The Tor network (short for The Onion Router, which describes its multi-layered privacy technology) was designed to enable anonymous internet browsing, and the Firefox-based Tor Browser is by far the quickest and simplest way to start using it.
You browse the web as normal, and the browser uses thousands of relays to disguise where your data’s coming from, and provided you practise safe surfing – something the browser warns you about; it can only do so much to protect your privacy if you’re sharing personal information online – it delivers secure browsing that’s only slightly slower than normal. It’s also handy for accessing geoblocked sites that block IP addresses from specific countries.
Tor Browser is our most highly recommended piece of privacy-protecting software, and the tools below can supplement its safeguards to keep your activities even more discreet.
The Tor software protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked.
The Tor Browser lets you use Tor on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux without needing to install any software. It can run off a USB flash drive, comes with a pre-configured web browser to protect your anonymity, and is self-contained (portable).