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Alan Burwell

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We’ve receive variations of this questions time and time again: “What exactly is the difference between using the Anonabox PRO versus an installed VPN on my computer and the Tor Web Browser?”


This is a great question as it is true that both VPN and Tor can be installed and leveraged from a computer without an Anonabox. So understanding the differences between each scenario is obviously important when determining which path fits your personal situation best.


Perhaps the most apparent difference is the need for downloading these tools when employing them on your computer. In many cases this may not be a factor in decision making, but in other circumstances downloading items may not be an option. Consider mobile use for instance. VPN services will often have streamlined and very functional apps for leveraging on mobile. Tor on the other hand, while there are ways to use it on mobile, presents some additional hurdles. Mobile use is still not something that the Tor Browser officially supports. If you’re looking for an easy and dependable way to protect your mobile devices with Tor, an Anonabox PRO should be a solution you consider.


It’s Important to Understand How You Intend to Use VPN and Tor


Identifying use-cases where Tor and VPN protection is critical is probably the most important consideration when deciding whether to rely on downloads or an Anonabox. The Tor Browser functions great at protecting you when browsing the internet. But that’s about it. If you plan on downloading Torrents or perhaps utilizing SSH, the Anonabox will route this traffic over Tor, but the Tor Browser will not.


You may also want to protect devices other than your computer. The Anonabox PRO provides a central networking hub for connecting all sorts of internet devices. Guests, clients and children for instance could all be given access to your protected network without the needs of downloading anything themselves. An Anonabox PRO would also allow other networking equipment, like streaming devices, a means of protection. Most network devices like these can’t accommodate downloaded VPN and Tor tools. So if you plan on protecting devices that can not accept downloads for one reason or another, the Anonabox PRO offers some obvious advantages.


It may also be important to consider that the Anonabox PRO comes with additional features and capacities that might be advantageous for certain users. It’s User Interface allows for fully customize-able settings, including customized firewall rules, Onion hosting capacity, parental-type controls and the ability to act as a WiFi range extender. If you’re looking for a solution that goes beyond the basics, an Anonabox PRO would offer you something more. A full list of tutorials and additional use-documentation can be found in our WIKI.


Think About Which VPN Service You Plan on Using


The Anonabox PRO comes per-configured to leverage Private Internet Access (PIA) and VyprVPN. Hide My Ass! (HMA!) is included in the Anonabox PRO up to firmware version 4.4, but continued functionality on the Anonabox is no longer guaranteed by HMA! Their service should therefore not be viewed as a long term VPN solution on an Anonabox.


If PIA or VyprVPN are VPN options for you, then the Anonabox PRO offers a simple and streamlined solution. If you’re unsure of these services, 30-day trials of both VPNs are included with a purchase of the Anonabox PRO so you can test them out for yourself before committing to a subscription.


If however you are set on using a different VPN service you have some additional considerations. It is often feasible to manually configure a third-party VPN service for use on the Anonabox PRO. Users have reported successful integrations with services such as CyberGhost, ExpressVPN, NordVPN and others. However, doing so this is considered an advanced function and is best suited for users with familiarity with command line manipulation and experience with Linux, particularly OpenWRT. If this last bit sounds daunting, but still want to explore your options with third party VPNs, you’re welcome to contact info@anonabox.com for more information. That said, you may also want to weigh your other options, including reviewing one of the per-configured partner VPNs or continuing to leverage your preferred VPN from your computer or app.


Use Both Computer Installed Applications and Anonabox PRO Together?


As a final note, the Anonabox PRO and using the Tor Browser are not mutually exclusive tools. The Tor Browser functions as a high capacity browser and eliminates many possible leakage opportunities that are often overlooked when using a more traditional browser. Things as simple as cookies and being logged into your email present risks to your privacy. The Tor Browser functions well in helping avoid these pitfalls.


Users of both the Tor Browser and an Anonabox PRO would also be leveraging two instance of Tor. This could be viewed as an added security protocol, but may seem overkill to many users. Whether the benefits are sufficient enough to use both the Tor Browser and Anonabox concurrently is a user-choice worth considering.


Similarly, a second instance of a VPN could be combined with the Anonabox, but it is our opinion that not much in the way of security is gained this way. As alluded to earlier, using a device based VPN and combining it with Tor from the Anonabox is also an option. Whatever the case, the Anonabox PRO is a flexible tool designed for use in many instances and ultimately how you’d use it is up to you.


Any additional questions, please email us at info@anonabox.com.


Resources:


Download the Tor Browser

Learn more About VPN

Learn More About Tor

What is the Dark Web

Tor/Dark Web Best Practices

Anonabox PRO and Using SSH


Our VPN Partners:


VyprVPN

PIA



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