A new update now allows the Tor Browser to give out suggestions to users that allow them to access onion addresses of mainstream websites.
The organization behind the Tor Browser confirms this new feature on Tuesday. The organization claims that they are giving users a more secure platform to access mainstream websites.
In a blog post the Tor Project shares:
“For the first time, Tor Browser users on desktop will be able to opt-in for using onion sites automatically whenever the website makes the available.”
A more secure way to access the web
This new feature is available in the 9.5 version of the browser. Users can now download the updated version and take advantage of a more secure way to access websites.
Whenever the browser detects that the website has an onion mirror link, it will automatically suggest it to the user. An icon will appear in the HTTP address, the user can simply click it and they will be redirected into a link.
Apart from giving an onion mirror link, users will also receive a notification informing them of it. The pop-up message will inform the user that a private and secure alternative is available.
Many mainstream websites are starting to migrate into the dark web. This particular part of the web is not indexed by Google, and regular browsers cannot access it. Users need to use the Tor Browser for them to be able to access its services.
Website publishers now can advertise their onion service to Tor users by adding an HTTP header. If you are a developer, learn how to enable Onion-Location in your website: https://t.co/SkDUkbP1nR pic.twitter.com/RMzt78ImL3
— The Tor Project (@torproject) June 3, 2020
Due to recent reports of government and company surveillance, users are starting to look for alternatives. The dark web uses the onion routing protocol that makes it extremely hard to track user browsing habits. This particular feature allows users to anonymously and securely browse the dark web without the fear of surveillance.
Mainstream surveillance and security
Reports of government surveillance have been a hot topic for many years now. By using the dark web, users can bypass surveillance protocols as well as censorship. This makes the dark web an ideal place for whistleblower websites, and sometimes illicit activities.
Despite this promise of security and anonymity, the adoption of dark web services has been very slow. One reason behind this is that dark web URLs are usually made of almost random characters. This makes it extremely hard for users to remember, and therefore access, these websites.
This recent update of the Tor Browser allows users to easily access websites on the dark web. It eliminates the need to remember those long strings of random character just to access a website.
Image courtesy of Tor Project/Wikimedia Commons