Which one is better – TOR or VPN?

If you are looking for surfing the web anonymously then the two best options to do this are VPN (Virtual Private Network) and TOR (The onion Router). These are most reliable methods that can be used to surf through the web with anonymous identity. You can browse through the dark web content and access the restricted websites in your country using these tools. Let us look which one of the two is better and why.

The Working of TOR

TOR is commonly known with the name – ‘The Onion Router’. TOR makes it really difficult for anyone to track your internet activities and is designed for protecting your online privacy. It routes your internet traffic through the TOR network of random relays which are scattered over the world.

The traffic that passes through these relays is completely encrypted and decrypted several times before reaching the exit node. At this exit node, encryption layer is decrypted and is sent to the destination without giving any information about the sender.

TOR significantly secures your traffic by distributing it over several places so that no single point can link to the destination. The data packets sent through TOR are sent through random relays and different nodes exist in the process. Each node can only see the IP address and data packet of the node at behind and at front of it. No one can track the complete path of flow of packets and so the data remains secured.

Moreover, each path is activated for only 10 minutes. If a user visits a new website, the complete path will be changed again and again in time intervals of 10 minutes. It becomes next to impossible to trace how traffic flows through TOR network.

Advantages of Using TOR

  • No one can trace the websites you visited through your IP address.
  • As the network is distributed, it is next to impossible for any organization or government to shut it down.

Disadvantages of Using TOR

  • It is really very slow as the data needs to pass through a number of relays before reaching its destination.
  • Some of the ISPs can block the TOR relays.
  • As the traffic at exit node is unencrypted, anyone can see your traffic.

The Working of a VPN

A VPN service is also responsible for protecting your privacy by masking the IP address and encrypting the internet traffic. A VPN server acts as a proxy between you and the website you wish to connect to.

Since you are using a VPN server, the website will only be able to see the IP address of the VPN server from which you are connecting. Moreover, the internet traffic will be encrypted and no one could be able to steal your privacy or snoop into your privacy.

Most of the best VPN services are not blocked by the ISPs as they are used by remote workers for connecting with their company networks. Your network operator or ISP will only be able to see that you are making an encrypted connection and would not be able to track any of your activity on web.

Advantages of Using VPN

  • The connection speed is much faster as compared to TOR.
  • A VPN is more secure than TOR.
  • Some of the VPNs come with malware protection.

Disadvantages of Using VPN

  • The VPN services can cost you around $30-$100/ year. You will see ads while using the free VPNs.

The Winner

Tor may be sufficient if you only wish to browse through the web anonymously. But if better privacy, high speed, and enhanced security are needed, I will recommend you using VPN.