Tor Vs VPN :- Which is the Best for Privacy? [Pros / Cons]
Nowadays internet has become an important part of our life,
and it’s necessary to access the web for various reasons like educational activities, business communication, research topics and so on.
Recently you may have seen some news that government authorities and some secret societies monitor online activity of people and business organizations.
Monitoring online activity to prevent crimes may not bother you, but there are a lot of reasons to worry about your online security.
You are not safe if you are roaming the web without any protective function like a VPN or a Tor browser, maybe your government authority is spying on your conversations, or your competitors are trying to steal your sensitive files, you don’t know who will harm you.
First of all,
you should know how this internet traffic passes from one end to another of this world.
Suppose you want to download any file from a website which is far away from your location, over the web you are sending the internet traffic as data packs through different servers.
That means data packs leave the source location and travels through one server to another to pass the information expressing you want to download something from this website.
Those servers are not safe for you, anybody who is monitoring the server can read the information and also find out the source location.
An IP Address represents your source location and websites, servers, as well as cyber-criminals, can easily trace the IP Address to find out your location.
Privacy should be our prime right yet you won't get any privacy on the internet so quickly and that’s why you have to protect your confidentiality yourself.
Now we will discuss two favorite medium-
Tor & VPN to prevent eavesdropping on online activity to secure user’s identity.
Also Check :- Tor Vs Proxy
What is Tor?
The Onion Router in short Tor is the most common browser that provides online security without exposing the true identity of the users.
US Navy developed this service to help the researchers who want to secure their confidential data and also released it to the general people to increase their online privacy.
Tor Browser is an open network anybody can use this service for web browsing without any cost.
This browser needs no extra settings; you have to directly download the browser and use it to access web that is free for all.
This browser offers decent level security, and you don’t have to spend any money that’s why it’s gaining popularity.
If you send your internet traffic via a Tor browser,
it will send those data through different Tor servers,
if somebody eavesdrops the internet traffic he won't be able to find out the source location or the valid IP address.
The internet traffic will reveal the final server location of the Tor network; we call which exit nodes.
That means it will seem like it’s coming from the exit node not from your device and this process will hide your identity from the trackers.
Except for some points, the Tor browser will encrypt your data to make your information unable to understand which gives more protection to your sensitive data.
How Tor Works?
The name onion router represents the working method of Tor that provides multilayer protection like an onion.
The Tor network is a summation of thousands of Tor servers, or we can say them Tor relays.
These relays work to pass the information to its destination server anonymously without revealing the actual IP address of the user.
Three kinds of relays work on a Tor network these are Middle Relays, Bridges and End Relays.
Every user that signs up becomes the middleman and hosts the middle relays; this relay separates the source location and the destination to prevent the revealing of user's true identity.
When you are browsing something with your Tor browser it will send all the data through different middle relays and in that way eavesdropping on you becomes hard for anybody.
Some websites include IP blockers. For bypassing these IP blockers, Tor offers several relays that are not publicly listed; we call these relays bridges that help you to overcome IP blocking restrictions.
When the internet traffics are passing through a Tor network it will decrypt every information before it goes to a new Tor relay until it reaches the final relay which is End.
At the exit nodes or the end relay, the encryption becomes weaker, and it also reveals the location of the end relay user.
The Tor network provides security to individual users as well as it offers secret services to many websites and servers.
Are There Any Alternatives to Tor?
Tor networks are famous for their security features, yet they have some issues that put a question mark on their service. Here we will discuss some latest technology that can work as alternatives to Tor.
This is a private browser that provides proper online security to the users and also blocks revealing of the real IP address.
This browser offers simple features that are easy to use. This service includes an encrypted proxy that will conceal the IP address from the snooping eyes and keep your traffic data hidden even in a public network.
This browser has some fantastic functions if anybody is tracking you, this browser can identify that and display it to you to block them.
This service also prevents finger-printing scripts, image canvas and it has some default protection against tracking scripts, 3rd party widget, ad network and so on.
This is another particular browser that is compatible with almost all types of platforms.
Globus uses VPN servers to make your online activities safer, unlocking sites and more.
Also, it allows users to choose the server locations. Hackers may use malware to access the system and cause harm to you; this browser prevents malware functions with the help of a Tor browser.
This is a live operating system which you can use on any of your devices with a USB stick or a DVD.
This OS offers some built-in apps by which you can browse the web anonymously, edit images, use an office suite and so on.
It will help you to avoid all kinds of online censorship without giving any trace of yours. It will conceal your data as well by using cryptographic tools.
This is a secure operating system for Linux user that not only protects user’s privacy but also allows them to access the deep web.
