• Will the "Tor Browser" maintain a safe & anonymous internet connection over a computer's sleep/standby-and-resume cycle?
  • Is it safe to assume that when the computer sleeps the (internet) connection sleeps as well? What about BIOS settings such as Wake-on-LAN?
  • What happens to the connection during the steps of said cycle?
  • Is there any meaningful/relevant difference in behaviour comparing Linux to Windows?

In other words,

  • Is it safer to close-and-restart Tor Browser when resuming from standby?


4 Answers 4


While your computer is asleep/standby, it will be disconnected from the internet. When it wakes it will probably try to reconnect straight away (depending on system settings).

If TOR browser loses connection, it will try to reconnect as soon as the internet is available. To check your TOR status just visit https://check.torproject.org

It doesn't matter if you close-and-restart TOR browser, TOR browser will not let you browse the internet without being connected to TOR, so your anonymity is safe.

The easiest way for you to test this is:

  • It will disconnecty from the internet unless you have been hacked. And you will be anonymous unless you logged in to sites like Facebook etc... (once you are logged in, they "might" identify and fallow you & your packets) for perfect anonymous internet, surf the web without cookies, with tor, on a live OS that you booted from a CD or USB in to the RAM. This way nothing would be on your harddisk, when you shutdown your PC, all is gone. No trace left.
    – cengizUzun
    Feb 18, 2014 at 8:34
  • 2
    @cengizUzun The asker didn't express any concerns about cookie tracking. If you want to point it out to him you should add this comment to his question (not my answer), otherwise he won't see it.
    – Gerve
    Feb 18, 2014 at 9:31
  • @cengizUzun plus, why would anyone login to their own Facebook account via TOR, that would be pointless (for the purpose of anonymity).
    – Gerve
    Feb 18, 2014 at 9:35
  • yeah probably I should have posted two comments yer right. Well, some people just assume Tor acts like magic. Dont ask me why, end users are also using Tor and doing weird stuff with it...
    – cengizUzun
    Feb 18, 2014 at 11:21

The TOR browser isn't going to be doing anything while asleep. As long as you didn't do activity across the sessions that you have used that would give away your identity, then it should remain anonymous. The problem is if you do something like log in to an account, then it becomes possible to link that account to your TOR session.


Tor tries to detect if your IP address changes or if there is some time jump. If this happens it will build a new circuit and discard old ones. Look for the following lines in your torrc (Tor configuration file):

Feb 20 12:34:56.000 [notice] Our IP address has changed.  Rotating keys...
Feb 20 23:45:43.000 [notice] Your system clock just jumped 8765 seconds forward;
                             assuming established circuits no longer work.

So when you're using Tor Browser Bundle and send your PC to sleep, Tor will create a new circuit upon wake up and you proceed using Tor Browser.

Closing and restarting Tor Browser might be safer in some circumstances. Because when you close Tor Browser it looses all information about your browsing history (cookies, permanent logins etc.).


The commenters above are correct but you don't necessarily need to close and restart Tor to clear browser state and obtain a new circuit. You can just click on the New Identity menu item in TorButton (the Tor icon button in the addons bar): https://blog.torproject.org/category/tags/new-identity.

Note that using TorButton with regular Firefox is no longer supported; please download the Tor Browser Bundle!

(Also, note that tor.stackexchange.com now exists for these sorts of questions. And Tor devs seem to actually hang out in there. :)

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