Do you use the Tor Browser? If you do, then you'll be pleased to know a new update has been issued and it brings new privacy features, security fixes and stability tweaks to the popular anonymizing web browser.
If you do care about your online privacy and are concerned about the rampant user tracking prevalent online, the Tor browser is worth a look.
With its latest update, the browser just got a big privacy boost. Tor version 0.3.2.9 is now available to install and is said to be the first official stable release since the Onion service got a redesign.
What is the Tor Browser?
In its simplest definition, Tor is a web browser software that conceals your identity when you're online. It does this in a few different ways.
First, it uses encryption to scramble the data that's being communicated within the network. Second, it routes that data between random servers within the Tor network to hide your online identity, including data tied to your personal IP address.
New security features
Support for next-gen Onion services - The first significant new feature is the support for the newly designed Onion services. This redesign of the Onion protocol has many improvements over the old legacy system including better cryptography and improved protection against targeted attacks.
Note: The Onion service is where the Tor browser routes all its web traffic, allowing users to connect anonymously to websites.
New KIST scheduler - another major feature that's being introduced is Kernel Informed Transport (KIST). This new scheduler can make Tor browser traffic faster by determining how much data is sent through the Onion's relays.
Note: The full KIST system is only available for Linux systems but a simpler variant called KISTlite will be available for all versions of Tor.
Additional security updates - Update 0.3.2.9 also brings security fixes for vulnerabilities like denial-of-service bugs, information leaks, and use-after-free errors.
How to download Tor
To use the Tor network, navigate to the Tor home page using my blue link buttons below and click the purple "Download Tor" button. The button will turn orange when you hover your mouse over it. (Alternatively, you can click here.)
You will be redirected to the Tor download page. From here, Windows users should click the purple "Download tor Browser" button and Mac users should click the green download text link to the right of the purple button.
Your download should begin immediately. When the download is complete, open and run the installation files.
Choose your language to continue and complete the Tor browser bundle installation. When the installation is complete, Tor will run automatically.
You will need to answer a question about your computer's internet connection. If you have a standard internet connection, use the default selections. If your internet connection is censored or proxied, you will need to configure your network to be compatible with Tor.
The Tor installation will walk you through the rest of the setup. Once your computer is connected to the network, you can start browsing with the privacy you deserve.