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How to Use Tor Browser for Anonymous Web Browsing


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Connection Established (Windows)
anonymous browsing

(Image © Scott Orgera)

This tutorial was last updated on December 3, 2013.

As soon as a connection to Tor is established, the Status section will display the message highlighted above. The Tor Browser itself should also launch after a few brief seconds.

See below to learn more about the other options found in the Vidalia Control Panel.

  • Stop Tor: Pressing this button closes the circuit and disconnects you from the Tor network. Although the TorBrowser application remains open, you will not be browsing anonymously without an active connection to Tor.
  • Setup Relaying: Recommended for advanced users only, this button allows you to configure Vidalia to relay traffic either for or inside the Tor network, as opposed to running as a client only. For more details on configuring relaying, visit the official Tor documentation.
  • View the Network: Opens the Tor Network Map, which allows you to view details for each of the thousands of relays that comprise the network.
  • Use a New Identity: Assigns a new, random IP address for your active Tor connection.
  • Bandwidth Graph: Opens a new window containing your bandwidth details on the Tor network, including the amount of traffic sent and received since establishing the existing connection.
  • Help: Opens the Vidalia Help interface in a new window.
  • About: Displays the versions of Vidalia, Tor and Qt that you are currently running.
  • Message Log: Displays a log of Tor activity, available in both basic and more advanced detail levels.
  • Settings: Recommended for advanced users only, this button opens Vidalia's Settings interface which allows you to specify items such as proxy applications and configuration file paths.
  • Exit: Disconnects you from the Tor network and closes both Vidalia Control Panel and TorBrowser.
  • Show this window on startup: Checked and therefore enabled by default, this option dictates whether or not the Vidalia Control Panel is shown each time Tor Browser is launched.
  • Hide: Clicking on this button hides the Vidalia Control Panel window. To view the Control Panel at a later time, utilize Vidalia's context menu - found by right-clicking on its associated icon in the Windows taskbar.
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