It’s a fast and stable system that offers robust encryption to keep people's data anonymous online. The multiple layers of security functions make their encryption strong.
The service also allows users use BitTorrent client, I2P router, Email client, I2P sites anonymously without facing any trouble.
Virtual Private Network can be the ultimate solution to all online privacy issues. You will find different types of paid and free VPN providers.
Free VPN services are not that good in the case of features and performance like the paid VPN services.
The reputed VPN companies offer you astonishing features like P2P file sharing, bypassing GEO-restrictions, dedicated IP address and a lot more. VPNs also encrypts every internet traffic that goes through their secure tunnel.
What is VPN?
A VPN is a private network that provides you the guarantee of safety and security,
most of the business corporation uses VPN services to transfer their essential files or to communicate with the employees.
Some government organizations also use VPN to protect sensitive information and prevent leaking.
Some government organizations also use VPN to protect sensitive information and prevent leaking.
If your internet service provider is not trustworthy,
you are definitely in a problem cause he can monitor all your online activities. This snooping cause bandwidth throttling and some other privacy issues.
If you don’t have any sensitive files to transfer or you don’t need to break online restrictions,
then you must be thinking you don’t need a VPN. We are sorry to inform you; your assumption is wrong, you need a VPN to maintain your privacy over the internet.
Suppose you are drinking coffee in a café and you are trying to access your online bank by using the public hotspot that means the café’s wifi network, don’t even think about doing this foolishness.
Public wifi is the best medium to hack someones personal account and sensitive data like passwords and account details.
Public wifi is an open server for all, and when you are using that server to pass your internet traffic that becomes super easy to hack, even a newbie hacker can do such thing.
VPNs are not only for protecting you from hackers and malware; you can bypass Geo-restrictions to watch your favorite movies and dramas from any website around the world.
Good VPN providers also allow P2P file sharing, torrent downloading with hiding your real IP address.
How VPN Works?
If the internet traffic leaves your device without any security and arrives at its destination server your IP address or your location information will be open for all.
VPN works as a 3rd party in between your device and the destination server.
The ISP provider won't be able to find out your any information or track your activities because VPN will create a safe tunnel among the ISP server.
The internet traffic will travel through this tunnel, and when it arrives the destination server, it will seem as it is arriving from the VPN server.
There is no way to find out what information you are sending or who is sending the data. VPNs also encrypt the internet traffic that means they will conceal the information and make it unable to understand. If somebody succeeds to trace the traffic and wants to read it, he won't follow anything, not a single word.
The VPN providers will have different server locations all around the world,
the more servers and the number of countries you will receive the higher connection speed.
You can pick the server location yourself, for faster speed you have to connect to the nearest server to your location.
But if you want to connect to a specific server that is far away from your location, you can do that as well.
The topmost VPN providers offer a service to optimize the speed by choosing the location automatically and also some of them allows you to test the connection speed of the different server locations.
You will get various security protocols from the well know VPN providers; choose the one that suits you perfectly. Several user-friendly VPNs come with a client app that helps you to setup VPN without any hassle.
Is That OK to Combine Browsing via Tor with VPN?
If you get the chance to increase the encryption security why will you deny that?
By combing VPN with a Tor for browsing can strengthen your privacy, if you have already configured the Tor browser you may sure use this method.
However, we don’t see any importance in combining both, if you don’t use a Tor browser.
There are some benefits of using both VPN and Tor together.
Most of the VPNs offers No Log / Zero Log guarantee that means they will keep no activity log of yours since they can monitor your online activity if you use their servers to access the internet.
But there is no way you can ensure that they won't keep your logs, you can trust some famous companies who have served people for years, others are offering the no log policy just to attract customers.
You can use VPNs like that with a Tor browser to keep your identity safe; there are two ways to setup a VPN and Tor together- ‘VPN over Tor’ and ‘Tor over VPN’.
VPN over Tor
We don’t recommend this method because it's complicated to configure as well as it won't allow you any anonymous browsing facility.
Tor over VPN:
First of all you need to connect to the VPN and then to the Tor.
Rather than using a Tor alone, you will get some extra protection in this connection.
In this case, your data won't be readable at the exit nodes, the VPN encryption will conceal your information and also it will allow bypassing Tor blockers,
many organizations and schools use this blocker, but you can overcome these restrictions by combining a VPN with a Tor.
What's The Difference Between VPN and Tor?
You may find similarities in VPN and Tor functions since people use both to maintain anonymity over the internet, but VPN and Tor are both entirely different things.
The working method of a VPN and a Tor is different than each other, and you will find a considerable difference in features and performance.
VPNs are not Free; there are some free VPNs those are not reliable, and also they don’t offer all the security features.
