New Alpha Release: Tor Browser for Android

 

Mobile browsing is on the rise around the world, and in some parts, it is commonly the only way people access the internet. In these same areas, there is often heavy surveillance and censorship online, so in the past year, we’ve focused on better supporting these users.

There’s never been an official Tor Browser on mobile. Until now.

Tor Browser for Android - Alpha

Introducing Tor Browser for Android (alpha), the mobile browser with the highest privacy protections ever available and on par with Tor Browser for desktop. You can download the alpha release on GooglePlay, or you can get the apk directly from our download page. The stable release is slated for early 2019.

Note: For this release, you also need to install Orbot, a proxy application that will connect Tor Browser for Android with the Tor network. For the upcoming Tor Browser for Android stable release, our goal is for Orbot not to be necessary to connect to Tor.

Features

BLOCK TRACKERS

Tor Browser isolates each website you visit so third-party trackers and ads can’t follow you. Any cookies automatically clear when you’re done browsing.

DEFEND AGAINST SURVEILLANCE

Prevent someone watching your connection from knowing what websites you visit. All anyone monitoring your browsing habits can see is that you’re using Tor.

RESIST FINGERPRINTING

Tor aims to make all users look the same, so Tor Browser for Android makes it difficult for you to be fingerprinted based on your browser and device information.

MULTI-LAYERED ENCRYPTION

When you use Tor Browser for Android, your traffic is relayed and encrypted three times as it passes over the Tor network. The network is comprised of thousands of volunteer-run servers known as Tor relays. Watch this animation to learn more about how it works.

BROWSE FREELY

With Tor Browser for Android, you are free to access sites your local internet service provider may have blocked.

What about Orfox?

We're grateful to the Guardian Project for their work developing Orfox, a mobile browser which routes your traffic over the Tor network. With the development of Tor Browser for Android, Orfox will be sunsetted around the time of our stable release, expected in early 2019. You will still be able to use Orbot to route the traffic of all your other apps on Android over Tor.

What about iOS?

There is no official Tor Browser for iOS devices, but we recommend Onion Browser, developed by Mike Tigas.

Help us Improve

Known issue: Our Security Slider is now under ‘Security Settings,’ but because of a small issue, it’s only showing up after you restart the app. We plan on fixing it for the next release.

This is our first version of Tor Browser for Android, so there may be more bugs than usual. If you find a bug or have a suggestion for how we could improve these changes, please let us know. There are several ways you can reach us with feedback about this alpha including commenting on this post, emailing us at frontdesk@torproject.org, or contacting the developers at the tbb-dev mailing list. We track all Tor Browser for Android related issues with the tbb-mobile keyword in our bug tracker and are happy with bug reports, there, too.

Be sure to include as many of these as possible:

    •    Your Android version
    •    Tor Browser version
    •    Step by step of how you got to the issue, so we can reproduce it (e.g. I opened the browser, typed a url, clicked on (i) icon, then my browser crashed)
    •    The debug log
    •    A descriptive subject line (if you're emailing us)

Thank you for your support. Happy private browsing.

Seth Schoen

September 10, 2018

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It's good that you are releasing a TBB for Android, however I don't think you have fully explained the reasons for it. What exactly was the motivation for it vs simply improving Orfox, and why will Orfox be discarded when TBB for Android comes out? I thought Orfox was made from the same basic code as Firefox for Android and TBB for Linux.

The reasons were that the Guardian Project did not have the resources to maintain Orfox anymore (they did a great job, though!) and we thought providing an application (Tor Browser) not just for desktop platforms but for Android as well with a unified style, branding, functionality etc. would be a huge win both for us and our users.

Keeping the same guard can actually help protect you from common deanonymization attacks. The reason is not obvious but has been explained in previous comments from time to time.

Your question is a FAQ and it is unfortunate that Tor Project documentation is so chaotic that the answer is hard to find. So hard that I could not find it myself when I tried just now. Sigh.

Seth Schoen

September 11, 2018

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Tor browser seems a good fit for the upcoming privacy & security focused phone Librem 5. Have you any plans to cooperate with them (puri.sm)?

Seth Schoen

September 12, 2018

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Loving the new mobile browser, already noticing a huge performance increase over orfox. Curious on your plans for replacing orbot, I'd still like to see tor ran as a backgorund app as it's useful for other apps built to support orbot like courier.

Seth Schoen

September 12, 2018

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Thank you for this upcoming Tor release for Android. I am currently experiencing major attack events on my device. I am using Orbot and Orfox. This is what they do:
1) Orfox 'Settings' are greyed out with elements of the pullfown lidt misding (Orfox Settings entry for example).
2) A node with the IP 81.4.0.60, with a declared origin as South Africa but actually in Britain, shows up often on the phone. Online tracing tools which helped expose it, also claim it to have been responsible for many brutal attacks.
3) A list of nodes registered to 185.220.x.x appear to be static and slways resident. When I 'exclude' this bloc of nodes, Orbot aborts.

