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Onion Browser brings encrypted mobile browsing to the iPhone


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In an era when security is at the top of our minds, mobile web browsers seem to be lagging behind. There are few options for secure web sessions on smartphones, but a new iPhone app called Onion Browser is changing that. Onion Browser connects to the Tor network to encrypt all your data.

The Tor Onion router network is essentially a series of virtual tunnels that your connection will bounce through before reaching the destination. While connecting through Tor is slower than a non-tunneled connection would be, it has the upshot of making it almost impossible to monitor your activity online — it’s the closest you can get to anonymity online.

A website you visit using Onion Browser won’t know your real IP address, and you can circumvent most firewalls while using it. Not even your ISP will be able to make heads or tails of your web usage. Onion Browser allows you to manage local cookies dynamically. If you want to block all or some of them, that option is just a tap away. Of particular interest is Onion Browser’s New Identity feature, which clears the local cache and pulls down a new IP address immediately.

Onion Browser is open source, so if you’re the coding type, you can take it apart and see how it works. Since iOS is a walled garden, the app is made available in the App Store, but it isn’t free. According to the developer, Mike Tigas, a portion of the $0.99 sales price will go to the Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He isn’t specifying how much that share will be, but at least it’s something.

As far as I’m aware, this is the most secure mobile browser available, and it requires very little configuration. Android has a few options for Tor browsing, but they require root access and are difficult to set up.

The Onion Browser is currently iOS only, but Android users can still hope.

Get it at the App Store


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