Tor at the Heart: Orbot and Orfox

During the month of December, we're highlighting other organizations and projects that rely on Tor, build on Tor, or are accomplishing their missions better because Tor exists. Check out our blog each day to learn about our fellow travelers. And please support the Tor Project! We're at the heart of Internet freedom.
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Orbot and Orfox

Orbot is an app for Android that contains the core Tor service and provides connectivity to the Tor network for any app to utilize. Local HTTP and SOCKS proxies are enabled for any proxy-capable app, such as Twitter or Lightning Browser, to use. Orbot also provides an "Apps VPN" feature that redirects traffic from selected apps or the entire device through the Tor network. Finally, Orbot provides an API that allows any developer to build Tor support directly into their app, as demonstrated by apps like Facebook, DuckDuckGo and F-Droid.

Orfox is a web browser for Android that enables mobile phone users to have secure communications through the Tor network. Coupled with the Orbot app, Orfox users can have encryption and anonymity on the Internet. In addition, Orfox comes with NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere preinstalled, and a number of security settings are preselected to enhance your protection against malicious websites.

Orfox is built from the same source code as Tor Browser (which is built upon Firefox), but with a few minor modifications to the privacy enhancing features to make them compatible with Firefox for Android and the Android operating system. The Orfox repository is a fork of the Tor Browser repository, with the necessary modification and Android-specific code as patches on top of the Tor Browser work. Beyond the core Tor Browser components, Orfox also routes all Android-specific code through the Orbot Tor proxy and is otherwise hardened to protect against data and privacy leaks.

Both Orbot and Orfox are produced in partnership with Guardian Project (https://guardianproject.info), a collective of software developers, designers and activists with a focus and expertise on security and privacy solutions for mobile devices.

All of the project, source code and app install links for Orbot and Orfox are available here: https://guardianproject.info/apps/orbot/ and here: https://guardianproject.info/apps/orfox/. You can also jump right to the Tor Project's apps on Google Play here:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=The+Tor+Project

And if you are already using Orfox - please update your app! Here is information on a release the team just put out that contains an important security update to Firefox.

Anonymous

December 02, 2016

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Orbot and Orfox are two tools I use every day! I recommend anything from The Guardian Project. They're a talented group! Thank you for highlighting them here!

Anonymous

December 02, 2016

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... we're highlighting other organizations and projects that rely on Tor, build on Tor, or are accomplishing their missions better because Tor exists ...

This is awesome!

Anonymous

December 02, 2016

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There should be a fee so that more work could be accomplished, along with donations. Privacy is invaluable...

I'm glad there isn't a fee to use it. We have users all over the world, and many of them don't have easy access to US dollars (or bitcoin, or whatever currency it would be). And if diversity of users and use cases is part of what makes Tor safe, we need those users.

That said, it is critical for those who *can* contribute to help make all of these tools better and stronger and more maintained.

Anonymous

December 03, 2016

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You can also add to the mix Orwall. In any case, many thanks to the Guardian Project for bringing Tor on mobile;

Anonymous

December 03, 2016

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> Orfox is built from the same source code as Tor Browser (which is built upon Firefox)

Is there any easy way to see which Tor Browser version Orfox is based upon? I've been using Orfox for years, but I've never felt as safe using it because it's not updated nearly as often as Tor Browser.

Furthermore, I sometimes get a "Restart to complete changes" message in Orfox. Does Orfox use the Firefox updater that Tor Browser recently began using? Should I be using that when F-Droid updates are not available at the time? And how does it work, given that apps generally don't have access to /system in the first place?