Do I Need to Download Tor?

Beacon users don't need to download Tor, but they can if they wish to view a post's original source.

When Beacon users click on a dark web post result, they can view its content within Beacon in their usual browser. This enables users to view dark web content without navigating directly in Tor, which can be dangerous. Inexpert Tor browsing can expose user data to adversaries and unintentionally reveal disturbing imagery. Many institutions (e.g. banks) also don't allow threat analysts to use Tor software on their machines.

Beacon also provides users with direct .onion URLs to a search result's original source if they wish to use Tor to view more post context or imagery. 

Use Tor at your own risk—we don’t recommend surfing it, even using direct links from Beacon, without proper training or experience. Here are a few tips to stay safe using Tor:

  • Use a virtual private network (VPN) when accessing Tor.
  • Never maximize the Tor browser window.
  • Avoid navigating and running searches within Tor sites—stick to using direct links provided in Beacon.
  • Use a secure email service such as ProtonMail if you are accessing sites that require a login.
  • Always use a random username and password generator to create accounts. Never reuse a username or password, and keep them stored in a safe place.