Using the Tor Browser
- 4.0 Using the Tor Browser
- 4.1 Additional checking if the Tor Browser works
- 4.2 How to create a new identity
- 4.3 Enabling NoScript add-on
- 4.3 Tor Browser updates
4.0 Using the Tor Browser
The Tor Browser is designed to be very easy to use, in fact if you are familiar with using a web browser you will be able to use the Tor Browser as it is a version of Firefox modified for additional privacy and security.
Note: as the Tor Browser is designed with privacy in mind, it is configured not to save any information to your hard drive or USB stick. This means that when you quit the Tor Browser all your browsing history is forgotten.
4.1 Additional checking if the Tor Browser works
As with any circumvention software it is recommended to perform simple independent tests to ensure the Tor Browser works, by going to any website that will try to identify where are you based from the IP address we visit the site from.
There are a number of free website that do this, such as: check.torproject.org, iplocation.net, ip2location.com, whatismyipaddress.com, etc. If you access these website directly without using Tor Browser or other circumvention tool it should display your real IP address and provide a more or less accurate physical location for you. However if you access those websites using Tor Browser or other circumvention tool the location and IP address you will see should be different.
Figure 1: Firefox (top) & The Tor Browser (bottom) on the same computer showing Tor status and IP address differences
4.2 How to create a new identity
You can create a new identity for your Browser. This means that new set of random Tor proxy servers will be selected for you to use. This will make you appear to come from a new location to the web servers. To do this, click on and select New Identity from the menu. The Tor Browser will briefly close, clearing your browsing history and cookies and then restart. Once they browser has restarted you can check your new location as described above in section 4.1.
Figure 2: Selecting New Identity from TorButton menu
4.3 Enabling NoScript add-on
Tor Browser comes with NoScript add-on pre-installed. NoScript can additionally protect you from malicious websites and from leaking your real identity through execution of scripts in your Tor Browser, however NoScript is disabled by default in Tor Browser so this additional protection is not readily available.
If you wish to enable the extra protections afforded by NoScript, it can be turned on by opening the NoScript menu and clicking Forbid Scripts Globally and then configuring the various options it provides.
We recommend that you read more about NoScript in the FireFox chapter.
Figure 3: Enabling NoScript by selecting Forbid Scripts Globally (advised) option
4.4 Tor Browser updates
In How-to Booklet chapter 1.4 we explain how important is keeping your software up to date, the Tor Browser is no exception. When updates are available, the next time you start the Tor Browser you will be presented with a notice that your browser is out of date (Figure 4) and instructed to click and choose Download Tor Browser Update. You will be brought to the Tor Project website where you can get the latest release. Once downloaded you can follow this guide to install the updated Tor Browser.
Figure 4: Tor Browser showing an update is available