With the internet super-highway becoming filled with every dick and harry (including the ones that intend to cause harm to others), there is need for privacy and anonymity to be on the front burner of any user. In this post I’d be talking about about how to remain anonymous and maximize your privacy as you sail through the internet – using a free software, Tor.
What is Tor?
Tor originated from the research of the US navy but has been open sourced for a wider range of users. Tor ensures anonymous communication by directing internet traffic through a free, world wide volunteer network consisting thousands of relays to conceal a user’s location.
Tor has become popular among journalists and individuals who are keen on keeping their internet and browsing locations unknown. Using it would prevent websites from tracking their clients by making internet connections go through a series of random relay servers (that make up the Tor network).
The network is designed in such a way that the data that flows through the different relay points are encrypted. And each relay point of the network only knows the next relay tunnel and ignorant of the final destination of the user. Hence, the identity of the user is protected from the websites visited and the Tor network itself.
The Tor Browser: Downloading and Installation
To be able to use the Tor network, a client (The Tor Browser) is used. The Tor Browser routes traffic through the tor network. When a browsing session is terminated the browser deletes privacy sensitive data like cookies and browsing history.
STEP-1: Download the binary package of the Tor Browser that is appropriate for your PC architecture (i.e. 32-bit or 64-bit), then extract it to a directory (folder) of your choice – most time your home directory is a common destination. You can do this in the GUI by right-clicking on the package archive and select “Extract Here”. Or simply go to the command terminal and use:
tar -xvJf tor-browser-linux32-6.5a2_LANG.tar.xz
(where LANG is the language listed in the filename, e.g. “en-US”)
or (for a 64-bit version):
tar -xvJf tor-browser-linux64-6.5a2_LANG.tar.xz
STEP-2: Open the extracted tor browser directory,
or switch to it using the terminal:
cd tor-browser_en-US (assuming you’re on the home directory)
STEP-3: run the browser by clicking on the Tor browser setup icon
or execute the start-tor-browser.desktop file in the terminal:
This will launch Tor and once it connects to tor, it will automatically launch Firefox.
Then your can surf the internet anonymously!