by Korben, on
Tor – Protect your anonymity on the web:
Tor is a network made up of computers that allow anonymous transmission of information and surfing on the internet. Actually, this open network makes it possible to bypass network surveillance and provides for a “fair” protection of your privacy, keeps you anonymous while you’re surfing, and protects your freedom of speech. The Tor website gives you a number of reasons why you should use this decentralized network.
Once it is installed and launched, Tor will start by retrieving an initial list of nodes to which your client computer will first connect.
As you connect to a website, the relays will be then made using the Tor server’s relay computers. The only unencrypted communication will take place on the part between the outgoing node and your target server.
At every new connection, a new path will be taken across this trunk node network.
With regards to confidentiality, two potential risks arise from TOR. First of all, the outgoing node might intercept your contents if you didn‘t SSL-encrypt it. This means that your mails will pass in clear if you use your webmail without a secure https connection. A corrupt Tor node will be able to read this information. Therefore, you must always make sure you’re surfing on websites that do not publish important information and/or offer at least some security.
Now, if you don’t think you really need Tor, either because you don’t have anything to hide or because you just don’t feel like protecting your privacy, you may still want to install it and become a node within that network. That way you can grant safe access to the internet to other persons, such as, people who live under censorship in their respective countries (like China, Iran, Tunisia, and the like). Why not consider the installation of Tor as a deed of good citizenship?
If you want to become the cyber-liberator of all these peoples, all you have to do is go to the Tor parameters and choose one of the two options in the “Share” tab (either relay or help censored users). That’s all!
Tor is thus one of the very few networks, like Freenet, to allow thousands of journalists, bloggers, surfers, politicians, etc. all over the world to use the internet and to share their views without having to fear repression. Now, if you plan on using Tor to connect to bittorrent, because it’s prohibited in your country, of course you can, but I strongly recommend you don’t for two reasons: The download rate is going to be just awful, and you will slow down this great network to the disadvantage of all those who really need it.
Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis.Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location. Tor works with many of your existing applications, including web browsers, instant messaging clients, remote login, and other applications based on the TCP protocol.
Tor does not protect all of your computer's Internet traffic when you run it. Tor only protects your applications that are properly configured to send their Internet traffic through Tor. To avoid problems with Tor configuration, we strongly recommend you use the Tor Browser Bundle. It is pre-configured to protect your privacy and anonymity on the web as long as you're browsing with the Tor Browser itself. Almost any other web browser configuration is likely to be unsafe to use with Tor.