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How to use TOR

..and why.
I am certain you already heard about the TOR. Don’t mix it with the Thor from Marvel’s or better from the legends of the North.

TOR uses so called The Onion Routing protocol in order to protect its users both from disclosing of their location. Since the traffic is encrypted end-to-end, it also protects your dirty secrets like cooking recipes and kitten pictures you want to share online.

TOR browser can be used for regular browsing, although you will notice that certain websites acts different while viewed with TOR browser. ( like Facebook and Gmail)
Some websites might not let you in as you seem suspicious to them.
It is caused by the facts, that TOR network is like the cloud of mist, where nobody knows what is happening inside. But when you leave it, you are again visible.Yet nobody can tell, where are you coming from.
And since there is only limited number of so called TOR end points, some other people might have already done something bad and the leaving point is marked as suspicious.
Also, you can use it to access the “Darknet”. Do that at your own risk.

Why to use it?
Regardless the pop-culture myths about only criminals using the TOR to sell drugs, you might find it useful for you as well.
As long as you have to pay more attention to the privacy, censorship, restrictions based on your location and so on.

It is used by journalists, activists, famous people, politicians, creatives, people who might deal with sensitive information or simply can’t publish in their own country.

Why not to use it?
In case you have something illegal in your mind, you should know that there are ways how to track individuals on TOR. It’s difficult, expensive, but if you are bad enough or simply go to wrong places like underground markets, its possible to catch you anyways.

As long as you use TOR just to increase your privacy while doing legit user activity, you’re just fine.

How to use TOR on PC/MAC:

  1. Go to a legit website of TOR project!
    – https://www.torproject.org/download/
    Do not trust any other resources as likely you would install a trojan right next to TOR bundle.
  2. Select the version of the installer according to your current Operating system (OS):
On picture above you can see example of selection between various OS. Pick yours and download.

3. You will be redirected to a download page. Download should start automatically. If not, just hit “Download Tor Browser” button.

4. Installation:
TOR browser is distributed in so called “bundle”. It means it is out of the box,ready to go. You just need to open the package right after download, choose where to place folder for the Tor’s directory and that’s it.
Also, it is distributed in portable versions, so once you delete the folder with the files, it’s gone.

5. After a successful installation you will see new items on your desktop: (Unless you select another location for extraction)

By clicking on “Start Tor Browser”, open the TOR and get ready for the ride!

Window opens:

At some countries, usage of TOR is prohibited. For that cases, you have to use another settings by clicking on “configure”. But for now, we are just fine to go: Hit “Connect”.

Connection to TOR is loading now.

After couple seconds to minutes, depending on your network, the browser window is finally loaded.

Fresh loaded browser window

So, why is there this weird homepage? Well for a good reason. DuckDuckGo is known for not storing the user search queries, so there is no history of your searches, compared to google which keeps your search history on purpose.

If you really don’t know where to start, just search for the “Hidden Wiki” 😉

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