The need to keep your online identity and data safe from unscrupulous or malicious parties, state agencies monitoring your activity and corporations looking to cash in on your user data just got a boost thanks to the Tor network. With its leading Orbot app, you can rest assured that your identity is kept hidden and data secured from traffic analysis.
The interface is intuitive to a level but will take some time getting used to. The lightly colored text and other animations are set against a dark theme which works well for contrast especially because the font size is quite small. At the top of the UI is a menu panel which is useful for navigating through settings and other options. You can also see clearly displayed icons including the large, green bootstrap button for the various apps which are rooted to Tor and select or deselect them from each. I rate the interface 5/5.
Orbot works as a proxy app, by routing to the Tor computer network which is a system of global networked servers that form the interface between you and your destination address. Unlike conventional VPNs which use singular or encrypted tunnel routing, the Tor network encrypts your information each time it passes through your PC or Android mobile to another device in the network. The process of Tor encryption and data passage is completely random, and users will never know exactly where the data is coming from or heading to. This is unlike VPNs where the servers might be limited in number and security also entirely depends on the VPN network encryption. Since the routing of IP addresses in Tor network assignment is also randomized throughout the entire network, Tor is the better safety guarantee, and Orbot gives you this pleasure right on your Google Android device.
Orbot requires rooted access to your device, so if the device is already rooted, you will have to choose the particular applications you want Tor to access. If your device is unrooted, Tor will, by proxy, root all the apps that access the web on your device. For some Samsung Galaxy users, the listening socket which Tor accesses to root the device will have to be manually rerouted. This is accomplished by forcing a disable through ‘SockStat’ Google Play app which disables the Samsung app listening on port 9050.
The Android app is free, and there are no in-app purchases. The latest version has an updated UI and a friendlier setup wizard. The app deserves a strong 5 here.
Performance and User Experience
Using the app is simple, and the only difficult part might be assigning rooting privileges. The app works excellently apart from the occasional lag in connection. 5 here as well.
Unfortunately, only the Android app is available so that iOS users won’t share the experience. This is an app for all Android devices (only requires Android 2.3 or higher). 3/5.
- Best web protection
- Awesome UI
- Minimal bugs.
- Assignment for rooted devices might pose a challenge for inexperienced users
- Lags occasionally
- Some websites block a Tor access
- Not available for iOS.