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How to Download and Use Tor Browser

How to download and use tor browser

Some people are not realizing that their browsing habits are monitored by the government and their internet service providers. They would talk behind your back and might plan something to make you involved with something. In some countries, accessing a deep web can get you in trouble. and if you have known about such risks, you will want to equip yourself with the set of skills and solutions to make you capable of browsing particular sites without getting tracked. If you are just like the fellow deep web browsers, you’ll surely know how important it is to anonymize all of your browsing habits.

Here is where the Tor browser enters to be your ally. Tor Browser can effectively anonymize all of your online activities, preventing the third parties from monitoring your activities. With the help of this software, you will have peace of mind every time you access your favorite site.

It is a strong software which can protect your privacy.

Well, perhaps you are considering using the Chrome incognito tab instead. If you want to conceal your activity, these incognito tabs won’t do much for you.

Instead, Tor allows you to join its private network from your desktop to prevent your ISP and government from reading your online activities.

Tor broswer screenshot
Tor broswer screenshot

Tor Browser explained

Perhaps for some of you, it is completely a new thing. Tor is actually a network run by peers across the globe. Each volunteer runs the relay, just like when someone uses an app to allow the other users to connect to the internet through the ally network. In this case, the specific network is called the Tor network.

Tor Browser will connect to several relays which are online across the globe. These will wipe the tracks in each relay. So, when you connect to the internet, your current location will be masked. No one will know where you are, or who you are.

Tor has received mixed reviews simply because some of the users do not like the illicit nature of the browser. But actually, this browser comes with the legitimate features as well.

For instance, the professions which require privacy will need to use the Tor browser to keep the sources anonymous. The journalists could communicate with the anonymous sources to attain the important information. The sources of the information are using Tor browser to protect their identity and privacy. They won’t want to share their location because of the dangerous risks.

If you are browsing normally, there is no need to use the Tor browser. But if you have any hidden agenda like investigating something, purchasing some cannabis online, or any other “greyish” stuff, then you need to anonymize your browsing habits in order to prevent you being targeted by the local authority.

Starting to Use Tor

You will need to download the Tor Browser first from the official site. Tor is basically a modded Firefox which is equipped with numerous apps to connect you to the Tor network.

Download tor browser for here.

Tor browser setup install
Tor browser setup install

After downloading the installer, you could just install the software. Or, if you have a GPG signature, you could check the installation file using your signature first.

In a world like this, you might not be sure whether something that you get from the internet is the real stuff or not. To make sure that you’ve downloaded the right version of Tor browser, you could check the file with the GPG signature. If it passes the test, you could then proceed installing the Tor software in your device.

It won’t take a long time to check the GPG signature. If you have no idea how to do that, the Tor Project comes with the tutorials that you just need to follow to get it right.

After downloading the file, you will want to install the Tor browser on your device.  You can also have the choice to install Tor browser in the USB stick.

For Windows OS devices, you can notice that Tor Browser comes in the EXE file. It is easy to install.

It works pretty much the same way as other software installations. However, this browser does not come with the same default location. It defaults in the desktop as the location of installation.

Tor Browser is basically a portable software which does not necessarily join with the system of your PC. Therefore, you can run Tor browser from anywhere you like, including your flash drive.Some people prefer to locate the Tor browser to flash drive for safety reasons. But if you are the only one who uses your current PC or laptop, it does not hurt to locate the software in your hard drive.

Choose the install location window by Clicking Browse. And then choose the location where you want to place your Tor software. For instance, if you want to carry around your Tor browser with you, you could just locate the file in your USB flash drive. Or, you could simply place it on the desktop if you are going to use it only on your PC or laptop.

After the location is selected, click Install and the wizard will continue the process automatically.

Using Tor Browser

How to Download and Use Tor Browser
Start tor browser

There will be a folder entitled Tor Browser. You want to double click to open the folder and find .exe software. It is usually named as “Start Tor Browser.exe”. you will want to double click the file to activate your Tor network.

Then a window will show up to ask you if you want to connect to Tor Network or configure the proxies.

It is a great idea to simply connect to the Tor network to get you started immediately. Choose Connect so that you can use the Tor browser right away. The modded version of Firefox will immediately deploy and it is the cue for you to start browsing since your device is already connected to the network.

