How to browse anonymously with tor

Untraceable web browsing prevents or severely limits others from knowing what you're doing on the internet. While staying truly 100% hidden is next to impossible, you can employ several techniques to remain as anonymous as you can, and you don't even need to significantly change how you interact with the internet to make it happen.

Normal web browsing leaves your information exposed to the website owner, your ISP, the government, and whoever else can gain access. Fortunately, there are several privacy tips you can adopt to use the internet with a little more stealth.

Why Browse Anonymously?

The answer might be different for everyone, but for most people, it boils down to privacy.

If you're looking for a new job and would rather your employer not know, being more aware of your online presence can help limit what they can learn about you. Or, maybe you're searching for prescription drug information, and you don't want the website to track you or collect your real email—spamming your email isn't as helpful to them if it's not your "real" account that you check every day.

Anonymous web browsing can also be useful if you're in a country that has constraining web policies. You can hide your browsing habits to bypass access restrictions.

If for no other reason, maybe you just want to feel comfortable knowing that your internet habits aren't being tracked and logged for advertising purposes.

Anonymous Browsing Options

There are several things you can do to stay anonymous online, but some methods are better than others. Follow these steps to become the ultimate anonymous browser:

These are ranked in order of strength of privacy and ease of use. You can use one or more of them if you wish.

Hide your IP address with a web proxy. Not all proxies are created equally, but there are several free ones that are great for browsing the web anonymously, such as Hidester.

How to browse anonymously with tor

When you access a website through a proxy, what's happening is that all the traffic is routed through a remote server before the page is downloaded onto your device. This means that your browsing appears to anyone who may be watching (the website you're on, your ISP, the government, etc.) to be originating from that server's location instead of your real location.

Connect to a VPN. A VPN is similar to a web proxy, but useful in situations where you want everything encrypted and routed through other servers, not just one website. A VPN keeps not only your browsing anonymous but also any file sharing, messaging, etc.

How to browse anonymously with tor

Something important to look for when choosing a secure VPN is whether they keep logs pertaining to your visits and your search history. If they do, there's a chance that they'll give up that information to an authority figure if demanded, or that your private details will be leaked if a hacker gets a hold of it.

A VPN will only keep you as anonymous as you let it. For example, posting things to your public social media accounts, sending emails from your primary email address, etc., will expose your identity despite the fact that you did those things while using a VPN.

Use a privacy-minded web browser. One example of an anonymous browser that hides your web surfing habits is Tor Browser, which encrypts the traffic and routes it through multiple servers.

How to browse anonymously with tor

Search the web with a secure search engine like DuckDuckGo or Startpage, which promise to block advertising trackers and keep your search history private.

How to browse anonymously with tor

Other search engines might tell the websites you're on what you were searching to get there, or share your habits with third-party companies to target you with ads, or disclose your search history to government authorities.

Avoid public Wi-Fi networks like in hotels and restaurants. It’s unclear who’s monitoring the traffic from the other side of the building, or what’s going on behind the scenes when it comes to that business’s security and privacy protocols.

In the same vein, don’t connect to a Wi-Fi network unless it’s using a modern encryption method like WPA2. To stay anonymous on Wi-Fi, make sure the network is using encryption.

Use your web browser’s private mode to prevent it from keeping track of the web pages you visited. Just close out of it when you’re done to prevent saving any passwords and history.

How to browse anonymously with tor

This anonymous browsing mode is helpful if you share your computer because the alternative is to use regular mode which does store a history of the pages you've opened and searches you performed.

How to browse anonymously with tor

Cookies are important for storing login information so that a website can give you access to your online account. However, other websites might be able to access them to expose who you are and what you've been doing online.

Other Ways to Stay Anonymous Online

Web browsing is just one facet of the online world. If you use email, a web-based texting service, a file transfer website, etc., you'll need to consider how to stay anonymous there, too.

