What is the Tor Browser?
TOR Browser is a free and Open-source (in simple terms, a software whose code is available for free to everybody to change) web browser that prevents user’s online activity from being tracked by anybody (even network surveillance, govts, ISPs etc).
The name Tor is a derivative of the acronym for the original project called “The Onion Router (TOR)“. In today’s increasingly digitized world, where more and more users are starting to value their online privacy, be it in their financial transactions, their political ideologies, the websites they visit, or the online fora they interact and engage with. And, rightly so, for information is indeed power.
Notable Uses of Tor Browser
Few of the Notable uses of the Tor Browser include the following:
- Hiding identity during Arab Spring (2010),
- Snowden Revelations (2013),
- Regularly used by Activists across the world.
Alternatives to Tor Browser
Why alternative is required?
While Tor browser allows one to browse the internet with privacy, there are a few downsides to it as well:
- Users have complained of it being less user-friendly and difficult to navigate,
- Slow speed than clearnet,
- Not a great help when browsing dark-web.
- Data can be accessed by Govt, if and when required.
With these disadvantages, let’s checkout the list of popular and effective alternatives to TOR browser.
VPN Service + TOR Browser
The finest alternative to TOR Browser would be the TOR browser itself, with few enhancements! Yes. Tor can be made invincible (almost) when used with a Paid (not Free) VPN (Virtual Private Network) service. A VPN basically hides/appends the user IP address, hiding his/her actual location, making it untraceable.
Freenet’s is among one of the top alternatives to the Tor browser. It is based on a distributed network system or peer-to-peer system, similar to Torrent websites, which allows it to retain online privacy and evade surveillance. Users willing to access internet using Freenet can download and install the software on their systems and then start using it via the routine browser. Visit Freenet Download Page to download software.
Invisible Internet Project (I2P)
The Invisible Internet Project (I2P, for short) is one of the most popular alternative to TOR browser when it comes to private browsing. Working on a similar principle to torrent and/or freenet, it achieves anonymity via private connection made between two parties. One of the unique selling point of I2P is its effectiveness in moving large chunks of data over the internet with complete anonymity.
Visit I2P download page to begin your journey of internet anonymity.
Whonix is another effective solution and alternative to TOR browser in terms of anonymous browsing. Whonix basically is a open-source free OS or operating system that runs like a virtual machine on the existing OS. It is basically uses the TOR network as its underlying root and forces all connections to go through anonymous TOR network. Whonix, thus, creates a complete anonymous environment on the existing one preventing even the viruses present on the PC from sending data over.
The biggest downside with Whonix though is the huge size of the complete package. Whonix OS for Windows is 1.6 GB in size!! Visit Whonix download page to download the software for your own computer.
Similar to Whonix OS, is the next in the list called “Tails” live operating System. Tails is an acronym for “The Amnesic Incognito Live System”, a live OS which uses TOR network for anonymous browsing. The system, which can be used by using bootable pendrive, forces all the traffic to pass through the anonymous TOR network creating complete anonymity for the user. The only downside in using Tails is the technicality involved along with the enormous download size of 1.1 GB.
Team TechnologyReviews24 has done a thorough research in bringing out the names you see above. From going through other tech blogs to actually downloading each and every software ourselves, we have not left any stone un-turned.
Given this huge research, we at TR24 believe that TOR browser is the best solution when it comes to anonymously browsing the internet. No doubt there are certain issues with TOR and yes there are alternatives to TOR but, none of the alternatives of TOR seems as user-friendly and easy to access as TOR. Further, lot of other alternatives that you see above are actually dependent on the TOR network to actually function, which actually speaks volumes about the greatness of this browser. To reach one notch ahead, we highly recommend using TOR with a strong VPN (paid not free). With this combination, you might actually become invincible online!!
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