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I'm new to Tor and not a computer whiz. I use IE and Chrome, or have done until now and have no idea how many cookies are around. Will my searches on Tor Browser Bundle be totally anonymous with the other browsers installed?

Basically, how do I ensure anonymity not just in Tor Browser Bundle but also throughout my computer?

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If you are using the Tor Browser Bundle, then there is no need to uninstall your other browsers first. Anything you do in TBB will be anonymous, anything you do in your normal browser will not.

If you're using your normal browser with Tor as a SOCKS proxy, then you may want to use your browsers private browsing feature (Private Browsing in Firefox, Incognito in Chrome) to prevent cookies from being saved, and to prevent existing cookies from being sent during your Tor session. I recommend simply using the Tor Browser Bundle; it will make things much easier and will be slightly less risky.

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What you do on a browser besides Tor Browser Bundle (TBB) does not affect what you do on TBB.

For example: You google how to eat cats on Tor Browser Bundle. Then you close TBB and open up Firefox. In Firefox you google how to adopt cats. The people watching know you are trying to adopt a cat. They also know someone is trying to eat cats. They have no clue that you are both of those people.


To get anonymity throughout your computer please use Tails.

Tails is a live operating system, that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. It aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity, and helps you to:

  • use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship;
  • all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network;
  • leave no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it explicitly; use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging.
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No, tor browser bundle runs in a sandbox:

  • It has it's own tor process (can run aside another tor installed on your computer, you might have to check ports though, because I think it now uses the default 9050 as well)

  • It has it's own firefox (set up to allow running side by side with another firefox, eg. you can have both open at the same time)

  • It has it's own firefox profile. It won't touch the profile for your normally installed firefox. (It has different bookmarks, extensions and everything than other firefox instances on your system)

It tries to keep all information written to disk to a minimum and not leak anything outside it's own directory (that's not taking into account system level stuff like swap, ...).

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