With the advent of technology, social media, and other web-based services, though,
came the need for safeguarding your internet privacy. In between all these, the Tor
browser showed up as a worthy solution. However, there are a couple of operational and structural problems that have plagued this browser.
Common Issues with the Tor Browser
For all the browser’s good intentions, it has still not been able to shake off issues
- Unavailability in some regions – It is not surprising to note that Tor has been blocked in some countries and regions of the world. These are usually countries where internet censorship is at a high, and the government would not tolerate anyone bypassing their firewalls.
For other regions, the browser has simply not been developed with local support. This puts residents/ travelers of such places out of reach of the anonymity promise that the browser brings.
- Susceptibility to some bugs – While the Tor browser has beaten a lot of odds to stay the number one option for many internet users seeking privacy, it has also fallen to some bugs and workarounds in the past. The most recent one had been in the browser for a while before it was found out.
Should that ever happen again, the question of just how safe you are when you think no one is watching comes to mind.
- Speed – If you have ever used Tor before, you will agree that it puts a damp on your internet connection. That is because it has to pass your internet data through a series of server layers (the onion layers) so as to obfuscate it from anyone trying to access that stream of data and identify you with it.
- Flaw in the operational model – There is a basic flaw in the operational model of the Tor browser that no one seems to be talking about. When you send a query via the entry node, your IP address is known by the browser and recorded. This means anyone who knows what they are doing can still identify you if they have access to your entry node information.
Overall, the Tor browser does what it is asked. But then, who wants to live in the fear
of being found out by one of the flaws it has someday?
Protecting yourself when using Tor
Getting a VPN with your Tor browser is the best way to keep yourself safe and
secure. The reason for that is not far-fetched.
With the right VPN, you can now:
Protect your entry node better. Your entry node (on the Tor browser) records your
IP address which matches your physical address. When you use a VPN, your IP
address would have already been changed to that of a chosen server location before
the entry node records it.
Even if someone does get a hang of what your entry node details are, they still
wouldn’t have your real location
Anticipate bugs. After all, even if the bugs are collecting data about you, such data
will never lead back to you after it has been passed through numerous servers and
Access Tor in your region. Is Tor not normally available in your country/ region?
All you need do is connect to a server location where the browser is supported and
access it from there. Just like you were physically present in such a location.
Getting a VPN for Tor
Now that you know why you should get a VPN, you should also be careful about how
you go about it.
A simple Google search about what VPNs will work for Tor will reveal your intentions
to anyone looking in on your traffic. Likewise, some countries have blocked
access to VPN providers’ homepages.
Thus, the best bet would be to download a VPN anonymously by accessing the
VPN provider from inside Tor itself (just like the Expressobutiolem.onion feature from
ExpressVPN). From then on, you can always surf the internet with the utmost peace