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I'm wondering what would be the case to use Orbot-tethering?

  • If I'm using Tails or Whonix, I will use the normal network-connection and internet provider (maybe via Android-tethering) and I'm fine!
    --> In this case Orbot-tethering will be useless; it makes my connection even slower and doubles the load of the Tor-network... (or not?)
  • Also if I'm using my daily OS with Tor Browser Bundle, will it be the same case as above?
  • Maybe Orbot-tethering will be useful for someone who has no freedom to choose his OS or browser, but in this case I doubt he has the choice of his network/internet connection.

So when will/should Orbot-tethering be used?
Are my cases/thoughts wrong? - Will Orbot-tethering add some "extra-security" in some cases?

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It might be useful for IOS devices, or any other device that you can't run Tor on. I could also imagine a scenario where you'd be using a public computer/laptop/tablet and you want to quickly setup a secure connection.

Bottom line, it's useful for devices that you don't own

  • concerning public devices (you don't own): this scenario i described in my third point... in most cases i doubt you can setup your own network connection. :-/ – DJCrashdummy Feb 24 '16 at 11:05
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    concerning iOS: well, that is the point... i'm really not sure that something like this is the idea behind orbot-tethering!!! - there are a ton of security risks at this usage scenario and would/should be the last possibility of using Tor! AND why you won't use Tor from the android device directly? – DJCrashdummy Feb 24 '16 at 11:29
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it is not really an exact answer, but a good collection of suggestions related to this topic:

  • You should, wherever possible, use tor on the local system. [...] If you can run Tor Browser on the laptop and just use the phone as a hotspot, prefer that option!
  • And avoid running Tor-over-Tor, allow the laptop to connect directly to the internet through the hotspot and run Tor Browser as normal.

(citation from canonizing ironize: https://tor.stackexchange.com/a/11911/5234)


concerning Tor-over-Tor more clear statements: rule of thumb: mo' hops, mo' probs!

  • Please note that a Tor-over-Tor connection will always, without exception, be less safe than a normal Tor connection.
  • Never, ever use Tor-over-Tor. It is always less safe.

(citation from canonizing ironize: https://tor.stackexchange.com/a/11820/5234)


some good statements and links at the Whonix and Tor wiki itself with a kind of explanation regarding Tor-over-Tor:

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It can add some extra security, but it's not a significant upgrade in all the cases. The problem/implication is the IPTables binary + root access. If you have a root access to your device, and your kernel is running OK with a system-wide iptables - it will add some security for sure, like piping all the traffic through Tor. If you have a factory-licked kernel - there are usually problems with IPTables and there's no way to ensure that all the traffic is piped through Tor's TransPort.

  • ok... so when can/will it add some extra security? -- and in which cases Orbot-tethering should/must be used? – DJCrashdummy Apr 25 '16 at 15:57
  • @DJCrashdummy in case of using a device with root access and especially in case of using AOSP firmware built for device by hand - you can even integrate Tor in it! There's no must-case, but it should be used if you have another tablet, usually like a cheap noname one, without any radio module but WiFi, and without GPS, of course. Then it will be of maximum service – Alexey Vesnin Apr 25 '16 at 19:12
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In many cases, i.e. with Tor-browser, Tor is only used for anonymizing web traffic, setting up your local machine to use tor for all traffic can be difficult and requires use of iptables, etc and can be potentially defeated by malicious software running on your localhost. Using orbot-tethering transparently routes all your traffic over the Tor network.

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