What Is Tor?
Tor, originally known as The Onion Router, is a decentralized network that provides anonymity and privacy by encrypting internet traffic and routing it through a series of servers.
The Tor network is maintained by the nonprofit organization Tor Project, which also offers the Tor Browser.
Guarding Online Privacy
Tor’s primary function is to protect users’ online privacy by obfuscating their internet traffic and making it difficult to trace their activities back to their originating IP addresses.
It achieves this by routing the traffic through a random selection of three relays, or nodes, before reaching its final destination.
Each relay only knows the previous and next hop in the routing chain, ensuring that no single node has complete knowledge of the entire path.
Hidden Services and Anonymity
One of the notable features of Tor is its use of “.onion” domains.
These domains can only be accessed through the Tor network and provide a way for websites and services to be hosted anonymously.
The use of “.onion” addresses is common on the dark web, where illicit marketplaces and websites exist.
However, Tor is also utilized by various individuals and organizations, including journalists, activists, and law enforcement agencies, who require online anonymity for legitimate reasons.
Beyond the Dark Web
While Tor has gained attention for its association with the dark web, it is important to note that it serves a broader purpose in safeguarding privacy and enabling secure communication.
The Tor network continues to be developed and maintained to provide a means for individuals to protect their identities and access information without compromising their privacy.