Tor Browser 6 was recently released, bringing a whole new level of secure browsing to the masses. The Firefox-based browser is well known for its ability to keep users anonymous while browsing online. Some of the improvements that have been made to Tor Browser 6 shouldn’t come as a surprise…

Tor Browser 6 Features & Improvements

Improved HTML5 Support

This release comes with better support for HTML5. This means that you need less reliance on Flash videos while browsing sites like YouTube. With the ever frequent exploitation of Flash, anything that we can do to minimise our usage of it is going to be of huge benefit when it comes to security. An improved level of HTML5 support is extremely welcome.

OS X Gatekeeper Compatibility

Tor Browser 6 is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Mac users may have found that previous versions of the Tor Browser didn’t play too nicely with OS X due to problems between the browser and Gatekeeper. Tor Browser 6 solves this issue, as the browser’s code is now signed with a Gatekeeper certificate.

Firefox Driven Improvements

As the browser is based off Firefox we also see a new bunch of Firefox features making their way to this anonymous derivative. The latest JavaScript standards introduced in Firefox 45 can now also be found in Tor Browser 6. The browser also now has support for Push API. This means that you can subscribe to dynamic notifications on different websites, like you can with the latest versions of Firefox and Chrome.

SHA-1 Deprecation

One of the biggest security improvements is the lack of support for SHA-1 certificates.  These certificates are considered cryptographically weak, meaning that they are no longer considered secure. Dropping SHA-1 support will mean that only websites that have been secured with a more secure cryptographic hash can be visited. Other major browsers have already made this change, so this was expected.

Default Search Engine

Finally, to make searching easier, the default search engine has changed from Disconnect to DuckDuckGo. The reason for the change is that Disconnect recently lost access to Google’s Search APIs meaning that it could only show you results from Bing. DuckDuckGo, on the other hand, gives you Google search results anonymously. With the World still favouring Google over Bing, this is a welcome change.

For more information on Tor Browser 6, head over to the Tor Project Blog.