About Tor Browser
Tor (The Onion Router) is originally a project of the US Military. Thus it is designed for the highest level of security. Now it’s a nonprofit project open to the public.
The current Tor bundle is delivered with a builtin browser. It makes Tor more accessible to ordinary users. We call the new bundle Tor Browser.
Install Tor on Mac
In the old days, it was a complicated job to set up Tor. Now it’s as easy as installing a browser. Just drag the Tor Browser app to the Applications folder. That’s all.
Connect to Tor Network
Tor Browser is based on Firefox. You can treat it as a Firefox browser with a Tor addon. When you launch it, it needs to connect to the Tor network. It may take several minutes. Then you should be able to surf the Internet behind the Tor network.
Hide IP on Mac
Tor Browser uses three nodes to hide your IP on Mac. Your traffic goes through three nodes (Germany, US, Poland) before going to the websites. Thus no one (a hacker or FBI) to trace your online activities.
The first node in the Tor circuit is called an entry guard, or guard. It’s a privileged node because it can see your real IP. Only a reliable node can be a guard. Your guard won’t change within 2~3 months.
The exit node connects to the websites to fetch the web pages for you. The sites will regard its IP address as yours. The exit node and the intermediate node change with every new website you visit.
- High level of security.
- The network is run by thousands of volunteers worldwide, so it’s difficult to destroy it.
- Free to use the software and network.
- Be able to access the darknet websites.
The Biggest Problem
The biggest problem is speed. In our test, the speed of Tor is only 650Kbps, less than 1Mbps, while the US average Internet speed is 120Mbps. That is the price of high security.
In the example above, the traffic goes through Germany, the US, then Poland before going to the website. Every time you go through a node, your speed decreases. For example, every node decreases your speed to 40%. Your final speed = 40% × 40% × 40% = 6.4%
Many users say Tor decreases their speed to 7%, just like using 3 VPNs simultaneously. The speed decreases more if using an encrypted bridge connecting to the Tor network.
- Tor website lists all the Tor nodes. It’s easy for a website to block all the Tor IP addresses. Here is a list of websites blocking Tor.
- Since volunteers run the network, a hacker can add his exit node too to catch the unencrypted non-HTTPS traffic.
- It needs a complicated configure to make Tor work for other applications.
- BitTorrent in specific is not anonymous over Tor.
- Tor website lists more problems here.
My IP Hide is a lightning-fast encrypted proxy service. It’s a better solution for a majority of people because it provides a great balance between browsing speed, ease of use, and security.