Tor Browser Released for Android Devices

Tor Browser Android

Tor Browser Released First Stable Version for Android

Tor Browser is now available as a stable release for Android devices. Last fall the browser was offered as an alpha version for Android devices. Tor Browser is the open source, ultra-private web browser used to evade tracking across websites, browse content that is censored, or to avoid tracking cookies. The app is available in the Google Play Store and already has over five-thousand downloads.

For some people, private browsing is how they commonly use the internet due to censorship, surveillance, and other restrictions during times of political turmoil. Tor is also one of many browsers used to access the deep web.

Tor Browser is built on Firefox’s base and has been available for desktop machines for years. It protects user privacy by bouncing the web traffic through a series of volunteer computers connected as a network. The data is encrypted so it cannot be intercepted and decrypted while enroute. Tor Browser is not a (Virtual Private Network) VPN. Tor and VPNs are entirely different technologies. The Tor Browser allows you to browse the internet anonymously while the VPN service will encrypt all data

Tor Android Install Screenshot
Tor Android Install Screenshot

Accessing the Dark Web

Tor Browser can be used to access parts of the internet not known to the average user. Surface web is the term used for the internet that people commonly know. The deep web refers to web addresses not accessible by popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. The deep web is a haven for the exchange of illegal goods and services liked hacked credit cards and illegal drugs. The dark web or darknet are also part of the deep web. It encompasses sites not on the surface web but not necessarily conducting illicit activities wither. For example, the US Central Intelligence Agency recently opened an informational Onion site on the dark web.

Although Tor Browser is associated with deep web and dark web use, it has more purposes. Many people live in countries where news and information are censored and using a browser like Tor or Brave is the only way to see banned information. Accessing the deep web or darknet is not illegal, however, buying or selling illegal goods or services is.

Why Use Tor Browser?

Tor Browser is for web users who want to browse the internet privately. For some, this is a way to avoid being tracked by advertisers across multiple websites. For others, Tor can provide a way to view content that is subject to surveillance and censorship online.

Can You Get Tor for Android?

Tor Browser is safe to use on your Android device. But it only encrypts Tor network traffic so using a Tor browser with a VPN is essential to protect the rest of the data on a phone. Be sure to download it from the official Tor Project website or the Google Play Store to avoid malware or spoofed websites. Since Tor protects users’ identities by routing the connection through multiple nodes, you will need a decent internet connection so you won’t get disconnected.

Is Tor a VPN?

Tor and VPNs are different technologies. Tor browser allows users to browse the internet anonymously while the VPN service will encrypt all data. A VPN connection is usually faster than using Tor Browser for web browsing. Tor only works as a web browser and only encrypts the web traffic that users the Tor network. A VPN encrypts all the web traffic on the device it is installed on.

Tor Brower is not the only private web browsing app for Android users. Other privacy focused browsers include Brave, Comodo Dragon, Yandex, Epic Browser, and Bruner Browser. The Tor Orbot proxy server is also available to allow users to access the web, instant messaging, and email without being surveilled or blocked by mobile service providers.

Michelle writes about cyber security, data privacy focusing on social media privacy as well as how to protect your IoT devices. She She has worked in internet technology for over 20 years and owns METRONY, LLC. Michelle earned a B.S. in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Michelle published a guide to Cyber Security for Business Travelers