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Is TOR Browser Safe To Use? Strengthen Tor

TOR is the notorious browser who has forever claimed to provide privacy and security to its users. However, is it as safe as it claims to be? To get rid of this nagging question, I did some intensive research and compiled this article. It contains everything that had managed to quench my thirst of curiosity. 

Though before delving into the deeper realms of the mysteries of TOR browser, here is insight on why it is considered safe.

Is TOR Browser Safe?

In par with Google and Mozilla, who are now explicitly known to gather user data, TOR is indeed a reliable project to depend on for privacy. Its layered concealing method is sure guaranteed to help secure at least some parts of the user data. 

Moreover, as mentioned above, the information in TOR passes through a network of relays or nodes. This way, determining where the data is generated from is somewhat tricky. Thus through this, the IP address of the user remains protected, and the anonymity of the user is maintained. 

However, TOR is not as secure and anonymous as it claims to be and has various vulnerabilities within it that have been exposed over time. 

One of the biggest concern regarding the privacy provided by the TOR network is its unsecured exit node. As it is clear by now that information in TOR goes through a series of concealing layers at various nodes. However, this layering protocol stops at the exit node, after which the data goes on to the destination server without any protection. 

In such a scenario, anyone monitoring the exit node can get their hands on the information. However, they still won’t be able to identify where the data is coming from as the originating IP address is only with the first node. 

Apart from that as TOR is a project of the US government, it, therefore, doesn’t protect the users of TOR from surveillance agencies. Moreover, it has also once before fallen victim to a crackdown by the FBI. They managed to break the network by injecting malware and thus exposing numerous IP addresses. 

Moreover, another thing to be vigilant about while using the TOR network is that it has been known to allow attackers to run a malicious JavaScript. This bug has, however, been fixed in the new version. 

In spite of it, TOR does offer a considerable amount of privacy features and has very user-friendly interference. First, off it respects the privacy of its users and wipes off all the user data once the session expires. This makes it much more private than Chrome, which is known to horde data. 

However, if you are willing to keep the data intact, it has a feature that allows sending the data to Mozilla. Thus this way, it will enable data collection and anonymity. 

IS Tor Illegal To Use?

Tor (The Onion Router) based on the backbone of Firefox developer and legally financed with thousands of online donors to stay them online.

The main purpose of using Tor is to provide complete anonymity while browsing.

There is nothing illegal if you are using TOR for anonymity!

Why is TOR Considered Safe?

TOR is a browser that was designed and developed by the US Navy to use the internet in complete anonymity. Thus it is specifically designed to provide security and anonymity to its users. And the best part? It is all free! 

Now, as far as its safety measures are concerned, it is notoriously known to be entirely secure. This is partially vouched by the fact that it is used by the government and the law enforcement authorities as highlighted in the house of cards! 

However, in reality, its security is guaranteed through the layered concealing method it is based on. As depicted by its name the “onion” browser, TOR basically hides the information of the users in layers which makes it disguised to prying eyes. This means that the information, which passes through the TOR browser is layered at the end of each of its nodes. 

The concealing layers start when the information leaves your browser. Each node unlocks the data with a specific key and then further adds up a layer as per the key that is present with the other node. However, the last node only strips the concealing layer of security present on the data and sends it to the receiver. This way the TOR browser ensures privacy and security. 

However, as the information that is proceeding the exit node goes on without any layer of protection, it makes TOR somewhat unsafe to use. Moreover, there have been various scenarios where TOR has been proved unsafe. Thus the ultimate protection one can have over the internet is by using TOR with a VPN connection. 

How To Safely Use TOR?

Although TOR is considered safe, the fact that it has been previously a victim, calls for more protection. As I have mentioned above the only way to gain such protection is to use TOR with a VPN. 

Tor Browser + VPN = 100% Anonymity

A VPN network works to ensure protection and anonymity online by transporting the data through an encrypted tunnel. It provided anonymity by providing its users with a false IP address. Thus, with using TOR and a VPN service together, you are bound to get the ultimate privacy and security. 

This is primarily because as the VPN service hides the IP address of its users even from the ISP, while TOR doesn’t, anyone using TOR would become invisible to the ISP. Also, while TOR only provides encryption at the nodes, a VPN carries the information in an encrypted tunnel. 

Compatible VPN For Tor Browser

However, while choosing a VPN service, it is essential to take notice of the privacy it offers along with the logging policy. Here are some of the VPNs which readily support TOR:

1. NordVPN

With a strict zero-logs policy, NordVPN offers dedicated features for TOR. Such as its Onion over VPN feature directs the user traffic once through TOR. This makes it impossible for data to be tracked once it reaches its destination.

Moreover, with this handy Onion over VPN feature, you don’t need to download the TOR browser for use individually. On top of all this, as far as privacy is concerned Nord VPN offers the military-grade AES 256 bit encryption, which is the best protocol available. 

Apart from that, it has over 4300 servers in 61 countries; thus, it gives sits users plenty of pseudo IP addresses to choose from. All in all, Nord is an excellent VPN service which comes with a thirty-day money-back guarantee for satisfactory usage.

BEST BUDGET VPN: NordVPN is the most affordable premium VPN you could use. Our readers get a 70% discount for the 3-year plan at just $3.49 per month. With a 30-day money back guarantee, no questions asked.

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN comes with a whopping 3,000 servers in over 94 countries so you can easily conceal yourself behind any IP address of your choice. It offers high speeds and the best encryption that is the 256 bit AES encryption. 

