Version 8 of Tor Browser, the multi-platform browser that routes traffic through the Tor anonymity network, has been released this week.
About the Tor Browser and this latest version
The Tor Browser is based on a modified Mozilla Firefox ESR web browser and includes the TorButton, TorLauncher, the NoScript and HTTPS Everywhere Firefox extensions and the Tor proxy.
Mozilla Firefox ESR is a version of Firefox that’s meant for organisations that manage their client desktops, but are not too worried about providing the latest features, performance enhancements and technologies as they are released.
This latest version of the Tor Browser is based on Firefox ESR 60, which was released in May 2018 and which marks the launch of Firefox Quantum in the ESR channel.
Firefox Quantum was released in November 2017, with many performance improvements and security fixes such as support for extensions built using the WebExtension API, tightened sandbox security on Linux, and the Tracking Protection option for regular browsing windows.
Firefox ESR 60 and, consequently Tor Browser 8, features these improvements.
In addition to this, the Tor Project added its own user experience improvements based on user demand.
Tor Browser-specific changes
“Tor Browser has a new user on-boarding experience; an updated landing page; additional language support; and new behaviours for bridge fetching, displaying a circuit and visiting .onion sites,” shared Nicolas Vigier, one of the developers working on the browser.
“Our new onboarding experience aims to better let you know about unique aspects of Tor Browser and how to maximise those for your best browsing experience.”
The improved bridge fetching experience does away with the requirement that users send an email or visit a website to receive additional bridges to bypass censorship.
“To simplify how you request bridges, we now have a new bridge configuration flow when you when you launch Tor. Now all you have to do is solve a captcha in Tor Launcher, and you’ll get a bridge IP,” he added.
Other elements of the bundle has also been updated – go here for details and the change log.