Mobile Minute: anonymous browsing with TOR comes to Android
When it comes to anonymous browsing on a desktop PC, getting set up is pretty straightforward. The widely used Tor Network provides a software bundle to install on your machine which allows you to connect via a virtual proxy to their network, which reroutes your traffic between constantly varying nodes. This makes it impossible for you to be traced as you go about your business on the web and it also makes it exceptionally difficult for anyone snooping on network traffic to determine which sites you are visiting.
Mobile anonymity is historically a lot harder to achieve, however if you're an Android user, there's now a nice simple solution.
Some smart types at the University of Cambridge have created a Tor proxy that runs on your phone. When coupled with a replacement browser named 'Shadow', you have faceless browsing at your fingertips. The replacement browser is a necessity as the inbuilt browser doesn't allow you to configure a proxy server but that said, it seems very capable and is built on the same Webkit engine as the standard Android browser, so it's really not too much of a hardship! Shadow also has built in functions for managing your cookies, further helping you maintain your privacy.
Performance seems to be good once online - the connection to the Tor network itself will take around 1 minute for your first connection and 30 seconds to re-establish after your phone wakes from sleep, but in general use, there is no noticeable decrease in browsing performance.
Other applications can tunnel their connections via the Tor client - it is not only limited to web browsing. Details of how to do this, together with the full sources for the applications are available online.