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Why offer an Onion Address rather than just encourage browsing-over-Tor?

The first benefits are authenticity and availability: if you are running Tor Browser and if you click/type in exactly the proper Onion address, you are guaranteed to be connected to what you expect — or not at all.

This is very simple for people to grasp, understand, and describe to their friends.

Using onion services mitigates attacks that can be executed by possibly-malicious “Tor Exit Nodes” — which, though rare, are not nonexistent — and also the fact that you are using a “.onion” address demands that the person is using a TorBrowser, thereby are also mitigating:

  • national web blocks
  • TLS-man-in-the-middle
  • SNI filters
  • DNS censorship and tracking (both upon the client side, and that potentially impacting exit nodes)
  • a lot of fundamental cookie-tracking and digital-fingerprinting issues
  • …and a bunch of other risks to which non-Tor-browsers are prone

Read more…

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