How To Use Tor Browser
To Stay Safe Online¶
Last updated: March 2022. For beginners. No tech skills required.
Is Tor Browser safe to remain anonymous online and hide your identity from Internet Service Providers (ISPs), websites, advertisers or surveillance? Or to access Tor hidden services and deep web sites? Learn more about how to use the Tor Browser safely!
How does Tor work?¶
Tor was released in 2002, based on a modified version of Firefox ESR 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 a visited website will see is the IP address of the exit node, which is the last relay in the network. Detailed installation instructions below.
Show me the step-by-step guide for Windows
Download and run the Tor installer for Windows.
Show me the step-by-step guide for macOS
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.
Show me the step-by-step guide for Linux (Ubuntu)
If you run a Linux distribution such as Ubuntu, 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
Show me the step-by-step guide for Android
Here is how to use Tor Browser on Android: simply download it from Google's App Store. There are also ways to download or update the Tor Browser for Android 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!
Show me the step-by-step guide for iOS
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.
Can Tor be traced? Is using Tor illegal?
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, like for VPN, 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.
Once Tor is installed, browse to the following websites and check whether any identifying information, such as your real IP address, is leaked: