This chapter is geared towards beginners. No particular tech skills are required.
Need to remain anonymous and hide your identity from Internet Service Providers (ISPs), websites, advertisers or surveillance? Use the Tor Browser!
Tor was released in 2002 and is used by millions of people worldwide, including journalists and activists. Before reaching its destination, the Tor browser's web traffic is routed through a world-wide network made up of thousands of computers (so-called relays). Since everything is encrypted and no records are kept, nobody has a clue about the traffic's origin, destination or content. The only thing the destination website will see is the IP address of the exit node, which is the last relay in the network.
A word of advice
Although the Tor Browser has numerous benefits, it also comes with a few drawbacks. Browsing is slower than with a regular Internet connection. Some major websites block Tor users. In some countries, Tor is illegal or blocked by the government. Also, using Tor doesn't necessarily mean being anonymous or secure. Your device still can be exposed to man-in-the-middle attacks, correlation attacks or similar exploits.
Download and run the Tor installer for Windows.
Download the Tor installer for OS X. Open the
.dmg file and drag the Tor Browser icon on top of the Application folder. For easy access, open the Applications folder and drag the Tor Browser icon to your dock.
Open the terminal with the shortcut
CTRL + ALT + T, or click on the "Applications" button on the top left and search for "Terminal". The following command installs Tor:
$ sudo apt install torbrowser-launcher
Check if Tor has been correctly installed by verifying the version number:
That's it, you successfully installed Tor! To start the browser, click on "Activities" and search for the "Tor Browser", or run the terminal command
Download the Tor Browser from Google's App Store.
Use alternative app stores!
There are other ways to download or update the Tor Browser without using a Google account. Visit the Tor Browser download page from your Android device, tap on the "Android" icon and download the
.apk file. Tor Browser is also available on F-Droid or Aurora Store, two alternative app stores. More on this later, in another chapter!
Download the Onion Browser from the App Store. Caution: please be aware that Apple requires browsers on iOS to use something called Webkit, which prevents Onion Browser from having the same privacy protections as the Tor Browser.
Once Tor is installed, browse to the following websites and check whether any identifying information, such as your real IP address, is leaked: