Does using the TOR browser provide any additional level of safety or
anonymity as far as keeping your IP address unavailable when browsing the
In this excerpt from
Answercast #96 I look at using the TOR browser to hide your IP address
while surfing the web.
So to be clear, TOR stands for “The Onion Router” and it’s a connectivity proxy, if you will. You install some software on your PC and your browsing activity is then routed through the TOR network so that it appears to be coming from any one of a thousand different machines scattered around the globe instead of coming from your IP address.
In other words, it’s an anonymization service.
The TOR browser is actually a little bundle that includes their own browser. What it boils down to is – you simply install the TOR browser and instead of using your normal internet browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, whatever) you use this TOR browser.
It comes pre-configured and that’s really the step that it saves you. Installing the TOR browser saves you most of the configuration hassle of even having to understand how to set this thing up. You kind-of sort-of install it and it runs.
The alternative of course, is to install the basics of TOR itself and then reconfigure your browser, as needed, to connect through TOR instead of connecting directly.
More security with the browser?
Does the TOR browser provide any additional anonymity and security?
No. Technically it does not because it’s using the same underlying anonymization technology that TOR uses. In other words, it’s using TOR.
What it does do is it, probably, makes the setup a little less error prone. By coming pre-configured in a browser that you simply run, you’re not having to make any decisions or choices as to how to set the thing up.
It’s possible, I suppose that a bad choice could reveal more of your IP address, or whatever, than you might want – so it might be a little safer but only in the terms of setting things up. Even then I don’t think it’s a really huge deal. It’s convenient. I tried it.
I don’t know exactly how compatible their browser is but it might be worth at least checking out.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
Next from Answercast 96- Why does a web page redraw several times before it’s done?