How to browse anonymously with tor

The Onion Router or Tor is a network that enables a user to stay anonymous on the internet and get rid of any possible surveillance, user identification, or location tracking while using the internet. You can access the Tor network with the help of a modified Mozilla Firefox ESR web browser.

Tor allows a person to browse the web anonymously by veiling the actual identity of the user. It protects the user from any traffic analysis and network spying.

Tor is perhaps the most popular and secure option available for anonymous internet connectivity. To reduce the confusion, here we are talking about the Tor network, not the Tor web browser, which is used to access the same.

How to browse anonymously with tor

One encryption layer is decrypted at each successive Tor relay, and the remaining data is forwarded to any random relay until it reaches its destination server. For the destination server, the last Tor node/exit relay appears as the origin of the data. It is thus tough to trace the identity of the user or the server by any surveillance system acting as the middleman.

Other than providing anonymity to standalone users, Tor can also provide anonymity to websites and servers in the form of Tor Hidden Services. Also, P2P applications like BitTorrent can be configured to use the Tor network and download torrent files.

Is using Tor illegal?

No. Tor browser and dark web aren’t illegal on their own. However, if you end up performing some illegal activity on the dark web using Tor, that’ll surely invite trouble. So, as always, we recommend that you use this technology to perform legal actions and enhance your privacy.

Tor And NSA Connection

The NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden used Tor to leak information about PRISM to The Guardian and The Washington Post.

However, the story is not all good-good. Tor faces criticism for the reason that it acts as a medium for different illegal activities like data breaching, drug dealing, gambling, being home to dark web sites. Tor is also used by criminal minds to communicate over the internet while keeping their identity hidden, which makes it difficult for the security agencies to trace them.

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has called Tor “the King of high secure, low latency Internet anonymity.” And it has received similar comments by BusinessWeek magazine, “perhaps the most effective means of defeating the online surveillance efforts of intelligence agencies around the world.”

Another speculation made is that Tor takes its funding from the U.S. Government, which may lead to the assumption that NSA may have compromised the identities of individual Tor users. However, Tor’s former executive director Andrew Lewman disclaimed any confederations with NSA.

Is Tor Browser Safe?

Various claims have been made about compromising Tor’s anonymity and security from time to time. The most famous one was the Bad Apple Attack, in which the researchers claimed to have identified around 10k IP addresses of active BitTorrent users who were connected via Tor.

The Heartbleed bug was behind another major compromise in April 2014, which halted the Tor network for several days.

Traffic Fingerprinting is a method used to analyze web traffic by analyzing the patterns, responses, and packets in a particular direction. This technique can be used to attack the Tor network by making the attacker’s computer act as the guard.

The main vulnerability was found at its exit points, where the level of security is very low as compared to the rest of the Tor network.

What is Tor “Browser”?

Tor Project Inc. has released Tor Browser, which is a modification of an Extended Support Release (ESR) version of the Mozilla Firefox browser. The browser is portable so that it can be used from external media and also reduces the hassel of installation.

Tor Browser removes the browsing history and cookies after every use, thus reducing the risk of any cookie tracking. We can set-up SOCKS (Socket Secure) based applications to use the Tor network by configuring them with a loop-back address.

It’s also known as the dark web browser since it lets users browse the so-called dark web sites that accessible on the regular web.

The Tor browser is available for various desktop operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. You can visit this link to download Tor Browser latest version for Windows, Linux, and macOS.

How to browse anonymously with tor

How to download and use Tor browser?

How to install Tor Browser on Windows 10/7/8?

  1. Run the Tor Browser setup.
  2. Choose your desired language.
  3. On the next window, choose the destination folder. Using Tor would be easy if you choose the Desktop as the destination.
  4. Click Install.

The Tor setup will create a folder named Tor Browser on your Desktop. Open the folder, and run the shortcut file to use the Tor Browser.

For Linux, you’ll have to extract the downloaded file, either using the command line or a file extractor application.

