Written byJessica Shee
How to Download and Use Tor Browser for Mac
Summary: This article from iBoysoft provides you with a shortcut to downloading different versions of the Tor Browser and tells you how to use the Tor web browser on your Mac.
In this digital age, you spend a lot of time online every day - surfing, socializing, shopping, working, you name it. Unfortunately, cyber threats like information leaks, hacking, and ad tracking are on the rise. The Tor Browser emerges as a solution designed to significantly enhance the anonymity and privacy of your online activities.
Table of Contents:
- 1. What is Tor Browser and how it works
- 2. Some tips when using the Tor Browser
- 3. How to use Tor Browser on Mac
- 4. The bottom line
- 5. FAQs
What is Tor Browser and how it works
Based on Mozilla Firefox, the Tor Browser is a free web browser specifically designed to enhance privacy and security on the internet. As a web browser, just like other regular web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, you can use it to view web pages. Unlike other web browsers, though, the Tor Browser operates on the principle of onion routing.
Here's how the Tor Browser works:
- Onion Routing: The browser directs your internet traffic through a series of volunteer-operated servers called nodes or relays. Each relay only knows the IP address of the previous and next relay in the circuit, providing a layer of anonymity.
- Encrypted Connections: The data transmitted between each relay is encrypted in layers (like the layers of an onion). Each relay peels off one layer, revealing only the instructions for where to send the data next. This prevents any single relay from knowing both the source and destination of the data.
- Exit Nodes: The last relay in the circuit, known as the exit node, sends the data to its final destination without knowing the original source.
The Tor Browser also includes additional privacy features and settings that make you untraceable and anonymous online. For example, It comes with built-in extensions that prevent websites from tracking your online activity. It also has a "NoScript" extension to disable scripts on websites by default.
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Some tips when using the Tor Browser
While the Tor Browser offers enhanced privacy, you should be aware that Tor doesn't guarantee complete anonymity. Additionally, the Tor Browser comes with its own set of limitations. Here are some tips before you decide to use the Tor web browser on your Mac.
Mind your activities
Avoid logging into personal accounts or providing identity-revealing information while using Tor. The websites may recognize you and know you are using Tor.
Consider the speed impact
Using Tor may result in slower internet speeds due to the nature of routing through multiple nodes. You will have to make a trade-off between enhanced privacy and potential speed reductions.
Route traffic only within the browser
The Tor Browser channels only your browsing activities within the browser through the Tor network. Any other applications or services installed on your device will not be directed through Tor.
Don't enable or install browser plugins
Do not install additional addons or plugins into the Tor Browser, as these may bypass Tor or otherwise harm your anonymity and privacy.
Don't torrent over Tor
Torrent file-sharing will deanonymize your Tor web traffic and slow down the entire Tor network for everyone else.
Balance anonymity and functionality
Some websites can't be opened through the Tor Browser because they are blocked by the privacy and security features of the Tor Browser.
Access .onion websites with caution
You can use the Tor Browser to access both the regular World Wide Web and ".onion" sites. The ".onion" domain is not part of the traditional Domain Name System (DNS) used on the regular internet and can only be accessed through the Tor network. You should be aware of potential risks and legal implications associated with accessing these sites.
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How to use Tor Browser on Mac
If you want to use the Tor Browser for your Mac computer to anonymize your internet traffic and prevent websites from monitoring your online activity, follow the instructions below.
Step 1. Download Tor Browser for macOS
Open a web browser and visit the Tor Browser's download page. The Tor web browser can run on multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android. Click the "Download for macOS" button and this will download the latest version of the Tor Browser on your Mac, which should be compatible with the newer macOS versions. The current version13.0.5 works perfectly on my macOS 14 Sonoma. Download an older version of the Tor Browser on your Mac if your Mac has an older version of macOS.
Step 2. Install Tor Browser on Mac
After the download is complete, find the installer either in the web browser's download list or in the default Finder's Downloads folder. Double-click the file to open it and follow the onscreen instructions to install it. Tor Browser is now installed in your Finder's Applications folder. Double-click to open it and click Open when prompted.
Step 3. Configure Tor Browser for Mac
Click the Change Language button at the top if you prefer using a different language. You can adjust privacy and security settings according to your preferences. Click Configure Connection to review each section and set up how the Tor Browser manages your internet connection. Then go to Privacy & Security to customize the preferences that align with your comfort level and requirements. It is recommended to change the Security Level to Safest and enable HTTPS-Only Mode in all windows if you worry about sophisticated attackers and phishing attacks.
Step 4. Connect to the Tor network
Go back to the homepage of the Tor Browser. Click the Connect button to connect the browser to the Tor network. The initial connection process may take a few minutes. Once connected, you will see a search bar, telling you to perform searches using DuckDuckGo.
Step 5. Enjoy anonymous and private online experience
Toggle on the "Onionize" switch to allow the DuckDuckGo search engine to search your inquiries through the regular web and Onion websites.
The bottom line
If you prioritize a high level of security and privacy while browsing the internet, employing the Tor Browser for Mac can be an effective solution. Nonetheless, it's important to note, as previously mentioned, that not all internet traffic on your Mac will be routed through the Tor network. For comprehensive anonymity and security across all online activities, you may want to explore the option of setting up a VPN on your Mac.
The Tor Browser is generally considered safe to use on any supported platform, including macOS.
If Tor is blocked in your location, the Connection Assistant will automatically choose a bridge using your location. Just click the Try a Bridge button to connect to the Tor network.
Using the Tor Browser for legal and ethical purposes is generally legal. It is a tool that provides privacy and anonymity to users. However, individuals should always comply with the laws of their country and use the browser responsibly.
While using the Tor Browser can help protect your online privacy and anonymity, it's important to understand that it doesn't make you completely invisible. The ISPs, network administrators, website operators, and surveillance agencies might detect that you are using Tor in certain situations.