Onion Browser is only closest thing to TOR software on Apple’s App Store, if anyone tells you otherwise they are lying. You can Stay Anonymous on iPhone using TOR.


image art by Techscoop.in


The Onion Browser is a free tool available on iTunes for iPhone. It allows you to stay anonymous while browsing. Developed by a freelance developer, investigative journalist at ProPublica*, and Photographer Mike Tigas. Onion Browser was developed as an option for browsing anonymously using iPhone. It was put up with a small fee of $ 0.99, which is a minimum price for an app in The App Store. Mike was surprised by its popularity and made it free of charge in the year 2016. If you would like to support M Tigas for his contribution you can go to his patreon page.**

This article is second in it’s a series of article regarding usage of TOR Browser. We suggest you give a read to our previous post for better understanding of the Tor on phones.

Be Wary of apps claiming to be a TOR browser

The TOR project currently doesn’t have an official iPhone app. The closest thing to TOR browsers is this app by M Tigas. It was said so by official The TOR Project in a tweet.
See the official tweet of The Tor Project, debunked following paid/free apps available in the App Store.
In iPhone, using TOR is a bit tricky, well maybe not tricky but you won’t get Android’s TOR experience. An explanation is further ahead in the article. But let’s just learn to use TOR on iPhone.


Stay Anonymous on iPhone using TOR.

As we told you in the earlier article, Being Anonymous is nothing but covering tracks. In order to Stay Anonymous on iPhone, we need to target Browsing, DNS Requests, and Chat individually.  As of now Browsing and Chatting are the only two applications on which you can stay anonymous using TOR on iPhone or you can use other VPN apps available for iPhone. Using TOR on iPhone is not same as using it on Android, on iPhone you don’t have OrWall, Orbot and OrFox. Because the architecture of iPhone doesn’t allow the way these three works.

1.  Stay Anonymous while browsing on iPhone


You can stay anonymous while browsing by using Onion Browser developed by M Tigas.


Step 1. You can download TOR for iPhone from here.


Step 2. Launch App and Connect to TOR


How to Stay Anonymous on iPhone using TOR
Tor welcome window


Step 3. Start Browsing


How to Stay Anonymous on iPhone using TOR
Tor browser initialization


Additionally, you can change your IP while browsing, by “New Identity” in options.  And Block Active Content, Ajax, disallow Cookie


How to Stay Anonymous on iPhone using TOR


How to Stay Anonymous on iPhone using TOR
content settings


2.  Stay Anonymous while chatting on iPhone


You can stay anonymous while chatting using Chat Secure app for iPhone, you can download it from here. Chat Secure is not your regular chatting app, it can use TOR network for Chat and your messages will remain encrypted until they leave the endpoint. Chat Secure lets you stay anonymous on iPhone using OTR encryption over XMPP.OTR is Off-The-Record Messaging protocol, every single message is encrypted using AES encryption of 128-bit length.  You can configure your own Google account on this app for connecting to a chatting service, like Google’s own chatting service itself. Google doesn’t track your private conversations so it’s safe to use it on TOR.


How to Stay Anonymous on iPhone using TOR
Secure Chat


3.  Blocking Apps from using Internet.


This one is a really tricky part, for you to be really anonymous you need to block apps that access the internet and send your data to their servers. But the situation is not as critical as it is on Android, if Apple learns that any of their apps are violating their Terms and Conditions, they will ruin the Account holder and obviously pull down the app. There is the only fair use of your Meta Data on iPhone, it’s not completely secure but it does delay digital marketers.


clip_image012For example if you are searching “Sofa” on your browser
in private browsing, you won’t get “Sofa Ads” on your Facebook but that can’t be
said for some apps on Android. You will however might see the relevant ads if
you are not using incognito mode on your browsers. This happens because browsers
save your activity and relevant data in the form of cookies. These cookies are
nothing but txt files that any other website and app on your phone can freely


For this part you need a jailbroken iPhone, if you don’t have a jailbroken phone you can follow that link or just skip this part, and stick to browsing.  ConditionalWifi2 is an app that lets you block apps from using the internet, unfortunately, it only works for Wi-Fi data. Download ConditionalWifi2, you can see the instructions here. This app is not available on App Store so you might have to go an extra mile to install this app.  M Tigas and the team are developing iCepa for iPhone, it’s an OrWall alternative for iPhone. As soon as it’s out in the Beta, we will let you know with a review. Subscribe our website or like our Facebook Page to stay tuned.You might also like

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Why No Orbot, OrWall and OrFox are available on iPhone?

Most developers that worked on Android, Windows, and Linux are usually not comfortable in developing a full-fledged application on iOS with different architecture yet same functionality. In open source, the developers usually develop further on the works of previously developed work.
Another reason being that the core code of Tor is interoperable, i.e. it can be developed for different OS without core changes in code.Third and the biggest obstacle on iOS is that developers are not allowed to fork sub-processes pretty much blocking the core functionality of Tor browser.So in order to Tor to work, it must be compiled into the app’s binary and must be run as a thread, inside an existing app process. You have to use WebKit Framework built into the OS, while the Onion browser is based on Firefox Gecko. Then there is an issue with newer WK-WebKit API provided by iPhone SDK, it doesn’t let us change proxy settings. Older WebKit API let us take over the proxy settings, so the developers are pretty much stuck with that.
The TOR enabled the browser to block any traffic that tries to bypass, TOR network but the iPhone’s WebKit API’s multimedia features don’t let the developer take on Javascript, multimedia etc. which if had vulnerability can lead to a leak in data.So for an open source app, the TOR OrWall is too much work to do for free. And a risky one at that too, if an app doesn’t comply with Apple’s T & C it won’t be allowed on the App Store. But the good guys at The iCepa Project are trying to develop exactly that.

This is second in series of articles, there will be a third and last article for using TOR on Windows, Mac and Linux. subscribe our page and like us on facebook to keep yourselves updated.

* ProPublica is one of the first major news sites to be available via an onion site — propub3r6espa33w.onion).
*The app was backed by some pateron supporters, with some key support also coming from the Guardian Project.

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