Tor is short for “The Onion Router,” which refers to the multiple layers of encryption used to protect your privacy. Tor’s basic function is that it hides your internet footprint, allowing you to browse the web and download anonymously.
But let’s be clear, Tor is not a VPN or a browser with a built-in VPN. While both Tor and VPN allow for private internet browsing, they are very different technologies.
Tor was originally developed by the U.S. Navy to protect U.S. government communications during intelligence operations. It’s now a non-profit organization to promote online privacy.
How does Tor work?
Now that you know what Tor is, let’s look at how it works — and how to use it.
Using Tor is relatively easy.
You simply download and install the Tor Browser, which would replace Chrome, Firefox, or whatever browser you normally use. Anything you do on the Tor browser is then private and secure.
Tor bundles your data into encrypted packets before it enters the network. Tor then removes the part of the packet that contains information like the source, size, destination, and timing, all of which can be used to learn about the sender (that’d be you.)
Next, it encrypts the rest of the bundled information before finally sending the encrypted data through many different servers, or relays, at random so that it can’t be tracked.
Each relay decrypts and then re-encrypts just enough data to know where it came from and where it’s going next, but can’t track the information beyond that.
The many layers of encryption Tor uses to ensure anonymity are similar to an onion, hence the name. The illustration below is a good (albeit very simplified) explanation of how Tor works.
Download Tor From Here