Where can I find information on the latest release, fixes and improvements?

We post all releases and release notes on our open-source project pages at https://github.com/guardianproject/orbot/releases and https://github.com/guardianproject/orbot-ios/releases

What is Tor?

Tor is a network of relays run by volunteers all over the world that allow you to bounce your communications on them which allows you to hide the websites you visit from people watching your internet connection, it also prevents websites you visit from learning your physical location.

Why is the internet slower when I’m connected to Tor?

Because you are bouncing your traffic through relays run by volunteers all over the world and your connection will be affected by bottlenecks and network latency.

How do I know I’m connected to Tor?

Once you open the Orbot, press the big button, and after a few seconds establishing a connection to Tor you will see a message that says 100% connected, and the button will turn green. If you are using the VPN to route a browser’s traffic through Tor, you can also check your connection by going to https://check.torproject.org/, a link created by the Tor team to tell you whether you are connected to Tor or not.

What are bridges?

Bridges are Tor relays that help circumvent censorship. You can try bridges if Tor is blocked by your ISP.

Why did Orbot iOS become so unreliable?

Attacks on the Tor network increased since the war on Ukraine. Security vulnerabilities got fixed since then and nodes added but this consumes more memory again. The Tor client is sensitive to changes in the network, since it wants to discover all of it. The more nodes it finds, the more memory it consumes. Unfortunately, Apple only allows the use of 50 MB of RAM (mega byte, on devices which have at least 3 GB - GIGA byte!) in so called “Network Extensions” (the API which must be used for “VPN”-style apps). This is a very tough limit for a software like Tor. Additionally, the currently used original Tor written in C is on the way out, while a new Tor implementation, written in Rust is underway, but not where it needs to be, yet. Please be patient.

Why does Orbot iOS constantly reconnect?

See answer above – due to the size of the slice of the Tor network you’re seeing, you may hit the 50 MB limit. iOS kills the “Network Extension” in that case. If you selected “restart on error” (on by default), it will automatically try to restart.

How can I tweak Orbot iOS to make it work?

Try deleting the cache. Sometimes getting rid of old info might free up just enough memory. However, discovering every node anew actually uses more memory than loading it from the cache. So, if it doesn’t start the first time, give it some more chances to restart. It will load more and more current info from the cache which leaves more memory for normal operations.

It starts fine with a fresh cache, but after a while it crashes again.

Go to Settings, enable “Always clear cache before startup”. It will take longer, but will restart, as long as the slice of the network you’re seeing isn’t to big on a fresh start.

Tor complains in the log that "MaxMemInQueues" is too low and it can't build circuits!

We set this low (to 5 MB by default), so we don’t hit the 50 MB ceiling too fast. You can experiment with setting that higher. Go to Settings. Enter --MaxMemInQueues (two minuses!) in a row in the section “Advanced Tor Configuration”, enter 10 MB in the next row. Restart. If you end up in a restart loop, you’re using too much memory. In that case, remove these lines again.

Nothing helps, Tor won't start.

Try using custom bridges, even if you don’t need them for circumventing blocking. The slice of the Tor network you see through the bridges might be smaller, so the Tor client won’t consume so much memory.

The bridges seem to get blocked!

Hit “Ask Tor” – it will update the built-in Obfs4 bridge list, update the Snowflake configuration and also provide you with a bunch of custom bridges. Try again all combinations. You might also use the Telegram or the email bot, they will provide different bridges from other buckets.

Why does the new version of Onion Browser rely on Orbot iOS?

Apple introduced a new (faster) web renderer called WKWebView, which replaced UIWebView and wanted all apps to move to that. However, WKWebView didn’t support proxying traffic the way UIWebView did. On top of that, that was always only a crutch, since we could never proxy audio/video streams and leaked your IP address via WebRTC. With Orbot, these problems were gone. Unfortunately, Orbot iOS now accidentally ended up in this corner, where it’s hard to get out. Since iOS 17, WKWebView supports proxying, though, so you now have a choice again. Please update to iOS 17, if you can!