• It is more practical to think of privacy as a multi-faceted continuum rather than a binomial feature.
  • Something often has to be traded-off for privacy and the compromise might not make sense in all cases, all the time.
  • Tor Browser goes at painstaking lengths to protect the privacy of its users, such as routing all requests through Tor, which results in the infamous endless-CAPTCHAs (patented by Google), increased latencies, and a more frustrating experience overall that makes it unfit for everyday use.
  • Instead, website operators are targeted and punished much more than their visitors, thus the need for privacy is wildly asymmetric between those two groups most of the time.
  • Whilst there is HTTP (followed by HTTPS) at the one end and Tor at the other, there should be a middle ground that provides strong privacy guarantees to website operators while allowing visitors to access their services with ease.
  • Currently, the onus is fully on the operators who resort to domain-cycling to evade DNS-based censorship attempts, grey CDNs to mask IP addresses of their servers, and bulletproof hosting services as a last resort against cease and desist requests.
  • In the light of recent events such as the de-platforming of Parler in January and Navalny’s app a couple of weeks ago (just as Navalny had warned about setting a precedent when Twitter has banned Trump), the increasing prevalence of deep packet inspection mechanisms, and IP-based blocks, there is decreasingly little breathing room for dissenting voices on the Internet.
  • Tor is positioned as a privacy suite first and foremost, but it is also a censorship-resistant platform that can protect the privacy of website operators while providing a comfortable and reasonably private browsing experience to their visitors.
  • Mainstream browsers should integrate Tor to allow users to visit .onion websites just as any other, with only the requests to *.onion domains being routed through the Tor network.

Try It

EDIT on 2021-10-05:

Beware! The following demo is NOT as anonymous as using Tor Browser, proceed with caution.

  1. Install Tor daemon:

    sudo apt install tor
    # or, using Homebrew:
    brew install tor
    # or, using Chocolatey:
    choco install tor
  2. Install Firefox, and FoxyProxy extension.
  3. In FoxyProxy, add a new proxy:
    • Title: Tor
    • Proxy Type: SOCKS5
    • Proxy IP address:
    • Port: 9050
    • “Send DNS through SOCKS5 proxy” on
    • Color: #7D4698 (see Tor Styleguide)
  4. Click “Save & Edit Patterns”.
  5. Add a new white pattern:
    • Name: Onions
    • Pattern: *.onion
    • Type: Wildcard
    • HTTP/s: all
    • Enabled: on
  6. Click “Save” to complete the proxy setup.
  7. Click the FoxyProxy button near the address bar, and select “Use Enabled Proxies By Patterns and Order”.
  8. Visit ProPublica to test your access to Tor Hidden Services.
  9. Visit ipinfo.io to confirm that other websites are accessed as usual.