Is this an attack on Tor? I am not a terrorist but tortured illegally and most severely with advanced remote electromagnetic weapons systems. I have written much to expose the crimes. This could also be an attempt to hide the exposures but I am more concerned about how they are trying to break Tor in order to scvomplish that.

> A node with the IP 81.4.0.60, with a declared origin as South Africa but actually in Britain, shows up often on the phone.

That is not your Guard node, is it? The Guard node is supposed to show up at the start (only) of most circuits your Tor Browser creates.

You can look at the invaluable site torstatus.blutmagie.de to gather statistics on current Tor nodes. I have found it is not unusual for the legal country address of the domain to differ from the actual location, if that's what you are talking about. E.g. a node operator might live in Germany but run a Tor node on a remote server which is physically in the USA.

> Online tracing tools which helped expose it, also claim it to have been responsible for many brutal attacks.

Was the information you found dated? If it was months or years old, it probably has nothing to do with the behavior of the computer currently using the IP you cited.

There is supposedly some way to report a possibly misbehaving Tor node, but I can't find any information in Tor Project documentation pages.

> I am more concerned about how they are trying to break Tor

This should be of interest to Tor users who remember the Carnegie-Mellon scandal:

aclu.org
Government Hacking Makes Everyone Less Safe
Danny Yadron, Legal Intern, ACLU
Jennifer Stisa Granick, Surveillance and Cybersecurity Counsel, ACLU
13 Sep 2018

Seth Schoen

September 12, 2018

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On Android Kit Kat 4.4.2 Tor Browser continue where I left.
All tabs are open.
Settings are to close all tabs after quitting Tor Browser but it doesent close.

Sorry for my bad English

In my opinion more than TBB that it's giving you issue on Kitkat ,it could be Orbot.Try to get the suggest version of Orbot for Kitkat on Fdroid for example is well laleable and descripted. I had a lot of issue using Kitkat device on Tor.Don't know why .No so expert. I HOPE YOU CAN SOLVES SOON.

Seth Schoen

September 13, 2018

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i think i found a bug with this release. if you try to download any file that has apk extention it doesnt work even if security tab is set to standard. why?

Seth Schoen

September 13, 2018

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edit: after investigating, this torbrowser fails to download any file fully not just apk. so to reproduce this try to download any file and it wont show anything in downloads tab, however you could see tor traffic on orbot. when the file is downloaded in the background you could check your download folder to find the file named foo.pdf.part

this applies to any file.

Seth Schoen

September 14, 2018

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im loving this release already, you guys have done so well in the past to keep the tor browser stable i sincerely appreciate all of what you guys have done. i would like to see the mobile version be sd card compatible that's the only real issue ive seen so far but rather than that im pretty impressed the release of this has came as early as it did. excellent work people!

Seth Schoen

September 15, 2018

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Hello,

I've been using Tor Browser for Android Alpha for over a week now and it's working great! So far my only complaint is that I can't download any sort of media with TBA (i.e. Images, Files, etc), where as I'm able to using Orfox. When is the next expected alpha update?

Thanks for your hard work!

Seth Schoen

September 20, 2018

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have you tried to find out why selecting or copying text from pages opened with this browser doesnt work properly?

Seth Schoen

September 25, 2018

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I tried it and it was brilliant all except I couldn't change my UA at all. I go to general.useragent.override and change it but it doesn't stick. A quick check shows my UA. Which I don't like. Otherwise you can set everything up as if you're on a PC.

Seth Schoen

September 26, 2018

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as other commentators pointed out the 'i' button doesnt appear to me either, just the lock and that doesnt show 'new id'
is there a ticket for this?

Yes, there is no circuit display yet on Tor Browser for Android and we are working on it. It's part of our feature parity plan to Tor Browser for desktop. We might have it available in the next alpha but if not then in the one after it.

Seth Schoen

October 04, 2018

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Tor Browser for Android is great. But I notice that I can't download images and I can't add other search engine apart from the ones provided by Tor Browser. I can't hold down on search box and add default search engine of my own choice.

If you can fix that it would be great as I love DuckDuckGo Onion and Searx Onion search engine

Me too,I can't share a file once hold on it because nothing it happens. But as far as concerns adding new search engine it seems that in the last one realise at the least on my device is working. I had first TBB for android from the tor project site trough Google Chrome and the updates app trough F Droid .By the way has been not necessary to change key ,sign was the same ,fortunately. Try it out now from Fdroid or where you prefere last one version. Goodluck.☺☺☺.

Seth Schoen

October 13, 2018

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I'm visiting family and logging into their wifi with a small tablet. Can they see what I browse and other activities such as email? I was given their password to login. Will Tor or Onion help with preventing their seeing my activity?

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