When you are inside a Private Window with Tor, Brave doesn’t connect directly to a website like normal. Instead, you connect to a chain of three different computers in the volunteer-run Tor network, one after another, and only then to the website you’re visiting. Between those three Tor computers, only one knows where your connection is really coming from and only one knows where it’s really going. And those two don’t even talk to each other because there’s another computer in the middle!
Will Tor affect my browser performance?
From the perspective of the websites you visit, it looks like your connection is coming from that last Tor computer — sites don’t learn your real IP address. But they can tell that the connection is being shuffled around by Tor because the list of Tor computers isn’t a secret. That said, since your data goes through a lot of relays, it's slow, so you'll experience a more sluggish internet than usual.
Some sites will treat you very differently because of this. Most often they’ll just keep asking you to prove you’re human. If a site relies on a feature which would reveal your real IP address or make you much easier to recognize when you’re not using Tor, that site might not work at all because we’d rather be safe than sorry.
Your ISP, employer or owner of the WiFi network you’re connected to also won’t see which sites you visit because Brave doesn’t connect directly to the site. Instead, someone watching your network connection only sees that you’re making a connection to the Tor network. Some network owners try to block connections to the Tor network because they want to decide which sites you get to visit, and Tor lets you gets around that blocking.
Am I always anonymous?
If your employer administers your device they might also keep track of what you do with it. Using Private windows, even with Tor, probably won't stop them from knowing which sites you've visited. Someone else with access to your device could also have installed software which monitors your activity, and Brave can’t protect you from this either.
What if I want absolute anonymity while browsing?
With Tor, Brave works hard to ensure that you’re extremely difficult to track online while providing a delightful browsing experience. But if your personal safety depends on remaining anonymous you may wish to use the Tor Browser instead.
- Note that Tor windows are only available for the Desktop version of the browser at this time.