PirateBrowser is a custom Firefox version with Tor and FoxyProxy included

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 10, 2013

When it comes to censorship on the Internet, The Onion Router (TOR) is one of the better options that you have to bypass it. While it has made the news in the last couple of days, because of an exploit targeting the network and the take down of a selection of servers that were part of the network, it is still a viable option.

Tor connects you to an encrypted network that routs your traffic so that "spying" or "monitoring" parties do not know where you are connecting to. That's just a basic explanation and if you want to dig deeper to understand how Tor works in detail, then you may want to check out the documentation section over at the official project website.

Tor works similar to virtual private networks and proxy servers when it comes to accessing contents on the Internet. It enables you to connect to websites or services that are banned or blocked in your network, region or country.

Most governments of this world censor contents on the Internet. While they may have different reasons for it, for instance religious, political or economic ones, it all boils down to the same thing: it wants to block you from connecting to the resource.

The PirateBrowser has just been launched by The Pirate Bay. It is a custom portable version of Firefox with Tor and FoxyProxy included by default.

You can extract the download to any folder on your drive and get started right away. You will notice that it launches the Vidalia control panel first which is used to control the Tor network connection. Once connected, the PirateBrowser itself will be launched on the system.

It loads the Pirate Bay website by default, but that is just the start page that you can change in the preferences. A selection of torrent websites is listed in the browser's bookmarks bar by default.

You can use the browser just like any other Firefox version. This includes installing add-ons in the browser or modifying preferences. Note that the browser is not hiding your IP address so that you are not anonymous on the Internet. The creators of the browser note that it has been solely designed to bypass censorship on the Internet. Its primary purpose is to provide uncensored access to websites that are blocked.

You are not limited to torrent sites though, as you can access more or less any other site you want using the browser. That's why I do not really like the name of it that much as it has a negative connotation for many.

The current version of the browser is only available for Windows, but the creators promise that a Mac and Linux version is on its way.

You are probably wondering about the difference between the PirateBrowser and the Tor Browser Bundle. To be quite honest, there is virtually no difference. The only differences that I was able to spot are that the Tor Browser Bundle does not load the Pirate Bay website on start, does not list a dozen or so torrent sites in the bookmarks, and does not ship with FoxyProxy installed. It is also hiding your real IP address while the PirateBrowser does not, and is based on Firefox ESR and not the regular stable version of Firefox.


If you are using the Tor Browser Bundle, then you do not have many incentives to switch to the PirateBrowser instead. In fact, since it is not hiding your IP, it is inferior for many activities that you may want to pursue on the Internet.


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between name.com domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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