There are a lot of debates about the best solution: VPN or Tor. As you probably know, both VPN and Tor can be used to bypass internet censorship and protect your privacy. You can also use VPN or Tor to overcome geo-restricted content filters and unblock IP-banned sites by connecting to a node or a server that offers unrestricted access to the desired content or website.
However, both Tor and VPN have their advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages of using Tor
- No one can trace the sites you visit from your IP address.
- Since the network is distributed, it makes it extremely difficult for any government or organization to shut it down.
- This solution is free of charge.
- It is very slow as your data is routed through a number of relays. Therefore, it is not recommended for browsing or streaming geo-restricted video content.
- Some ISPs actively search and block Tor relays, making it difficult for some users to connect. China particularly is getting better at blocking Tor relays.
- Since the traffic at the exit node is unencrypted, anyone (the police, the government, or a hacker) who is running the exit node can see your internet traffic. Furthermore, anyone can set up a Tor exit node and there’s nothing you can do to prevent that person from spying on the users. So if you are sending anything sensitive, make sure to use secure websites (with HTTPs).
Advantages of surfing through VPN
- Connection speed is a lot faster compared to Tor since there’s only the VPN server that is located between your computer and the requested site.
- VPN provides better privacy and security than Tor. However, both of them care about their reputation. That’s why they do a lot to protect your privacy.
- Some VPN providers include malware protection in the client software.
- Some VPN providers, including Privatoria.net, have additional services that protect online privacy (Secure Chat, Anonymous E-mail, Secure Data Storage, Secure FTP).
- A good VPN service costs money (~$100/year). It is not very expensive, but not free as Tor. There are also free VPN services, but they have ads and offer poor safety protection.
And the Winner is..?
You should make a choice on your own. If you just want to surf the web anonymously, then Tor may be good enough for you. But if you want to acquire better privacy, enhanced protection from hackers, identity thieves, malware, and speed, then a VPN service is undoubtedly a better option.
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