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
Staff Writer

Lewis Maddison is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro. His area of expertise is online security and protection, which includes tools and software such as password managers. 

His coverage also focuses on the usage habits of technology in both personal and professional settings - particularly its relation to social and cultural issues - and revels in uncovering stories that might not otherwise see the light of day.

He has a BA in Philosophy from the University of London, with a year spent studying abroad in the sunny climes of Malta.