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Brave Browser Rolls Out Snowflake Feature to Help Circumvent Tor Blocks


January 16, 2023

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Brave Browser Rolls Out Snowflake Feature to Help Circumvent Tor Blocks

Brave Browser’s latest update adds a highly anticipated feature that lets users bypass Tor blocks and help people access the internet freely in countries with censorship.

The privacy-focused feature is an addition to update version 1.44, introducing Tor bridges support. Starting with version 1.47, however, Brave Browser users will also be able to turn their devices into proxies, effectively helping others in censored countries avoid network restrictions.

Sometimes, a government or internet service provider (ISP) may block users from accessing specific resources, such as the Tor network. Brave Browser’s Tor Bridges feature allows users to connect to the Tor network even if their access is restricted. Unlike other relays, they are not publicly listed to prevent regulators from blocking them.

Until now, Brave offered a few company-operated relays to help circumvent restrictions. However, the browser’s latest update adds Snowflake support, letting users share their Internet connections by running a proxy on their machine.

Users who want to volunteer to help others access the internet without restrictions can do so by following these steps:

  1. Launch Brave Browser
  2. Open the app’s Settings menu
  3. Navigate to the Privacy and security section
  4. Open the Tor windows menu
  5. Enable the Volunteer to help others connect to the Tor network option

The Tor windows menu also allows you to toggle bridges, automatically redirect .onion sites, choose your preferred built-in bridge, and enable Tor in all Private windows (incognito browsing).

If you want to use the feature outside of Brave, you could install the Snowflake extension on your Chrome web browser from the browser’s web store.

Brave says that enabling the Snowflake extension carries no known risks.

“Neither Brave nor the Tor Project are aware of any serious risks associated with installing the Snowflake extension,” reads Brave’s documentation. “Your IP address will not be published anywhere, and it will only be used to connect people to your computer in order to access the Tor network.”

The company warns, however, that people who live in restricted countries, have a slow Internet connection or a limited data plan, or use a shared computer should refrain from running a Snowflake proxy.

Although Tor is an effective privacy tool, it has a few caveats: it can be sluggish, blocked by several web services, and is often used for illegal activities. Other privacy-focused tools, like VPNs, could handle your privacy better. To learn more about the differences between Tor and VPN, read our comprehensive VPN vs. Tor comparison guide.

Specialized tools like Bitdefender VPN can help you circumvent network restrictions and browse the Internet anonymously. Key features include:

  • Cloaks your IP to prevent entities from linking you to your online activity
  • Protects your traffic on unsecured public networks
  • Lets you access geo-restricted content
  • Bypasses unfair restrictions such as ISP bandwidth throttling




Vlad's love for technology and writing created rich soil for his interest in cybersecurity to sprout into a full-on passion. Before becoming a Security Analyst, he covered tech and security topics.

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