As a privacy-focused web browser, Tor (The Onion Router) is favored by human rights activists, journalists, and criminals. It’s also synonymous with the dark web, a part of the internet that can only be accessed via Tor.
Its security isn’t foolproof. Hackers and surveillance agencies can take advantage of weaknesses in the Tor network or an exit node to uncover your IP address, decrypt communications, or hijack your browser. Using the browser and network leaves you vulnerable to malvertising, drive-by download attacks, and other online threats.
Unlike HTTP sites, Tor doesn’t encrypt your connection to the websites you visit, so anyone who controls an exit node can see the pages and files you’re visiting. That’s why it’s best to use Tor with a VPN, such as PIA, that offers 29,650 servers in 84 countries and has a verified no-logs policy.
Using a VPN can also enhance your Tor experience by adding extra layers of encryption between you and the Tor nodes you connect to. This keeps ISPs from seeing what you’re doing online, as well. However, some governments still have the power to snoop on your Tor usage, like in the case of Silk Road or other dark web marketplaces. Also, some sites block Tor users if they try to pay with traceable financial info. That’s why it’s important to combine your Tor experience with other cybersecurity tools, like a VPN with end-to-end encryption. is tor browser safe