Browser Tests

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Interpreting Test Results[edit]

Sites like or are unable to really understand and show the way anonymity is accomplished when using the Tor Browser. What these sites do, is check whether things like cache, cookies, and perhaps others [archive] are enabled. If so, they give better results, as to when they are activated.

In the case of Tor Browser, it has the goal to separate cache, cookies, etc. [archive] by browser tab. And things are deleted after closing the browser. The thing is, that instead of making it impossible for sites to safe data temporarily, this is allowed, as to make using most sites possible in the first place. To still guarantee anonymity, it is the goal to make everyone using Tor Browser appear the same, thus rendering tracking based on the things these websites show you pointless.

Making Browsers Safer[edit]

Browser fingerprinting defenses are not perfect yet.[1] There are certainly too few volunteers working on seriously testing browsers and defeating browser fingerprinting. The key word is seriously.

If you are reading this page, then it is safe to assume being anonymous (less unique), and remaining so is of great interest. Users with a serious intention to research these issues are encouraged to assist in accordance with their skills. Testing, bug reporting or even bug fixing are laudable endeavors. If this process is unfamiliar, understand that about thirty minutes is required per message / identifier to ascertain if the discovered result [2] is a false positive, regression, known or unknown issue.

To date, none of the various leak testing websites running inside Whonix-Workstation ™ were ever able to discover the real (external), clearnet IP address of a user during tests. This held true even when plugins, Flash Player and/or Java were activated, despite the known fingerprinting risks. Messages such as "Something Went Wrong! Tor is not working in this browser." [3] (from about:tor) or "Sorry. You are not using Tor." (from are in most cases non-issues. If the real, external IP address can be revealed from inside Whonix-Workstation ™, then this would constitute a serious and heretofore unknown issue (otherwise not).

It is unhelpful to ask questions in forums, issue trackers and on various mailing lists with concerns that have already been discussed, or which are known issues / false positives. In all cases, please first search thoroughly for the result that was found. Otherwise, the noise to signal ratio increases and Whonix development is hindered. Users valuing anonymity don't want this, otherwise this would violate the aforementioned assumption.

If something is identified that appears to be a Whonix ™-specific issue, please first read the Whonix Free Support Principle before making a notification.[edit] [archive]

  • Please don't post any "Sorry. You are not using Tor." questions unless you are really sure it is not a false positive.
  • Most likely a false positive.
    • When you see this when using Whonix ™, probably everything is okay. You can make sure everything is okay if you want.
    • [archive] (check.tpo) fails in some cases to detect Tor exit relays. It is a bug in check.tpo, which The Tor Project should fix. Whonix ™ can do nothing about it.
    • If it is not your real external clearnet IP address, then there is no need for concern. You can find out your real external clearnet IP address by visiting some IP check website from your host or a non-Tor virtual machine.
    • ExoneraTor is a website [archive] hosted by The Tor Project [archive] that indicates whether a given IP address was a Tor relay on a specified date. Use it. (using Tor Browser on the host)

Figure: Successful Tor Network Check



For further information concerning the about:tor message, refer to the following forum discussion [archive]. [3][edit] [archive][edit]

EFF's panopticlick [archive] - to find out what this means (or not) for Tor Browser, make sure to read the following blog post by The Tor Project: EFF's Panopticlick and Torbutton [archive].

Figure: Panopticlick Test in Whonix ™ Tor Browser


Fingerprint Central [archive] differs from Panopticlick in that its dedicated to testing discrepancies between Tor Browser instances only. The code[4][5] can also be run locally to help Tor Browser developers rapidly prototype defenses.[edit]

The successor [archive] to the parent site by the same researchers, designed to help Tor Browser devs test before releases.

Other Services[edit]


See Also[edit]


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