I only somewhat recently learned about TOR. Since I needed to reinstall Ubuntu anyway, I downloaded the .tar TOR bundle. Opened it up and just had a quick peak around and then did the re-install.
I know it's not illegal to use, but it could draw attention to you. At least thats what I think. I'd like to check it out more though and see what it's about. I'll probably make a ubuntu live-usb and download the bundle to there and use it off the USB stick.
I'd set up a proxy server for home and use public networks.

Not sure how good TOR's search engine is, but you could use DuckDuckGo which is HTTPS.