The term Tor is the abbreviated form for “The Onion Router” project.
This is an open-source privacy network that allows you to anonymously browse the internet.
Tor can be downloaded to your browser and is compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android.
We’re going to explore some Tor stats that will give you more information about this open-source project.
It happens to be one of the most used, well-known, and popular privacy tools for web browsing.
Tor lets its users secretly use their web browsers to surf the web.
Let’s discuss Tor and the statistics behind it.
- Windows users download Tor over 40,000 times per day.
- Between April and July, between 2 million and 5 million users accessed Tor.
- Only 3% of Tor’s network traffic comes from the Dark Web.
- Every day, 2 million people use Tor.
- Tor has over 145,000 circuits.
- Over 40% of Tor’s traffic comes from BitTorrent traffic.
- The United States government is one of many Tor creators and investors.
- Tor isn’t just a network, it’s also a browser.
- 12% of all hidden websites hosted by Tor involve the illicit drug trade.
Tor Statistics You Need to Know in 2024
1. Windows Users Download Tor Over 40,000 Times per Day.
Data from Metrics regarding downloads by device shows that between April 26, 2023, and July 25, 2023, Windows users downloaded the browser over 40,000 times per day.
The most downloads occurred between June and July 2023 with over 120,000 downloads to Windows.
Windows users account for the most downloads.
(Metrics Tor Project)
2. Between April and July, Between 2 Million and 5 Million Users Accessed Tor.
This tells us that people and organizations do care about privacy and security online.
(Metrics Tor Project)
3. Only 3% of Tor’s Network Traffic Comes from The Dark Web.
While Tor is mostly known as a private browser used for illicit activities, access to the Dark Web only accounts for 3% of its usage.
The other 97% is used for the intended use which is to protect the privacy of users who visit legal websites.
The idea is to allow users to hide their online activities from ISPs, advertisers, and websites.
4. Every Day, 2 Million People Use Tor.
Originally, Tor was intended for military use. However, since its launch, it’s become a tool available to all.
Its 2 million daily users include private individuals, journals, corporations, and other entities seeking to bypass censorship, enjoy more privacy and security, and avoid surveillance.
5. Tor Has Over 145,000 Circuits.
Our sources tell us that Tor has almost 44 machines that run Tor’s clients.
That means some circuits formed across various points are often more selected than others across its 145,000 circuits.
Though Tor’s creators designed this system to defend its users’ privacy, it’s not possible to have a totally balanced algorithm.
6. Over 40% of Tor’s Traffic Comes from BitTorrent Traffic.
According to our research, we discovered that the stats say that almost 70% of BitTorrent users make P2P connections outside the Tor network.
That’s how they make the connection invisible to Tor’s network.
This also means that the numbers are not exact in this instance since BitTorrent users are using Tor, which is likely to result in more hacker events.
8. The United States Government Is One of Many Tor Creators and Investors.
Some of our readers may be shocked by the revelation that the United States government is one of Tor’s significant investors.
In fact, the United States government provided most of Tor’s funding for developing the network during the 1990s and 2000s.
It was done to help protect its operatives and informants while they were exchanging data.
9. Tor Isn’t Just a Network, It’s Also a Browser.
Tor is more than just a network designed to protect user privacy.
It’s also a network that operates a server app and hosts several volunteer computers. Tor is set up to let users access its network.
The browser is used to surf the net without being watched.
10. 12% of All Hidden Websites Hosted by Tor Involve the Illicit Drug Trade.
Tor wasn’t designed to be used for illegal activities, but because it’s open-source and available to all, criminals will use it.
Of the websites hosted on the Tor network, 12% were found to be from the drug trade.
11. 55% of The Hidden Websites on The Tor Network Are Legal.
We know that 45% of hidden sites on the Tor network are illegal, so now we will discuss that 55% (the majority) of hidden sites on the network are totally legal.
The legal sites are trying to shield themselves from surveillance and to protect their privacy
12. There Are More than 65,000 Distinct Ur Ls that Use the .Onion Ending.
All domains with the .onion URL ending are part of the Dark Web.
That doesn’t mean that the content is dark or illegal, it’s just what it’s called.
It’s called “dark” because it’s hidden as are the identities of the people who are behind them.
We know that over half of all these sites are legal.
13. Bitcoin Dark Web Transactions Were Predicted to Reach $1 Billion in 2019.
In 2018, Bitcoin transactions accounted for $872 million, making this the most accepted mode of payment transactions on the dark web, Tor, and other such browsers.
Recreational and pharmaceutical drugs are the most popular items on the dark web, followed closely by counterfeit and stolen documents such as bank credentials, IDs, and credit cards.
14. Facebook Engineers Created a Tor-Friendly Version of The Platform in 2014.
Facebook engineers decided to create a Tor version of the social platform in 2014 and by April 2015, more than 1 million people visited gateway each month.
This gateway is widely used by countries where Facebook is banned like Iran and China.
