Digital privacy should be protected in any case, whether with Tor, proxy or VPN. It is important to protect yourself and preserve your anonymity on the net. Of course, there are qualitative differences and different application scenarios. In the following, we compare the Tor Browser (=Onion Router) with a VPN. If you like, you can call up our parallel tabular comparison VPN vs. TOR at the same time.
What ist Gate?
The Tor browser hides the identity just like a VPN. Surfing activities are encrypted by Tor and remain private. The Tor project is a privacy project that was introduced in 2002. This is an open source and free browser. The open source project bears an onion as its logo. It is very reminiscent of the different layers that encrypt communication. Tor takes a different technological approach than a VPN. Communication is encrypted via small data packets. In the process, packets are routed anonymously through the vast network from one node to the next. The path is completely arbitrary, so each package knows only its predecessor and successor. At least 3 relay nodes are passed through by the packet before it reaches the final output node. One “layer” of encryption is removed per relay node. An exit node removes the last encrypted layer. The location and IP address are still invisible. However, if you visit an insecure HTTP website, the exit sees this activity. As a special feature, it should be mentioned that you can go to the Darknet with the Tor browser. In the Darknet you can find, among other things:
- A website with various scientific papers, studies and research results
- News channels that are not affiliated with any party
- Forums where you can talk about supernatural and UFOs
- Online libraries with books and comics
What costs Gate?
Gate is unfortunately not always completely risk-free. Any Internet provider can see that you are connected to Tor. Depending on where you live, ISPs may even be required to report relevant data to the government. Among other things, the U.S. government is trying to crack users’ web activity. Since the Darknet is also popular for illegal business, there is a possibility of tracking users. In Germany, too, ISPs are obliged to forward such data to the authorities in the event of a suspicious case.
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What is Onion-Over-VPN?
Does the combination of Tor and VPN mean double protection? Many users have already asked themselves that. Technically, it is possible to use both at the same time. This would involve first connecting via a VPN server and then using Tor. This option is called Onion-Over-VPN or Tor over VPN.
The VPN encrypts the use of the TOR browser – exactly the vulnerability you want to prevent. However, a VPN provider does not guarantee protection against hacked Tor exit nodes in its warranty – that’s the downside! In fact, this is a fact that the VPN cannot help secure, since it is not its own system. So there is no guarantee for this either. Hacked nodes of the Tor browser are exposed again and again.
How useful is to use Tor and VPN at the same time to at the same time?
A 100% protection & the correct configuration is only given if the VPN provider has access to the Tor Control. Some other VPN providers therefore offer a special function where you have access to .onion pages.
However, for performance reasons alone, we do not recommend the combination of Tor and VPN. The Tor network is very slow and does not offer the possibility to stream content pleasantly.
VPN or Tor: Where is the difference?
A VPN shows a simplified setup in connection with a third party – the VPN provider. The VPN provider ensures that the data remains encrypted and hidden. All data traffic is routed to the VPN server and encrypted there.
Essentially, the difference between VPN and Tor is that Tor is a network of different nodes and a VPN is not.
A VPN is a global and centralized service that encrypts data packets through its own or rented servers. With the TOR network, in principle any household can become a node. You just have to register for this, and each point encrypts the traffic.
How safe is gate?
Data leaks from the TOR browser are also becoming known time and again. The browser software contains vulnerabilities. You should never visit outdated HTTP web pages, as they are insecure. A VPN, on the other hand, works with modern security protocols, securing all data traffic.
The disadvantage of TOR: You can only surf via this one browser – apps or other devices such as printers or smartphones are not secured.
Since it is an open system, exit nodes can be manipulated for espionage. At the same time, governments & the CIAm detect if you use a Tor browser. This is how you quickly end up on the watch list. Our recommendation: think carefully about which sites you visit on the Darknet and how to do it safely.
Another disadvantage is the complex configuration. If you don’t know anything about it, you’ll certainly do better with a VPN. The interface is friendly and it only takes one click (at least for us) to secure your traffic.
Our Conclusion: Gate or VPN – What is to recommend?
If you want to surf the darknet, you can’t get around the Tor browser. For us, this is the main argument for using Tor, although you should also switch a VPN in front of it so that no one finds out that you are using the Tor browser at all.
A VPN provider that definitely does not store logs is the safest and fastest solution for surfing – just the better complete package. A VPN not only protects all devices holistically, but you can stream and play online games excellently. A high-quality VPN ensures regular data leakage checks and backup in its warranty. A contact person gives you a secure feeling when you are still at the very beginning.