Tor Browser for Android

Tor Browser – official Tor app for Android

Orbot – a free proxy app with Tor for Android devices.

Orfox – a mobile version of Tor Browser for Android devices. (Discontinued)

The Guardian Project, a global developer community founded by Nathan Freitas, is to be credited for the development of Orfox.

Tor Browser for iOS

A Tor browser app for iOS created by Tor Project core contributor Mike Tigas.

Tor Alternatives

I2P and Freenet are other anonymity networks which can act as Tor alternatives. Also, Tails and Subgraph OS are Linux-based distributions with built-in Tor support. In the past, Hornet was also an anonymity network that provided higher network speeds compared to Tor.

To know more about these alternatives, please visit this link.

Should I Use Tor?

Tor has proved to be an excellent medium for safe, secure, and anonymous web presence available to a user at no cost. The developers of Tor didn’t intend it to become a hotbed of illegal activities, but evil-minded people have leveraged Tor for their benefits such as selling unlawful stuff on the dark websites. The Tor project has led to an optimistic approach towards censorship and surveillance-free internet.

You can use Tor if you want to conceal your identity on the web or access some websites that blocked in your region. But refrain yourself from doing anything that’s above the law because nothing is fool-proof, and they can still catch you. Also, accessing your social media accounts over Tor can expose your identity.

How to browse anonymously with tor

ExpressVPN believes everyone has a right to privacy. That’s why we never keep logs of your online browsing activity. Stay private, stay secure, and enjoy a higher degree of anonymity.

ExpressVPN helps anonymize everything you do

Mask your location online

Keep your whereabouts to yourself and surf with peace of mind. When you connect to any of ExpressVPN’s 160 server locations, you get a different IP address and can make yourself appear to be in a different country. Avoid price discrimination based on location, and help keep your identity private.

How to browse anonymously with tor

Private Browsing 101: Protect yourself online

Choose from ExpressVPN’s easy-to-use apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, and routers. Plus we offer manual setup tutorials for other devices like streaming media consoles and smart TVs.

Protect your online privacy. Use ExpressVPN as your secure proxy VPN service.

Keep your information safe from third parties

Without a VPN, third parties can see your internet traffic. Your internet service provider can monitor your activity and share it with other organizations. Governments can restrict your access to content, and corporations can exercise price discrimination against you. And you’re vulnerable to cybercrime and snooping, especially on public Wi-Fi.

Use ExpressVPN to stay private online and keep everyone else out of your personal affairs.

How to browse anonymously with tor

ExpressVPN: A VPN service for privacy and security

ExpressVPN has been a vocal advocate for internet privacy since 2009. We proudly support nonprofit organizations fighting to protect your right to online privacy, online security, and free speech. Today ExpressVPN is one of the world’s leading providers of premium VPN services.

ExpressVPN takes your privacy seriously

Browse with privacy

ExpressVPN never logs your internet traffic or VPN connections. Therefore nothing can match you with an IP address or timestamp. Shared IP addresses cannot be traced back to you.

Pay anonymously

When you pay with Bitcoin via BitPay, the only information you need to provide is an email address, so you never need to reveal your identity. You can also use a wide range of other payment methods.

Stay safe from monitoring

ExpressVPN does not share your information with anyone. Because we don’t keep logs, there’s simply no information to share or any possibility of leaking your activity to third parties.

How to browse anonymously with tor

Limitations on anonymity

However, there are a few limits when it comes to staying anonymous.

For one thing, even the best VPN connections can sometimes drop when your computer goes to sleep, the power flickers, or you change Wi-Fi networks. ExpressVPN’s Network Lock kill switch is in place to protect you anytime this happens, blocking all internet traffic until your VPN connection is successfully restored.

For more complete advice on staying anonymous online, including signing out of or deleting your online accounts, defeating trackers, and using tools like Tor, check out our How-To Privacy Guides.

