Orbot

I feel like it’s time for a new weekly series…

Security & privacy seem to be the BIG thing these days and for good reason.

Protect yourself and your 4th Amendment rights.

Privacy is everything to some people. With Big Brother, scammers, and hackers everywhere, everyone should take more serious steps in safeguarding their privacy. I for one use this awesome app called “Orbot”. It’s a fantastic Android compatible app straight out of the “Tor Project”. Its best used when bundled with “Orweb: The Anonymous Web Browser” but works quite well with the stock Android browser, Chrome, Firefox, etc.

The Tor Project describes Orbot as such:

“Orbot is a free proxy app that empowers other apps to use the internet more securely. Orbot uses Tor to encrypt your Internet traffic and then hides it by bouncing through a series of computers around the world. Tor is free software and an open network that helps you defend against a form of network surveillance that threatens personal freedom and privacy, confidential business activities and relationships, and state security known as traffic analysis.

Orbot is the only app that creates a truly private internet connection. As the New York Times writes, “when a communication arrives from Tor, you can never know where or whom it’s from.” Tor won the 2012 Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Pioneer Award.”

 I have been using Orbot for about 2 weeks and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised. The application works just as described, the setup is easy and painless, and the results are astonishing and just as expected coming from the Tor Project. I have been using the Tor Browser Bundle for my PC for as long as I can remember and to have an option available for my phone as well makes me feel even safer when I am surfing the web.

Configuring Orbot is really an automated process. Simply download the application from the Play Store and navigate to the icon in your app drawer. Click on the launcher icon and the setup wizard will automatically start. First start by choosing your language, then follow the wizard until you get to the main Orbot screen with the rather large power icon.

There are some settings that I choose that will help to “Torrify” my other installed apps on my device, thus protecting my privacy when I use Facebook, Twitter, or any other app that shares my personal data. 

When Orbot is running you will see a small white onion icon in your notification drawer that is persistent. Clearing your notifications will not remove the icon. This is to show that Orbot is running and functioning as it should.

When you have gone through the setup wizard and configured your Orbot settings the way you want, activate Orbot by pressing the rather large power icon and waiting for Orbot to bootstrap.

One you have activated Orbit and activated transparent proxying you are ready to become slightly more anonymous on the go. It’s a nifty tool for all the paranoid folk out there like me or for those who just want to feel safer at their local public WI-FI hotspot.

So about this new series…

I plan on doing about 20 of these security/privacy related articles, but I also want to do accompanying tutorials paired with video reviews if there is a demand for it.

Download | Google Play Store

Source | Tor Project

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Nikolas Pereira

Nikolas Pereira

Nikolas built his first Desktop PC when he was just 9 years old. Ever since his obsession with technology has done nothing but grow. His first experience with mobile development was with the initial release of the Palm Pre in 2009. He experimented with rooting and mobile development. When Verizon released the Droid Eris in 2010, Nik bought it and his love for Android exploded. Since then he has been rooting, sideloading apps, and flashing custom ROMs on all his devices. Nik develops Android applications for a living. He currently has 4 applications on Google Play. In his spare time he can be found tinkering with his HTC Incredible 2, developing Android apps, and scouring the web for everything and anything Android.
Nikolas Pereira