Tor Browser for Android has been officially launched with tons of privacy-focused features.
Privacy enthusiasts have every reason to rejoice as the world’s most famous privacy-focused browser Tor browser is now available for Android. So far, it was only available in Beta version and therefore, its scope as far as user access is concerned was rather limited. However, now that the browser’s first stable version is officially launched on Google Play Store, a vast number of users will be able to benefit from its privacy-oriented features.
According to the official announcement made by the Tor Project, the company behind Tor browser, the new Android version Tor Browser 8.5 can be downloaded on mobile devices for free from Google Play Store. The first Alpha build of Tor was released back in September 2018 and now it is available for all Android platforms.
See: Tor Anonymity: Things NOT To Do While Using Tor
The primary user-base of Tor browser includes privacy-focused users, journalists, activists, and cybercriminals who need to keep their identities hidden from government surveillance and/or detection. The Tor browser hides the IP addresses of users to let them browse the internet anonymously. This is achieved via a network of encrypted servers that can use multiple intermediate links for dispersing the web requests.
However, the browser isn’t truly foolproof and users are still required to be careful while surfing the web. Tor only creates a somewhat safer environment in comparison to other browsers.
As per the team at The Tor Project, the Android version of the browser is quite unique because unlike other browsers’ mobile versions that encourage enhanced surveillance than their desktop versions and limit user control, Tor Android will offer optimal privacy to ensure safe mobile web browsing. Tor Android will be equipped with many unique features.
The main features of Tor Android include tracker blocking to keep all the webpages separate or isolated and automatically delete all the cookies after the app is closed to prevent tracking of user activities. It will also allow users access to those websites that have been blocked by regional governments or ISPs while also preventing proxy connections from being bypassed.
Furthermore, the entire Tor traffic information will be decentralized across a network of servers and will be triple-encrypted. Fingerprinting will be prevented unconditionally and all the users will appear identical to surveillance groups, hackers, and ISPs.
Since Tor browser is Firefox based, users will be able to enjoy all the convenience of regular web browsing including tabbed browsing. The only difference would be that it won’t connect them directly to websites but will do so through encrypted servers to keep user identity and IP addresses are hidden.
However, the Tor browser will not be available on iOS devices since Apple forces browser companies to use its engine and blocks the necessary computing processes. Hence, iOS users will have to resort to the Onion Browser.
See: Taking Care of Your Personal Online Security (For Paranoids)
The developers of Tor Android claim that this version isn’t as comprehensively designed as the desktop version but all the necessary security features are available and hence, it provides the same level of protection that its desktop version does. In fact, the new version is equipped with additional features such as extra tabs, improved user interface, and new logos.
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