Tor can stop working in the browser because of some problems like antivirus or antimalware, inaccuracy in the system clock, VPN, log errors, etc. Tor (The onion router) can be defined as a browsing tool that enables anonymous web browsing. The Tor network is made of countess nodes that use layers of encryptions like the onion metaphor to pass your data.
While passing your data, each node peels off another layer of encryption that shows the previous node’s IP address. The last node through which the data passes is known as the end node. In the end node, it peels off the final layer of encryption and delivers your data to the final destination.
Table of Contents
What’s Wrong With Tor When It’s Not Working
Some causes prevent the tor browser from connecting. They are:
- Antivirus or antimalware preventing from accessing tor browser.
- The system clock is not accurate.
- Your device is connected to VPN.
- Software build is not reproducible.
- The folder path contains non ASCII characters.
- System hibernating (after the update or reinstall)
You can also face problems while connecting to tor, because of log errors. The common log errors are given below:
1. Proxy Connection Failure
2017-10-29 09:23:40.800 [NOTICE] Opening Socks listener on 127.0.0.1:9150
2017-10-29 09:23:47.900 [NOTICE] Bootstrapped 5%: Connecting to directory server
2017-10-29 09:23:47.900 [NOTICE] Bootstrapped 10%: Finishing handshake with directory server
2017-10-29 09:24:08.900 [WARN] Proxy Client: unable to connect to xx..xxx..xxx.xx:xxxxx (“general SOCKS server failure”)
When you see lines like this in the tor log that indicates you are failed to connect to a SOCKS proxy. Then you have to enter the proxy details correctly to connect to the tor network.
2. Failed To Connect To The First Note
11/1/2017 21:11:43 PM.500 [NOTICE] Opening Socks listener on 127.0.0.1:9150
11/1/2017 21:11:44 PM.300 [NOTICE] Bootstrapped 80%: Connecting to the Tor network
11/1/2017 21:11:44 PM.300 [WARN] Failed to find node for hop 0 of our path. Discarding this circuit.
11/1/2017 21:11:44 PM.500 [NOTICE] Bootstrapped 85%: Finishing handshake with first hop
11/1/2017 21:11:45 PM.300 [WARN] Failed to find node for hop 0 of our path. Discarding this circuit.
When you see lines like this in the tor log that indicates you are failed to connect to the first note of the tor circuit. Try to connect using bridges to solve the problem.
3. Failed To Complete TLS Handshake
13-11-17 19:52:24.300 [NOTICE] Bootstrapped 10%: Finishing handshake with directory server
13-11-17 19:53:49.300 [WARN] Problem bootstrapping. Stuck at 10%: Finishing handshake with directory server. (DONE; DONE; count 10; recommendation warn; host [host] at xxx.xxx.xxx.xx:xxx)
13-11-17 19:53:49.300 [WARN] 10 connections have failed:
13-11-17 19:53:49.300 [WARN] 9 connections died in state handshaking (TLS) with SSL state SSLv2/v3 read server hello A in HANDSHAKE
When you see the upper lines in the log that mean the Tor has failed to complete a TLS handshake with directory authority. Try to connect using bridges to solve the problem.
4. Clock Skew
19.11.2017 00:04:47.400 [NOTICE] Opening Socks listener on 127.0.0.1:9150
19.11.2017 00:04:48.000 [NOTICE] Bootstrapped 5%: Connecting to directory server
19.11.2017 00:04:48.200 [NOTICE] Bootstrapped 10%: Finishing handshake with directory server
19.11.2017 00:04:48.800 [WARN] Received NETINFO cell with skewed time (OR:xxx.xx.x.xx:xxxx): It seems that our clock is behind by 1 days, 0 hours, 1 minutes, or that theirs is ahead. Tor requires an accurate clock to work: please check your time, timezone, and date settings.
When you see the upper lines in the tor log that means the time your system clock indicates is incorrect. Set the time accurately.
How Do You Get Tor Browser To Work?
There are many ways to get tor to work according to their problems. Follow the ways below to fix tor browser according to the problem.
1. Solution of Common Problems
- Correct the time of your system clock to connect the tor to a browser.
- Your antivirus or antimalware software can prevent tor connection. Disable antivirus or antimalware on your computer and try again.
- If the tor browser or instance of tor is running on your system, close it. Because it can prevent the connection.
- If you were using the tor browser before but it is not working because the system was asleep. Reboot your software to solve this problem.
- Disable your firewall.
- If you are updating the tor browser, delete all of your files from the previous tor browser and then reinstall it.
2. Update your tor browser.
3. Firefox code is used by tor at its heart. So, if you are running the browsers at the same time, one of them will have issues. Close the firebox and try again to run the tor browser.
4. Shut down your tor browser and open it. Verify if the problem is fixed.
5. Sometimes VPN causes a problem for the tor browser to work. Disable the VPN and try again. If you are an advanced browser, you can use the VPN below:
- Cyber Ghost
6. Adobe flash is disabled in the tor browser for safety reasons. So, don’t open any videos that require adobe flash.
7. Restart your computer and open tor browser again to look for whether the problem is solved or not.
8. If non of the way works reinstall the tor browser.
Is There An Alternative To Tor Browser
There are alternatives to the tor browser some of them are discussed below:
It is well known for its no-tracking approach. It does not track its user’s actions or data collection by them or by a third party. This browser is highly regarded by users who are not to be tracked.
The internet invisible project, in short I2P, is a web browser tool that allows user to hide their identities and keep their information secure through encryption. It uses end-to-end encryption to protect the information that is shared between users.
3. Epic Browser
It is developed by Chromium’s source code. The epic browser has built-in ad blockers, scripts, trackers, etc. It offers do not track command, one-click proxy anonymization, deletes browsing data after exit, secure search queries, etc.
It is developed by two former opera browser exclusives. This browser has built-in ad blockers, scripts, trackers, etc.
There are some other alternatives that you can use Freenet, Chromium, SRWare Iron, Subgraph OS, Waterfox, Yandex Browser, Comodo IceDragon, and Tails.
Does Tor Browser Still Work?
Yes, tor also known as the onion router is one of the safest browsers till now. When you are using a normal internet connection, the websites you visit use your IP address to identify information and collect data about your browsing habit. And also others that are prying eyes, can see your identity and the server that you are trying to access.
But the tor browser routes the web traffic through a randomized server of the network to protect or hide your IP address from the websites and your internet service provider (ISP) with three or more layers of encryption. Tor does not monitor your activity though it can see your public IP address.
Tor Brower deletes your history automatically after you close the browser. You need to use VPN (Virtual Private Network) for better safety. At the end node when your data is decrypted, that can be detected. Your data is unsafe at the entry and exit points. But your identity is not traceable.
In this article, we have discussed the tor browser and the working principle of the tor browser. Due to some problems, the tor browser can stop working; we have discussed the way to fix it. Though the tor browser is recommended by most users, you can use an alternative browser to the tor browser.