What Is a Tor Browser?

The Tor network (also known as onion routing) encrypts your data and reroutes it to different servers, keeping your IP address anonymous. It’s based on the concept of layers of an onion (hence the name): Your web traffic starts at a publicly listed entry node that introduces your data to the circuit, then goes through a series of middle relays that decrypt each layer of encryption, and finally, exit nodes spit out your data. This makes it extremely difficult for someone to trace your identity.

Even so, Tor isn’t foolproof. If a malicious actor controls both the entry and exit nodes used by your Tor connection, they could correlate your data and identify you. Tor also doesn’t protect against malware, so you should still use antivirus software and stay up-to-date on updates.

Tor has become popular with activists and dissidents in countries with repressive regimes, but it’s not the only way to keep your online activities private. Some governments make it illegal to use Tor and other privacy tools, while others like China actively block users from accessing sites that use it.

Tor’s security features are helpful, but the best protection comes from a VPN service that doesn’t store your data and has a robust no-log policy verified in court. PIA, for example, has 29,650 servers in 84 countries and offers a huge range of plans to fit every budget, including a free version with no ads. what is a tor browser

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