Also, people who are more privacy conscious than others use this version of the social media platform
15. 26% of Online Users in India Use the Dark Web via Tor and Other Private Networks.
A Tor traffic analysis revealed that India has the largest number of people using the Dark Web via the Tor network.
After India, Russia, and Brazil account for 22% and 21% respectively.
After that, Indonesia has a 20% share and South Africa, Sweden, and Turkey each have a 16% share.
16. Anonymity Is the Number One Reason People Use Tor and The Dark Web.
Despite surveillance and other privacy concerns, a vast majority of the activities that happen online are in plain sight and not on the Dark Web.
Only a small portion of users look for this unique experience that the Tor network provides.
Research shows us that 39% of Tor and Dark Web users say that anonymity is the number one reason they use it.
17. Only 1.5% of Visits to The Dark Web Account for All of Tor Traffic.
In today’s world, you might assume that people using Tor and the Dark Web are using it for illicit purposes.
However, most traffic flowing through the Tor network is perfectly legal.
Most users are simply trying to circumvent censorship and encryption.
18. Lithuania Reported 56 Downturns and 82 Upturns Which Indicates Potential Censorship Activities.
Based on what we found, Lithuania had the highest number of attempts at censorship in 2021.
Thanks to Tor, there is an anomaly censorship detection protocol in place that registered the 82 upturns and 56 downturns that occurred in Lithuania in 2021.
Mongolia came in with 39 upturns and 34 downturns and Barbados had 35 upturns and 29 downturns.
(Metrics Tor Project)
19. Degrading Tor’s Network Performance Costs only A Few Thousand Each Month.
Cyberattacks can overload Tor’s bridges for only $17,000 per month.
Also, Tor’s load balancers can be attacked for only $2, 800 per month.
This relates to some Tor bridges that aren’t operational that cyberattacks can use to get through its defenses.
20. 75% of Tor’s 200 Domains Earmarked as Illegal Are Marketplaces.
Analytics show that out of 200 illegal domains on Tor 75% are marketplaces.
For instance. some are there for people to buy recreational or pharmaceutical drugs, stolen identities, credit cards, or other personal identifiable information.
There are also illegal marketplaces for Bitcoin, tech crime services (malware and hacking services).
What Is Tor?
Investopedia describes Tor as an open-source privacy network that allows for anonymous web browsing.
The global Tor network is secure, encrypted, and provides its users with the online privacy they desire. Tor also has a browser that is designed to protect your privacy.
Who Uses Tor?
Tor is used for many things by many entities and people all over the world.
Sadly, it’s known best for its illegal usage even though the network is useful for legal purposes.
Let’s look at who uses it and for what purposes:
Individuals: Anyone who wants to protect their online privacy and information can use Tor. They use Tor to boost their cybersecurity game.
Also, anyone who is concerned with or has been censored can use online resources when they go through the Tor network.
For-Profit Companies: When cybersecurity and online privacy is important to them, enterprise organizations use Tor to enhance their security and data privacy.
Government Agencies: There are government agencies that use Tor when they need to securely transmit sensitive data.
Illicit Businesses: Cybercriminals (criminals) use Tor to secretly engage in illegal activities.
An example of criminal use of Tor is from 2016 when PlayPen, which was the biggest child pornography website until the FBI found them.
Is The Onion Router Legal to Use?
Tor isn’t designed for criminals to use even though they do.
It’s a perfectly legal network that allows you to protect your privacy and improve your cybersecurity.
Its intended use is for legal purposes.
Is Tor Free to Use?
The Tor network is totally free to use as it’s an open-source network.
Tor is a free browser for you to download and use and supports Linux, Android, Apple, and Windows.
How Can You Use Tor?
Tor has several purposes for its users including:
• Web browsing privacy protection
• Using websites that are blocked where you live
• Communicating with people who are in harm’s way or are likely to be persecuted
• Doing research that you want to hide from prying eyes
• To avoid the widespread censorship happening today
Is Tor Safe to Use?
Overall, Tor is safe to use, but it’s not 100% infallible, but then nothing is.
If you still have privacy concerns while using Tor, you can heighten your security with these tips:
• Use the Tor browser
• Enable HTTPS for all sites
• Use a strong password
• Use caution when you’re visiting websites
Today, people are concerned with online privacy, as they should be, so Tor can be a great solution to keep what you do online private from the surge of unwanted surveillance.
Now that you know more about the Tor network and browser, you understand that it’s not mostly used for illegal activities, despite its public image.
The level of illegal websites and activities on the Tor network are a very small portion of its usage.
Millions of people all over the world use Tor to protect their privacy, which results in protecting their identity and sensitive data while they are online.
Most of its users use it to be anonymous online.
Much of what we have learned from these statistics shows us how concerned people are about censorship, surveillance, privacy, and security online.
Would you use the Tor browser knowing that you have access to a private network and the freedom to enjoy the internet without feeling like your being watched or monitored?
We hope the Tor statistics we shared in this article will be of value to you and that you have enjoyed reading this article.
Overall, Tor is safe and easy to use for all its users.