Increased anonymity with shared IP addresses

Ultra-fast VPN

ExpressVPN’s optimized network provides blazing speeds and unlimited bandwidth while raising your anonymity. Your home IP address may uniquely identify you or your family, but when connected to ExpressVPN, you share an IP address with many others. This increases your anonymity.

What’s more, all your internet traffic is fully encrypted, and ExpressVPN keeps no activity or connection logs. Your shared IP address cannot be used to link you to any online activity.

Round-the-clock support

If you ever run into issues with the app, live chat support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You can email support agents directly or live chat anonymously.

30-day money-back guarantee

ExpressVPN is confident you’ll love using the world’s most reliable, ultra-fast VPN. Aren’t satisfied? Get your money back with a hassle-free 30-day money-back guarantee. No strings attached.

Tor Browser is the official browser for Tor Project, the team behind Orbot. Now you can surf the Internet completely anonymously and securely, hiding your online identity under several layers of security. Orbot, as many users already know, is a version of the Tor network for Android–one of the most powerful Internet privacy tools out there today.

One of the most interesting (and popular) features of Tor Browser is the ability to isolate every web page you visit, so trackers and ads can’t follow you from one web page to another. Any time you leave a page, your cookies are automatically cleaned. In that sense, using Tor is completely unlike other browsers, where after looking for information about shoes on a page, you’ll get ads trying to sell you shoes on the next page you visit.

Another advantage of Tor Browser is that all its users seem to have the same appearance when it comes to any monitoring system attempt. In other words, if a person or website tries to find out who you really are or what website you’re using, the only thing they’ll see is that you’re logging on from the Tor network. That’s all. In that sense, you gain total anonymity and total browsing freedom.

Tor Browser is a powerful and, above all, secure Internet browser that lets you surf anonymously. More often than not you have nothing to hide, but even so, valuing and protecting your right to privacy and anonymity on the net is paramount to freedom.

Tor Browser is free and open-source software that guarantees anonymity online and enhances your security and safety while using the internet. Tor helps you anonymize publishing, web surfing, instant messaging and other functions, using the TCP protocol. The sophisticated browser isolates any website you visit so third-party trackers and ads can’t follow you, automatically clearing any cookies when you’ve finished browsing.

How does Tor anonymity work?

Tor’s name comes from its original moniker, The Onion Router, and as the name suggests Tor uses several layers of encryption to protect your data. The software program was developed by the Tor Project, which is run by more than 6,000 volunteers around the world.

All web traffic gets relayed through a huge network of open connections worldwide. Tor directs traffic through its vast volunteer overlay-network, which consists of more than 7,000 relays. With each relay of data, another layer of encryption is added so that by the time your data or traffic reaches its destination, it’s virtually impossible to track back to its origin.

Is it safe to install Tor Browser?

It is safe to install Tor Browser – after all, it was created to let users surf the internet safely and protect online privacy. However, while installing the software itself is safe, Tor can be used for risky activities, such as accessing the deep or dark webs. Care should be taken when accessing this heavily encrypted collection of websites.

Installing Tor is as simple and easy as downloading popular and common browsers, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, although neither provides as much privacy protection. Tor functions similarly to regular browsers. The main distinction, though, is that Tor takes a few moments to configure itself every time you launch it. When you launch Tor, you don’t need to restart your computer or device each time.

Tor Browser is available for Windows, Mac, and Android operating systems. Alternatives to Tor include Epic Privacy Browser, Tor Browser Bundle, PirateBrowser, and DuckDuckGo. Orbot, meanwhile, provides anonymity for Android users.

Can Tor be traced?

Tor Browser hides your location and prevents your web traffic from being tracked, making it virtually impossible to trace your activity on the internet. When you’re using Tor with proxy servers, keyloggers, ISPs and various kinds of malware aren’t able to easily track your activities. It also lets you get around jammers and sensors.

However, Tor Browser is not 100% secure and can suffer the same attacks that other browsers do. Concerned users may wish to switch off Tor’s plugins and scripts as these can be used to expose information such as your IP address.

