If, for whatever reason, you need to cover your tracks while you are browsing the web on your desktop, you have plenty of options to keep anonymous. Thanks to Orbot, Android users, too, have the option to use the Tor network to anonymize their web browsing sessions and avoid being monitored. Now, thanks to Onion Browser ($0.99), iPhone and iPad users also finally get an easy option to tunnel their web traffic through the Tor network.
The Tor network, in its most basic form, builds a circuit of encrypted connections between a number of nodes on its network. This – at least in theory – makes it very hard to retrace where the original request came from. When you use this network, your data obviously has to travel a lot further and over potentially slower connections than if you were using the regular Internet. Because of this, an app like Onion Browser is also significantly slower in fetching websites than Safari, for example, would be.
As a browser, Onion Browser isn’t exactly packed with features. There are no bookmarks or easy access to search, for example. You do, however, get the option to allow or block cookies, enable user agent spoofing so you can pretend to be using a Windows machine instead of iOS, and the ability to request a new IP address at any time.
One nice aspect of this app is that it is open source. For those who are really paranoid about being anonymous on the Web (and some people obviously have very good reasons to be so), having access to the code means that they can inspect the code to ensure that the app really does what it says it does and then build their own version of the browser.