If we asked those that have used/ are using Tor to have a show of hands here, we doubt if we are ever going to get the real numbers. After all, wasn’t the aim of the browser to keep you anonymous while you went the way of your normal internet activity?
As awesome as that sounds, Tor has shown to be sometimes vulnerable. If anything, that threatens the basic reason why many have subscribed to the use of this browser in the first place – privacy and data security.
To combat this, many have started using Tor with VPN for some time now. If you haven’t started, be rest assured that you are missing out on a lot. Likewise, you might be using Tor with VPNs wrongly too.
Don’t worry about it, though. We’re here to fix such issues today.
Where to start? Oh, right…
What is the Tor browser?
Deriving its name from The Onion Router (TOR), the Tor browser can be said to be the most secure, generally available browsing solution as of the time of this writing.
It gets its name from its model of operation which involves layering data over different servers at the same time. By so doing, the browser is able to change the origin of the user data, making it impossible to trace back to the actual location it originated from.
This is the reason why the browser has caught on among a variety of users who use the internet for many things. Individuals have also been able to set up companies on the dark web to allow for anonymous transactions.
Having served as the gold standard for internet privacy and security for many years though, it is sad that there is a chink in this armor.
Why use Tor and VPN together?
Tor operates by using different nodes to obfuscate the user data. All of these nodes can be classed into three broad categories as follows:
Entry node: where the user accesses the Tor browser and aims to connect to a website from. The Tor browser saves the real IP address of the user at this node
Middle node: where the user data is bounced through a variety of servers so as to throw off where they are browsing from. In short, this zone separates the IP address from the user’s physical location.
Exit node: point from where the data contacts the target website/ platform. The exit node knows nothing of the IP address recorded at the entry node and as such, can’t communicate that to the target website.
The flaw in that model is from the entry node. The very fact that the Tor browser records your IP address at the entry node could make it a security issue. When the entry node is not busy recording your physical address, some bugs may be doing just that.
If you have been using the Tor browser for a while now, you would know that it has the tendency to be slow. All you need to get is a VPN optimized for speed and you are good to go.
In line with allowing you access Tor from countries it has been banned in, a VPN holds so many promises for the average Tor lover.
Another thing to consider is how to use these two together. Don’t make the mistake of connecting through your Tor browser before using your VPN. Doing that would be counterproductive since the entry node will still know where the data is coming from.
The best thing to do would be to connect to Tor over VPN. To do that:
Launch your VPN first
Connect to a server location of choice
Fire up your Tor browser
Start enjoying the internet with a high level of privacy and security.
Getting A Tor Page for Your Company
Companies might have a need for using Tor browsers to manage some of their operations, but many of them do not consider the advantage of Tor pages. Top internet solution companies like ExpressVPN and social media giants like Facebook have seen the importance of this model and are running with it.
Furthermore, you get the added benefit of data privacy. After all, internet data transfers on such pages would be anonymous and will never link back to the user.
Additionally, these Tor pages allow you to operate websites on the dark web (ending in .onion). These extensions make it almost impossible for the website servers to be uniquely identified, talkless of being seized/ censored in the region where they are operating from.
The numerous advantages of the Tor browser have made it a darling to many users over the years. To make sure you keep running a tight ship though, never forget to layer your Tor connections over a VPN.
It wouldn’t also hurt for companies to set up their pages on the Tor network. That goes on to improve their trust rating among users given their advanced offer of anonymity on the network.
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