How to: Use Tor on Mac OS X

This guide outlines how to use the Tor Browser Bundle on OS X.

What is Tor? Anchor link

Tor is a volunteer-run service that provides both privacy and anonymity online by masking who you are and where you are connecting. The service also protects you from the Tor network itself.

For people who might need occasional anonymity and privacy when accessing websites, Tor Browser provides a quick and easy way to use the Tor network.

The easiest way to use the Tor network is to use the Tor Browser Bundle, which combines a web browser, the Tor software, and other helpful software that will give you a way of more securely accessing the web.

The Tor Browser works just like other web browsers, except that it sends your communications through Tor, making it harder for people who are monitoring you to know exactly what you're doing online, and harder for people monitoring the sites you use to know where you're connecting from. Keep in mind that only activities you do inside of Tor Browser itself will be anonymized. Having Tor Browser installed on your computer does not make things you do on the same computer using other software (such as your regular web browser) anonymous.

Getting Tor Browser Bundle Anchor link

Open a browser like Mozilla Firefox or Safari and type: https://www.torproject.org/download/download-easy.html.en in the URL bar. If you are using a search engine to look for the Tor Browser Bundle, make sure that the URL is correct.

Click the big purple download button to get the installation program for Tor Browser Bundle.

The website will have detected your operating system and you'll get the correct file for OS X. If this fails you can click the link to the side of the purple button to download to the correct version.

If you are using Safari, the Tor Browser Bundle will start to download. In Firefox you will be asked whether you wish to open or save the file. It is always best to save the file, so click the Save button. This example shows Tor Browser Bundle Version 4.0.8, which was the most current version at the time this guide was published. There may be a more recent version available for download by the time you read this.

Installing Tor Browser Bundle Anchor link

After the download is complete, you might get an option to open the folder where the file was downloaded to. The default location is the Downloads folder. Double-click on the file Torbrowser-4.0.8-osx32_en-US.dmg

A window will open asking you to install Tor Browser Bundle by dragging it to your applications folder. You may do so now.

           

Tor Browser is now installed in your applications folder.

Using Tor Browser Bundle Anchor link

To open Tor Browser for the first time, locate it in the finder or in launchpad on newer versions of OS X.

After clicking on the Tor Browser icon, a window will open with a warning about the origin of the software. You should always take these warnings seriously and make sure you trust the software you want to install and that you got an authentic copy from the official site over a secure connection. Since you know what you want, and you know where to get the software, and the download was from the Tor Project's secure HTTPS site, click Open.

The first time Tor Browser starts, you'll get a window that allows you to modify some settings if necessary. You might have to come back and change some configuration settings, but go ahead and connect to the Tor network by clicking the Connect button.

After clicking “Connect,” a new window will open with a green bar that will get longer as the Tor software starts up.

The first time Tor Browser starts it might take a bit longer than usual; within a few minutes Tor Browser should be ready and a web browser will open congratulating you.

You can verify that you are connected to the Tor network by visiting check.torproject.org. If you are connected the website it will say “Congratulations. This browser is configured to use Tor.”

Browsing with Tor is different in some ways from the normal browsing experience. We recommended reading the tips for properly browsing with Tor and retaining your anonymity.

You are now ready to browse the internet anonymously with Tor.

 

Last reviewed: 
2015-05-20
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