Skip main navigation

Using Tor for Safe Internet Browsing

In this video, you will learn how to use Tor for safe internet browsing.
In this video, we’re going to talk about the Tor browser: what it is, and how it can help you on the internet. As you surf the internet with your usual browser, like Firefox, or Chrome, or Safari, Internet Explorer, different websites and ISP can track your surfing habits. They could also fingerprint who you are based on your browser itself and your configuration. What the Tor browser does is help anonymize your traffic, and also it helps allow you to circumvent censorship. So typically, when you go out in the internet, your computer goes through your ISP and wherever you’re going and back to you. That’s a pretty straight shot.
What the Tor browser does is it has several different onion servers that it goes through. And what it does is it anonymizes the direction it takes. So in this video, or in this picture here, Alice goes through this route, this server, this one, this one, and then, finally, to their destination. So the route it takes is actually randomised, which helps anonymize you. But on the way back, it actually takes another random direction back to you. So that helps– again, it helps anonymize you. And also, the exit nodes, since they are randomised, could potentially come out from another country, which also could help circumvent censorship that way. So let’s take a look at how this looks.
I’m going to exit out of the slideshow. And the browser itself, you could find it over at Now, it’s pretty easy to install. All you do is download it and extract it. Once you extract it, you open up the Tor browser. And it’s based off of Firefox. So if we check out the browser itself, again, it looks just like Firefox. And some of the features are– it will block trackers by default, any cookies automatically clear when you’re done browsing, defence against surveillance toward browsers, prevents someone from watching you. It resists fingerprinting.
As long as you don’t modify the Tor browser, you don’t put additional plug-ins in there, when you go out to the internet, theoretically, there are hundreds of thousands, millions, of people using Tor browser, it’s going to be harder to fingerprint you, because all those browsers theoretically look the same. So it’s not really unique. So it’s going to be a lot harder to try to fingerprint who you are. Tor also has multilayered encryption, again, which is going to make our surfing habits much more secure. And in general, the Tor browser is a really good browser. It’s a little slower because we’re going through all those random nodes, but however, we do get much more security.
So if you’re looking for something a lot more secure, the Tor browser is definitely the way to go. Now, let’s take a look at what it looks like when we go to a site. So I’m going to type in OK. And in here, I’m actually in the United States. However, you can see that the language is definitely not in English. So I’m going to type in translate. Because I’m not really sure what language that is. And this is part of the anonymization. So I’m going to click on translator, I type in paste. And this is Dutch.
So if you need to change the exit node, you can simply click up in the corner here, and we could do a new Tor circuit for this site. And you can see, now it’s in English. So it’s going to completely randomise what exit node it is and what country it is. So if you have a problem with the language, you can always keep switching it to an exit node that’s something that you recognise, language-wise. So let’s go back to our slides. So some of the key points for the Tor browser are– the Tor browser helps anonymize your searches, it makes tracking much harder, and it also helps circumvent censorship. All in all, the Tor browser is an excellent browser.
And if you’re looking for something secure, private, Tor browser’s definitely the way to go. Now, in the next video, we’re going to be diving into malware and viruses. Thank you for watching. I’ll see you in the next video.

In this video, you will learn how to use Tor for safe internet browsing.

A Tor Browser will:

  • anonymize searches
  • make tracking activity harder
  • circumvent censorship

Investigate: What other plugins can you find to increase the security of your internet activity? Share your findings with your fellow learners. Are there any that you would recommend and why?

This article is from the free online

Cyber Security Foundations: Why Cyber Security is Important

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now