Tor Browser, which has been the choice of browser on PC, Mac and Linux for those who have wanted to maintain their privacy while browsing the web now has an Android counterpart. The Tor Project has brought its privacy-focused web browser as an app to Android, allowing users to now browse the web without having to worry about location tracking and data mining.
The Tor Browser for Android allows you to browse the web anonymously and it does so in multiple steps. First, the outgoing traffic is encrypted three times before it is sent out on the Tor network. Additionally, the browser will also clear the cookies immediately after a session ends. Lastly, it also blocks access to your current location making it difficult for apps with location data mining code from monetizing your information. However, in order to fully leverage the full capabilities of Tor, you would be required to also install Orbot, a proxy app by the Tor Project.
While the Tor Browser has a lot to offer in terms of privacy, it has a very familiar user interface. Having been built on Firefox version 60, it sports a very familiar look to the Mozilla made browser. Additionally, you will also get all the familiar features of tabbed browsing, an incognito-like mode.
Tor Browser is currently in Alpha and obviously has some bugs. The team at the Tor Project is working to resolve the bugs, but also have a full release available by early next year. The team also hopes to eliminate the need for Orbot for a fully private browsing experience. The Alpha version of the app is currently available on the Google Play Store.
Tracking of user behaviour and activities through smartphones has become a major industry, acting as a source of revenue not just for companies trying to sell you a product, but also for companies who now broker user data. We earlier covered how some iOS apps were sharing location and other user data with firms that monetise location-based data. The browser has become a big source such tracking through clicks, ghost pixels etc, so there is a strong need for a browser that minimizes this kind of behaviour as much as possible.