Glenn Sorrentino

Turn your phone into a Tor hotspot with CalyxOS and Orbot

📡 Share your Tor connection with other devices without requiring them to download any software.

June 27, 2021

I like to tinker with Raspberry Pis - small, inexpensive, and powerful computers that run Linux. One of my favorite projects is from Adafruit, written in the wake of the Snowden disclosures in 2013: a Tor-powered wifi hotspot. Since then, the teams at The Guardian Project & The Calyx Institute took that idea, simplified the heck out of it, and brought it to the phone. We'll walk through how to set it up on CalyxOS.

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Step 1: Orbot

When CalyxOS starts for the first time, you have the option to install Orbot from a list of recommended apps. If you skip that step, download Orbot from the Aurora Store or through The Guardian Project's official F-Droid repositories.

Open the app, tap on the three dots in the header's top right, and go to Settings. Next, tap on the option "Open Proxy on All Interfaces" to enable the feature. Then, go back to the main screen and toggle on "VPN Mode" to start Orbot.

Step 2: CalyxOS Settings

Go to your phone's Settings > Network & internet > Advanced > VPN and tap on the gear icon for Orbot. Toggle on "Always-on VPN" and "Block connections without VPN," then tap to go back to the "Network & internet" menu.

Tap on "Hotspot & tethering" and toggle on the option "Allow clients to use VPNs." Now tap on the option "Wi-Fi hotspot" and enable your hotspot.

Step 3: Connect to your Tor hotspot

Go to another device, connect to your hotspot, open an internet browser, and check your Tor connection. Your device should be connected to the Tor network!

Questions? Find me on Twitter at @glennsorrentino.