Browse the net privately but safely
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Everything you do on the net is tracked by thousands of people, right from internet service providers to the websites concerned. Everything...like your IP address, the browser you are using, what words you are searching, what websites you are seeing, what content you are looking for..is easily known. In some areas and countries, some websites are banned. Try as you may, you cannot open them. But there is one way through which you can open any site of your choice and browse the net, without anyone noticing. That is Tor Browser. Let us learn some facts about it...

Description of Tor Browserrepresentative image
Tor project has been designed to allow browsing in a secure manner, without giving away your identity, address or online activities. Tor Browser is a part of that project. The Firefox browser has been changed in accordance with Tor project and developed as Tor Browser. It encrypts the target or destination information, and routes it through various other pathways, before it can be accessed, by the user. The data is encrypted in several layers, like those of an onion. While travelling through the various Tor servers, the encrypted data is decoded layer by layer, until the end, when required information is revealed. As it has a multi-layered encryption like an onion, it called Onion Router. The destination file reaches the user via the same method.

For example, let us say, you opened a file through Tor Browser, from Hyderabad. The browser will first encrypt your request and the information you want, before routing it through Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium etc. You will be connected to the server of the website of your choice, while it passes through these countries, decoding the encrypted information layer by layer, at each place. For inspecting eyes, it will appear as if you are looking at that site from one of these nations. The Internet Protocol (IP) address too will be of that country. After sometime, the routing will also change. Likewise, your browsing too will not be tracked. The most important point is that the encryption and routing too takes place within seconds.

representative imageCreators of Tor
The original name of Tor is The Onion Router project. The onion routing method was first developed in the 1990s, by employees of American Naval Research Laboratory employees, Michael G. Reed and David Goldscolg. They formulated this to keep American Intelligence Communications safe online, without tracking. Later, Tor was developed, for private information protection, prevention of online tracking, preventing viewing of confidential information and security. Tor network works with the help of nearly 7,000 voluntary networks, worldwide.

Free of cost
Tor project works totally in the open source method. Anyone who knows technology and can help can take part in its development. Tor Browser and network are completely free of cost. Anyone can help by donating for the maintenance of the networks.

Not totally private
Even though Tor Browsing protects individual, private data and the user is not tracked, it is not entirely confidential. If experts want to find out from where the user is browsing, it is not very difficult to do so. Moreover, with ultra-modern technology and the user's browsing habits, it is easy to track the person's address.

It is slow
Browsing on Tor is slow as the data has to be encrypted, routed through various servers worldwide, again encrypted and get it to the user. This will take some time. Also, Tor Browser uses more system resources to function, for which reason, it is a bit slow.

Server countries can be changedrepresentative image
Users also have the option to select the countries or areas through which they want the information to be routed, while using Tor Browser. For example, when you open a network which is connected through Switzerland, Finland or America, you can change the routing through Netherlands, Germany or Sweden. Like this, it is easy to escape restrictions or ban on certain websites in particular countries. For expert technologists, this facility is helpful.

representative imageNo Installation
There is no need to install Tor Browser on your computers or laptops. It works without any registry or entry. When Tor Browser installation file is downloaded, you are asked to specify the location where it should be installed. In reality, it is not installation. It is just an expansion of compressed files. If you download it into a folder in a any Drive, a Tor Browser folder is created and all the files expand in that folder. In the same folder, another folder with a shortcut file called Star Tor Browser and other files, is created. Once the shortcut file is double clicked, Tor Browser is opened and Tor network is connected. From there it can be used as an ordinary browser.

The Tor Browser folder can be copied into a pen drive or a memory card and can be used in other computers or laptops. Once it is connected in another computer, the Tor Browser icon should be double clicked to open.

Restricted sites view able
Usually there is restriction on certain websites in some countries, International Service Providers (ISP) or some offices. They will be connected to the internet and will be scanning what others are viewing, sharing or downloading and can easily block the moves. Tor browsing cannot be detected as it passes through onion routing and is encrypted. So you can open any website and watch it. Many times, however, authentication is necessary.

Beware of Scripts, Flash contentrepresentative image
Most of the time, websites run scripts and broadcast flash videos and other multimedia content. These scripts try to track what you are watching, searching, as well as location of your computer, screen resolution of your desktop and other details. As such, scripts are blocked by Tor Browser. But many websites fail to open because of blocking of scripts. Content too is not visible. That is why, whenever the site is opened, temporarily the scripts are allowed to run.

Orbot and Orfox in Android mobiles
Orbot and Orfox help you to browse the internet anonymously, on your Android mobile phones. A browser called Orweb is used in Orbot. It has been developed to come with an inbuilt web browser in Android. Though it does not provide total anonymity like Tor Browser, it has a simple interface and can be used easily.

Orfox has been developed with the same source code as Tor Browser. This also has been developed on Firefox. It is facilitated to provide almost the same anonymity features as Tor Browser. It can be downloaded from Google Play Store.

Some inconveniences
representative imageIn Tor Browser, if you open Google or Facebook, your are asked to authenticate yourself, as the accounts that you have created in them has been stored as per the countries and areas from which you come. When you try to login from various other server countries, there could be a doubt regarding the identity of the user. There are chances of hacking or someone else might have snatched your passwords. Therefore, your are asked to authenticate. If the correct ID and password are entered, you are allowed to open the sites.

Some websites keep sending a variety of information and data to various countries, through particular extensions (.com, .co.in, .co.uk, .cn, .sn). For example Google website is google.com in many countries. In India it is google.in. In England it is google.co.uk and in Germany it is google.de. These websites send some special information to those countries. This might be banned or restricted in other countries. Even hackers use these kind of methods to get into some websites. Sometimes, robots and viruses too try to connect to websites in this manner. As such, when you are trying to connect to a particular website via that country's server, you will be asked to authenticate yourself. Or you are asked to decipher Captchas or recognise some particular things or areas. You can connect easily by giving the correct details.

Is using Tor illegal?
It is not wrong to secure private data and IP address on the internet. So using Tor Browser is not illegal. It is being used since a long time, to send confidential information or consult confidentially. However, the use of Tor for illegal activities has increased. That is why there are demands to restrict or ban the use of Tor. But viewed from an individual point of view, Tor is a useful device. Using it for illegal and anti-social activities and thinking that you might never be caught is wrong. These are easy to detect through modern technology and communication techniques.

Browsing habits should be changedrepresentative imagerepresentative imageWho will benefitSecure brrepresentative imageowsing in common browsers
Private browsing options are available in common browsers like Firefox and Chrome, in the form of private window and incognito features. This way, you can use the internet and escape browsing. Nothing will be saved, including browsing history, cookies, passwords and temporary files. However, only partial privacy is afforded through these. Complete anonymity, without anyone tracking can be achieved only through Tor Browsing.
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