This new browser offers a whole new spin on the Tor network

mullvad tor browser
(Image credit: Mullvad)

Mullvad VPN has teamed up with the internet privacy organization The Tor Project to release a new browser aimed at preserving user privacy as much as possible without actually accessing the Tor network.

The Tor network is a series of routers that encrypt and protect web traffic from prying eyes, so that no one can track your activity or IP address as you browse the internet. Only certain browsers, such as Tor's own proprietary browser, are able to utilize this network.

The new Mullvad browser, which is developed by The Tor Project and distributed by Mullvad, purportedly offers the same degree of privacy as Tor browsing: "From our perspective there has been a gap in the market for those who want to run a privacy-focused browser as good as Tor Browser but with a VPN instead of the Tor Network," said Jan Jonsson, CEO at Mullvad VPN.

Protecting privacy

Although it has become synonymous with illegal activity on the dark web, use of the Tor network is legal in most countries, and not everything on the dark web is illicit: research databases and secure email providers also have their home there. The Tor network can also be used to access regular websites without being tracked them. 

To that end, the new Mullvad browser masks by default certain parameters that can be used to extract information about a user's device and make them identifiable, from fonts to hardware APIs. It comes with privacy mode enabled, blocks third-party trackers and also makes it easy to delete cookies while in a session. 

Mullvad also says that there are fewer extensions and plug-ins present than in other anonymous browsers, which it claims means there is less chance of user's accidently revealing their identity via the unique combination of plugins they have. 

“Developing this browser with Mullvad is about providing people with more free privacy options for web browsing while challenging the all-too-prevalent business model of exploiting people's data. This partnership demonstrates that it is possible to develop free technology solutions that prioritize the protection of user privacy,” said Isabela Fernandes, Executive Director, Tor Project.

Naturally, Mullvad's own VPN integrates fully within the browser, but it can be used without it. The Mullvad browser is also open-source, and available to download now for free on Windows, MacOS, and Linux. 

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Lewis Maddison
Reviews Writer

Lewis Maddison is a Reviews Writer for TechRadar. He previously worked as a Staff Writer for our business section, TechRadar Pro, where he had experience with productivity-enhancing hardware, ranging from keyboards to standing desks. His area of expertise lies in computer peripherals and audio hardware, having spent over a decade exploring the murky depths of both PC building and music production. He also revels in picking up on the finest details and niggles that ultimately make a big difference to the user experience.