TOR is an acronym for The Onion Router. It is a browser with a built-in feature similar to VPN, known as the TOR network. A TOR network is a collection of many nodes (i.e., computers using a TOR, servers dedicated for running the TOR network). Any link or website opened using TOR browser is encrypted and distributed within these nodes, thereby reducing the chances of being traced to practically zero (unless the exit node itself is run by a spy, but won’t go into that now.)
TOR browser is very easy to use if one is not having a proxy Internet, in which TOR bridges will be required, or the proxy settings will be required to set up manually. It is quite easy. One of the crucial features of the TOR browser is the default disabled Shockwave script execution. Flash is also more or less disabled.
Normally, TOR browser is used by –
- The people who want to keep their internet activities private from websites and advertisers;
- The people who are concerned about cyberspying;
- Users evading censorship in certain parts of the world.
It is legal to use the Tor network?
No, it’s not. However, using it to engage in illegal activities is illegal.
You see, TOR was developed to ensure optimum privacy (if it exists). It masks your identity and bounces your data on three servers at least so that your activities are not only hidden but also untrackable. However, as it is with everything else, people started to use it for illegal and offensive activities. They exploit it, and many governments worldwide began imposing limitations on the use of TOR.
However, the limitations aren’t on using TOR> It comes down to how you use it. Wiki leaks used the TOR browser to access restricted sites and sensitive data. This type of incident is what makes Governments wary of such privacy advancements.
Long story short, you can use TOR all you want (also consider your country’s policies about it), but as long as you’re using it to access meaningful content, you’re good to go.