Tor Browser Tutorial:

A Step-by-Step Guide To Installing and Using Tor

Table Of Contents

Hey, everyone! Welcome back to ITS Tech Time. Today, we will cover how to install and use the Tor browser. This video covers downloading the Tor Browser, setting the initial security settings, and connecting to Tor if your ISP or Internet Service Provider is blocking Tor. But before we begin, if you’re new here, don’t forget to subscribe and hit the bell icon for more tech and privacy-related content.

Downloading Tor browser

For most people, the easiest way to download the Tor browser is from the official Tor project download page.


HTTPS protects this page, and you choose the Operating System you will be installing.

For most people, the defaults during the installation setup will work. Once the Tor browser is installed, the first screen will resemble this.

While hitting connect right off the bat is tempting, we need to set the security settings first, so we will click Configure Connection first to go to the settings menu.

Other Download Options

If your download is blocked, the Tor project offers several other download options depending on your situation.


Security Settings

The first setting that opens is for the connection. If you are somewhere that blocks Tor, you can set up a bridge. Some built-in options will work well for most people who need a bridge. If those don’t work, you submit a request for a bridge. If you are one of the many volunteers who self-host a bridge or have someone you trust who does, you can Add a Bridge Manually.

Under the Privacy & Security tab, you should check the box to Delete cookies and site data when Tor Browser is closed.

Then scroll down to the Security section change the Security Level to at least Safer and check the box to Block dangerous and deceptive content and Block dangerous downloads.

With all that set, you can now click Connect in the top right. The Tor browser will show system information as it’s connecting, which can be helpful if the connection fails.

Once Successfully connected, you will see this home screen.


Should you use a VPN to hide your IP address when connecting to Tor?

In my opinion, the only time that would be necessary would be if you are somewhere where the ISP is blocking Tor. Otherwise, the fact that Tor relays do not log your IP would make that unnecessary. The ISP will see that a VPN is being used, and if you are doing something Illegal, most VPNs log your information and will give it to authorities, so don’t consider it a way to do anything illicit while using Tor.

But if you want to use a VPN to hide your IP address:

  • After downloading the Tor browser, before you connect, close all open web browsers
  • Connect to your VPN. This will be different depending on the VPN client you are using
  • Now connect to Tor like normal.

NordVPN uses a 56-bit AES encryption, an app-specific kill switch, an automatic ad-blocker, a malware scanner, and protection against WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leaks. NordVPN has an extensive, global network of VPN servers that spans 60+ countries. This allows NordVPN to have fast connection speeds.

Virtual Machine

Another way to use Tor to access the dark web is with a virtual machine. Running Tor in a separate OS through a Virtual machine will give you an added level of anonymity since the “host” information the Tor guard relay will see is from the virtual machine.

It also gives you an added level of security against malicious downloads. The built-in Tor settings to block malicious downloads are not perfect. With a virtual machine, you have an extra layer of protection between the download and your host machine. If something nasty is downloaded, you can delete the VM altogether.

For example, if I inspect a suspicious email, I open it using a Tor browser inside a Kasm workspace setup in a virtual private server. That way, when I close the workspace, everything is deleted. This is an excellent concept, but admittedly it’s a bit overkill.

Tails USB

Another way to use Tor is by using a Tails USB. Tails is a portable operating system that can boot any computer to the USB. This Temporarily turns your computer into a secure machine. Tails run from the RAM on the machine, so the memory is entirely deleted when you shut down to restart. You can set up persistent storage to save passwords or email addresses. Tails has a built-in “security toolbox” to help you work securely. In the following video, I’ll go into more detail on how to use the Tails operating system.

And there you have itβ€” the different ways to securely install and use the Tor browser. If you found this helpful, share it with anyone who might benefit from learning about online privacy. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. You can email us, schedule a one-on-one video call, or post on our private self-hosted message board πŸ‘‰ Contact Us.

Thanks for watching, and as always, stay curious and secure. See you in the following video!

Scroll to Top