Review of Tor Browser: Protect Your Privacy and Surf Web Safely

Posted by on , in Category Downloads with Tags
Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN

8 Comments

  1. Dancarendt

    Thank you for this story…I became a Tor user this month due to its NoScripts et al abilities to keep savvy users on better guard against things like Flame re scripts/flash/attack sites. But for those who would share that opportunity via the relay bridge for censored users: I’ve run a bridge relay and although getting per Vidalia GUI a couple hundred total users only have used 20GB out of my 250Gb Comcast cap; this is total including my routine usage; this past weekend I discovered w/o notice to me (and I’ve tested with several scan companies) that Comcast has apparently firewalled ALL my ports yet whitelisted only the Tor Project itself and me as able to access/send via ANY port. This creates impression that the reason I suddenly have zero bridge users despite Tor connection and Vidalia claim bridge is operating is that ZERO requests for bridges are being honored by Comcast firewall (my requests came in small numbers from almost every nation here and there, especially China/Iran). Other than that, I add only many similar VPNs have driver issues which crash my edition of Windows which is why I use Tor for research or unknown sites, and despite any firewall at least for now my Tor client is working and I’m impressed with what it delivers the average user. Not all ISPs may share the spirit for which Tor exists, so thank you again for helping to show how everyday people need something like Tor!

  2. guest

    i am a little lost may-be i have not read or fully understood,but (tor vs other browsers) mentions various agencies that wish to track you.
    i thought tor was meant to stop/block this form of tracking,but then it mentions (web sites should not try to track you ) and goes on to say that setting this mode is not very reliable.
    so whats the point.

  3. Dancarendt

    To my understanding, this is one of the ways in which Tor is of little or no use to those wanting anonymity for illcit purpose(s). The Tor Project claims today most internet users aren’t at Tor, Windows Club or better tech levels; for instance, Andy K’s WC Forum last week had therein links to browser security checkers…in my case, one scanner told me my browser was only one of 21 out of 2 million it has tested and which had my security or better.

    This is known as “uniqueness”, and the more unique you are the easier to track you are by style alone. Per the Tor Project, if your bent is simply not to be tracked these days it seems you can’t be deemed “unique” by websites or otherwise in encrypted data which may be intercepted by so-called “evil” nodes and compared to traffic analysis in general. That is, if an “evil” node operator sees your tight security and nothing else, or a website detects it, you’re going to be easier to find by process of elimination as so few private parties these days have such security and timing of your accessing Tor/appearance of highly secure effects can lead right to you. So even though Tor won’t let exit nodes deliver spoofed UDPs (spam), if some other “unsavory” type makes even high security exit connection to just about ANY JavaScript or Flash-using site, inter alia, and they obviously have to to be using the internet for illicit purpose, they can “beat” agencies temporarily by appearing to be part of the low-tech-knowledge crowd via ENABLING scripts and flash like “most users”…but then they are exposed to hazards of using JavaScript or Flash at sites which can then help find them via analysis of their own “uniqueness”: elements of their offense!

    To be sure, the average Windows Club person doesn’t engage in much that requires threat of discovery by law agencies via “uniqueness”, and tech-savvy people like them are not who Tor wrote the advice for. I myself disable all scripts and set Tor security options to warn me of attack sites notwithstanding (note: I find you must tell Vidalia GUI that each time you start Tor…it indeed remembers nothing!). If I want a tech tut at YouTube, for example, I can temporarily allow that single video…to my awareness nobody is “staking out” my everyday internet spots. My “anonymity” is a byproduct of wanting tight protection against malware scripting.

    But if I were merely behind a national firewall of free thought generally, though not really “illicit” I too would want to avoid “uniqueness” in watching that same dull tech tut. To avoid end-to-end discovery I too would then have to deal with state-of-the-art DPI and other analyzers via turning off scripts generally…like most modern non-tech users; and I’d still have a great Tor warning system re attack sites plus my own trusted antiviral program…and Microsoft malware removal tools since I’m a windows fan.

  4. guest

    dancarendt,greetings.
    thank you for your most interesting comment my aim is to be as safe without skirting or breaking any laws/rules or regulations.
    but i have to say i dont think that tor is for me,it seems to much like hard work.
    best wishes.

  5. Arun Kumar

    When Tor asks websites not to collect information about you, many websites would not do it. But it is not a reliable method if some person is trying to follow you on the Internet. You need some tweaking such as disabling scripts etc – as dancarendt said. Again, if you use Tor continuously, your ISPs will start suspecting foul. The best method would be to use a normal browser for regular tasks and Tor for tasks where you require complete anonymity. I guess dancerendt has already made it clear in his first comment.

  6. Elektra

    You should have a section titled, “How Tor Browser Doesn’t Work”. Anyone who uses Firefox should know that TOR is another Firefox product, with the SAME browsing issues….slow, lagging, continually “Not Responding”, taking forever to get something accomplished that you can normally do on Chrome in a minute or two. I agree with some previous poster who suggest using Tor only occasionally, when anonymity is required, but using a regular browser for normal tasks, unless you enjoy sitting there watching the little circle go around 77 times before the next page loads. *sigh*

  7. Domcetr

    please tell us how to use a downloadmanager through tor.
    (install the manager and configurate tor)
    thanks

  8. Giovy

    Another clever way to avoid your site being censored by any authorities out there:

    http://bit.namecoin.info

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


7 + 2 =