Tor Browser is a web browser based on Mozilla Firefox and configured to protect your anonymity. Given the popularity of Firefox, you might have used it before and its user interface is like any other modern web browser.
Some frequently asked questions about the browser can be found in the FAQ.
Here are a few things worth mentioning in the context of Tails.
If you want to browse web pages on your local network, refer to our documentation on accessing resources on the local network.
Tor Browser in Tails is confined with AppArmor to protect the system and your data from some types of attack against Tor Browser. As a consequence, it can only read and write to a limited number of folders.
You can save files from Tor Browser to the Tor Browser folder that is located in the Home folder. The content of this folder will disappear once you shut down Tails.
If you want to upload files with Tor Browser, copy them to that folder first.
If you have activated the Personal Data persistence feature, then you can also use the Tor Browser folder that is located in the Persistent folder. In that case, the content of this folder is saved and remains available across separate working sessions.
To be able to download files larger than the available RAM, you need to activate the Personal Data persistence feature.
Using HTTPS instead of HTTP encrypts your communication while browsing the web.
All the data exchanged between your browser and the server you are visiting are encrypted. It prevents the Tor exit node to eavesdrop on your communication.
HTTPS also includes mechanisms to authenticate the server you are communicating with. But those mechanisms can be flawed, as explained on our warning page.
Notice the padlock icon on the left of the address bar saying "mail.riseup.net" and the address beginning with "https://" (instead of "http://"). These are the indicators that an encrypted connection using HTTPS is being used.
You should try to only use services providing HTTPS when you are sending or retrieving sensitive information (like passwords), otherwise its very easy for an eavesdropper to steal whatever information you are sending or to modify the content of a page on its way to your browser.
HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox extension included in Tor Browser and produced as a collaboration between The Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. It encrypts your communications with a number of major websites. Many sites on the web offer some limited support for encryption over HTTPS, but make it difficult to use. For instance, they may default to unencrypted HTTP, or fill encrypted pages with links that go back to the unencrypted site. The HTTPS Everywhere extension fixes these problems by rewriting all requests to these sites to HTTPS.
To learn more about HTTPS Everywhere you can see:
In Tor Browser all such features are handled from inside the browser by an extension called Torbutton which does all sorts of things to prevent the above type of attacks. But that comes at a price: since this will disable some functionalities and some sites might not work as intended.
The security slider is set to low by default. This value provides the default level of protection of Torbutton and the most usable experience.
To change the value of the security slider, click on the button and choose Privacy and Security Settings.
The Circuit view feature of Torbutton shows you the three Tor relays used for the website in the current tab, including the corresponding IP addresses and the countries they're located in. The node immediately above the Internet node is the Exit relay; the country it is located in might determine how the website is presented to you. You can use New Tor Circuit for this Site to change to another country.
You can use Onion Circuits to get more detailed information about the circuits being used.
The New Tor Circuit for this Site feature of Torbutton builds a new Tor Circuit for the website in the current tab and reloads it. This is particularly useful if the Exit relay is located in a country which negatively affects the presentation of the website you are visiting, e.g. due to censorship, localization into a language you do not know, and similar.
To use it, click on the button and select New Tor Circuit for this Site.
The New Identity feature of Torbutton:
- Closes all open tabs.
- Clears the session state including cache, history, and cookies (except the cookies protected by the Cookie Protections feature).
- Closes all existing web connections and creates new Tor circuits.
- Erases the content of the clipboard.
To use this feature click on the button and select New Identity.
This feature is not enough to strongly separate contextual identities in the context of Tails as the connections outside of Tor Browser are not restarted.
Shutdown and restart Tails instead.
For more details, see the design and implementation of the Tor Browser.