Tor has been an excellent way to be online with little to no fear of spying by others.
What Tor is exactly is what it stands for. The Onion Router. It is named after an onion and uses an onion for its logo because it has layers like an onion.
Tor is a network that connects users to the internet via others. You can notice that some websites are able to determine your location such as search engines like Bing and news and weather websites that tell you relevant news to your location. However, for some, this can be troubling. Not so much because you can get relevant information but because some websites may use your information maliciously or maybe you just want to stay hidden from anyone and everyone.
Tor uses a network that connects one user to another. If you visit a website for weather while using Tor, you may notice that the website may say that you're from Bermuda rather than New York. This is because Tor connected you to a user from Bermuda. But if someone were to try and find this user, they would find out that it is not that user but another user. You may think that after they dig deep enough, they'll find out that you're from New York. Not necessarily. Just like onions having layers, Tor uses layers as well. The more they dig, the more users they have to search through. The next user may be from Idaho, and the next may be from Russia, and so on and so forth. It can take a while before they finally reach you; that is, if they ever do.
Tor is a project that has been funded by the government in many different sectors. The military utilizes this technology and even the NSA, National Security Administration, has put money into the network. But since Edward Snowden's recent leak, we have come to find out that the NSA has been trying to tap into the network and discover more information on its users.
This has come to be bad news for many who use the service but there is a brighter side of it. Some of the leaked information also suggests that the NSA has not been successful in cracking the network.
While that may come as good news for users, it still isn't great because it still means that the NSA is trying to break into it and may, one day, be successful and the anonymity will be gone.
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