How to Use Tor on Mac to Browse the Web Anonymously & Access Blocked Website Guide

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Tor is a free anonymity network designed to encrypt users’ location and browser usage from snoopers, as well as allowing access to websites that are blocked or otherwise filtered through firewalls. The Tor browser and network are officially described as follows:

Tor software protects you by enabling communication on a distributed network of relays run by volunteers around the world: it prevents people watching your Internet connection from learning the sites you visit, it prevents ‚Äč‚Äčlearn which sites you visit from your physical location, and allows you to access blocked sites.

Although this looks complicated, using Tor is very simple. We’ll focus on using Tor on Mac OS X, but Tor clients are available for all major operating systems, including Windows, Android, and Linux (there is currently no official iOS client).

Tor Before you begin, you may be wondering what the purpose of using TOR is. Most people probably don’t mind, but Tor is very popular in some areas of the world where Internet access is heavily restricted, controlled or filtered. For example, I have a friend who lives overseas in a large country with a very restrictive Internet connection, and there are many who have to use TOR services or public broker services to access the rather boring websites that we have access to. all on them without events like Facebook. , Twitter and Gmail. Similarly, I know many people who use Tor to access the same websites through heavily restricted corporate network firewalls. So, many of us have no need for TOR, but if you want to be anonymous online or plan to visit online or in a country where you accept restricting Internet filtering and access , perhaps the easiest solution is to reach the outside world using the communication platform you already know.

How to use Toria on Mac OS X for anonymous browsing

The first thing you need to do is download the free TOR client from the Tor project, it is available for all major operating systems:

  • Free download from the developers
  • Copy to the TOR Applications folder * and launch TorBrowser (OS X users may need to right-click and select “Open” to Bypass Gateway)

* Technically, you can run Tor directly from an installed image or even a USB drive, that’s your job. If you plan to use it often on a Mac, it’s a good idea to put it in the Applications folder.

TorBrowser launches an application called Vidalia, Vidalia displays the Tor network connection status. Adjust forwarding features, check bandwidth usage (very useful for Wi-Fi hotspot usage and see data limits), update your client ID to a new IP, and more.

Tor Vidalia control panel

TorBrowser itself is just a modified version of the well-known Firefox browser. You only want to use this to access blocked/filtered websites and browse anonymously.

Tor is a modified version of Firefox

You can now browse and access the web as usual through TorBrowser, or go to the .onion URL, if you have one. As long as you stay in TorBrowser, you are not known, and in some cases where access can be restricted, you must be able to access blocked websites.

Important aspects of using Tor

Tor is not perfect, and there are some important things to remember when using it:

  1. BUT traffic and interaction through TorBrowser is anonymous, this means all other applications and Internet traffic goes through a standard external IP address as usual
  2. DO NOT open documents downloaded from TorBrowser while online, as some documents and applications will attempt to access the Internet, potentially revealing your real IP address.
  3. Do not use or attempt to install TorBrowseriin third party browser plug-ins, they may interfere with the proxy and anonymous features
  4. Browsing the web via TOR is slower than your regular internet connection due to connection relays, so you probably don’t want to download anything significant via TorBrowser

Not only does Tor report fake IP information through a browser, it also uses random fake user agent queues. In this screen example, the Mac user agent is reported to be a Windows computer running OS X 10.9.

Tor spoofs the IP and user agent

Keep in mind that even if it is visible through the Tor client, if you request your IP address outside of TorBrowser, you will be visible to the outside world as a normal IP address. That’s why it’s so important to use TorBrowser exclusively in situations where you need to access websites or remain anonymous.

Alternatively, if you are currently in a country with unlimited and free internet access, but plan to visit an area with limited access, you can test your ability to access blocked sites to easily by blocking them from your hosts file and then using the TorBrowser client to access them. to the site despite host blocking. Neat, isn’t it?

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FAQ: How to Use Tor on Mac to Browse the Web Anonymously & Access Blocked Websites

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Apple devices only.

mac OS or iOS

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