How to Use Tor Messenger? Tor is a not a new name for anyone who strongly concerns about his/her online privacy and security. Furthermore, Tor is an onion-routing software free to use. It provides anonymous and encrypted communication service. By routing the internet traffic of the user through various layers of volunteered network worldwide. Additionally, It has so far more than seven thousand relay points around the globe. Tor is a secure mode of communication. So, by using it the user’s internet activities become untraceable. As it passes through several random relays (computes) unknown to the software itself. The IP address is changed many times in a communication process. Which gives the high level of anonymity to the user. Which is why it is considered highly anonymous for privacy and security.
Tor Vs VPN?
However, it has been in use by many hackers groups and government security and surveillance agencies as well. The usage of Tor makes day to day internet difficult. It slow downs the internet connection speed as well. IT is due to longer encryption and decryption procedure, that is the reason many people prefer using other encryption tools faster than Tor like the fastest VPN services. However, the purpose of this article is to let you know how to use the Tor messenger and what is the procedure of using Tor messenger, which is launched by Tor a year ago (to know in detail, read our article is using Tor safe for privacy).
Tor, the onion routing software released it’s encrypted and secure chat messenger last year to provide your ultimate communication security. This is the first public beta of it’s cross-platform Tor messenger service. The messenger has high-end and strong encryption when used along with the Tor services. It has the design which is made to encrypt the chat traffic through the Tor network which prevents any traffic analysis by intruders. Later in the article, we will discuss the steps of using Tor messenger.
How Tor Messenger Works?
Tor messenger functions to recondite the user’s geographical location (physical location) and traffic routing details by the several distributed relays of Tor network. This hides the user’s completely and makes them anonymous by numerous switch of IP addresses no one can track them. Additionally, it anonymizes the chat data by using the (open source) Off The Record (OTR) Protocol. Despite the fact Tor messenger is similar to some other encrypted chat messengers, using Tor messenger has certain added benefits and there are some features of it which make it unique among others. These standout features are;
No Chat Logs
Tor is the heaven for privacy geeks. It has no option to save chat log, even if the user wanted, the design of messenger has no chat log option at all. This means you can talk about anything, no matter how confidential or secret it is, there is no chance of anyone reading it later on by retrieving the chat logs. The no chat log feature also saves users by individually deleting the chat log after any confidential communication. No logs no worries. There is a quick sense of security to the users by using Tor messenger.
Tor messenger is made for the user’s privacy, so it never allows the user to communicate with anyone who is not using onion routing network (by OTR feature), by default. The user can, however, disable this OTR feature manually to connect to anyone other than Tor network.
How to Use Tor Messenger?
Tor messenger is easy to download and install on any of your selected device and platforms (note that if you use it on Mac OS X, you first need to allow it by going to the system preferences of your Mac, as it is not trusted by the Apple’s gatekeeper).
Steps to Use Tor Messenger
Let’s take a look at the simplified steps of using Tor messenger;
- The first step of using Tor messenger is to download and install it on your system.
- Once the installation has completed, a window will appear on your screen asking for the account set up. Tor messenger supports many chat accounts like (Yahoo, Facebook, Google Gchat, IRC, Twitter, and all XMPP format chats). Which means you can jump start by selecting any of your previous chat accounts.
- If you don’t have any existing account on the above-mentioned chat messengers compatible with Tor messenger, then we recommend you to sign up for XMPP account. Then all you need to do is to add your username and password and add the domain: jabber.calyxinstitute.org (for XMPP account only).
- Once you are connected if you have any pre-existing contact, it will appear on the screen. When you initiate a new chat in Tor messenger, it warns you if the user is not on the OTR and by default it will not allow you to talk to people who are not on the Tor network, for your privacy and security.
Advanced Steps and Settings
- Further, whenever a new chat message is started it asks for the OTR fingerprint of your contact. It is important for privacy and security that you are chatting to the right person and no fake account is impersonating you or your contact. So an OTR fingerprint is a unique identity, assigned to you and the other people in your contact list. It must be added to the known fingerprint list so that you can match it for future chats. This unique fingerprint is like an identity card that used on Tor messenger.
- As this is a complex and long string of numerical code. It is in the form of secret code Which could be any phrase or a word or whatever you can remember, you can share it with your trusted contact through private and secure text.
- For the verification of OTR fingerprint, it is important both of you (you and your contact) know the shared key (which can be anything even your favourite snack name like’’ Doritos’’, the point is something you can remember easily).
- The verification is complete just for the first time. Once you verify you don’t need to do it every time you chat with that person. Using Tor messenger can be a bit layer by layer procedure for those who don’t like much authentication steps, but it is worth the efforts.
Conclusion: How to Use the Secure and Encrypted Tor Messenger?
This article is for the people who are gravely concerned about their communication and internet privacy. However, it requires some guidance if you are using it for the first time. Keeping this in mind we have made our effort to facilitate our privacy-minded users.