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Tor Browser 7.0 works harder to protect your anonymity on its own

The browser now runs in a sandbox to block access to your IP address.
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Bloomberg via Getty Images

The latest update for privacy-minded folks' favorite way to surf the web should make others' attempts at tracking what they do even more difficult. The Tor browser's 7. 0 version introduces a sandbox feature that, according to an interview on the Tor blog, should "make life a lot harder" for people using a Firefox exploit to discern the identities of a user. "It's like Plato's Allegory of the Cave," Tor developer Yawning Angel said. "The only reality Tor Browser knows is inside of the sandbox (cave). We prevent it from interacting with the rest of your computer (the outside world), except via the Tor Network (shadows on the wall)."

The college philosophy class you barely remember aside, what the sandbox does is hides your files, your real IP address and your MAC address from the browser. Therefore, "the amount of information Tor Browser will learn about your computer, and thereby you, will be limited," Angel said.

At the time of that interview last October, the sandbox was still unstable and very much in testing, but the recent update has brought the digital safe-zone online for Linux and macOS, and by default. Next up? Sandbox protection for Windows users.

The update also imposes a few new requirements for users on Windows and macOS: Tor apparently won't work on non-SSE2-capable Windows hardware and you need to be running OSX 10.9 or higher on Apple machines.

Considering that last year a federal judge said that the FBI no longer needs warrants to hack a computer connected to the internet, this is an important update. "Even an internet user who employs the Tor network in an attempt to mask his or her IP address lacks a reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her IP address," judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr commented at the time. For the full rundown of what's changed with the browser, hit the source links below.

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