The Tor project has received many reviews and this explains why there has been an increasing number of downloads with upto 4 million downloads in 2013.
It has been used for daily network needs such as messaging, browsing the internet, etc to keep the websites from tracking them especially if they need to access sites blocked by their local Internet providers. Many people also prefer to use Tor when they deal with sensitive information since Tor is very safe for them. With Tor one does Needs to reveal the location of the site in order to publish websites because of Tors hidden servers .
The media and communication industry such as journalists use Tor network to safely encrypt data and communicate with parties involved safely while protecting their privacy and identity. Online publishing companies use Tor for privacy and security of the publishers.
Multinational organizations and NGOs use Tor to help their employees who are working overseas to connect to the home network without necessarily making those nearby know which company or country they are working for . Corporations and private companies prefer to use Tor for their research as compared to the traditional VPN to protect their outcomes since VPN gives to much detail than may be required.
The Navy and the army use Tor for intelligence purposes (more)
Weaknesses of the Tor network
The Tor has been widely used by criminals too. Since it cannot track the users, they are some who have used the network to access censored information or make an illegal plan that will not get them arrested. Cyber crimes can happen too over the network as it is almost impossible to track down the user . it is due to this reason that the American NSA and British National crime agency have tried to track it down in vain. Through the Tor network, users can easily release unlawful information while maintaining annonimity, release Pornographic content, infringe copyrights,frauds, black market among other unlawful things.
As much as the Tor network aims to protect its users from tracking it can still not escape that fact that it tracks the traffic of the Tor network. Just like other networks, it monitors the usage of the network for its own statistics. It can offer protection but cannot protect against traffic analysis.
The fact that Tor is not able to encrypt traffic between the exit node and the target server,it means that any exit node that does not use end to end encryption is able to capture the traffic and thus decrypt the data.
Tor nodes are very expensive to host, use alot of bandwidth and are heavy duty servers and thus not many people would be willing to pay the cost inorder to maintain anonymity.
Through creating a map of Tor network nodes one can be able to decrypt the information that is passed through the Tor network. This is according to a research that was done by ESIEA which claims by controlling a third of the network then getting the encryption keys and algorithm sets one can decrypt the network.
It is said that the normal Internet sites even out of the Tor network can block Tor exit nodes in order for to reduce the functionality of Tor users . IP addresses from Tor relays can also be blocked giving a great disadvantage to Tor users. IP addresses from the network can be made known through the exit nodes.
In order to use tor, one has to download the tor browser:
Tor project for Windows and Linux
From torproject.com,one can easily access links for downloading and installing tor into their computers. It has a direct link as well as guidelines to make it work better for you. Tor project android
Tor project android did not leave it’s users behind by inventing a way android users can enjoy the Tor network.According to information from torproject.com, Android users can use Tor through an application called Orbot. Through Orbot users can access the net while maintaining their annonymity.Orboteprovidesproxy interfaces such as the http proxy and the SOCKS4/SOCKS5 proxy . With given permission, Orbot is able to control all the TCP traffic on the Android device as long as it is given permission .
Orbot can be downloaded from several sources the common one being the playstore. Apart from the playstore it can be downloaded from F-Droid repository or from the guardians website. The source code from the Orbot git repository.
How to use Tor with IPhone
There are several approaches to using Tor with an iphone. Unlike android which has an application that one can use to access the Tor network, for the iPhone it is different. For the case of ios,one will have to use Tor browsers which offer alot of encryption than the normal browsers.
- Onionbrowser: As much as it is very different from the Tor browser and it not part of the Tor project,it works almost as good as the Tor browser though it does not annonymity everything.
- Safe Browser Secure: This browser allows you to access both normal sites and onion sites while maintaining your anonymity. It however cannot work in areas where Tor has been blocked.
- Red Onion: This is a Tor browser that gives you a real experience of using Tor network.