When to Consider Using VPN vs Tor?Posted on 26th April 2021
It is rather difficult to stay secure while navigating websites these days because of numerous third-parties that try to collect information about you. Some of them want to build your online profile and use it for advertisement campaigns, and some want to make a profit from it in a law-breaking way. Whatever the reason is, probably nobody wants to be spied on online. This is when people start considering using VPN and Tor. Still, their functionality may seem similar; that’s why it is necessary to look closer at VPN vs Tor to decide which one is more suitable exactly for you.
What is Tor?
It is a network that is used for secure and anonymous communication. Plenty of servers are scattered worldwide, and separate individuals maintain them. As a result, it is almost impossible to intercept the Tor connections as they are not related to a single organization. So, how does Tor work?
- The software encrypts your request three times for different nodes: a guard, a middle, and an exit.
- Tor sends your request to the first and then the next two nodes. None of them can recognize your IP since it is an encrypted message.
- The request passes through the whole chain and finally reaches the exit node.
- It removes the final encryption layer and can see the message without being able to identify the sender.
Is Tor safe?
The final step is the most sensitive because the organization or the person can see the message. The security of the node depends on the owner since anyone can set it up. The best solution here is to use an HTTPS connection. However, be ready that large organizations similar to NSA, etc., may have resources to monitor the Tor network and read encrypted messages.
Pros and cons of Tor
Tor, like any other software, has its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at them closer:
- User-friendly, free software
- Can access geo-blocked websites
- Guarantees full anonymity
- Decreased connection speed because of encryption procedure
- Not compatible with all operating systems
- Poor-quality transparency and accountability of volunteers engaged in maintaining the nodes
- The necessity for connection configuration or multiple reconnections
- A final node can read the message content
Is Tor VPN?
Tor is not VPN as it uses different operation methods. It is operated by volunteers and is less user-friendly. Also, it is more complex and much slower. But if you want to navigate the websites safely, then it is recommended to use a good VPN service along with Tor.
What is VPN software?
A Virtual Private Network, or a VPN, encrypts the user’s information and sends it to an intermediary server. The providers operate numerous servers in various locations and deliver different VPN protocols as well as features, allowing the users to choose. As a result, your data becomes invisible and difficult to reach for hackers. VPN software works in this way:
- It encrypts the user’s information and only then sends it to a remote server which changes the IP address
- Before delivering to the end goal, all data will be decrypted by the server
- Information that arrives at your device always undergoes a similar process
As you can see, VPN software requires fewer steps than Tor for ensuring privacy and security. It is also easier to say who is running the servers in case of dealing with reputable VPN providers. In other words, the entire process is more transparent. Due to the availability of an accountable person for the service, you can get professional and quick assistance. All this makes VPN more stable than Tor. Still, you should be careful while choosing a VPN server and prefer a checked one like VeePN.
Advantages and disadvantages of VPN software
It is important to be aware of all pros and cons of the software to understand all its peculiarities:
- Simple routing scheme, hence fast speed
- Opportunity to select the country or specialized server
- Specialized features for Premium VPNs
- Online privacy
- All data is encrypted thanks to a new IP
- The high price of Premium VPNs
- Some services gather connection and user logs
- The necessity to trust the chosen provider due to fewer servers
Can Tor and VPN be Used Simultaneously?
You can use VPN and Tor simultaneously. For this, you need to connect the Tor network to the VPN server and then access it. As a result, the entry node operator will not identify your IP, and ISP will not know that you use Tor. You will easily bypass the restrictions and will not let any third-party access your Tor network. But you should realize that such a method doesn’t guarantee you complete protection from hackers since the traffic is unencrypted when it reaches the final goal.
If you choose to go to Tor and then VPN, then the traffic will be encrypted before and after entering the Tor network. A special VPN service with the support of such a connection is required. The VPN protects users from malevolent exit nodes while ISP can see that you use Tor. Anyway, you receive less anonymity. Mind that both methods decrease the Internet speed more than only Tor does. In case you prefer trying the first method, check the features of VeePN, a reliable VPN server.
VPN vs Tor: Which One is Better?
It may seem that VPN and Tor are totally similar at first glance, but in fact, it is not so. There are more dissimilarities than similarities. Tor doesn’t come with the same accountability, so it can become a target of security agencies. As for VPN, it guarantees transparent service and protection of personal data. All in all, it is recommended to use a VPN due to numerous features, more advanced encryption mechanisms, and better transparency. Plus, it will not decrease your Internet speed. If you choose a reliable VPN server such as VeePN, you can be sure that your traffic will be protected more transparently.