Thinking of using Top Browser but hesitant about it’s safety and privacy features? It is worth using? Is it recommended to use Tor Brower? Keep on reading further to get all your questions answered.
If you are considering the option of using Tor Browser for the purpose of protecting your privacy when you are active online, you be aware of a few important things.
While it is an amazing way of ensuring your digital anonymity, it sure has its own flaws. Therefore, you must be fully aware of all its aspects before you start using it.
To begin with, if you are interested in browsing the dark web while having the maximum possible level of privacy and safety, you will be required to combine Tor with a good VPN.
Even though Tor itself makes efforts for maintaining your anonymity, there are always some online threats which can be avoided only when you make use of a VPN.
Table of Contents
- About Tor Browser
- Quick Guide: How to use VPN with Tor?
- How to get started with Tor Browser?
- Using Tor Browser For Accessing the Dark Web
- Is Tor Browser a VPN?
- How Does Tor Browser Work?
- How Secure Is Tor Browser?
- Using Tor Browser with a VPN
- Most recommended VPNs with Tor Browser
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What are VPNs?
- Is Tor Browser free?
- Can I still be caught even if I use a VPN?
- Is Tor Browser safe?
- Tor Browser is illegal?
About Tor Browser
Tor is an open-source software available free of cost, which is helpful in staying anonymous while you are online. When you look at it first, you would see that it operates similar to any other web browser.
However, in the deeper understanding, we know that there is a lot more happing beneath what is seen on the screen. What Tod does is that it directs all of your traffic randomly through a network web of servers from across the globe.
Your activities are protected with multiple encryption layers for the purpose of keeping it safe from any external agent trying to peek in.
The encryption of your activities can be understood to be the various layers of an onion, that is why Tor actually expands for “The Onion Router”.
You could access the network via the Tor Browser, which will let you keep all your activities, location, and identity completely hidden when you browse.
Quick Guide: How to use VPN with Tor?
- Subscribe to a VPN like NordVPN.
- Download and Install the VPN app for your device.
- Log into your VPN app and Connect to a suitable server in US.
- Download the Tor browser and enjoy safe and anonymous browsing.
How to get started with Tor Browser?
Getting started with Tor Browser is very easy. It is downloaded just like any other file.
All you have to do is follow the simple steps mentioned below:
- Download the software.
- Install the software.
- Open the browser and connect with the network.
- Enjoy safe browsing.
Using Tor Browser For Accessing the Dark Web
The dark web could be understood as the internet’s hidden part where you would be able to access any information anonymously.
With Tor, you will be able to get access to this dark side of the web, it also includes sites which are created specially for it. The CIA and The New York Times have now made their “onion” versions accessible through Tor.
You might have heard that this dark web is very commonly associated with illegality as well as shady transactions. We have to understand that there is a lot more to dark web than just that.
It is the fact that there is no tracking of your activities while doing so just makes it very easy for those trying to take advantage of the unawareness of users.
The easiest way of ensuring your safety, security and privacy at all times is to makes use of a good VPN such as NordVPN or ExpressVPN whenever you use Tor Browser.
Is Tor Browser a VPN?
Tor Browser definitely cannot be said to be a VPN. To begin with, understand that the primary function of Tor is maintenance of anonymity, while, on the other hand, the primary function of any VPN is protection of privacy.
Though you might feel that these sound a lot similar, it should be acknowledged that they are fundamentally different from each other.
While both might be committed towards your safety online, the ways in which each accomplishes the goal is significantly different.
With a VPN, there is complete security of all your data which is achieved using end-to-end encryption. A safe channel is used through which all your data is directed to a suitable server.
If you use a VPN with Tor, your activities will be hidden even from your Internet Service Provider.
How Does Tor Browser Work?
Tor Browser makes use of multiple complex steps for protecting your data. Firstly, your data is hidden in several encryption layers.
After that, it is channeled through any random relay where it is encrypted again. This process is repeated across a decentralized network of nodes.
Every time any data passes through a network’s nodes, another encryption layer gets removed so as to unravel the location for further relays. At the final relay, the very last encryption layer gets removed and the data gets sent to the final destination.
Every path is generated very randomly, and there is no record kept of the relays. Tor is also known to delete cookies and browsing history after each of your sessions.
This way your activities become extremely difficult to trace to get back to the user’s identity.
Well, you almost achieve full anonymity there. There might still be loop holes which only a VPN backing Tor will be able to save you from.
How Secure Is Tor Browser?
While it is true that with Tor, you get much more anonymity as compared to your regular internet browsers, it cannot be considered 100% secure.
Your location would be hidden as well as your traffic would be untracked, however some people might still be able to see your online activities or some of its parts.
The volunteers you trust in the process of using Tor Browser are anonymous, therefore, you can never be sure what is running in the background.
Usually, this would not be an issue, because each one is able to detect the location of only the preceding and also the following relays. The only exception to this is the last one.
In the final relay, the final encryption layer on your data gets removed. It will not be able to trace your initial, real IP address or location, but in the exit node, your activities can be spied on if you visit unsecured websites. The best way of avoiding this is the use of a good VPN.