In addition, Tor’s system has a few vulnerabilities. Each server in the browser’s network is operated by volunteers so you never truly know who is managing the relays your data travels through. Normally this isn’t a problem, as each relay is only able to access the location of the previous and following relays – all except the exit node.

The exit node removes your data’s final layer of encryption. While it can’t access your location or IP address, it can in theory spy on your activity if you visit an unsecured HTTP website.

Freedom from online censorship

One of Tor’s key features is its ability to unblock censored websites. For example, if you’re browsing the internet in a country where peer-to-peer websites, news, or social media channels are blocked, Tor can help you bypass security modules so you can continue surfing the internet.

The browser lets you choose from several proxy tunnels based on a geographical world map, which displays exactly where each proxy tunnel is located.

In recent years, Tor has become popular for businesses, allowing secure and confidential exchanges of information. It’s a useful tool for journalists and human rights defenders who may be targeted online, as well as victims of domestic violence, high-profile whistleblowers, and activists.

Using Tor to explore the ‘dark’ web

Tor is inevitably linked to the dark web. The dark web, which forms part of the deep web, is a collection of websites that are encrypted and cannot be accessed through ordinary software and conventional search engines. Users instead require special browsers, such as Tor, to access them. Websites on the deep web are recognized by .onion domain extensions.

Since these sites can only be accessed from Tor-enabled web browsers, the dark web has become a place for like-minded people interested in maintaining their privacy to communicate. Their reasons for wanting anonymity vary and the dark web has become associated with hacking, gambling, drug trading, and other activities related to malicious intent.

However, venturing into the world of the dark web is a choice and users can simply use Tor for the sole purpose of securing their privacy. As it’s a gateway to potentially malicious content, however, it is a good idea to fully understand the risks of using Tor as your primary or secondary browser.

Do you need a VPN for Tor?

While you don’t need to use Tor with a VPN, using the two technologies together does give you an additional layer of anonymity. This is because VPN encryption stops the Tor entry node (the server where you enter the hidden network) from seeing your IP address. This can give you extra protection if the entry node becomes compromised and an attacker tries to use it to break Tor’s anonymity.

Effective tool for online anonymity and privacy

Tor is an effective and easy-to-use tool for people worried about online anonymity and privacy. Its clean and uncomplicated interface is straightforward to navigate, allowing you to easily toggle between anonymous and non-anonymous browsing. The tool is light on system resources and doesn’t affect computer performance.

While connecting to sites can take some time, slower internet speed is a trade-off for extra security. It’s important to remember, however, that Tor gives users access to .onion sites on the dark web and all the material available through it. For this reason, if you are using Tor as your primary browser, you should educate yourself and other users on using Tor safely.

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Tor Browser

Tor Browser lets you browse the Internet anonymously. It protects you against tracking, surveillance, and censorship.

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Chris Hoffman
How to browse anonymously with torChris Hoffman

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

How to browse anonymously with tor

Website addresses that end in “.onion” aren’t like normal domain names, and you can’t access them with a normal web browser. Addresses that end with “.onion” point to Tor hidden services on the “deep web”.

Warning: Lots of .onion sites contain very nasty things, and many of them are likely scams. We recommend staying away from “browsing” .onion sites–instead, use this only if you have a specific site you want to access for a good reason.

What Is a .onion Site?

Tor–short for “the onion router”–is an anonymizing computer network. It’s partially funded by the US government, and is designed to help people in countries where Internet access may be censored or monitored. When you connect to Tor, your internet activity is sent through the Tor network, anonymizing your Internet activity so it can’t be snooped on, and so that you can access websites that may be blocked in your country.

So, when you access through Tor, your request bounces from Tor relay to Tor relay before it reaches an “exit node”. That exit node then contacts for you, and it sends you back the data Google responded with. Google sees this as the exit node’s IP address contacting it instead of your IP address.