However the Tor browser is free for all, you just need to download it to enjoy the features.
Only one server stands between the user's device and the destination server in a VPN, in case of Tor your internet traffic will travel through tons of Tor servers
Since the truck doesn’t have to pass through a lot of servers,
it will take a little time to reach the final spot thus the connection speed of a VPN is faster than the Tor.
VPN offers a lot of functions and features rather than just encrypting and hiding IP address such as providing customer support, ensuring the connection is working well and so on.
Tor doesn’t offer any of this except routing your internet traffic through different servers.
VPNs offer strong encryption, and the reputed VPNs are providing various VPN security protocols like OpenVPN, PPTP and many more.
Tor provides a decent level encryption not that good for people who want strong level security while transferring sensitive information.
Different types of VPN providers have different types of the setup process, most of them provide detailed instructions and tutorials about how to setup the VPN.
In this case, Tor is easier to configure than a VPN which is good for the beginner users.
Advantage and Disadvantages of Tor:
Tor is a user-friendly browser that protects your important information while you are browsing and helps you to escape spying eyes.
Every service has some good things as well as bad things, before using a Tor browser you should know about its pros and cons.
Tor has a lot of clients since it’s a free tool to conceal the users IP address and that’s a prime advantage of Tor.
Another advantage of this browser is that it is an open source so anybody can check out and find the back doors easily, that decreases the chance of being exposed.
While browsing, you may face censorship in various websites and contents, your Tor browser can aid you to beat these limitations by sending your traffic via several relay servers.
The best advantage of using a Tor browser is you can access all onion sites, you cannot find this kind of sites via a regular web browser, but you can visit them with a Tor and enjoy their exclusive facilities.
Tor provides their service for both personal users and different websites and servers to keep their identity secret over the internet.
You can configure a Tor browser in almost all operating systems and remember a Tor doubles its security with a VPN service.
Now you can check out all the pros here at a glance
We do not recommend downloading torrents with a Tor browser, this browser supports BitTorrent and other torrent clients,
but it's risky to use them with a Tor since it does not provide strong protection while you are accessing a torrent client software.
Tor browsers will reduce your bandwidth speed to a great extent that makes your internet using boring and interrupt the smooth flow of internet traffic.
You cannot control the number of Tor clients if there are a lot of users your data packs will have to travel a huge amount of servers that decreases the speed.
The spies cannot track your original IP address, but they can read your information at the exit nodes.
At the end servers the protection becomes weaker, the Tor decrypt the data at this point, so it becomes easy to steal information.
A Tor browser won't provide any protection to your computer applications and also you cannot use the apps like Flash that may reveal your IP address even while you are using the Tor.
All the cons at a glance-
Advantage and Disadvantages of VPN
You do not have to be a Professional to use a VPN there are many user-friendly VPNs for personal users, and also you will find special VPN services for business.
Some reputed VPNs offer multiple device logins where you have to pay only for one account by which you can protect several devices.
No cybercriminals can harm you while you are using the protection from a good VPN service and also VPN will prevent IPS' bandwidth throttling and snooping of the government authorities, even you can access the web via public wifi without any worries.
If you are traveling away from your home, you can still enjoy your VPN services by connecting the Private network.
You can bypass all restrictions and watch your preferred movies and shows on Netflix, Pandora and other sites like that.
VPNs providers offer protected P2P file sharing, torrent downloading and it also gives security to all your apps along with the secret browsing facility.
The famous companies have a fine team that serves excellent customer support via live chat or email service.
VPN encrypts your data before it goes to the safe tunnel and also you will get different security protocols depending on the VPN provider.
Here are the Pros-
The significant disadvantage of a VPN is DNS and IP leaks, sometimes the server fails even of a good VPN also fails,
in that case, you have to interrupt the traffic transferring to prevent exposing of your real IP address, some VPNs will do this task automatically to keep you safe.
The price of a VPN also depends on the company; you will find the services are not free like a Tor or a Proxy.
And don’t think about the Free VPNs,
they can be dangerous for your device and also there is a considerable probability that they will steal your bandwidth or your personal information to sell them to make a profit.
Conclusion Tor Vs. VPN Which One is Best
We will say this without any doubt the VPN is the best, you can use a Tor browser as it is free for all but you can’t compare the VPN facilities with a Tor, a paid VPN will provide loads of features, and it's more secure than a Tor protection. You should consider spending a little to get the maximum protection to maintain your online privacy.
We are a group of Technical experts who are very much concerned about Online Privacy. Every review that we write is the result of multiple testing on various devices. We verify the locations and the server that provides the IP and check whether it is safe to work with or not.