Tor Finally Discontinued 'Orfox' For Android, In Favor Of The Newer 'Tor Browser'

Going anonymous, and deeper into the dark web, require users to first connect to the Tor network.

Previously for Android users who wants to browse the web anonymously, they can do this by connecting to the anonymous Tor network using two apps that work in tandem: Orbot to initiate the Tor connection, and Orfox as the browser.

In 2018, Tor launched the official Tor Browser, to simplify and be the preferred way to connect to Tor on users' phone. But because the stable version of the Tor Browser wasn't ready at that time, The Tor Project still made the two apps available for download.

Even when the Tor Browser came out of beta earlier this 2019, the two apps were still made public.

But on September 3rd, an update to the Tor Browser finally brings both Orbot's and Orfox's components to the Browser, finalizing the transition.

And on the next day, Orfox is officially discontinued.

In the Google Play Store page for Orfox, the developers put a message asking people to download the Tor Browser, saying that:

Since 2015, Orfox has been the only mobile app recommended by the Tor Project to utilize the privacy protections of Tor on Android. The Tor Project has launched an official browser, Tor Browser for Android."

"After nearly a year since we released the alpha version of Tor Browser on Android, the time for sunsetting Orfox has come."

"If you still have Orfox installed on your device, this release will direct you to download the new Tor Browser for Android."

Orfox is dead

Following that announcement, Orfox's last update removed the browser entirely, and stripped out its whole functionality. Opening the app only show links for downloading the Tor Browser from multiple sources.

On the Tor Browser page on Google Play, the developers said that the browser "isolates each website you visit so third-party trackers and ads can’t follow you. Any cookies automatically clear when you’re done browsing."

The browser that sports multi-layered encryption, allows users to browse freely, while defending against surveillance, and resisting device fingerprinting.

With Orfox gone, "Tor Browser for Android is the only official mobile browser supported by the Tor Project, developers of the world’s strongest tool for privacy and freedom online."

But as for Orbot, the app originally used for connecting to the Tor network, is still made available for download.

For reasons, Orbot is more like a VPN app, which can be used by certain apps or all network traffic, to pass through the Tor network.

For users who only want to bypass website blocks, or are less worried about privacy, they can use Orbot with any browser, instead of the Tor Browser.

Published: 
04/09/2019