But that means that “last mile” of traffic can be snooped on by an organization monitoring or even running the exit nodes–especially if your traffic is unencrypted. A “.onion” address points to a Tor hidden service, which is a server you can only access through Tor. This means that your browsing activity can’t be snooped on by someone watching the Tor exit nodes. It also means that someone hosting a website can hide that server using the Tor network, so no one can find it–in theory.

For example, Facebook maintains an official Tor hidden services address at “https://facebookcorewwwi.onion/”. This allows you to access Facebook through Tor, and your connection doesn’t ever leave Tor where it can be snooped on. This may be useful in countries that block Facebook, for example.

You don’t necessarily want to use Tor all the time, as it’s slower than just browsing normally. But it’s a useful tool for anonymizing your Internet activity and bypassing censorship.

How to browse anonymously with tor

How to Access .onion Sites with the Tor Browser

To access a .onion address, you’ll need to access it through the Tor Browser. It’s a modified version of Firefox that’s configured to connect to sites through the Tor network.

Download the Tor Browser from the Tor project’s website to continue. It’s available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.

On Android phones and tablets, we previously recommended the Orbot proxy app or Orfox browser from Google Play. The Tor project still offers no official Tor apps for iPhone or iPad, but some third-party apps are available in Apple’s App Store.

How to browse anonymously with tor

After launching the Tor browser, type the .onion address into its address bar. For example, to access Facebook’s hidden service, you’d enter the following address:

Or, to access the DuckDuckGo search engine’s hidden service, you’d enter:

While using the Tor browser, you can click links to .onion addresses and they’ll load normally. But they’ll only work in the Tor browser, while connected to Tor.

How to browse anonymously with tor

Don’t Access .onion Sites Through Proxies Like Tor2Web

You can also access .onion sites without running Tor through proxies that connect to Tor for you. The proxy connects to Tor for you and then forwards you the traffic over the regular Internet.

This, however, is a very bad idea! You’re losing the anonymity you normally have when you connect to a .onion site through the Tor browser. That’s the whole point of a .onion address, after all. The website you access maintains its anonymity, but someone monitoring your connection can see which website you’re connecting to. The service provider can also see what you’re connecting to and snoop on any passwords and other private information you provide over the connection.

Tor2web functions in this way, but you shouldn’t use it. For example, if you attempt to connect to Facebook’s hidden service using Tor2web, Facebook blocks the connection and tells you it’s a bad idea.

How to browse anonymously with tor

Looking for lists of .onion sites? Search the web for lists of .onion sites and you’ll find some places to start. Many of the directories of .onion sites are themselves stored on .onion sites, though, which you can only access through Tor.

Again, beware: Lots of .onion sites contain very nasty things, and many of them are likely scams. We recommend staying away from them, if possible. This trick is best used when you want to browse to a specific .onion site.

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How to browse anonymously with tor Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek.
Read Full Bio »

How to browse anonymously with tor

BrowserCam presents Orbot for PC (laptop) download for free. Learn to download and also Install Orbot on PC (Windows) that is certainly launched by The Tor Project. combined with wonderful features. You possibly will find couple of required guidelines below that you have to implement just before you start to download Orbot PC.

The Internet is insecure these days with thousands of fake apps and games that are developed to just scrape your personal information. To avoid leaking your personal data and use the internet securely, you need to use a proxy app that solves all such problems within a matter of seconds.

Orbot: Tor for Android is one such app that can secure your device with a free proxy. It works on Tor software which is considered to be a highly secured platform which is known to keep your personal information confidential.

Unlike other proxy apps, Orbot works in a different way. Of course, you can customize the options to enhance the security on your device.

By enabling bridges option on the home screen of Orbot app, you can select the bridge type to secure your device. You can connect your device directly to Tor which is a recommended option or connect through community servers or through cloud servers. And if nothing works, you can request new bridges too within the Orbot app.

