Filling the gap: A web browser with the privacy quality of the Tor Browser, to be used with a trustworthy VPN.
Since Mullvad started the fight against mass surveillance and censorship, our VPN service has been our main weapon. It’s a crucial tool for privacy, but along the way it has been important for us to express the whole picture: a VPN alone is not a comprehensive solution for achieving privacy. The reason is simple, there are simply too many actors out there today, gathering too much data, and they have too many ways to do it. That's why we have said things like 1) use a trustworthy VPN 2) use a privacy-friendly DNS service 3) use a privacy-focused web browser (we have recommended Firefox and guided our users to work with different settings and plugins to reduce tracking 4) reconsider your internet behavior and take a moment to think about the business model of apps, search engines and all other ‘free’ services. We have been recommending these four steps for quite some time. But there has been a thorn in our side; we haven’t been satisfied enough with step number 3. The whole browser situation has bothered us.
This is why we reached out to the Tor Project
In our world, there’s been a gap to fill. There hasn’t been a sufficiently good privacy-focused browser out there. Well, actually, that’s not totally true. The alternative to step one, two, and three has been to use the Tor Network and the Tor Browser.
The big difference between a trustworthy VPN and the Tor Network is that Tor is a free and decentralized network that encrypts your traffic in three layers (hence the name: The Onion Router) and sends it through three different relays run by Tor volunteers around the world (read more about The Tor Project and how the onion routing works).
The Tor Network offers great protection for privacy and the Tor Browser is, in our view, the best privacy-focused browser you can choose. The problem is, for those who prefer to run a VPN instead of the Tor Network, there hasn’t been a good browser alternative. Until now.
When we reached out to the Tor Project, our goal was to give VPN users the browser quality of the Tor Browser – paired with the benefits of using a VPN. And all to give people more alternatives for privacy. So, here we are. The result: a Tor-developed browser produced to minimize fingerprinting and tracking. Without using The Tor Network. To free the internet from big data gathering.
“Privacy is about protecting what makes us humans: our day-to-day behavior, our personality, our fears, our relationships, and our vulnerabilities.”
The Tor Project
The Tor Project: A perfect partner for Mullvad.
It’s not just their proven track record of building privacy-focused browsers that makes the Tor Project a perfect partner for Mullvad. We have, for a long time, been devoted supporters of The Tor Project, and we share their mission to advance human rights through protecting people’s right to online privacy and anonymity. Their work that supports the circumvention of censorship so that people have access to unbiased information, the way they enable whistleblowing (like the one by Edward Snowden), their support for journalists, helping them protect their sources and their fight for human rights – all their actions speak for themselves.
In their own words: “Privacy is about protecting what makes us humans: our day-to-day behavior, our personality, our fears, our relationships, and our vulnerabilities. Everyone deserves privacy. The United Nations even codified privacy as a human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. However, governments, corporations, and other powerful entities routinely block us from exercising our right to privacy through surveillance, monitoring, and tracking.”