Surf Anonymously With TOR

Tor prevents people from learning your location or browsing habits. It’s free and very secure. Tor makes it difficult for people to find out where you’ve been online by masking your location. Tor protects you against a form of internet surveillance known as “traffic analysis.” According to Tor, “Traffic analysis can be used to infer who is talking to whom over a public network. Knowing the source and destination of your Internet traffic allows others to track your behavior and interests.” Using Tor makes it much harder to trace internet traffic to you.

So just how does Tor work? You send out a request to the internet through the Tor program. Tor then bounces your request amongst different relays (servers run by Tor and volunteers who want to help others) located around the world (this is known as onion routing). While a simple proxy server may only relay your traffic through one server, with Tor, your information will pass through at least three servers before sending it on to the destination. Learn more about how Tor differs from other proxy servers here.

Passing your information request through multiple servers makes your information safer and provides anonymity because the end computer you are communicating with never sees your IP address. It only sees the IP address of the last Tor router that your communications traveled through. Each circuit (the multiple encrypted connections your communication makes to various servers along its route) will be used by Tor for ten minutes. After ten minutes, new requests are given a new circuit. This gives you better protection and keep people from linking earlier connections you made to newer ones.

Tor was originally designed by the Naval Research Laboratory, and was developed specifically with the U.S. Navy in mind. Today, it’s used by people all over the world. The Tor Project is a non-profit organization that maintains and develops the Tor software. Learn more about who uses Tor.

It's important to remember that Tor does not encrypt all of your internet activities. It cannot and does not protect against someone monitoring traffic entering and exiting the Tor network. Learn more about what Tor can and cannot do by reading the information on this page. You can also find out more about how to choose the right circumvention tool with our guide. This guide will walk you through the steps for installing and using Tor.

Get the software by pointing your browser to http://www.torproject.org/.