Within a sub group of people who use modern tech on a regular basis, there are a couple of things that they hold important in their daily activities. Each of these people may have their own unique thing that they hold most important above all others but for most of the people in this world, the most important thing is their identity.
For some of the activities that they do online, they want to be able to make sure that no-one else is able to see what they are doing and who is doing it. Since this is such an important thing in the world of the hacker, there have been several technologies that have been brought to the forefront to help with this. One of these technologies is known as Tor and it is becoming more popular all of the time.
In this article I will talk about what Tor is and if it is really useful. Also I will talk about the trustworthiness of a tool such as Tor.
What Is Tor And Why Do People Use It?
Tor is a piece of software that allows you to transfer data along the internet. You might be asking at this point, “Why is this so important”?
It is important because of how it is able to transfer the data across the net. It transfers the data by shipping it through different nodes on the internet. These nodes are other people using the Tor network. These nodes and how they are set up is known as Onion routing.
The magic comes from the ability to lose people who are trying to track the traffic that may be coming from your computer. The only thing that the person who is tracking you can see is the last person to transmit the data that you sent. There is no way that they are able to tell that it was you who sent the data originally.
Now that I have talked a little about Tor and the complexities behind it, now let’s discuss what can go wrong when you use a system such as Tor.
After we discuss the negatives of it, then you can decide if you would still like to use a system such as this or not.
The Downside Of Tor
When people use Tor for the first time, they tend to think that it is a cure all to all of the problems of keeping your identity safe on the internet.
I am here to tell you that is not the case.
While the Tor system is good, it is not one hundred percent secure. First of all the system is not encrypted. This is a surprise to many people who think that it is. The way that the Tor system is designed keeps it from being encrypted. There are ways that you can solve this problem but you should really be aware that by default the system is not encrypted. While people may not be able to see where the data came from, they can still read the data that is going through the servers.
Another downside of Tor is really two parts and it all depends on how paranoid a person you are. The first thing to discuss is that the Tor project originally came from the US Navy. It was then transferred from the Navy to the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) so if you are not someone who easily trusts the government then you should know this part of their past. People have vetted the software so you can ease any feelings that might have about a back door reporting you. Though the software has been very well vetted you might not think that is enough for you.
The other part that might bother some paranoid people is the fact that the effort to provide both the software and the network is a volunteer network. When it comes to volunteer networks and workers, they are usually not vetted and you would have no clue on what these people are doing in the software.
The Tor community thrives on the trust of one another but if you are a paranoid person then that might not be enough.
As you see there are some serious downsides to using the Tor network depending on the type of person that you are but I certainly believe that the Tor network’s upsides are a lot greater than any downsides that you might encounter.
The service is very good at letting people hide their traces. Also, there are ways that you can encrypt the traffic that is coming through the system just not by default.
The Tor network and software is probably a lot safer than just using a plain old proxy to try and hide your tracks but if you are looking for a better solution you might want to take a look at a VPN set up.