Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. It also enables software developers to create new communication tools with built-in privacy features. Tor provides the foundation for a range of applications that allow organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy.

Note: You can also download the latest beta version here.

Tor began gaining popularity among activists and tech-savvy users interested in privacy, but it was still difficult for less-technically savvy people to use, so starting in 2005, development of tools beyond just the Tor proxy began. Development of Tor Browser began in 2008.

Who uses the Tor Browser?

With Tor Browser having made Tor more accessible to everyday internet users and activists, Tor was an instrumental tool during the Arab Spring beginning in late 2010. It not only protected people's identity online but also allowed them to access critical resources, social media, and websites which were blocked.

Individuals use Tor to keep websites from tracking them and their family members, or to connect to news sites, instant messaging services, or the like when these are blocked by their local Internet providers. Tor's hidden services let users publish web sites and other services without needing to reveal the location of the site. Individuals also use Tor for socially sensitive communication: chat rooms and web forums for rape and abuse survivors, or people with illnesses.

Journalists use Tor to communicate more safely with whistleblowers and dissidents. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) use Tor to allow their workers to connect to their home website while they're in a foreign country, without notifying everybody nearby that they're working with that organization.

Groups such as Indymedia recommend Tor for safeguarding their members' online privacy and security. Activist groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recommend Tor as a mechanism for maintaining civil liberties online. Corporations use Tor as a safe way to conduct competitive analysis, and to protect sensitive procurement patterns from eavesdroppers. They also use it to replace traditional VPNs, which reveal the exact amount and timing of communication. Which locations have employees working late? Which locations have employees consulting job-hunting websites? Which research divisions are communicating with the company's patent lawyers?

A branch of the U.S. Navy uses Tor for open source intelligence gathering, and one of its teams used Tor while deployed in the Middle East recently. Law enforcement uses Tor for visiting or surveilling web sites without leaving government IP addresses in their web logs, and for security during sting operations.

What is Tor Browser?

The Tor Browser is the flagship product from the Tor Project. The web browser is based on a modified version of Mozilla Firefox ESR that includes extras like the Tor proxy, TorButton, TorLauncher, NoScript, and HTTPS Everywhere extensions.

How does the Tor Browser keep my internet activity anonymous?

The Tor Browser uses the Tor network, which consists of more than six thousand relays located worldwide, to hide the users' location and online traffic. This ensures anonymity and avoids your activities from being seen by others.

Is Tor better than a VPN?

Tor is not a VPN. Tor is a free browser similar to Chrome or Firefox, but it includes features that encrypt your IP address, making your browsing sessions private. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is software that can change your IP address when you use any browser installed on your PC. To learn more about VPNs, you can read this article.

What's New

Android version updated to 11.0.12

Tor Browser 11.0 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and our distribution directory. This is the first stable release based on Firefox ESR 91, and includes an important update to Tor 0.4.6.8.

Tor Browser Gets A New Look

Earlier this year, Firefox's user interface underwent a significant redesign aimed at simplifying the browser chrome, streamlining menus and featuring an all-new tab design. Firefox ESR 91 introduces the new design to Tor Browser for the first time.

To ensure it lives up to the new experience, each piece of custom UI in Tor Browser has been modernized to match Firefox's new look and feel. That includes everything from updating the fundamentals like color, typography and buttons to redrawing each of our icons to match the new thinner icon style.

In addition to the browser chrome itself, the connection screen, circuit display, security levels and onion site errors all received a sprucing-up too - featuring some small but welcome quality of life improvements to each.

Welcome Screen

Our old screen had way too much information for the users, leading many of them to spend great time confused about what to do. Some users at the paper experiment spent up to 40 min confused about what they needed to be doing here. Besides simplifying the screen and the message, to make it easier for the user to know if they need to configure anything or not, we also did a 'brand refresh' bringing our logo to the launcher.

Censorship circumvention configuration

This is one of the most important steps for a user who is trying to connect to Tor while their network is censoring Tor. We also worked really hard to make sure the UI text would make it easy for the user to understand what a bridge is for and how to configure to use one. Another update was a little tip we added at the drop-down menu (as you can see below) for which bridge to use in countries that have very sophisticated censorship methods.

Proxy help information

The proxy settings at our Tor Launcher configuration wizard is an important feature for users who are under a network that demands such configuration. But it can also lead to a lot of confusion if the user has no idea what a proxy is. Since it is a very important feature for users, we decided to keep it in the main configuration screen and introduced a help prompt with an explanation of when someone would need such configuration.

As part of our work with the UX team, we will also be coordinating user testing of this new UI to continue iterating and make sure we are always improving our users' experience. We are also planning a series of improvements not only for the Tor Launcher flow but for the whole browser experience (once you are connected to Tor) including a new user onboarding flow. And last but not least we are streamlining both our mobile and desktop experience: Tor Browser 7.5 adapted the security slider design we did for mobile bringing the improved user experience to the desktop as well.

Final Deprecation Of V2 Onion Services

Last year we announced that v2 onion services would be deprecated in late 2021, and since its 10.5 release Tor Browser has been busy warning users who visit v2 onion sites of their upcoming retirement. At long last, that day has finally come. Since updating to Tor 0.4.6.8 v2 onion services are no longer reachable in Tor Browser, and users will receive an "Invalid Onion Site Address" error instead.

