THE MAGAZINE

A Site to See: xB Browser

By John Wagley

People have many reasons for wanting more anonymous browsing. For many experts, one of the best methods is through the Tor network. A network of virtual tunnels, it randomly routes Web traffic around a distributed network of volunteer-run relays before reaching its destination. It helps people hide their Internet surfing from eavesdroppers. By masking users’ Internet Protocol address, it prevents visited sites from learning surfers’ physical location. Traffic between a computer and the first node is encrypted, providing extra protection for locations such as wireless hot spots.

 
This free open-source application combines Firefox with Tor. It requires little configuration or technical knowledge and can be run from a hard drive or a USB stick.
 
Tor isn’t without controversy: some say it helps criminals evade the law. But it can help many people, including citizens of repressive governments, average Web surfers who want privacy, and journalists working in dangerous regions. Such users could benefit from this month’s Site to See.
 

 

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