The Tor Project has brought major censorship circumvention and usability changes to the latest release of Tor Browser. The Tor team is on a mission to make Tor easier to use for everyone through user experience improvements based on research with users who face internet censorship and surveillance.
Tor Browser is a free and open source browser based on Firefox with extra privacy and security patches that protect you from tracking, surveillance, and censorship. Tor Browser also routes your traffic over the Tor network, encrypting it three times as it passes through volunteer-run servers around the world along the way to your destination website.
The latest version, Tor Browser 10.5, includes the addition of Snowflake as a default bridge option. Snowflake is a pluggable transport that uses a combination of domain fronting and peer-to-peer WebRTC connections between clients and volunteers to circumvent Internet censorship. Snowflake aims to lower the barrier for running anti-censorship proxies, resulting in a large pool of proxies. Anyone can run a Snowflake proxy simply by installing a Firefox or Chrome web extension.
“Snowflake as a default bridge option in Tor Browser means more people living in countries where access to the Tor network is blocked can easily circumvent this censorship and browse the open internet,” said Isabela Bagureos, the Tor Project’s Executive Director.
Tor Browser 10.5 is also the first in the upcoming series of helping censored users seamlessly access the open internet by simplifying the connection flow, detecting censorship and providing bridges. Part of these changes include deprecating Tor Launcher, the previous pop-up window used to configure your connection to Tor, and integrating these options into the browser.