In a world where the next World War may well be fought on the internet, data privacy and anonymity is something that you must aim for. The big question is, “How to achieve them?” Answer: “The Onion Project” or TOR. TOR is great. No doubt. But, “however, greatest a thing may be, there are certain flaws”, and similar is the case for the nearly perfect TOR also. By the way, you may check out alternatives to TOR on TR24. Promotions aside, such compelling reasons (as listed in the linked article) may force people to consider other alternatives. This may inherently spawn another issue: “How to uninstall TOR Browser?”, “How to get rid of the browser?”.
What is TOR?
TOR or The Onion Router is a free and open-source web browser that allows anonymous browsing protecting privacy of the user. Using TOR it becomes difficult for the Internet service provider, governments and other third parties to track your geolocation and browsing history. In simple terms, TOR browser substitutes for a free VPN service of great quality.
Visit TOR official website for more details about the browser.
Pros and Cons of TOR Browser
Everything in the world has negatives and positives. Pros and cons are two sides of the same coin. And all other quotes about duality…… However, at the end of it all, we must accept that these quote stand true, no matter what.
Before we dive into the semantics of how to uninstall TOR browser, we shall first explore the cons and pros of the browser.
Pros of using TOR browser
TOR is known and mostly used for its ability to provide anonymous connection. To achieve this, TOR routes a given request through multiple servers while each connection being an encrypted one.
One of the notable uses of this feature was during the arab spring in 2010, when governments in the countries were trying to repress the movement.
TOR is known to provide great data encryption leaving any scope for man in the middle attack. Through series of re-routing algorithms, the data is encrypted multiple times, making it extremely difficult for anybody to steal any data.
Much like a VPN, the TOR browser allows faking of geolocation of systems and server sending the request for a content. Masking of geolocations allows users to visit currently unavailable in a particular location without much hassle.
Free of cost
The biggest takeaway still, is the fact that all the above features are available free of cost. Unlike a costly VPN service, TOR browser is completely free to use and is available across platforms and devices. The software also happens to be a open-source project.
Great UI design
Unlike the numerous TOR alternatives, the software is the most easy to use software available in the market. So much so that TOR is some cases is easier in design compared to hefty paid VPN services.
Cons of using TOR browser
Even with the humongous upside associated with TOR use, there are some significant downsides that are hard to ignore. As a honest blogger, it is my duty to bring both the sides to appropriate light. Hence, we would like to list few of the cons of using the TOR browser.
Complete Anonymity: A Myth?
Though TOR is your best bid when it comes to being anonymous over the internet, it still isn’t 100% secure. Yes, it provides all security and features, still there are loopholes. For example, it may provide your data when govt ask, it can be tracked to your actual self if not used cautiously and etc. Bottomline: 100% security is a myth.
Certainly we didn’t ask for this feature, but, it exists. With the kind of achietecture that the TOR network has, slow speed becomes a natural outcome. Too much of re-reouting for each request lends us this feature.
How to uninstall TOR browser?
The above features may, for some people, be a huge reason to get rid of TOR browser.
Uninstallation for TOR can be achieved by following steps on a Windows or MAC:
Locate the TOR browser folder on the desktop of your system. By default it is on the desktop.
Delete the TOR browser folder. You can achieve this either by right-clicking on the folder or selecting it and pressing delete key on the keyboard.
The software is now uninstalled from the windows system in use.
Note: Unlike the commonly used softwares, TOR browser isn’t listed in the installed programs list, accessible through “Control Panel”.
Locate the TOR browser folder on the system. As per deafult settings, it should be inside the “Application” folder.
Delete the folder. This would move the folder to “Trash”.
After removing the core application, user needs to remove the TorBrowser data folder also. The path to the data folder is ~/Library/Application/Support.
Users can reach the above mentioned directory either manually or via the “Go to Folder” option in Go menu. Type in the above path if you are using the latter.
After locating the TorBrowser data folder, delete the folder.
Both the folders should have moved to “Trash”. Delete them from the “Trash” folder to complete the same.
For other devices, uninstall can be achieved in normal manner.
As described above, uninstallation in case of TOR browser is a bit off road compared to other softwares. This might be due to the unique features of TOR browser and the focus of development team on anonymity.