Bypassing Internet censorship is among one of many updates coming to version 11.5 of the Tor Browser.
Available to download from the Tor Project website (opens in new tab), the latest version will “transform the user experience of connecting to Tor from heavily censored regions,” the company said in a release (opens in new tab).
The latest update can now automatically apply the right bridge configuration you need, based on what it thinks will work best in your location.
Tor censorship and network settings
It works by “looking up and downloading an up-to-date list of country-specific options to try using your location,” which the Tor Project makes clear is something that only happens with a user’s consent. It’s called Connection Assist, and is in version 1.0 so may be somewhat limited on features and functionality until future updates.
The company said that the previous major update to the browser, getting around censorship of the Tor Network was a manual process that was “confusing.”.
It “placed a burden on censored users… to figure out what option to pick,” the company said.
The Project expects most of its users to use the new, automatic Connection Assist tool, but it has also made significant changes to the manual interface that many users will prefer.
The renamed Tor Network settings page – now called Connection settings – makes things like connection statuses and bridges are now more visible, while the whole settings section is said to be more streamlined.
Tor browser for Android
The organization’s release openly admits that the Android version of its browser has been left behind recently, lacking many of the features that the desktop versions get.
A new roadmap will place emphasis on more regular updates, as well as helping to fix app crashes, and bringing the app more in line with Firefox’s Android app, Fenix, on which Tor is based.