Tor Browser Finally Lands on Android with Version 8.5

By Bill Toulas / May 22, 2019

Tor Browser has finally cracked its beta testing eggshell and has made its official debut on Android with version 8.5. Already counting thousands of installations, the requirement for the private browser is to run Android version 4.1 or newer. Being stable, it should be working great as the Android port has been under development since last September. The current average user rating on the Google Play Store is 4.6, so it reflects this clearly.

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Tor Browser is a free and open source browser that offers multi-layered encryption to its users, relaying their network traffic over hundreds of nodes (voluntarily operated servers), and making user fingerprinting and online tracking practically impossible. This means that Android users who want to browse the internet freely, access restricted websites, and enjoy ultimate privacy by avoiding all forms of surveillance now have a solid choice with the introduction of the Tor in the mobile platform. While the main privacy frame has been implemented, the Tor team warns that there are still some discrepancies and gaps between the functionality of the desktop and the Android versions, but with time, those will be addressed.

Other important platform-wide new features that come with version 8.5 include the adoption of Firefox’s refreshing Photon user interface, new and more modern logos and icons, improved security slider accessibility that is now placed directly on the toolbar, and general accessibility improvements. Along with the latest features came a couple of new bugs as well, as this is always inevitable in software development. These include a case of possible WebGL fingerprinting that is under investigation and the loss of saved login credentials and passwords on previous versions of the browser.

As for iOS users, Apple’s Store restrictions don’t allow applications like the Tor Browser to find its way inside their closed ecosystem, so the option that is officially recommended as an alternative is the Onion Browser. This application does use of the Tor network, so it offers an adequate level of privacy and safety to its users.

If for any reason you don’t want to use Tor but you’re still looking for a good privacy-respecting browser on Android, Opera is a great alternative which comes with an easy to use in-built VPN, 256-bit encryption, and in-built ad-blocking capabilities.

Will you be giving Tor browser a spin now that it’s available on Android? Let us know in the comments down below, or on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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