It’s recommended to keep the location to Global (Auto) so that the app decides which location is the best to safeguard your device. If you select a single location all the time, it might be easy to track the device sometimes. So ensure that the Global option is always on. And of course, VPN must be enabled too to let the app work perfectly. When you select the Global option, it changes your location often to safeguard your Android smartphone or tablet.

One can easily select the desired apps to enable VPN mode. Simply select the apps on your device which you want to use with VPN and viola! It’s all safer and secure than never before! Few apps may not work properly with VPN due to security issues. You can ignore such apps and disable VPN as they might be already having a good firewall security.

If you often surf the internet and want to hide your identity and location, Orbot is your way to go! You can also use this app on your PC to change the location frequently using the in-built VPN. So what keeps you waiting? Download it now!

How to Install Orbot for PC:

1. Get started by downloading BlueStacks on your PC.

2. After the installer completely finish downloading, click on it to begin with the install process.

3. Through the installation process click on on “Next” for the 1st two steps after you begin to see the options on the screen.

4. If you see “Install” on the screen, click on it to get you started with the final installation process and click on “Finish” right after it’s over.

5. Begin BlueStacks App player from your windows or MAC start menu or maybe desktop shortcut.

6. In order to install Orbot for pc, you’ll have to connect BlueStacks emulator with Google account.

7. Then finally, you must be sent to google play store page this enables you to search for Orbot app utilising the search bar and install Orbot for PC or Computer.

You can install Orbot for PC making use of the apk file if you fail to discover the app on the google playstore just by clicking on the apk file BlueStacks emulator will install the app. If you choose to install Andy OS as opposed to BlueStacks or you have to download free Orbot for MAC, you can proceed with the same process.

How to browse anonymously with tor

The Tor Project has released Tor Browser 11.0 with a new user interface design and the removal of support for V2 onion services.

The Tor Browser is a customized version of Firefox ESR that allows users to browse the web anonymously and access special .onion domains only accessible via Tor.

You can download the Tor Browser from the Tor Project site, and if you are an existing user, you can upgrade to the latest version by going to the Tor Menu > Help > About Tor Browser.

How to browse anonymously with tor

Tor Browser 11.0

What’s new in Tor 11

Tor Browser 11 uses Firefox ESR 91, which brings an updated user interface containing new icons, a new toolbar, streamlined menus, dialogs, and an updated tabs interface.

New Tor 11 icons
Source: Tor Project

However, the most significant change is the deprecation of V2 onion services, meaning TOR URLs using short 16 character hostnames domains are no longer supported.

When attempting to open a V2 onion service, Tor Browser will show users an “Invalid Onionsite Address” with an error code of 0xF6.

How to browse anonymously with tor

V2 Onion services are no longer supported

“Last year we announced that v2 onion services would be deprecated in late 2021, and since its 10.5 release Tor Browser has been busy warning users who visit v2 onion sites of their upcoming retirement,” the Tor Project explained in the Tor Browser 11 release notes.

“At long last, that day has finally come. Since updating to Tor v2 onion services are no longer reachable in Tor Browser, and users will receive an “Invalid Onion Site Address” error instead.”

With this change, Tor sites using V2 onion services will no longer be reachable, but admins can upgrade to a V3 onion service by adding the following lines to the torrc file.

As with all releases, there are always known issues and bugs that users need to be aware.

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Russia blocks access to Tor browser website


How to browse anonymously with tor

The Tor Project website has been blocked in Russia. Image by The Tor Project, CC BY 3.0 US.

Russian authorities blocked access to the Tor browser website,, on Wednesday, 8 December, according to reports from Tor developers and users. The official block follows earlier reports this week of Russian internet service providers blocking access to the service, with some Russian users unable to access the Tor Project website since 1 December.

Initially a research project funded by the U.S. Navy, Tor is now run by a nonprofit group based in Seattle, WA. Tor (an acronym for “The Onion Browser”) provides software that allows users to browse the internet anonymously and circumvent locally imposed internet blocks and restrictions. The Tor browser anonymizes internet traffic by sending it through a unique configuration of nodes known as an onion routing system.

