Using a bitcoin mixing service is an important step to anonymise your bitcoin transactions, but you need more than just one tool or service to stay private in all of your activities online. One of the best things you can do to give a layer of protection to everything you do online is to use the Tor browser together with a VPN. Tor stands for The Onion Router. It was originally developed by the US Navy to enable anonymous internet browsing, although it is now run as a not-for-profit organisation supported by volunteers committed to online privacy.
The Tor network works by encrypting your connection and routing all of your web traffic through multiple servers, so anyone watching the network will see activity from all over the network, rather than just your computer. This makes it nearly impossible for network surveillance to say for sure which connections were yours. You can also use the Tor browser to access Tor-only websites, which end with a .onion domain. If a website has both a clarinet (normal) and .onion domain, always use the .onion domain for the best security. That includes when you use our Bitcoin Laundry mixer. Our .onion address is btcdryi67te57itq.onion.
How to use Tor
Tor is easy to use and works much like any other web browser. To start using Tor, the first thing you need to do is download the Tor browser- it’s a modified version of Firefox, so if you’ve used that before the browser experience will be familiar. You can install and use the software right away, or you can check the installation file’s GPG signature to make sure that the file you downloaded is tamper-free. This requires a few extra steps, but if you feel you need the strictest possible security the Tor project’s website can help guide you through the project.
Once you’ve installed Tor, when you launch the browser you’ll get a window asking whether you want to connect directly or if you need to configure proxy settings. For most people, connecting directly will work just fine, but if you live in a place with internet restrictions you may need to configure your proxy settings. You can find more information about that process here.
As a last step to make sure everything is working as it should, visit whatismyip.com, which will tell you the location it detects from your ip address. Make sure the location displayed is somewhere different from where you really are.
Once you’ve installed the software and done an IP check to make sure it’s working, you’re free to browse the internet with the assurance that your web traffic cannot easily be analysed by internet service providers, government agencies, and web services. In our next article, we will discuss how a VPN can complement Tor browser to add another layer to your overall privacy. Bitcoin Laundry is always happy to support your online privacy, keep checking our blog for more anonymity tools and tips.