Rest assured that when it does, you have been in an anonymous state. So, you won’t need to worry that the third parties are praying for you. They will have no ideas about what you are accessing, where you are, and even who you are.

But if you’d like to check if you are already connected to the Tor network, you could check it by yourself through a trustworthy site like WhatIsMyIP.com. The site will detect your location. Don’t be surprised if the site detects the strange IP which is not your real location. Well, that’s a good thing! That means the Tor browser has managed to work on your device.

That will also be the direct cue to proceed to anonymously browse the deep web or darknet sites, or any other sites from your Tor Browser.

There are some takeaways that you need to consider when using the Tor browser. It is recommended to access sites through HTTPS, SSL, or TSL. If you are not accessing HTTPS, the third parties will still be able to read your activities through the exit node.

The other takeaway is the fact that your ISP might still be able to see if you are using Tor browser. Although they don’t necessarily see the sites that you access, it can be enough reason for them to take an action like questioning about your online activities, stopping their services, and so on. So, you will want to fortify your Tor browser with more anonymity. Tor combined with VPN can be a great solution for you. But it is for the later discussion.

Compatibility of the software

As mentioned in the official site, it is currently available for Windows, OS X, Linus, as well as Android. Sorry, iOS users, you won’t be able to use this service. But in some cases, the iOS users can use Onion Browser to access some deep webs.

Accessing Deep Web with Tor Browser

Start using tor browser
Start using tor browser

You might be interested in accessing the deep web for particular reasons. Or perhaps, you are looking for the best way to access the onion sites from your device. Tor browser can provide you with a high level of anonymity and security which can streamline your online behaviors. However, it does not provide you high-end security features which can protect you and your device from all threats online.

As you jump into the deep web, you must understand the risks and the takeaways.

There are a lot of loopholes and pitfalls for the beginners. Therefore, it is important to equip yourself with the OPSEC practices and knowledge first before proceeding. To maximize your anonymity, you could consider installing a VPN on your device.

As I mentioned before, your ISP is still figuring out that you are using Tor browser, which leads them to questions. With the VPN, you can increase your anonymity when accessing some deep webs. It is the best way to protect ourselves from cyber attacks and other kinds of threats on the darknet.

Of course, you won’t get much from the free VPN service. The worst thing about a free VPN is that it is available in the public domain. So, you are not the exclusive user of the particular service. And when the server is crowded, the slow connections will really jeopardize your online activity. Not to mention that free VPN services are prone to malware, spyware, scamming, cyber attacks, and other mishaps. Don’t take the risks.

Get the quality VPN services which give the best values for your money. I’d like to recommend you to focus only on the top-notch providers in the niche such as Expressvpn, Nord VPN, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost, IP Vanish, and so on.

To find the sites that you’ll want to visit, consider doing extensive research.

For instance, if you are going to visit a specific darknet market site, you will want to retrieve the onion links from trustworthy sources. Onion links are not indexed in the conventional search engines like Google. So, you need to double check each link that you’re going to click before visiting the site for good.

As long as you’ve reserved the safe links, you just need to use your Tor browser to access the site.

Tor Browser is different from VPN service. It is available to improve the anonymity of the users. Meanwhile, the VPN sole objective is to protect the privacy of the users. You may have heard these phrases often in dark forums. But they are different things. Though Tor browser and VPN improve cyber security, their strategies are different.

Let’s talk about the VPN service first.

As you’ve installed the particular VPN software in your device, you can rest assured that there will be no third parties who can intervene with your data. All of your data will be fortified in the form of end-to-end encryption.

Then the VPN will transfer the data via a safe channel to a specific remote server.

This remote server will connect you to the website you visit.

The good thing about adding VPN to your strategy is that no one can see that you’re on the Tor network, not even your internet service provider. It literally cuts the information that your ISP can retrieve about your online behaviors because you are “allegedly” traveling somewhere else.

It is crucial to always use the combination of Tor Network + VPN, especially when accessing the specific darknet websites in the countries which come with the strict regulations. Although Tor Browser is not illegal, the authority could give you a serious notice if you are conducting some “greyish” activities online.

