Being anonymous is now the biggest challenge in the digital world. Tor let you do exactly that.

 

How to Stay Anonymous on your Android using TOR
Image art by techscoop.in

In this Article, you will learn to stay anonymous on the internet while using your phone. This is a two-part tutorial, in its first part, you will learn to Stay Anonymous on your phone. The second part of this tutorial entails ways of being anonymous on your computer.

 

There are four ways of being anonymous in this world, first is to use TOR or similar software stack that hides your identity on open network, using VPN, using Proxy which is a kind of VPN but just for browser, the last way is, of course, burn down your computer, mobile and house and start living in a cave, far far away from civilization. :p .

 

1. Why would you want to stay Anonymous?

 

2. Using TOR to Stay Anonymous on your phone. (Three step guide)

 

3. Limitations of Tor Network.

 

4. Some Habits you need to check for truly hiding from the Internet.

 

5. Are you really anonymous?

 

1. Why would you want to stay Anonymous?

 

If you have been following our website or any other technical source, you already know about the new privacy concerns. The government wants to know who is doing what? The USA even went ahead and put up a spying program over entire world’s communications. Digital marketing companies are nosing into your private browsing history, some companies run the legitimate business yet broke user trust like no other. If you have searched anything on the internet without a proxy or VPN, chances are prominent digital marketing companies already know about it.Due to Ad-frenzy of digital marketing, it has become a lucrative business. And finally, there are good old hackers, who want to know your deep dark secrets, or just your bank account details, depending on which one is more profitable. Prying eyes of hackers are always into the open channel of the Internet. There are plenty of hacking tools and tutorials available online that even a 12 years old kid can access, learn and execute. With growing digital world you cannot afford to be naïve. Staying anonymous on the web is one of the ways you can protect your privacy over the Internet.

 

About TOR
TOR is an abbreviation for The Onion Router. Onion is an encryption used on the internet files used by TOR network, and its extension is “.Onion”, like .html in HTML files. It is a group of volunteer-operated servers, people use this network for private communication. Most users use TOR for anonymity, a great number of users are just enthusiast, and there is also an unknown sized user group that uses TOR for criminal activity, journalism, and activism.
How to Stay Anonymous on your Android using TOR
Credit: The Tor Project

Most people use TOR to access Darknet or Darkweb. The part of the web that is hidden or restricted from Google-like search engines is called Darknet. It contains information, educational stuff. But darkweb also contains illegal websites and businesses that you might not want to access, seriously accessing alone such websites is a crime and it is imperative that you keep away from them.
TOR was funded project of US Naval Research Laboratory in 1995, for their own use.  Later in 1996, 97 US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In 2003 TOR was made available for free to all under MIT license, and since then it is free, it has 6000 Tor nodes in operation as of now. Its user base includes Journalists, Programmers, Enthusiast, Militaries, Hackers, Criminals and Governments.

 

2. Using TOR to Stay Anonymous on your phone

 

Using TOR on Android is different from using it on PC. On Android, you need three .apk files in order to make TOR work. There are prerequisites, so make sure you have gone through following list.

 

1. RAM requirement: Latest TOR browser runs with TOR bundle so you need more than 1 GB RAM for it function properly. For older versions (pre-KitKat) visit their official site.

 

2. OS: Although this tutorial is valid for Android 2.x onwards we have only tested it on KitKat and later versions of Android.

 

3. Permissions: You need a rooted device and you need to enable third-party sources permission, click here to know how it will just take seconds.

 

4. An Internet connection (duh).

 

Installation Process of TOR on Android

 

TOR doesn’t work alone on Android, it requires three different APKs to properly function.

 

Step 1 Install OrWall

 

About OrWall: OrWall is a firewall for your Android, in order to block apps from accessing the TOR network. It is essential to install this firewall for two reasons.

 

First is that you might not want your apps to access the Internet without your permission, Once you have installed this app you will be surprised how many applications that do not even need the Internet, actually access it. Like messaging app, if you have Xiaomi. Then there are browsers like CM Browsers, which access your internet even when you are not running it, it’s actually uploading your data to their servers.

 

Second biggest reason is that you don’t want to choke TOR network. Only essential traffic should go through TOR network which demands privacy. Other data like system updates can go through without OrWall or TOR network.

 

1. Download OrWall (.apk), and Install it.

 

2. Post installation, reboot your Android device.

 

3. Initialize OrWall and limit the apps that you don’t want to access the Internet or the TOR network. As long as OrWall is up no App can access the Internet, in our case the Internet is the TOR network.
How to Stay Anonymous on your Android using TOR
OrWall: block application you do not want to connect The TOR
How to Stay Anonymous on your Android using TOR
Enable these options in setting
if the phone is not rooted this part won’t work

 

Step 2 Install Orbot

About OrBot: After installation of OrWall we need to take data from OrWall to Tor Network in a way that the TOR network can understand your data, without knowing what it is. For that we need a mediator between the Tor network and OrWall, that mediator is Orbot.

