What are Onion routers and for what purpose they are used?

Onion routers are a collection of tools that organizations and individuals can use to enhance their security on the Internet. Onion routers can anonymize your web browsing and publishing, instant messaging, IRC, SSH and other applications that use the TCP protocol. The Onion Router also provides a platform on which software developers can build new applications with built-in anonymity, security and privacy features.

The Onion Router (Onion Route network) has a long history as a well-known and widely accepted Internet anonymity solution. It originated from the US Navy research project.

Tor is a worldwide computer network that forwards requests in encrypted form at the request start point until it reaches the last computer in the network called an exit node. The exit node decrypts the request and transmits it to the target server. The egress node is dedicated to the last hop of traffic leaving the Tor network and is also the first hop for returning traffic. When using Tor, the system that communicates with you treats all incoming traffic as coming from the egress node. They don’t know where you are and don’t know your real IP address. In addition, other systems in the Tor network can’t determine your location, because it’s essentially just forwarding traffic, and you don’t know the actual traffic. The requested response will be returned to the system, but for the Tor network, the traffic source only acts as a hop in the path. Essentially, you are anonymous.

In the below figure which here to illustrate the working of Onion routers. First, the data with encryption sends to Router A which remove the layer of encryption but still will not be able to identify the origin of the message. Then it passes to Router B which again decrypts another layer to know the next destination where to send the data. After that, it sends to Router C which further decrypts the message and removes the final layer of encryption to deliver the message to the final intended destination.

Onion router data sending process
The goal of onion routers is to defend against traffic analysis. Traffic analysis is a monitoring behaviour of the network that threatens the privacy and privacy of individuals, the confidentiality of business activities and business relationships, and the security of the state. Communication is transmitted over a distributed network built by a server called an onion router, protecting you from websites that collect your hobbies. Local, even on-the-road router eavesdroppers read your data and understand what you are visiting.

Tor Browser 

Tor is free anonymous software. Most of the Tor users use it as a tool for anonymous web browsing, but in fact, it has great potential: Tor software can run in the background of the operating system, create a proxy link to connect users to the Tor network… As more and more software and even operating systems begin to allow users to choose to send all traffic through the Tor link, this allows you to cover up almost any type of online service.

With the increasing cybercrime, the emergence of Tor at this time is indeed good news for many people. As a simple browser, it provides people with complete anonymous network services through different network nodes. If you need to access the target website, you need to go through complex network nodes, and you are always anonymous during this process.

When looking at some suspicious things online, you may need to hide more than browsing the web. Tor can be used with URLs to get command line tools like wget, or when connecting to an SSH, FTP or IRC server. There are tools you can use to wrap Tor into your application to make sure its connections appear to come from the Tor network, not directly from your network.

It’s worth noting that Tor, like some other free software, also has some minor bugs that need to be updated regularly to resolve these issues. Also, Tor browser is a cross-platform software available for Windows, Linux, MacOS and Android. So this is very important, you need to update the operating system and Tor regularly.

There are a lot of tools on Google, such as Google analytics, which is a statistical service provided by Google, a well-known Internet company. Access data statistics and analysis can be performed on the target website and various parameters are provided for use by the website owner. Once the web service is used, a complete piece of information about the personal information is created, and the service involves a large number of personal data records such as name and location information. If you use Tor to access the network anonymously, then don’t use Google in the process. It’s like eating a double cheese pizza after exercising in the gym, so try not to use both Google and Tor. You can try a search engine like DuckDuckGo that doesn’t record your location and search results.

Another way to make Tor’s more secure method is to enhance the end-to-end encryption protocol. The most useful of these is HTTPS, which allows you to browse websites in encrypted mode. The Tor website supports HTTPS by default. Check if the HTTPS button is green before you send any sensitive information.

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Manuel Fernandes