Torpark review: Torpark

  • 1
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Torpark disguises your true IP address, can be run from a USB drive without installation, and includes several security-minded extensions.

The Bad Torpark with Tor enabled is slow; it's really slow from a USB drive; doesn't import Firefox bookmarks.

The Bottom Line If you are concerned about Internet tracking, Torpark should put your mind at ease, but expect a performance hit when making your IP address anonymous.

Available for free from CNET Download.com

6.8 Overall
  • Setup and interface 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 6.0
  • Service and support 6.0

For those concerned about privacy, Torpark, a free, anonymous Internet browser based on Firefox 1.5 that does not require installation on a desktop, is a godsend. Released by an international group of security experts and human rights workers known as Hacktivismo, Torpark enables you to circumvent content filters and other restrictions imposed on your current Internet access by accessing a randomized, worldwide proxy network that hides your actual IP address. If you are already familiar with Firefox, Torpark should be easy to use, and you'll welcome the included security extensions. But use Torpark's anonymized network sparingly, say, for Internet searches only, then disable it when it's not needed; otherwise, you'll grow frustrated with Torpark's slow-loading Web pages.

Setup and installation
Our installation of Torpark from CNET Download.com was fast and caused no incidents. You cannot launch Torpark while Firefox is up and running; it's either one or the other. You can also launch Torpark from a USB drive, which is how we tested it, allowing use on computers that would not otherwise allow software installations.

The Torpark interface is basically a skinned version of Firefox 1.5 with a few added buttons, although you can change the skin back to the familiar orange Firefox theme if you want. There's the Tor Network button that allows you to enable or disable the anonymized Tor network, presumably for speed issues. Another way to improve speed is to use the Flush Circuit button, which automatically disables then reestablishes an anonymized Tor network.

Unfortunately, we were unable to find our current Firefox bookmarks within Torpark, nor could we import them (we could only import bookmarks from Internet Explorer). Perhaps this will be addressed in a future release.

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