Frequently Asked Questions
You've got questions, and we've got answers. Whether you are an experienced Tor user or just learning about it for the first time, we can help you understand which Anonabox product is the perfect fit for your security needs. If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact us and we would be happy to help.
The Anonabox is an embedded linux device that routes all Internet traffic over the Tor network. This provides all the power of the Tor network without having to download or configure software. This is the first commercially available router embedded with Tor where all the software is based on Open Source. You could call the Anonabox a cloaking device because it not only scrambles your location and online activity, but also allows someone to get uncensored access to the web in places where Internet sites are blocked.
When connected using the Anonabox device, you will definitely see a reduction in the speed of your online activies. Latency on the Tor network is standard whether you are using the Anonabox or the standalone Tor network. This is the normal trade off for added protection and online anonymity. Users are also highly encouraged to research exactly what the Tor network is and how it works. Particularly how "exit nodes" work with personal data. A great starting point can be found here: Tor (anonymity network) Wiki.
Additionally, it should be noted that some personally identifiable information can be leaked if used incorrectly via personal accounts you are already logged into such as Gmail, cookies, plugins, flash and other browser history.
No there is nothing illegal about using Tor.
The first version (the original) had an auto update function for the tor software because there was no admin interface for the user to do it, but since all the new devices have admin interfaces where the user can flash firmware, its up to the user to decide when and how often to update firmware or software. There is a section of the admin interface to check for software updates, and we will post updates to the firmware to our site when we have them for users to download and flash whenever they want.
Yes! We do ship internationally, and you can preview the cost in our shopping cart. However, due to customs and certain local laws, we can not ship to the following countries: China, Hong Kong, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria. Please contact us for more information.
Yes, you can use it that way and it will work but your network will be noticeably slower, that's the tradeoff for using Tor.
Yes, this is not meant to be used to play video games and you will have a lot of latency. You'd be better off using your LAN.
Yes, you can use both the hardwired and wireless connections at the same time.
Yes, this is the typical way you would use it.
You can check that the device is working at anytime by going to https://check.torproject.org
No, Tor is not a VPN service. However, the Anonabox PRO and Tunneler are both preconfigured for VPN services. The Tunneler leverages a unique partnership with HideMyAss! and their HMA! VPN Pro service to provide their services accessible with the devices Admin Interface. Anonabox PRO offers HMA! VPN Pro or any other 3rd party VPN services that can be easily configured in the Admin Interface.
Yes, you are able to run Tor over a VPN connection using the Anonabox PRO.
There are control panels within the interface where users can turn Tor or VPN services on and off.
The Original is hardcoded with a 24 character password and can not be changed. Fawkes, Tunneler and Anonabox PRO have a User Interface that allows the user to change their password and SSID to whatever they want.
For ease of use, the Original does not allow the user to change their Tor exit nodes. Fawkes and Anonabox PRO have a User Interface that allows the user to control their exit nodes or use private bridges with tor pluggable transports like obfs4.
Once you are using Tor, begin by visiting a Tor Search Engine hppt://kbhpodhnfxl3clb4.onion. From there you can navigate and find what you are looking for. For more info about the deep web, click here.
The range extender function is configurable in all the new devices (Fawkes, Tunneler and PRO), so if you want to use it only to rebroadcast a wireless signal to get wifi to an area that doesn't get a strong enough signal without Tor running at all, you can do that. You can also use it the same way but turn on Tor and have it broadcast its own ssid, so you know which ssid you are connecting to and which one is routing all your traffic over tor. Those options are all in the admin interface. The default when you go to connect via wireless uplink is to broadcast a new ssid, the difference is just a checkbox in the interface. Its the same way for VPN's in the tunneler. For example, say you have a home router with a wireless signal, you could connect the Tunneler wirelessly to that signal, then have the tunneler broadcast it's ssid of, say 'Malaysia', then select a Malaysian server from the list of available nodes in the HMA(vpn) interface and click connect. Then you know whenever you connect to that ssid your web traffic will appear to be coming out from Malaysia.
OAfter you connect the device, the default is to function as a regular router, so you would first visit the splash/login page from Starbucks, and then after you are sure you are connected to the Internet turn on the tor proxy function in the web interface. It works the same way for VPN's.
One of the benefits of having TOR on it's own dedicated device is that it doesn't use up system resources on your local computer, which can be a lot. Because of that bandwidth over the TOR network is usually pretty good, and from our testing seems to be consistently faster than using the TOR browser alone.
It sounds like you are thinking of hidden relays and private bridges, which are unlisted access nodes to the TOR network hosted by private parties. With the exception of Tunneler (Tunneler only does VPN connections and not TOR) , the new devices have a place in the admin interface to add your own bridges. It also supports TOR pluggable transports like obfs4. We don't provide our own hidden bridge relays, but we do host a few just to help users in places where TOR is blocked we are currently testing. Most people find their own bridge relays through the official TOR project website. They change over time.
Running Tor and VPN at the same time is resource intensive, so it's better to have the additional RAM and CPU power to make sure those two protocols are running smoothly. The devices all do a lot more work in the background than a traditional router, so the specs have to be robust enough to handle it.
the ability to be an exit relay or bridge is supported in the admin interface but is not enabled by default. The most common way to use the devices is the default config which acts only as a client.
The way the devices work is actually the other way around, which is that it puts Tor inside the VPN tunnel, rather than a VPN tunnel inside Tor. This is of course only one way to configure it, but if you look at it from the perspective of someone trying to track you down going backwards from a website you visit, they would first have to break the Tor network, and then even if they were able to do that they would only see that your Tor traffic is coming out of a VPN provider. At that point they would have to get information about you from the VPN provider. We have a partnership with Hide my Ass! VPN where everyone who buys a tunneler or pro version of our devices gets a free month of service without having to enter any personal information.
That is only the default configuration of course, the devices are designed so you could daisy chain them together for configuration you want, kind of like networking legos, so you could have multiple VPN's and tor routers all in line depending on what you wanted to do with it and your specific needs. We want everything to be customizable because one setup will never make everyone happy.
All the new devices have several features the original did not, mostly in response from our customers who requested various features. The admin interface is what makes all of them possible, like wifi uplink so you do not have to plug in any cables if you don't want to, instead connecting wirelessly to another wifi signal, like a hotspot in a cafe while travelling. The new devices can also function as range extenders for existing but weak wireless signals, support VPN's and proxy servers, pluggable transports and Tor relays, its a pretty long list of new features actually, all made possible by the admin interface which is part of all the new devices. Check out our Product Comparison page for more info.
Anonabox is The Original Tor and VPN router for privacy, anonymity and security. Anonabox sets itself apart from competitors such as via our unique partnership with Hide My Ass to use their HMA! VPN Pro services, our global distribution partnership with the largest distributor of IT products in the World; Ingram Micro and our recently announced partnership with LEGENDARY hacker / phreaker John Draper AKA Captain Crunch to audit all new device code prior to going to market. These three key partnerships validate and solidify Anonabox's spot as the #1 producer of privacy devices Worldwide with immediate in-roads into big box retail fall of 2015.
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. We felt the answer was sufficiently complicated enough to justify a detailed post on our blog.