The infamous Tor Browser, aka the getaway to the Dark Web, is a solution to online privacy in the same way a cave-in is a solution to that annoying draft you’ve been feeling. Because while rejecting the WWW ecosystem in favor of its edgy, oniony counterpart accessible through Tor certainly changes the level of threat your privacy is facing every time you go online, the vast majority of users will find the trade-off simply isn’t worth it or isn’t what they were expecting at all.
Understanding why Tor Browser exists
Tor may not be a traditional virtual private network, but it’s still deeply rooted in the concept of network traffic rerouting. And for most intents and purposes, it actually is one giant, multi-layered VPN platform, but try not to confuse it with the actual TorGuard VPN.
As for the why that is the case, understanding Tor – whether just the browser or the wider ecosystem – means understanding that it’s a bad idea with huge amounts of risk to the average user.
But speaking solely about purpose, while something like a VPN or a proxy is meant to help you fight back against the highly invasive nature of the mainstream Internet, Tor rejects the World Wide Web in its entirety, having been created with an explicit purpose of offering a completely unfiltered version of the Internet, free of any and all forms of censorship.
In more than one way, but primarily by its own admission, the Tor Browser is a gateway to the anti-Internet. If this made you go “but wait-” congratulations, you understand that mankind sucks and that any sizable unmoderated space tends to attract the vilest, most polarizing layer of villainy you can imagine.
Tor isn’t pro-privacy as much as it is anti-World-Wide-Web
Of course, none of that means Tor can’t be leveraged as a privacy tool, just that doing so is probably more than a bit overkill. After all, even running a double VPN tends to be more trouble than it’s worth, and the Tor Browser is in its own league of not being worth the sacrifice.
Forget all of the degenerate crime on the Dark Web, this thing is so painfully slow that it’s bound to drive you bonkers eventually. And how could it not be? Since you’re essentially jumping through nodes of countless other users while rerouting them right back? It’s a miracle it works at all.
It’s also a significantly larger security risk than a VPN or even a proxy. Well, a decent, private proxy, that is. But at the end of the day, if you’re considering putting up with the Tor Browser on the regular for any reason whatsoever, have some respect for your own time and just buy an extra VPN subscription. You’ll get the same overkill effect, but with a less annoying drawback and with a better chance at surviving the whole day without having your expensive PC rig discreetly drafted into a Russian botnet.