OK, I am a total newbie and this is probably a dumb question, but I'm going to ask it anyway.

If I downloaded the TOR browser from the website, the recommended manner that I'm told to do, and I don't make any changes at all...

If I were to go to a site ran by someone like Wikilieaks and the page contained image files of classified documents, would those images be stored on my local hard drive just as if I was using Chrome or any other regular browser?

Meaning if someone were to come along later and run a forensic program on the computer, would they be able to know I looked at the photographs of the classified documents Wikileaks had posted? Or is that stuff not stored to the local hard drives?

For those of you who are veterans of TOR, forgive me for being such a newb. I'm just trying to figure out if this is really as secure as I've heard that it is, and if I were to look at something like what I referenced if it was putting me in serious danger.

3 Answers 3


If your objective is leave nothing on a hard drive I would suggest to use the Tails system which include, among other things, the Tor browser.

  • So the Tor Browser itself isn't secure enough, then?
    – TotalNewb
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 15:51

Quote: "I'm just trying to figure out if this is really as secure as I've heard that it is"

May I suggest to find out by yourself?

  1. https://2019.www.torproject.org/about/overview.html.en#overview

Look for the keywords "improve privacy and security"

  1. https://theintercept.com/source/ https://ssd.eff.org/en#index

For a secure way to send a file over the internet.

  1. https://ssd.eff.org/en#index

For widening your understanding of surveillance, privacy and security.


The Firefox cache is disabled on the TOR Browser by default, so no files will be written when browsing the web, all is stored on the RAM temporary.

However, your OS can move the RAM into a RAM swap file like pagefile, thus leaving traces of the unencrypted data that was used in the TOR browser. Obviously this data has stricter permission rules so other applications cannot simply access it, but it's technically there.

It's much better to use TOR in a dedicated encrypted VM.

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