This tutorial was last updated on December 3, 2013.
With increased scrutiny by employers, schools and even governments becoming more commonplace, anonymity while browsing the Web has become a priority. Many users looking for an enhanced sense of privacy are turning to Tor (The Onion Router), a network originally created by the U.S. Navy and now used by countless Web surfers across the globe.
Motives for utilizing Tor, which distributes your incoming and outgoing traffic through a series of virtual tunnels, can range from reporters aiming to keep their correspondence with a secret source private to everyday Internet users wishing to reach websites that have been restricted by their service provider. While some choose to exploit Tor for nefarious purposes, most Web surfers simply want to stop sites from tracking their every move or determining their geolocation.
The concept of Tor, as well as how to configure your computer to send and receive packets over the network, can prove overwhelming even to some Internet veterans. Enter the Tor Browser Bundle, a software package that can get you up and running on Tor with minimal user intervention. An open-source grouping of Tor combined with the graphical controller Vidalia and a modified version of Mozilla's Firefox browser, Tor Browser Bundle runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android platforms.
This tutorial walks you through the process of obtaining and running Tor Browser Bundle so that your Web communications can once again become your business and yours alone.
Please note that no anonymization method is completely foolproof, and that even Tor users can be susceptible to prying eyes from time to time. It is wise to keep that in mind and always proceed with caution.
Mac users should skip directly to Step 10 at this point.