 

Orbot is essentially a proxy between other apps and the internet. Orbot encrypts Internet traffic using Tor and then bounces your data packets through a series of computers around the world. Tor is an open network, and it’s free since your traffic is bounced from one computer to another and each computer adds an additional layer of security, the network analyzers cannot figure out what that packet means, its source and its destination remain elusive.

 

    1.   Download Orbot (.apk) or you can download it via playstore.
2.  Run Orbot and go through the SetUp wizard. (standard installation).
3.  Turn on Orbot and traffic from Orwall will route through Orbot, from here onwards you are anonymous.
4.  Check your Ip on the web using WhoAmI command, and you will get an IP that you don’t recognize.

 

How to Stay Anonymous on your Android using TOR
Start Orbot

 

 

How to Stay Anonymous on your Android using TOR
You can change Mods from here, or you can get your custom bridge

 

How to Stay Anonymous on your Android using TOR
After connection, you can see download /upload bandwidth you are getting
it will be less than your usual bandwidth

 

Step 3 Installing OrFox

 

About OrFox: In the final instalment of this process, you need to install OrFox. OrFox is basically Firefox without tracking support, and you cannot install javascript plugins because they are subversive to browser’s security so you might experience performance issues.
Using OrFox you can browse the web securely, OrFox access internet through Orbot. You can browse through normal browsers as well but then again the browsers are designed to expose you. OrFox is designed to protect your privacy and you should stick to it only when browsing.

 

 

How to Stay Anonymous on your Android using TOR
Click on browse in Orbot, it will open Orfox and you will
know if you are using tor or not

 

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Now you have the entire setup ready on your Android, whenever you want to go anonymous first initialize OrWall, then initialize Orbot. For browsing purposes use OrFox. Since you are using Tor network with the Tor bundled Softwares, your capabilities and user experience are limited.

 

4. Some Habits you need to check for truly hiding from the Internet.

 

1. Do not log into any open service like Gmail, Live, and Yahoo etc. Services like Facebook and Gmail track user behaviour and login information. Once you logged into some Gmail account you give up your TOR signals, and then they have browser type, screen resolution, search habits by which someone can track you.

 

2. Do not visit Pornographic, Torrent, and Mass Downloader websites. Tor is free network and if you visit such sites, it only increases pressure on the Tor network. Since bandwidth is limited you have to use it wisely. Plus these websites also track you, so if there is a pattern you make using these sites, rest assured you will get on a list somewhere.

 

3. be paranoid, be very paranoid: Only way to get truly anonymous is to cover your tracks, you can’t-do that by being sloppy. Use TOR for good purpose and only good will come to you if you visit darkweb make sure you don’t visit any sites that are non-criminal in nature. Why? See next section.

 

4.Scrutinize Applications to use TOR: Not all applications are created equal, so only let those applications get through who will not track you, use Gmail like applications the on regular network, use browsers, apps that do not have your login info using TOR. See if your app is tracking you, some app is in advertisement business and they do track you.See also

 

 

5. Are you really anonymous? 

 

Short Answer, NO. Long answer it depends on. It’s up to you how better the Tor works, in 100% of cases the user’s identity was revealed because of his browsing habits. In next article, we will learn about how actually TOR works on the network level and you will know where you lose your security.  Since it was made by the government, you are not hidden from government agencies, they can track you and find you if they want to. Provided that there is good enough reason you give them. That is why in the entire article we were emphasizing not to visit shady websites that run illegal trade. If you even once visited those websites, rest assured that you are on some watch list.

 

The Tor network relayCredit Tor project

 

Verify that you are anonymous

 

Before turning on OrBot Google whoami and you will get your IP, then log out of your browser, clear cache and history. Run incognito mode if running chrome or private browsing if running Firefox. Again turn on Orbot and search Whoami on Google, you will get a different IP than your actual IP.

 

In next in series of this article, you will learn using the TOR browser on iPhone. Then there will be an article for Desktops as well. In that article, we will explain the full working of the TOR network,  Till then stay safe and be responsible online.

 

Top 5 Popular yet Harmful Apps that shouldn’t be on your phone.
Apps make our lives easy, yet there are harmful apps in play store which are so popular that they have millions of downloads. We were appalled to know that there are harmful apps with so many downloads yet legitimate concerns. Today we bring you the Top 5 Android Apps that you shouldn’t be on your phone.

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