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Tor2Web: what is it, and how does it work?

Hello! Surfing the Internet and maintaining privacy has become one of the main objectives of users. Indeed, our data can be stolen when we register on platforms we use social networks, as long as we do not take measures to prevent it. However, there are methods to surf anonymously and maintain privacy. Today we are going to discuss the Tor2Web project and how it helps to preserve data.

Tor Project

Tor stands for The Onion Router. It is a project that aims to improve privacy on the network. It allows you to browse web pages or use online services without filtering information such as IP address, location, etc. The Tor network encrypts information on entry and decrypts it on exit. In addition, it works through multiple nodes. Certainly, its main function is to provide anonymity to the Internet user. However, sometimes there have been vulnerable nodes, and it has been possible to reach the sender of a message.

When we visit a normal website, or, the connection goes from our computer to the router and from there to the servers of that site. Consequently, they can easily see where the connection is coming from and where it is going. However, if we use the Tor network, that same connection goes through multiple nodes until it reaches the final server. Therefore, they cannot really determine what the initial connection was.

To use this network, it is imperative to use the Tor browser. It is necessary to use it to browse onion websites, which are part of the Dark Web and Deep Web. It is available for both desktop and mobile. Furthermore, it is also used by many users who want to avoid data leaks and privacy issues.

What is Tor2Web

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After having explained what the Tor network is, we can mention how it differs from Tor2Web. Actually, we will be able to define exactly what we are talking about. It is a software project that allows anonymous surfing of the web and access to the Onion servers. The difference is that it is not necessary to use the Tor browser.

Consequently, a user can access Onion sites from any browser. For example, using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. How exactly does it work? Whenever you see a web address ending in .onion it means that it is a Tor service. To open them, you need to use the Tor browser.

Let’s see how it works. The first thing it does is to replace that URL, i.e., that .onion extension. In effect, it replaces it with .onion.to, .onion.city, .onion.cab or any of the domains that are made available to Tor2Web volunteer operators. In this way we can access them without the need to have the Tor browser installed on the computer.

How does it work?

It is basically proxy access to Tor servers. Kindly note that this is not a content hosting project. It simply acts as a proxy, as an intermediary, to reach the Tor servers that host those websites. The platform was created by the Tor team itself, to offer an alternative.

This reverse proxy is responsible for routing requests coming from the normal web to the Tor Deep Web. The hidden services will remain hidden, even if it is a Tor2Web proxy. However, the client, the person visiting that site, will not be hidden. The only way to really stay hidden is to use Tor.

Suppose you enter a web page with through the Tor2Web project. As a result, you will see a message telling you that it is only a proxy service, and you have to accept the terms to access it. The project is open source and is hosted on GitHub.

In short, Tor2Web is a project created to allow a user to access content from Tor server websites. With the advantage of not having to install the Tor browser. We would only have to change the extension for one of those used by the volunteers behind the project, and we can open it from any other browser.

Tips on how to navigate with privacy

Here are some tips for surfing the web without exposing personal data. This way, you will be protected regardless of whether you use the Tor browser or any other browser.

Do not provide more data than necessary

The first thing is not to make public more data than necessary. By this, we mean not to put our e-mail in open forums or comments on web pages, for example. This can be collected by bots on the Internet and put us on Spam lists and put our privacy at risk.

Keeping everything up to date

Another fundamental issue is to have our equipment properly updated. We must always install all the patches that appear and thus correct vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers and attack. This could expose personal data, passwords, etc.

Security programs in place

Having a good antivirus, such as Windows Defender, Avast or Bitdefender, is essential to prevent the entry of malware. But it is not only antivirus software that needs to be mentioned. Indeed, we can complement security with firewalls or even browser extensions that can protect us and eliminate possible malware.

Common sense

But if there is one thing that is important for maintaining privacy, it is common sense. We must avoid making mistakes that can affect us. For example, clicking where we should not, installing a program that we have downloaded from third-party sites and may not be safe or logging into a fake page.

It is important to avoid this type of actions that can be a danger. If we use only official programs, log on to secure sites, be careful with the files we download by e-mail… All this will help us to maintain our privacy on the network and be more protected.

In conclusion, the Tor2Web project is an alternative to using the Tor browser to be able to surf the net with more privacy. It is also essential at all times to avoid making mistakes and to be protected. Bye!

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