Orbot: Access the internet anonymously on Android using Tor


Tor is a system that lets you use the web, email, instant messengers, and other internet protocols without your internet service provider being able to track you. Basically, Tor accomplishes this by routing your internet traffic through a series of servers all over the world making you pretty much untraceable.

Scan to install

The Tor team recently launched a free Android application called Orbot which lets you use Tor on a Google Android handset. It’s not available from the Android Market yet (although it should be soon), but you can install Orbot either by scanning the barcode on the right with your phone or by visiting the Tor on Android web page.

Tor works a bit differently on different versions of Android. In a nutshell, if you have an Android 1.x device, you’ll want to install the ProxySurf browser from the Android Market and/or the Beem instant messenger app. Then follow the instructions from the Tor on Android page for configuring these to use the Tor network. If you don’t do this, your data will not be anonymous.

Things are a bit trickier if you have an Android 2.1 phone like the Google Nexus One or Motorola Droid. If your phone is rooted (meaning, you’ve hacked it so that you can access settings that aren’t normally available), then all you have to do is install Orbot. When it’s running, all of your traffic will automatically be routed through the Tor network.

But if your Android 2.1 phone isn’t rooted, you’re pretty much out of luck when it comes to web browsing, because there’s no web browser in the Android Market at the moment that supports proxy servers. Android 2.1 users can still use the Beem IM client for instant messaging though.

via Boing Boing

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since 2006. Brad has also worked with NPR, WHYY, PRI, and AOL.

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