Surveillance
Self-Defense

How to: Use Tor for Android

Última revisão: 
11-03-2020
This page was translated from English. The English version may be more up-to-date.

What is Tor?

Tor is a volunteer-run service that preserves privacy and provides anonymity in some cases online by masking who you are and where you are connecting. The service also protects you from the Tor network itself—you can have good assurance that you’ll remain anonymous to other Tor users.

For people who might need occasional anonymity and privacy when accessing websites, Tor Browser provides a quick and easy way to use the Tor network.

The Tor Browser works just like a regular web browser. Web browsers are programs you use to view web sites. Examples include Chrome and Firefox. Unlike other web browsers, though, the Tor Browser sends your communications through Tor, making it harder for people who are monitoring you to know exactly what you're doing online, and harder for people monitoring the sites you use to know where you're connecting from.

Keep in mind that only activities you do inside of Tor for Android itself will be anonymized. Having Tor for Android installed on your phone does not make other things you do on the same device using other software (such as your regular web browser) anonymous.

 

Installing Tor for Android Anchor link

Step 1: Download and Install Tor for Android

On your Android device, enter the Google Play store and search for “Tor Browser”. Find Tor Browser and tap "Install."

Tor for Android installation screenshot

Step 2: Open and Press “Connect”

After Tor Browser has finished installing, tap “Open” to launch the app. Click “Connect” to start the Tor network connection.

Tor for Android connect to Tor screenshot

Step 3: Wait for Tor network to connect

The Tor network will start a process called “bootstrapping” to make the connections from your browser to Tor and back again. You will see “bootstrap” percentages rise as they climb to 100%. If you swipe the screen to the left while this process is running, you will see the “bootstrapping” process running.

Tor for Android bootstrapping screenshot

Tor for Android bootstrapping process screenshot

Once this process is complete, the home screen will appear:

Tor for Android homescreen screenshot

You are now connected to the Tor network. Tor for Android will show you a tour of some of the settings and options that are available, before returning you to the application’s home screen.

 

Using and Configuring Tor for Android Anchor link

While the Tor Browser is active, the home screen will display the “Tor Onion” icon in the top left of the home screen bar. When the Tor network is deactivated, the icon will disappear from the home screen bar. In the image below, the icon is the second one to the right of the timestamp. The “Tor Onion” icon has two arrows inside it, each pointing in different directions:

Tor for Android onion icon screenshot

Configuring Security Settings

Click on the icon of three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the screen. This will open a menu of options. Choose “Security Settings.”

You will see a “Security Level” slider bar with three different options to choose from: Standard, Safer, and Safest.

Some features of a normal web browser can make you vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. Other features have previously had bugs in them that revealed users' identities. Turning the security slider to a high setting disables these features. This will make you safer from well-funded attackers who can interfere with your Internet connection or use new unknown bugs in these features. Unfortunately, turning off these features can make some websites unusable. The default low or “Standard” setting is fine for everyday privacy protection, but you can set it to “Safe” or “Safest” if you are worried about sophisticated attackers, or if you don't mind if some websites do not display correctly.

Tor for Android security slider screenshot 1

Tor for Android security slider screenshot 2

Tor for Android security slider screenshot 3

Finally, browsing with Tor is different in some ways from the normal browsing experience. You can choose to make Tor for Android your default browser if desired, but please note that the “bootstrapping” process for Tor will occur each time the browser starts up. We recommend reading these tips for properly browsing with Tor and retaining your anonymity.

You are now ready to browse the Internet anonymously with Tor for Android.

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