Apart from that, it supports Onion over VPN feature and is the first VPN service to launch its TOR browser. It also has a strict no-logging policy that ensures anonymity and security. This is an excellent VPN service specifically for those who are looking for privacy and speed.

BEST FOR TOR: ExpressVPN is the editor’s choice for Tor. Our exclusive discount will get you three months FREE and 49% off for the annual plan at just $6.67 per month. Try it risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

3. Surfshark

This VPN service offers high speed and strong security, which makes it ideal for using TOR. It deems the confidentiality and security of its users to be of high value and offers unique features to ensure it. 

It has MultiHop feature which channels the traffic through various serves present in over 50 countries. At the same time, it doubles the security measures. Apart from that, it also offers a camouflage mode through which no one can identify that you are using a VPN. 

Apart from that, it has a no-logging policy and a no border feature through which you cam browser leisurely without the fear of detection. So If you are looking for high security and speeds while using TOR, then SurfShark is also a good option. 

Conclusion

TOR is one of the best tools to maintain privacy and security online. However, using it with a VPN makes the protection even stronger. So if you are a privacy-conscious person who cares about safety online, then you better pair them up!

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    White House Market Products

    The products on a Darknet Market either make, or break it. Well here’s a graph we created to get you an idea of what’s available on the marketplace as of today:

    The current total listings amount to 601 products. We’ve been monitoring the marketplace for over 48 hours now. And we did notice a growth of nearly 100 individual listings in the time-frame which is pretty impressive.

    The Drugs category has as many as 478 listings and is the most product-rich category. However what was a bit of a shock is that it even allows “Fentanyl” which is banned on almost all the other marketplaces in the industry.

    “Fraud Related” goods are the second most heavily-stocked products on the marketplace. Consist primarily of digital items in the “financial” sphere. For e.g. Card details, login details, bank details etc.

    Services let’s users buy Hacking services, custom-made fake documents, fake documents etc.

    And then there are forgeries and counterfeit products which can be ordered. If you can’t afford a Rolex, or need that luxury jewellery brand without the price tag, WHM claims to offer exactly that.

    These categories aren’t absolute and the marketplace does seem open to add other categories if enough products are available.

    White House Market Security

    Darknet Markets face dual-threats, first from law enforcement agencies, and secondly from its own users who may try to scam each other. Then obviously there are the Phishing attacks, DDoS attacks and so on.

    White House Market has a failsafe for almost each of the most common security threats which may arise.

    Anti-Phishing Measure

    While White House Market lacks an “anti-phishing message” which some marketplaces may employ, it has its own version of the same.

    On its homepage, it provides its Public PGP key and other data associated with it to avoid it being duplicated.

    Then it provides a PGP-signed message, which is updated every 72 hours. The message includes the legit White House Market links.

    The encrypted message also includes a number of most recent global news headlines to prove it indeed was updated recently, and isn’t an older message.

    Mandatory 2-FA and PGP

    The marketplace has a mandatory PGP requirement. It can only be used after every user sets up PGP key for their profile.

    It doesn’t allow the products to be browsed, no orders can be placed either without PGP.

    Enabling the PGP automatically enables 2-FA for a user profile. Although additionally, it also doesn’t allow plaintext (unencrypted) communication on the platform.

    In other words while placing orders, communicating with vendors or anyone else on the marketplace, the messages have to be PGP encrypted.

    Additionally, it requires all withdrawal requests to be PGP-signed. This makes sure that even when a user’s password as well as 2-FA is somehow compromised, unless the hacker has access to the private PGP keys, no withdrawals are possible.

    Anti DDoS Protection -Personal Domains.

    DDoS attacks are domain and server specific. So White House Market solves it by providing unique, personal marketplace domains to high-volume buyers and sellers.

    This is the only marketplace in the industry which offers this. It ensures that even when the primary domain is under attack, the personal domains can still be accessed granting access to the marketplace.

    Bug Bounty Program

    Another security feature which is unique with White House Market is its Bug Bounty Program.

    The marketplace claims to have written its entire code from scratch. That opens it to some potential loopholes and security flaws which may have remained on the site.

    Hence it offers compensation (probably financial) to security researchers and pentesters who can find and report such bugs.

    Escrow and User Profile Statistics

    There obviously is the Escrow which protects the users from each other. In other words, neither the buyer nor the seller can get away without fulfilling their end of the bargain.

    Once a trade is initiated, funds from the buyer are stored in the marketplace escrow which are sent to the vendor only once they deliver their product.

    Additionally, the marketplace shows detailed statistics about each user profile on the platform. This helps a vendor judge a buyer better, and vice-versa.

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    No Logs Policy

    The marketplace doesn’t keep any logs whatsoever permanently. All identifiable information is obviously End-to-End encrypted, although the data which is kept (order details, messages etc). is deleted after a successful trade.

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    Selling Products on White House Market

    The marketplace wasn’t made only for buyers. It seems to encourage users to vend on the marketplace by offering them a free vendor account.

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    Payment Method, Wallet and Shipping

    Payment on the marketplace can be made only using Monero. The marketplace doesn’t trust Bitcoin to be private.

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    Any amount of funds can be deposited without any minimum limits being applicable. As for shipping, there does seem to be an extra shipping cost on all physical items.

    The platform however doesn’t seem to support multiple shipping options for now, so there’s just one shipping method which can be used.

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