Which is better to use to protect your online privacy, Tor or VPN? This guide will tell you how they work and which is best in certain situations.
How does Tor work?
Tor is an open-source network designed to provide anonymity to its users. Data is transferred between your computer and the Internet through a series of thousands of volunteer-operated relays (servers) that hide the user’s identity and location from anyone who monitors Internet traffic.
Benefits of using the Tor browser includes:
- Ensuring anonymity on the network;
- Keeps no logs of visits;
- You don’t need to pay. Thor browser is completely free;
- Doesn’t save financial data;
- TOR is the direct route to the Darknet;
VPN: How does it work?
A VPN is a service that provides an encrypted connection between your computer and servers on the VPN. The VPN server then connects to the target website and transfers data between your computer and the target one. As far as the target site can tell, it is communicating with the VPN server, not your computer.
Using the VPN service, you can get the following benefits:
- Complete online privacy. At the same time, the speed of your browser does not drop;
- Access to sites that are closed in your current location, such as Netflix and the BBC;
- Kil Switch or similar methods ensure that your data is not exposed if the VPN connection drops for any reason;
- Paid versions do not keep logs of visits;
- Your data is protected from hacker attacks;
- The interface of VPN services is understandable even for beginners.
Tor vs VPN: which Internet privacy system is better?
The huge advantage of a VPN is as follows. When connected to a VPN, all traffic of all applications will pass through the VPN, which guarantees even greater anonymity. In the case of Tor, each network application needs to be configured to work with Tor. Detailed instructions on how to set up a particular application on Tog can be found on the Internet. But all the same, Tog has limitations, namely:
- You cannot download torrents through Tor. The fact is that Torrent clients, even if they are configured for Tor, still make direct connections. In the tracker GET request, the client still sends your real IP address.
- You cannot use browser plugins like Flash and others – they can bypass Tor and connect directly. This is why these plugins do not work in the Tor Browser.
In the case of a VPN, you don’t have all these problems. You can run any network software – torrents, Skype, Viber, email clients, and all traffic will go through the VPN connection.
Unfortunately, the anonymous Tor network cannot provide you with such guarantees. Using TOP, you can only be sure that only your traffic will be protected.
How about mixing Tor with a VPN?
Very often users have questions about the compatibility of concurrent use of Tor browser and VPN service. After analyzing the functionality of both alternatives, we can conclude that VPN works much faster. Thor, on the other hand, slows down the Internet connection.