An estimated 300,000 Russian netizens use Tor's services daily, accounting for about 15% of all Tor users. Russia has the second largest number of Tor users globally.

Russian state internet regulator Roskomnadzor said it included the Tor browser website in its registry of banned websites because it had allegedly posted “information that ensures the operation of tools that provide access to illegal content.” According to digital rights group Roskomsvoboda, the pretext for the blocking is a 2017 decision by a Saratov district court cited in Roskomnadzor's database (though the court did not decree for the website to be blocked). It is also unclear why a court decree from 2017 is only being acted on in 2021.

The Tor Project has announced that users in Russia can still use Tor services by visiting the website mirror hosted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It also called on Russian users to monitor the blocking of their services and appealed to digital rights groups to put pressure on the Russian authorities to stop censoring Tor.

If you live in Russia… help detect internet censorship with @OpenObservatory probes.

If you work for an international digital rights or human rights org… apply pressure to the Russian government to immediately reverse this censorship.

— The Tor Project (@torproject) December 7, 2021

The blocking of Tor's website comes amid a renewed crackdown on virtual private networks (VPNs) and other online anonymity tools in Russia, which authorities say potentially allow access to illegal online content in violation of Russian legislation. In September 2021, on the eve of the parliamentary elections, Russia blocked six major VPN providers and issued a warning to Western companies behind tools such as CDN- and DNS-services that allow users to bypass Russian state censorship.

The push for greater online censorship is part of the country's “sovereign internet” strategy which seeks to cement centralised state control over internet infrastructure and online spaces. The “sovereignty” measures have enabled a more centralised approach to online filtering and blocking, with internet service providers now obligated to install new hardware referred to as “technical means of countering threats” in the legislation.

This equipment is controlled centrally by Roskomnadzor and other state bodies and allows for unaccountable centralised blocking of websites which is harder to track and record. The hardware has already enabled throttling of platforms such as Twitter, as well as blanket blocking of opposition voting websites and apps earlier this year.

How to browse anonymously with tor

The Tor browser, arguably the best privacy-protective internet browser available for most people, is running low on bridge servers. The decline in servers affects the browser’s ability to combat censorship and provide a gateway to the open internet in places where governments and other entities tightly control access to information.

In a blog update published this week, the nonprofit Tor Project, the organisation that maintains and develops the Tor software, said it currently had approximately 1,200 bridge servers, or bridges, of which 900 support the obfs4 obfuscation protocol. Bridges are private servers that provide access to users living in places where the Tor network is blocked. Tor provides users with anonymity by relaying connections to a server multiple times and, in some cases, through multiple countries.

Nonetheless, it should be noted that Tor isn’t just used by people who can’t access the internet in their country. It’s also used by people who want to hide their IP address or who don’t want their browsing activities tracked.

The Tor Project said the number of bridges, which are run by volunteers, has been decreasing since the beginning of the year.

“It’s not enough to have many bridges: eventually, all of them could find themselves in block lists,” the nonprofit said in its blog post. “We therefore need a constant trickle of new bridges that aren’t blocked anywhere yet.”

According to the Tor Project’s metrics, since mid-August to now, the top 5 countries with users connecting via bridges include (in order of users) Russia, with an average of 12,480 daily users; the U.S., with an average of 10,726 daily users; Iran, with an average of 3,738 daily users; Germany, with an average of 2,322 users; and Belarus, with an average of 1,453 users.

To address the decline in bridge servers, the Tor Project is launching a campaign to bring 200 obfs4 bridges online by the end of the year. It has rolled out modest “reward kits,” which consist of Tor hoodies0 T-shirts, and stickers, for volunteers that run bridge servers for at least a year. (Remember, this is a nonprofit). The project’s campaign will end on Jan. 7, 2022.