Orfox is the official Tor Project Web browser for Android, a modified version of Firefox to use with the Tor Project's Orbot app to give you encryption and anonymity on the Internet. Orfox comes with NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere preinstalled, and a number of security settings are preselected to enhance your protection against malicious websites.
Works with Tor without modification: Orfox automatically recognizes when the Tor Project's Orbot app is running on your Android device and will send all its traffic through Orbot. Other apps on your device must be manually added to Orbot's list.
Safer out-of-the-box: Even if you're not using Orbot or the Tor network to connect to the Internet, having NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere preinstalled can help protect you from a lot of junky websites.
A mobile browser with add-ons: The mobile version of Firefox -- unlike mobile Chrome -- can use add-ons, though its library isn't as extensive as the one for the desktop version of Firefox. This means that you can install your ad blockers, video downloaders, and security-oriented tools like Location Guard, Redirect Bypasser, and Disable WebRTC.
Needs better feedback and fallbacks: The flipside of being able to block a lot of junk is that sometimes a website will not load at all, or its layout will look messed up. Orfox could do a better job explaining when that's happening, because this behavior looks the same as a network error or poor signal reception. You can usually fix bad loading by temporarily disabling NoScript, or you can tell NoScript to let specific things through, if you're willing to do some trial-and-error. Sometimes an element on a webpage won't load even after disabling NoScript and ad blockers.
Google Chrome has better casting: With Chrome on Android, you can cast YouTube videos to nearly any device on the local network that has a YouTube app installed on it -- a Fire TV, an Apple TV (via apps like AirSync), or even the YouTube app installed on a smart TV. Firefox is currently limited to Chromecasts and the Roku. Given that Chromecasts are inexpensive and widely available, it's not a big negative, but it's worth knowing, if you like to surf YouTube on your couch.
Orfox will lag several versions behind Firefox: At the time of this review, Orfox was at version 38, while Firefox on Android was at version 47. It takes time to convert and test Firefox for full integration into the Tor Project, and that means that Orfox won't have the latest updates and features.
Like the companion Orbot app, Orfox has a few quirks and may not be usable at all with some websites. But it's a worthy addition to the toolbox of Android users who value privacy and security.
From The Tor Project:
Orfox is built from the same source code as Tor Browser (which is built upon Firefox), but with a few minor modifications to the privacy enhancing features to make them compatible with Firefox for Android and the Android operating system. Orfox REQUIRES Orbot app for Android to connect to the Tor network. In as many ways as possible, we adhere to the design goals of Tor Browser (https://www.torproject. org/projects/torbrowser/design/), by supporting as much of their actual code as possible, and extending their work into the additional Android components of Firefox for Android. Also, includes NoScript and HTTPSEverywhere add-ons built in. The Tor software protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked. Learn more at: https://guardianproject. info/apps/orfox. How is Orfox different than Tor Browser for desktop? The Orfox code repository is at https://github.com/guardianproject/tor-browser and the Tor Browser repository is here: https://gitweb. torproject. org/tor-browser. git/. The Orfox repository is a fork of the Tor Browser repository with the necessary modification and Android-specific code as patches on top of the Tor Browser work. We will keep our repository in sync with updates and release of Tor Browser. Orfox is built from the Tor Browser repo based on ESR38 (https://dev. guardianproject. info/issues/5146https://dev. guardianproject. info/news/221) and has only two modified patches that were not relevant or necessary for Android. Orfox does not currently include the mobile versions of the Tor Browser. Button, but this we will be added shortly, now that we have discovered how to properly support automatic installation of extensions on Android (https://dev. guardianproject. info/issues/5360). Orfox currently allows for users to bookmark sites, and may have additional data written to disk beyond what the core gecko browser component does. We are still auditing all disk write code, and determining how to appropriately disable or harden it. (https://dev. guardianproject. info/issues/5437). How is Orfox different than Orweb? Orweb is our current default browser for Orbot/Tor mobile users (https://guardianproject. info/apps/orweb) that has been downloaded over 2 million times. It is VERY VERY SIMPLE, as it only has one tab, no bookmark capability, and an extremely minimal user experience. Orweb is built upon the bundled WebView (Webkit) browser component inside of the Android operating system. This has proven to be problematic because we cannot control the version of that component, and cannot upgrade it directly when bugs are found. In addition, Google has made it very difficult to effectively control the network proxy settings of all aspects of this component, making it difficult to guarantee that traffic will not leak on all devices and OS versions. Orweb also only provides a very limited amount of capability of Tor Browser, primarily related to reducing browser fingerprinting, minimizing disk writes, and cookie and history management. It trys to mimic some of the settings of Tor Browser, but doesn't actually use any of the actual code written for Tor Browser security hardening.
What's new in version Fennec-45.5.1esr/TorBrowser-6.5-1/Orfox-1.2.1
THIS RELEASE- Updated to Tor Browser 6. 5 / FIrefox 45. 5. 1 foundation- This release features an important security update to Firefox: https://blog. mozilla. org/security/2016/11/30/fixing-an-svg-animation-vulnerability/- Many more maintenance improvements and updatesPREVIOUS RELEASE- Updated to Tor Browser 6. 5 /Firefox 45. 4 foundation- DuckDuckGo now default search engine (please enable NoScript. ) - Some fixes for Orbot / Tor integration- New icon.