For instance, we know that weeds are getting legal in many states now. But there’s a chance that it is yet to be legalized in your location. While the sellers can conceal the shipping information, you will also need to protect your privacy by using the VPN service.

The Tor browser conducts meticulous processes to protect your data and improve your anonymous activities. Your data will be protected with the layers of encryption. Then the encrypted data will go through relays and be encrypted again. The process is proceeding through a decentralized network.

As you achieve the last relay, the layer of encryption will be detached and your real data will be delivered to the destination. These random relays make one location bounce from one to another, making it difficult to trace back to your activities online. Tor Browser will also delete the history and cookies whenever you end the browsing session. And it will be done automatically. Combined with a strong VPN service, you can rest assured that your online activities won’t be traced back to you.

The Quality of the security

How to Download and Use Tor Browser
Tor browser security

When it comes to the security level it offers, Tor Browser is definitely much better than the common web browsers. But again,  it offers you a high anonymity level but not with the security of your privacy. Tor Browser can hide your location. No one can track your traffic. However, some savvy people can still monitor your browsing activities. The exit node can still see your online activity and ones could still notice that you visit darknet sites. With the high quality of the VPN service, you will be able to get rid of this problem. Even using Tor browser, you will also need to practice the OPSEC principles to protect yourself. That includes not giving your real name, addresses, or other personal information to strangers or dark net websites.

The Downside of Tor browser

As you’ve covered the problem with the security, the downside to consider is that using Tor browser may affect your internet connection quality.

Some users reported extremely slow connections when using Tor Browser. Well, it is not surprising since your data will need to go from one relay to another before being sent to the real recipient. It might be slower, but it is definitely safer.

You can also weigh the factor of your internet speed. If you think that the connection is too slow, you might want to consider upgrading your internet package. For this case, you can reach out to your internet service provider to see the available options for you.

Because of the slow connection, using Tor browser might not be ideal for streaming or downloading. Unless you have a high-end internet package at your place, you may want to ditch your hobbies a little bit when using the Tor browser. The Tor officials also recommend you to avoid Torrenting because it can tamper your online privacy quality.

If you want to stream your favorite shows, I’d like to recommend you to upgrade your internet plan to give you a better download rate. Then you could use the top notch VPN service to protect your privacy.

The other Tor downside is that your activity is still visible for your ISP. So, before you visit any deep web, you will want to check if you’ve turned on your VPN or not. Although your ISP can’t see your activities, they can easily detect if you are using the Tor network or not. That can be good enough reasons to build a particular case against you.

Moreover, keep in mind that Tor Browser is pretty much similar with other browsers. Setting aside the main functions which I explained above, it won’t encrypt your other activities. So when you use the Tor browser in your device, there is a need for giving extra protections to enhance your privacy quality. That’s why you can’t go wrong by combining Tor browser with the top VPN service to cover all that you need to access these bizarre sites. There are two ways to combine Tor browser with VPN. The first one is Onion Over VPN, the second one is VPN Over Tor.

In the Onion over VPN, you will connect to the VPN first, then access the Tor network. It is the simplest way to conduct online activities with perfect anonymity. When you use the Onion Over VPN method, your internet service provider won’t be able to see that you are using the Tor browser. The VPN manages to hide your online activities from them.

You can use the VPN service which comes with a strict no-logs policy. Therefore, you can rest assured that your real IP address will remain hidden. But there’s a huge catch. Onion over VPN method won’t guarantee the great protections in the exit nodes. It is sensible because your data will be decrypted as soon as it reaches the destination.

The second method is VPN over Tor. In this case, you will connect to the Tor network first, then using your VPN. This method answers the previous problem about the exit nodes. In this case, the particular exit node will go through a secure VPN server.

In other words, the node operator won’t be able to see your current IP and your private information. You could choose VPN over Tor if you are doing something sensitive and you don’t want other people to know about it. This method will keep your real IP address hidden from the VPN provider.

But there’s a downside for this method. The governments and your internet service provider will know that you are using Tor browser. But they cannot read your activities. It can be a problem though if your connection to Tor is known. It can be enough reason for some entities to put surveillance on you. Consider picking the best VPN that works well with Tor.

There are too many VPN providers to test by yourself. It does not hurt to focus only on the best providers like ExpressVPN, Nord VPN, and so on.