First Tor Browser Alpha for Android based on new Firefox is now available

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 10, 2020
Updated • Oct 10, 2020

Tor Browser is based on Mozilla's Firefox web browser both on the desktop and on Android. Mozilla released a redesigned version of the Firefox web browser for Android recently, and the developers of the Tor Project worked on migrating Tor Browser to the new core on Android as well.

The first version of Tor Browser for Android, based on the new Firefox web browser, is now available for testing. Bugs and issues are to be expected because of the alpha status of the release.

The Tor Browser release is based on Firefox 81 for Android, released in late September 2020. The current version of Tor Browser for Android is based on Firefox 68 ESR. The move to the new Firefox version required adjustments, a proxy audit, re-implementation of the user interfaces and other changes; it took the team four months to reach the current status.

tor browser android new

Interested Android users may download the alpha version of the new Tor Browser from the official download page. The alpha should not be used in production environments or for important tasks, as it may have bugs and other issues.

The full changelog highlights numerous changes and improvements:

  • The built-in NoScript add-on was updated to the latest version.
  • Telemetry collection is disabled.
  • Intermediate CA preloading is disabled.
  • TLS 1.0 and 1.1 are disabled.
  • DNS Leak protection implemented.
  • Add-on blocklist update URL sanitized.
  • Crash Reporter disabled.
  • Connect screen and Network Settings screen redesigned.
  • Make sure the system download manager is not used.
  • "Only Private Browsing Mode" on Android.
  • Default search engine changed to DuckDuckGo.
  • Verify that Sentry, Adjust, LeanPlum, Google Ads ID, InstallReferrer are disabled.
  • Push functionality disabled.
  • Security level settings implemented.
  • Disallow Cleartext traffic.
  • Disable PWA

Tor Browser removes several built-in features of the Firefox web browser for Android as it is designed with privacy and security in mind. The new Firefox core improves web compatibility and performance, and Tor Browser users should benefit from these changes as well; maybe even more so as it is a heavily modded version of Firefox that is designed specifically for privacy and security purposes. Some of the issues, e.g. limited add-on support, that users have with the current Firefox Stable for Android may not matter that much to Tor Browser users.

Now You: Have you tried Tor Browser on Android before?

First Tor Browser Alpha for Android based on new Firefox is now available
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First Tor Browser Alpha for Android based on new Firefox is now available
The Tor Project team has released the first version of Tor Browser for Android that is based on the new version of Firefox for Google's Android operating system.
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  1. Amber Brion said on November 15, 2022 at 12:07 pm

    The move to the new Firefox version required adjustments, a proxy audit, re-implementation of the user interfaces, and other changes.

  2. Cecilia Allen said on June 25, 2021 at 3:10 am

    It defeats the purpose of Tor but welp. Nice software tho!

  3. else said on October 11, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    I wonder if mozilla still has the capability to remotely disable noscript there by expiring the cert?

    1. to else said on October 13, 2020 at 8:31 am

      Good question, else. I find sites that require js, and are supposedly build for Tor, dubious anyway and so would disable js in the Tor Browser entirely anyway. Tor guys should remove js from their Tor browser in my opinion.

  4. Paul(us) said on October 11, 2020 at 12:59 pm

    Wow that really great news. What a progeres in the last 25 mounths.
    I think I will wait a will when its a steady release.

    I hoping that there new release will have the https issues beter adressed.
    This because I had to install the hppts everywhere, v.20208.13, add-on to adress this issue.
    And also the guard against CSS data exfiltration, the css exfil protection add-on v.1.017, is needed to keep main current version safe.

    I cant only not make out yet what to do with main already installed, on main Android 10 o.s,. Tor browser (Update from 25 august 2020) 68.12.0.
    Schould I first remove it or schould I installe the new 81 version over it?
    I am leaning to uninstall the current version first because I always do that with large software update changes, from any software product.
    Any suggestions.

    1. Yuliya said on October 11, 2020 at 1:01 pm

      Install over then clear data for that application. It’s the same as uninstall/reinstall, but less of a hassle.

      1. Paul(us) said on October 11, 2020 at 2:10 pm

        Thanks, Yuliya,
        I will thry this with the new Tor (Firefox)81 stabel version.
        To bed there is still now PrivaZer for android, Ios or linux!

  5. Iron Heart said on October 11, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Oh Martin… What did I do wrong again for my comment not to be published? OK, it’s a bit satirical in nature, but apart from that, do you mind anything?

  6. Yuliya said on October 10, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    Yuck. Just use Orbot, this way you don’t have to deal with mozilla’s garbage browser.

    1. Hunter said on October 11, 2020 at 7:03 pm

      That literally defeats the whole purpose of using Tor, but you do you.

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