Using Tor Browser with a VPN
Both VPNs and Tor Browser could help you in maintaining privacy and staying anonymous online – however it is best when you use both of them together.
The primary reason of doing this is the fact that adding a VPN could cover any loop holes and security vulnerabilities in the Tor Browser system.
You can combine them in two ways. The method that you choose to use will depend majorly on your security priorities.
Tor over VPN
Also known as “Onion over VPN”. In this method, you are connected with your VPN first. Then you go on accessing the Tor network via the VPN.
In this way of combining the two, the VPN will encrypt your data as well as hide your IP address, it will channel your traffic via a secure server before it connects to the network of Tor.
What this means is that all your traffic will be protected. The volunteer-operated servers of Tor will not be able to trace your IP address.
In addition to this, your ISP will not be able to make out if you are using Tor, because your VPN will hide all your activities. Moreover, the VPN provider will not be able to view your activities carried out within the limits of the Tor network.
VPN over Tor
The second way is a bit more complex than the first one. In this method, first, you are connected to Tor network, then go through the process of your VPN.
For you to be able to begin with this method, you will probably be needed to manually configure your VPN for allowing it.
However, the biggest benefit of this method is that you are protected from any malicious end relays or exit nodes. In place of directly going from the last relay to the intended destination.
With this method, the data will be directed from the final relay via a secure server of the VPN. This way the operator of the node will not be able to view any of your information including your IP address.
If you intend to communicate some sensitive information, it is recommended that you make use of the VPN over Tor method.
With this, your IP address will remain hidden from the VPN provider as well, regardless of whether they have a ‘no-log’ policy.
Note: VPN over Tor method is not recommended if you are prioritizing your safety, privacy and anonymity.
Most recommended VPNs with Tor Browser
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NordVPN’s features in a glance
- Unblock Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu etc
- Fast and secure Internet
- Strict no-logs policy
- 5200+ servers in 60 countries
- Connect up to 6 devices
- Onion Over VPN – Combine NordVPN encryption with the anonymity.
- Multi-factor authentication
- Kill Switch will make sure your data will not be exposed.
- Split tunneling support
- Get a Dedicated IP address
- Mask your IP
- CyberSec to avoid Block ads and malware
- Lightweight Browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge
- No data leaks
- Stream sports live from official channels
- 30 days money back guarantee
It provides you with a high-security level and surety of zero IPv6/ DNS leaks which makes it one of the best and most used VPNs among the long list of VPNs available in today’s time. It could also provide you with Onion over VPN in case you require more security.
What makes it more attractive is that six connections at the same time are provided on each of the subscriptions in addition with the Netflix streaming.
This VPN is known to be the all-rounder VPN with the availability of high-speed internet and reasonable price.
It has a simple UI which makes it very easy to use even for beginners. It is popularly used to unblock the contents which are geographically blocked in platforms like Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney, etc.
One of it’s best qualities is the guarantee of 30 days for returning back the money which makes it riskless. Incase you do not like the app after trying it, you could easily get 100℅ refund.
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ExpressVPN’s features in a glance
- 160 VPN server locations in 94 countries all over the world.
- Unblock Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu etc
- Masking IP Address
- Easy to use on every device like Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, routers etc.
- Split Tunneling which lets you route some device traffic through a VPN
- Kill Switch keeps your data safe if your VPN connection drops.
- No log policy
- It blocks malicious and ads.
- It lets you bypass ISP throttling.
- Use 5 devices simultaneously
- 30 days money back guarantee
- Wide-ranging payment options
ExpressVPN is the best option to be used if you require a VPN which provides high security as well as high encryption. The VPN is based on the British Virgin Islands where there are no laws for data retention.
Hence, your data will not be kept with the company and no other party could request to access your data which makes it completely private and secure.
OpenVPN, L2Tp-IPSec and IKev2 protocols are used by ExpressVPN which are popular for being the most reliable and safe security protocols.
It has more than 3000 servers in around 94 countries which offer upto 100Mb/s speed of internet. It allows you to stream Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ and many more in the best streaming quality (Ultra HD quality).
They also provide you with the 30 days money-back program through which you could easily get your full refund in case you want to withdraw from this VPN.
With this, there is also a feature of live chat available 24/7 to help you deal with all your problems. In case you need, there is also an option which provides you access to a hidden page meant for subscriptions of low price.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are VPNs?
VPN is expanded to Virtual Private Networks. VPN assigns your device an IP address which helps you keep your activities untraceable by external agents. It helps you access geo-blocked content.
Is Tor Browser free?
Yes, it is. Tor Browser is completely free of cost. All you have to do it download and install it like any other software.
Can I still be caught even if I use a VPN?
Yes, you can still be caught even if you make use of a VPN for the same. However, with a VPN, it becomes a very unlikely thing to happen because it hides your home IP address.
Is Tor Browser safe?
While it definitely gives you more anonymity than your regular web browsers, but it cannot be considered as being completely safe. This is why it is always recommended that you use a good VPN with it.
Tor Browser is illegal?
No, Tor Browser is not illegal, but you could be viewed with suspicion if you are caught using it.