Tor vs. Edge: A Comprehensive Comparison for Secure Browsing

The Tor network and Microsoft Edge are two distinct internet browsing tools, each with its own unique features and purposes. While Tor offers anonymity and privacy, Edge focuses on offering users a fast and seamless browsing experience with various built-in features. Comparing these two can shed light on how users can make informed decisions about their browsing tools for different online activities.

Tor, or The Onion Router, is a free software that enables users to browse the internet anonymously. It is designed for those who prioritize their privacy and want to avoid being tracked by various entities like governments, data collectors, or malicious actors. The network functions by routing traffic through multiple encrypted layers, making it difficult to trace user activities back to their original source. This level of privacy, however, may come at the cost of reduced browsing speed, as traffic has to pass through several relays.

In contrast, Microsoft Edge is a web browser developed by Microsoft as a successor to Internet Explorer. As part of the Windows operating system, Edge aims to provide users with a fast, secure, and feature-rich browsing experience. It includes features like Cortana integration, synchronization across devices, and robust security measures to help protect user data. While Edge may not offer the same level of anonymity as Tor, it is designed to offer users a more streamlined and user-friendly experience in their day-to-day internet browsing.

Security and Privacy Features

Anonymity and Encryption

Tor Browser is built upon an open-source design and relies on the Tor network, which routes user traffic through a series of decentralized nodes to maintain anonymity. Through the use of “onion routing,” the Tor network conceals users’ IP addresses, making it harder for third parties to track users and trace their online activities. Tor Browser also provides HTTPS Everywhere, ensuring encrypted connections to websites when possible.

Microsoft Edge, unlike Tor, is not inherently built for anonymity and does not use onion routing. However, it does utilize encryption via HTTPS to ensure secure communications between users and web servers.

Tracking Prevention

Tor Browser and Microsoft Edge both implement various tracking prevention features to protect user privacy:

Tracking Prevention Feature Tor Browser Microsoft Edge
Third-Party Cookies Blocking
Ad Blocking
Tracker Blocking
Fingerprinting Protection

While both browsers include these features, Tor Browser’s implementation is generally more robust and focused on privacy protection than Microsoft Edge’s.

Browsing History and Cookies

Tor Browser automatically clears browsing history, cache, and cookies when closed. Each browsing session is isolated, and users can’t recover data from previous sessions. This practice is essential for maintaining privacy, especially for journalists and activists who work in environments that require anonymity.

Microsoft Edge lets users customize their settings for browsing history and cookies. Using the “InPrivate” mode, Microsoft Edge does not save browsing history, cookies, or cached temporary files, effectively providing an anonymous browsing experience similar to Tor’s. However, when not using the InPrivate mode, users’ data may still be stored on their device or by third parties.

While both browsers offer ways to browse without storing history and cookies, Tor Browser’s default settings place a higher emphasis on privacy protection.

Supported Platforms and Compatibility

Desktop Operating Systems

Tor Browser is available for a wide range of desktop operating systems. It supports Windows, macOS, and Linux. The Tor Project provides regular updates, ensuring compatibility with the latest versions of these operating systems. By being based on Mozilla, it inherits some of the features and compatibility of Mozilla Firefox, allowing a familiar browsing experience.

Operating System Supported Versions
Windows 7, 8, 10
macOS 10.12 or newer
Linux Most distributions

Microsoft Edge is a Chromium-based web browser, initially developed for Windows but later expanded to support macOS and Linux as well. With a focus on performance and compatibility, Edge is frequently updated to work seamlessly with the latest versions of these desktop operating systems.

Operating System Supported Versions
Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10, 11
macOS 10.12 or newer
Linux Dev Channel (Debian-based)

Mobile Platforms

On mobile platforms, the situation differs for both browsers. Tor Browser is available on Android devices, allowing users to maintain their anonymous online presence even when browsing from a smartphone. You can download the Tor Browser for Android from the official Google Play Store.

Mobile Platform Supported Versions
Android 5.0 or newer

Microsoft Edge is available for both Android and iOS devices, permitting users to synchronize their browsing preferences, bookmarks, and history across platforms. Edge can be easily downloaded and installed from the Google Play Store on Android and the App Store on iOS.

Mobile Platform Supported Versions
Android 4.4 or newer
iOS 12.0 or newer

With an understanding of the supported platforms and compatibility for both Tor Browser and Microsoft Edge, we can now examine their unique features in more detail.

Ease of Use and Design

Interface and Appearance

Tor and Edge both offer user-friendly interfaces. Tor focuses on providing anonymity and security, offering a minimalistic design without any flashy or unnecessary elements. The browser’s default search engine is DuckDuckGo, which is known for its privacy-focused features. Edge, on the other hand, comes pre-installed with Windows 10 and integrates with Microsoft services like Bing and OneDrive. Its interface is modern and sleek, offering a familiar user experience for Windows users. Both browsers provide a dark mode, catering to users who prefer this appearance.

Performance and Stability

When it comes to performance, Edge has the advantage thanks to its integration with the Windows operating system and ongoing enhancements from Microsoft. Tor, while still efficient, can experience slower browsing speeds due to its multi-layered encryption and focus on protecting user privacy. This extra layer of anonymity can compromise performance at times. However, Tor’s stability is well-maintained, and users can browse the dark web securely. Nevertheless, both browsers offer private browsing options and ad-blocking capabilities, providing a smooth and secure browsing experience.

