What is the Tor network?
Definition Tor What is the Tor network?
The beginnings of Tor can be traced back to the year 2000, with the first functional version only released two years later, in 2002, by the inventor Matej Pfajfar. The project found many financial backers shortly after its foundation, much of it coming from various American organizations. Since 2012, It has been largely financed by private donations.
How the Tor network works
It works after Onion routing, which also derives the project's first working name: The Onion Routing (TOR). Even if the functionality has been preserved, the Tor network is now simply written "gate", without capital letters. In the first place, the user must first download a client (software) which is referred to in technical jargon as a "proxy". This software now connects to the Tor network and provides a list of all available servers that the user can connect to. The servers have a public key to support their authentic affiliation with the network.
As soon as the user has received the list on his computer, a randomly selected route through these network servers takes place. The network itself not only uses one server, but usually connects to at least three servers in order to increase the quality of anonymization. According to the developers, three servers are a good compromise because they ensure a correspondingly high level of anonymity without unnecessarily extending connection times. Once the user has connected to all three servers, data can finally be transferred. The last server always acts as an exit server, which thus provides the end of digital connection communication.
It is also worth noting that network does not maintain a uniform connection. After about ten minutes, the process described above is repeated, during which time the connecting routes (routes) are also reconstructed. This further increases the level of anonymization and makes it virtually impossible to "track" the traffic. Encryption is always used between the servers. According to official data, the network has more than 7,100 nodes or servers, resulting in a maximum speed of around 72 Gbps (2016 data).
Hidden Services at Tor
It enables the completely two-sided anonymization, a key word for this are the so-called "hidden services", to German: "hidden services". These services can only be accessed via It and thus form the counterpart to "normal services", which are freely available on the Internet and are also reached without a gate. For a hidden service, a web server is set up on a computer whose data packets are transmitted over the Tor network and identified by a key. It automatically creates multiple entry points. Recipients can access these hidden services via the hashvalue of such a key, provided that they also use Tor network, which later connects the sender and receiver via a "rendezvous point" - previously this is automatically agreed between It participants. If the sender agrees, a connection between the two participants is then established at the rendezvous point, without them knowing their mutual identity.
Tor network offers its own browser (Tor Browser Bundle) which already contains corresponding Tor configurations and other modified scripts - it is based on Mozilla Firefox ESR. Since 2015, the official Messengerhas also been in existence, which uses Instantbird as its basis, but encrypts information via off-the-record (OTR) messaging - Tor network anonymization is also already integrated.