What is Tor?
Tor is free, open-source software for enabling anonymous communication.
When you connect to the internet via Tor, your internet is routed through a worldwide, volunteer network of relays that conceal your location and activity from anyone trying to monitor you.
Tor was originally developed in the 1990s and today is used worldwide by people who need to browse the internet anonymously. For example, it is commonly used by journalists and activists operating under repressive regimes. Special websites, called onion sites, can only be accessed via Tor and require you to install the Tor Browser on your device (or access the Tor network with Tor over VPN(new window)).
Why use Tor?
Using Tor to access Proton is optional, but in some situations it may bring additional security benefits. Instructions on how to use our Tor encrypted email or Tor encrypted file storage access can be found here(new window). More information about how Proton uses Tor to protect your privacy can be found here(new window).
No network snooping
Routing your traffic to Proton through the Tor network makes it difficult to trace your internet connection to know that you are using a Proton service.
No man in the middle
Tor applies extra encryption layers on top of your connection, making it more difficult for an advanced attacker to perform a man-in-the-middle attack on your connection to our servers.
Tor also makes your connections to Proton anonymous. We will not be able to see the true IP address of your connection to Proton.
Tor can also help with Proton accessibility. If our services become blocked in your country, it may be possible to reach us by going to our onion site.
Things to keep in mind when using Tor
Using Tor does come with some downsides. Tor connections typically deliver much slower and less reliable performance than a standard internet connection.
Even without using Tor, Proton’s services are secured with end-to-end encryption, secure authentication (SRP), and optional two-factor authentication. Most people will not need to use our Tor encrypted email or Tor encrypted file storage access. However, if you are an activist in a sensitive situation, our onion site provides an extra layer of anonymity and protection.
How to use Tor
To use our Tor hidden service (also known as an onion site), you must have Tor installed or use Tor Browser.
Tor for desktop
The easiest way to browse onion websites is to download Tor Browser. Tor Browser is almost the same as the popular Firefox web browser, but it has built-in support for Tor. Simply downloading Tor Browser will let you visit onion websites right away.