Despite its name, the Onion Browser isn’t another app for the satirical news site The Onion. The Onion Browser, released yesterday, is an app that allows you to surf on the Internet using The Onion Router (Tor for short) which encrypts your web traffic and passes it off to other nodes in the network, effectively hiding your ISP. The benefit of Tor, aside from allowing you a greater degree of anonymity online, is that it allows users to bypass restrictive firewalls and access dark net sites. If you always wanted to be in a Gibson novel, you might be interested in the Onion Browser.
This isn’t the first iTunes app I’ve seen which makes use of Tor. The Covert Browser, by Stephen Hoffman, last updated in November 2011, has many of the same features. The biggest difference in interface is Covert has a dialog bar that shows the user which proxy IP address they are connecting from, and switches the addresses up every few minutes.
While the Onion Browser is newer than the Covert Browser, it’s cheaper and donates an unspoken amount of their proceeds to the Tor Project and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (Remember PIPA and SOPA? Those guys were fighting it!). Covert Browser’s iTunes page just mentions that they are “not affiliated with The Tor Project in any way and therefore carr[y] no guarantee from The Tor Project about quality, suitability or anything else.” Covert browser’s gotten some spotty reviews (although I personally have no complaints with it), so unless you want to buy from the guys who were offering it first (or if you just prefer red), go with the Onion Browser.
Download Onion Browser – $0.99 [iTunes Link]
Download Covert Browser – $2.99 [iTunes Link]
Use a Tor-capable browser to tell us why you browse anonymously. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.