Tor Project, the group behind the anonymous Tor browser, has released an alpha version of its own anonymous browser for Android.
Following this release, Orfox, the longstanding Tor Project-approved browsing app for Android, said it will be sunset by 2019. To run both apps, users will need to also download the Tor Project proxy app, Orbot.
Tor Project’s anonymous browser uses a system of decentralized relays that bounce a user’s data to anonymize internet activity. This makes it almost impossible for ads, location trackers and even government surveillance to follow your tracks across the web. While Tor is often associated with illegal drug or weapons sales on the dark web, the browser is also a haven for political dissidents, journalists and just browsers who prefer to maintain their anonymity.
This release comes several days after Tor Project rolled out Tor Browser 8.0, based on Firefox’s 2017 Quantum browser structure. The major updates include a new user landing and on-boarding page, increased language support and improved bridging methods to enable users to access the browser in countries where Tor is banned — like Turkey.
While the service is regarded as the current gold standard of anonymous browsing, there are still vulnerabilities. Federal investigators can gain access and identify users through security flaws in the browser itself. It remains to be seen how secure Firefox Quantum will be for Tor 8.0, but users would be wise to follow Tor’s guidelines on further protecting their anonymity, just in case.