Feature Tor Edge
Default Search DuckDuckGo Bing
Integration Anonymity/encryption Microsoft services
Speed Slower (due to encryption) Faster
Stability Reliable Reliable
Dark Mode Yes Yes

Extensions and Customization

While both Tor and Edge support extensions, their availability and customization options differ. Tor has a limited selection, focusing on extensions that prioritize user privacy and security. On the other hand, Edge has a larger library of extensions available through the Microsoft Store, allowing users to tailor their experience to their preferences. The high level of customization in Edge caters to users who value convenience and a personalized browsing experience.

With the information presented, users can make an informed choice between Tor and Edge based on their specific requirements and preferences.

Search Engines and Advertisements

Default Search Engines

Tor browser uses DuckDuckGo as its default search engine, which prioritizes user privacy and doesn’t track user history or store personal information. On the other hand, Microsoft Edge uses Bing as its default search engine, which, while customizable, may not offer the same level of privacy protection.

Browser Default Search Engine
Tor DuckDuckGo
Edge Bing

Ad Blocking

By design, Tor Browser automatically blocks many advertisements and trackers to protect users’ anonymity and privacy. On the other hand, Microsoft Edge offers built-in tracking prevention, but may not block ads or trackers as effectively as Tor by default. However, Edge supports extensions, such as ad blockers, that can enhance privacy and security.

Browser Ad Blocking Supports Extensions
Tor Yes No
Edge Limited Yes


Fingerprinting is a technique used by websites to track users based on unique identifiers in their browsers. Tor Browser incorporates various features to counteract fingerprinting, such as letterboxing and randomized browser user-agent strings. Microsoft Edge uses tracking prevention to minimize fingerprinting but may not be as robust in protecting users’ anonymity compared to Tor.

Browser Anti-Fingerprinting
Tor Strong
Edge Moderate

Moving forward, let’s discuss the user interface and performance aspects of both Tor and Microsoft Edge browsers.

Pros and Cons of Tor and Edge

Tor Browser Advantages and Disadvantages

Tor Browser is a free and open-source browser used for anonymous browsing. It uses the Tor network to secure users’ connections and protect their privacy.


  • Security: Tor browser offers a high level of security by hiding users’ IP addresses and encrypting data through the Tor network. This provides greater protection against hackers and surveillance.
  • Privacy: Tor browser is designed for privacy, and it does not track users’ browsing activities. This allows users to browse without being tracked by advertisers or other parties.
  • Censorship resistance: Tor browser is an effective tool for bypassing censorship in countries where the internet is restricted. It allows users to access blocked websites and content.


  • Slow browsing: Due to the way Tor network is designed, browsing with Tor browser can be significantly slower than other mainstream browsers like Chrome or Firefox.
  • Not immune to malware: Although Tor browser offers strong privacy protection, it is still susceptible to malware and phishing attacks.
  • Limited features: Tor browser’s focus on security and privacy means it may have fewer features compared to other browsers.

Microsoft Edge Advantages and Disadvantages

Microsoft Edge is the default web browser for Windows 10, replacing Internet Explorer. It is a modern web browser built on a Chromium-based platform.


  • Improved performance: Microsoft Edge offers better performance than its predecessor, Internet Explorer. It is faster, more lightweight, and has better compatibility with web standards.
  • Security features: Edge includes several built-in security features, such as SmartScreen Filter, which helps protect users from phishing and malware attacks.
  • Integration with Windows 10: Edge is seamlessly integrated with the Windows 10 operating system, making it easy to use and compatible with other Microsoft applications.


  • Less popular: Edge is less popular than other browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox, which means it may have fewer extensions and add-ons available for customization.
  • Privacy concerns: Some users might be concerned about Microsoft collecting browsing data and how it is used, preferring alternatives like Tor browser or DuckDuckGo for enhanced privacy.
  • Compatibility issues: Some websites might not work properly on Edge, requiring users to switch to another browser for optimal browsing experience.

In this article, we have explored the pros and cons of using Tor browser and Microsoft Edge. While Tor offers greater privacy and security, its limitations might make it less suitable for everyday browsing. On the other hand, Microsoft Edge provides better integration with Windows 10 and improved performance but may not appeal to privacy-conscious users. Considering the specific browsing needs and preferences will help users make an informed choice between the two browsers.


In comparing Tor and Edge, it’s essential to consider their distinct purposes and functionalities. Tor primarily focuses on anonymity and privacy, allowing users to browse the internet without being tracked or monitored. It achieves this by routing users’ traffic through a network of volunteer-operated servers. This layered approach to encryption and routing provides a strong shield against surveillance, but it may slow down browsing speeds.

On the other hand, Microsoft Edge is a prominent web browser designed for speed, security, and user-friendliness. Edge provides several built-in tools to enhance users’ internet experience, ranging from personalized content suggestions to enhanced privacy settings.

It’s important to note that these tools serve different roles in the realm of internet browsing. Choosing between Tor and Edge should be based on individual needs and preferences. For users concerned with maintaining their privacy and anonymity, Tor is the ideal choice. However, if individuals are looking for a feature-rich web browser with a seamless browsing experience, Edge would suit them better.

As the online world continues to evolve, it is essential for internet users to stay informed about the various tools available to maintain the balance between privacy and convenience. Understanding the differences between Tor and Edge will help users make informed decisions catered to their specific needs in the fast-paced digital landscape.