What is the Onion Router (Tor)?

What is the Onion Router (Tor)?

The world of dark-web is a lot more complicated than it is shown in movies and TV series. As opposed to the conventional internet, that can be accessed anywhere at any time, by anyone. This is a lot deeper. The dark web is the parts of the internet that is not accessible from everyday use. These can be accessed by using some special browsers like the tor browser to maneuver through the dark abyss. However, this creates a lot of questions: Is tor illegal? Is it safe? Is it easy to use? Let’s try and understand this better.

The Onion Router or Tor is in the most basic sense is a web service that allows anonymity on the internet. This is not designed to use the internet for Illegal activities but to provide a platform for access to the dark web. The practical uses of this to keep your IP hidden, and make there is no way to track your activities. These are however mostly used for illicit activities like drug purchase, weapon trade or human trafficking, but is tor illegal?

The answer is no. The network or the browser itself is not illegal. It can be used as a gateway to access such a region of the internet where socially unacceptable practices are hosted, but Tor itself is not illegal.

How does Tor work?

The way this works is by bouncing your system networks from many distribution channels. So if someone were to try and track the IP of a user on Tor, the exact location of the system cannot be determined. This will allow users to keep their location and their services protected. The idea was to give anonymity on the internet, but the uses can backfire often. When the Tor border is being used, it will block any third-party apps like RealPlayer, flash, or any other plugin which could come in the way of leaking the IP.

How to get Tor?

Tor can be easily downloaded from their website. These are compatible with all system software be it Mac, Microsoft, Android, etc.  Multiple warnings are saying Tor should not be downloaded from any other sources like torrents or suspicious websites. These can be a huge source of malware, which is why it must only be sourced from the official website. They also recommend you do not add any more plug-ins into the tor browser so that the integrity of the browser is maintained and it can function effectively.

Danny Legge