Tor vs. VPN for Anonymous Browsing: What’s the Difference?
When it comes to anonymous browsing, there are a few different options out there. You can use Tor, a VPN service, or even a proxy server. But what’s the difference between them? In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between Tor and VPN services and help you decide which one is right for you.
What Is Tor?
Tor is a free, open-source project that enables you to surf the web anonymously. The title is an acronym originating from the phrase “the onion router”. Yes, the name sounds silly, but the idea behind it is brilliant: the Tor browser network is built of layers upon layers of independent nodes run by Tor users.
Essentially. it takes your data, including identifiable information such as your IP address. And it wraps it up in multi-layered encryption and sends it through a network of randomly selected relay servers. Each of them only knows their small portion of the journey and not the entire entry to exit transfer.
What Is A VPN?
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, helps you protect your online privacy by creating a secure connection to another server. They are easy to use and helps you watch any channel in Canada or any other region. You can download a Windows VPN like you would any other software.
A VPN will encrypt all of your traffic and route it through the VPN server, making it difficult for anyone to track your activity or see what websites you’re visiting. All your ISP can see is that it’s carrying traffic to the VPN’s address. They can also help you bypass firewalls and access blocked content. That blocked content might be US Netflix, or social media sites blocked at school or work.
Which Is Best: VPN Or Tor?
Unless you cut off internet access entirely, you won’t be able to achieve true security or anonymity. As a result, everything is measured in degrees of strength.
There’s no such thing as
Yes, this is private,
no, this is not private,
If you’re looking for the highest level of security and anonymity, then Tor is the way to go. However, it can be slow and difficult to use, especially if you’re not tech-savvy. If you’re looking for a simpler solution that is still effective, then a VPN service is your best bet.
Tor Is Slow
That’s because each node in the Tor network encrypts and passes on your data one at a time. So, it takes longer for your data to travel through the network and reach its destination.
Like really slow.
A VPN Is Faster
Your data is encrypted and routed through a single server, so it doesn’t have to jump through as many hoops to reach its destination.
Tor Is Often Blocked
All Tor nodes are publically published to the internet. This makes it very easy for sites to blacklist those IP addresses and prohibit you from accessing them via Tor. In your quest for a freer more open connection, you might end up achieving the opposite and restricting the sites that you can access.
Using Tor, you’ll definitely have to prove you aren’t a robot on a regular basis, and if you’re using it for online banking there’s a risk of your account getting locked until you login to your emails to get a code. Fair enough too. Criminals use Tor. Let’s not sugarcoat it. If banks didn’t take these precautions fraud would only get worse.
With a VPN, your traffic is routed through a single server. So, it’s much more difficult for sites to block your access, and they aren’t as likely to suspect you’re up to anything.
Some ISPs throttle Tor traffic or flat-out block it. The worst of the bunch take note of it and report it to law enforcement. For this reason alone, some people will use Tor and a VPN together. A VPN stops your ISP from knowing you’re accessing the Tor network because your internet traffic will travel to the VPN server than to the first Tor node.
Tor Is Free
A major advantage that Tor has over VPNs is that Tor doesn’t cost money to use. There are free VPNs, but unless you like having all your browsing habits tracked, profiled, and sold to advertisers, we wouldn’t recommend them.
All Traffic Travels Through A VPN. Tor Is Browser Based
When you use a VPN service, all of your traffic is routed through the VPN’s server. That means that any time you’re using the internet – whether you’re browsing the web, checking your email, or streaming a movie in an app – your traffic is being routed through the VPN’s server.
Tor, on the other hand, is browser-based. It’s accessed via the Tor Browser. That means that it only routes traffic from your web browser through the Tor network. So, if you’re not using your web browser, then your traffic isn’t being routed through Tor.
Traffic from other software and other browsers will travel via your ISP like normal.
What’s The Bottom Line?
Both Tor and VPNs are effective tools for protecting your online privacy. However, they each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
If you’re looking for the highest level of security and anonymity, then Tor is the way to go. However, it can be slow and difficult to use, especially if you’re not tech-savvy.
If you’re looking for a simpler solution that is still effective, then a VPN service is your best bet. A VPN is faster and easier to use than Tor, but it’s not as secure.