is not certain. Tor was designed and created to provide anonymity to users of the internet seeking to keep their privacy bottled up to themselves. Although developers of the Tor system are always on key, trying to get over whatever security issues they face with Tor, highly skilled individuals including Government authorities still monitor activity on the system sometimes.

We all need to be safe, at least it is one of the reasons we are considering an anonymous web platform in this article, for our safety, government authorities monitor crime syndicates using the Tor network to hide their shady dealings. Take for example, European security agencies took down a crime group after finding out their drug trade usage of the Tor network on the dark web. The authorities launched a serious and accurate attack on the criminals, seized several domains and as well arrested the users.

The criminals effectively used  the domains to promote their trade and the security agencies monitored them with the Tor  network  until  they  made the apprehensive move.

Such effective and free usage of the Tor network by security officials raised doubts over the reliability and vulnerability of the network but the rumours were dismissed. The Tor network concluded it as good policing and nothing odd  about their network.

There was another case of the FBI connecting over a hundred and fifty people to an illegal sale of drugs case and shady deals on the dark web through Tor, it raised dusts over the total privacy protection effects of the project but that also remained unconfirmed. Another group, a group of researchers from Carnegie Mellon University gained control of enough servers in the Tor network to monitor the relays on both ends of the Tor circuit and compare the traffic timing, volume, and other unique characteristics to identify which other Tor relays were part of which circuits. By combining the entire circuit, the researchers were able to see the IP address of the user on the first relay and the final destination of their web traffic on the last relay, allowing them to match users to their online activity.

Judging by all these, it is certain Tor is not 100% safe but it is sure to keep you from the eyes of the public for as long as you are careful. Tor certainly does add a level of security, while many ISPs are aware of the general entry and exit points most users on Tor access, they cannot track websites visited or what you’re sending and receiving. However, what ISPs can see is how much data you are using, and where you accessed the network.

What Does Tor Do

 The Tor network directs internet traffic through a global, volunteered, free network with no nothing less than six thousand relays to keep a user’s location and private data away from public eyes. Tor does a lot as protect your privacy and keep you in the dark for as long as you need to be provided you follow the guidelines of the Do’s and Don’ts of using the network.

Once you log into just websites that use the Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, or HTTPS, a protocol that establishes an encrypted link between the final Tor relay and your destination website, you are on a safe note.

There is also no denying the fact that Tor has been a nest for criminals to hide in and carry out their criminal activities but that doesn’t mean it is a 100% assured site for criminals to hop in and out undetected, Tor can still be used to monitor and detect criminal activities by the right people.

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