TOR, standing for The Onion Router is a system intended to enable online anonymity. TOR client software routes Internet traffic through a worldwide volunteer network of servers It is a freebie which is often a good sign. The download button comes with a page on how to use it, how to make sure it does what it should. Here it is. Take the time to read it at Want Tor to really work?
PS The FBI hates TOR; it hates privacy which is why they attacked the
Silk Road but they didn't break the Darknet behind it. Popular darknets include Freenet, GNUnet (when using its "F2F topology" option).
PPS The Economist tells us that TOR really does slow the attackers down - see One Dread Pirate On Trial.

TOR (anonymity network) ex Wiki
Tor (short for The onion router) is a system intended to enable online anonymity. Tor client software routes Internet traffic through a worldwide volunteer network of servers in order to conceal a user's location or usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. Using Tor makes it more difficult to trace Internet activity, including "visits to Web sites, online posts, instant messages and other communication forms", back to the user[5] and is intended to protect users' personal freedom, privacy, and ability to conduct confidential business by keeping their internet activities from being monitored.

"Onion routing" refers to the layered nature of the encryption service: The original data are encrypted and re-encrypted multiple times, then sent through successive Tor relays, each one of which decrypts a "layer" of encryption before passing the data on to the next relay and, ultimately, its destination. This reduces the possibility of the original data being unscrambled or understood in transit.[6]

The Tor client is free software and use of the Tor network is free of charge.
It sounds good to me.


Want Tor to really work?

You need to change some of your habits, as some things won't work exactly as you are used to.

  1. Use the Tor Browser
    Tor does not protect all of your computer's Internet traffic when you run it. Tor only protects your applications that are properly configured to send their Internet traffic through Tor. To avoid problems with Tor configuration, we strongly recommend you use the Tor Browser Bundle. It is pre-configured to protect your privacy and anonymity on the web as long as you're browsing with the Tor Browser itself. Almost any other web browser configuration is likely to be unsafe to use with Tor.

  2. Don't enable or install browser plugins
    The Tor Browser will block browser plugins such as Flash, RealPlayer, Quicktime, and others: they can be manipulated into revealing your IP address. Similarly, we do not recommend installing additional addons or plugins into the Tor Browser, as these may bypass Tor or otherwise harm your anonymity and privacy. The lack of plugins means that YouTube videos are blocked by default, but YouTube does provide an experimental opt-in feature (enable it here) that works for some videos.

  3. Use HTTPS versions of websites
    Tor will encrypt your traffic to and within the Tor network, but the encryption of your traffic to the final destination website depends upon on that website. To help ensure private encryption to websites, the Tor Browser Bundle includes HTTPS Everywhere to force the use of HTTPS encryption with major websites that support it. However, you should still watch the browser URL bar to ensure that websites you provide sensitive information to display a blue or green URL bar button, include https:// in the URL, and display the proper expected name for the website.

  4. Don't open documents downloaded through Tor while online
    The Tor Browser will warn you before automatically opening documents that are handled by external applications. DO NOT IGNORE THIS WARNING. You should be very careful when downloading documents via Tor (especially DOC and PDF files) as these documents can contain Internet resources that will be downloaded outside of Tor by the application that opens them. This will reveal your non-Tor IP address. If you must work with DOC and/or PDF files, we strongly recommend either using a disconnected computer, downloading the free VirtualBox and using it with a virtual machine image with networking disabled, or using Tails. Under no circumstances is it safe to use BitTorrent and Tor together, however.

  5. Use bridges and/or find company
    Tor tries to prevent attackers from learning what destination websites you connect to. However, by default, it does not prevent somebody watching your Internet traffic from learning that you're using Tor. If this matters to you, you can reduce this risk by configuring Tor to use a Tor bridge relay rather than connecting directly to the public Tor network. Ultimately the best protection is a social approach: the more Tor users there are near you and the more diverse their interests, the less dangerous it will be that you are one of them. Convince other people to use Tor, too!

Be smart and learn more. Understand what Tor does and does not offer. This list of pitfalls isn't complete, and we need your help identifying and documenting all the issues.



Errors & omissions, broken links, cock ups, over-emphasis, malice [ real or imaginary ] or whatever; if you find any I am open to comment.

Email me at Mike Emery. All financial contributions are cheerfully accepted. If you want to keep it private, use my PGP key.  Home

Updated  on Friday, 24 February 2017 22:16:49