Should you receive this error when attempting to visit a previously working v2 address, there is nothing wrong with your browser - instead, the issue lies with the site itself. If you wish, you can notify the onion site's administrator about the problem and encourage them to upgrade to a v3 onion service as soon as possible.

It's easy to tell if you still have any old v2 addresses saved in your bookmarks that are in need of removal or updating too: although both end in .onion, the more secure v3 addresses are 56 characters long compared to v2's modest 16 character length.

Known Issues

  • Tor Browser 11.0 comes with a number of known issues:
  • Bug 40668: DocumentFreezer & file scheme
  • Bug 40671: Fonts don't render
  • Bug 40679: Missing features on first-time launch in esr91 on MacOS
  • Bug 40689: Change Blockchair Search provider's HTTP method
  • Bug 40667: AV1 videos shows as corrupt files in Windows 8.1
  • Bug 40677: Since the update to 11.0a9 some addons are inactive and need disabling-reenabling on each start
  • Bug 40666: Switching svg.disable affects NoScript settings
  • Bug 40690: Browser chrome breaks when private browsing mode is turned off

Give Feedback

If you find a bug or have a suggestion for how we could improve this release, please let us know. Thanks to all of the teams across Tor, and the many volunteers, who contributed to this release.

Full Changelog

The full changelog since Tor Browser 10.5.10 is:

Windows + OS X + Linux

Update Firefox to 91.3.0esr

Update Tor to tor-0.4.6.8

  • Bug 32624: localStorage is not shared between tabs
  • Bug 33125: Remove xpinstall.whitelist.add* as they don't do anything anymore
  • Bug 34188: Cleanup extensions.* prefs
  • Bug 40004: Convert tl-protocol to async.
  • Bug 40012: Watch all requested tor events
  • Bug 40027: Make torbutton_send_ctrl_cmd async
  • Bug 40042: Add missing parameter of createTransport
  • Bug 40043: Delete all plugin-related protections
  • Bug 40045: Teach the controller about status_client
  • Bug 40046: Support arbitrary watch events
  • Bug 40047: New string for Security Level panel
  • Bug 40048: Protonify Circuit Display Panel
  • Bug 40053: investigate fingerprinting potential of extended TextMetrics interface
  • Bug 40083: Make sure Region.jsm fetching is disabled
  • Bug 40177: Clean up obsolete preferences in our 000-tor-browser.js
  • Bug 40220: Make sure tracker cookie purging is disabled
  • Bug 40342: Set 'gfx.bundled-fonts.activate = 1' to preserve current bundled fonts behaviour
  • Bug 40463: Disable network.http.windows10-sso.enabled in FF 91
  • Bug 40483: Deutsche Welle v2 redirect
  • Bug 40534: Cannot open URLs on command line with Tor Browser 10.5
  • Bug 40547: UX: starting in offline mode can result in difficulty to connect later
  • Bug 40548: Set network.proxy.failover_direct to false in FF 91
  • Bug 40561: Refactor about:torconnect implementation
  • Bug 40567: RFPHelper is not init until after about:torconnect bootstraps
  • Bug 40597: Implement TorSettings module
  • Bug 40600: Multiple pages as home page unreliable in 11.0a4
  • Bug 40616: UX: multiple about:torconnect
  • Bug 40624: TorConnect banner always visible in about:preferences#tor even after bootstrap
  • Bug 40626: Update Security Level styling to match Proton UI
  • Bug 40628: Checkbox wrong color in about:torconnect in dark mode theme
  • Bug 40630: Update New Identity and New Circuit icons
  • Bug 40631: site identity icons are not being displayed properly
  • Bug 40632: Proton'ify Circuit Display Panel
  • Bug 40634: Style updates for Onion Error Pages
  • Bug 40636: Fix about:torconnect 'Connect' border radius in about:preferences#tor
  • Bug 40641: Update Security Level selection in about:preferences to match style as tracking protection option bubbles
  • Bug 40648: Replace onion pattern divs/css with tiling SVG
  • Bug 40653: Onion Available text not aligned correctly in toolbar in ESR91
  • Bug 40655: esr91 is suggesting to make Tor Browser the default browse
  • Bug 40657: esr91 is missing "New identity" in hamburger menu
  • Bug 40680: Prepare update to localized assets for YEC
  • Bug 40686: Update Onboarding link for 11.0

Build System

Windows + OS X + Linux

Update Go to 1.16.9

  • Bug 40048: Remove projects/clang-source
  • Bug 40347: Make the list of toolchain updates needed for firefox91
  • Bug 40363: Change bsaes git url
  • Bug 40366: Use bullseye to build https-everywhere
  • Bug 40368: Use system's python3 for https-everywhere

Windows + Linux

Bug 40357: Update binutils to 2.35.2

Windows

  • Bug 28240: switch from SJLJ exception handling to Dwarf2 in mingw for win32
  • Bug 40306: Update Windows toolchain to switch to mozilla91
  • Bug 40376: Use python3 for running pe_checksum_fix.py

OS X

  • Bug 40307: Update macOS toolchain to switch to mozilla91

Linux

  • Bug 40222: Bump GCC to 10.3.0 for Linux
  • Bug 40305: Update Linux toolchain to switch to mozilla91
  • Bug 40353: Temporarily disable rlbox for linux builds