Tor vs VPN – How It Works and When It’s Best to Use Each

Tor vs VPN: Which You Should Use

When you want to find out the advantages and disadvantages of Tor vs VPN, you’re looking to be anonymous online. Online privacy is a fundamental right any Internet user has. It’s important to see which of these two alternatives can better provide that.

VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network”. It’s software that encrypts everything you send or receive from the Internet. The encrypted traffic is routed through a remote server in the cloud so no one can “listen in” and spy on your online activities.

On the other hand, TOR is an open-source software for enabling anonymous communication. The name is derived from an acronym for the original software project name “The Onion Router”. Tor directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer overlay network. This consists of more than seven thousand relays and hides a user’s location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis.

Keep reading to better understand the difference between Tor and VPN.

Difference Between Tor and VPN

A VPN is a way of taking your connection and encrypting it then passing it on a different server. It basically means that instead of your device directly contacting a website, it goes through a server first before heading to a website. VPN is like a courier service. You pack the item that you’d like to ship and since your courier service works efficiently, it first store your item to their facility and ship your item to the destination. So, VPNs provide privacy for your online activities – nobody can see what you’re doing online.

TOR works differently though. Instead of directly connecting to your server of choice, your connection will be encrypted, just as in the case of the VPN. Then, it will relay your data to a number of servers before being deciphered to the destination.

The first relay or Guard Node knows your location. The second server in the chain only knows that your information came from the first server and that it will go to the next relay. The third server knows that it came from the second server and will go to the next one. And so on, until the last server (also called “Exit Node”), which deciphers the message and sends it to the destination. 

In the case of Tor, no one server knows or can know both where the traffic came from and what it is. Tor provides anonymity – the type of online activity is visible, but not its origin.

When to Use Tor vs VPN

You want to use Tor when you really want to stay anonymous. Like, really really really anonymous.

On the downside, this can be time consuming and can tend to use lots of bandwidth. Also, the last server in the chain (Exit Node) is where the decryption happens. This creates a point of vulnerability where your data can be spied upon. What if someone from the last server in the chain or exit relay can read the deciphered data?

Finally, TOR can be a bit challenging to set up and requires a bit of computer wizardry to work. 

If you want to stay hidden easily from the prying eyes of your ISP or probably your ex, then a VPN is the way. It offers the right amount of encryption to stop anyone from knowing what you’re doing with your internet time. 

A VPN offers the capability to spoof your location as if you’re coming from a different place. This comes in handy if you want to binge watch shows back from home or from a different location.

Also, VPNs are easy to use and are available on lots of platforms.

Most VPNs will slow down your Internet connection. The impact will be lighter than using Tor, but it’s still there. However, this can be addressed by using a bonding VPN with fast encryption, like Speedify.

When Choosing Between Tor and a VPN, Get Speedify!

Speedify is not like your regular VPNs that slow down your connection. It can actually provide a more stable and faster Internet by combining multiple connections simultaneously.

But let’s talk about privacy: Speedify does not log anything you do online. So you benefit from full online privacy on all online activities, whether it’s social media or banking.

As mentioned before, you can add as many connections as you want and Speedify will combine them all at once so you can be sure you’re using the fastest VPN (as ranked by Tom’s Guide recently). Its channel bonding technology helps you get a stable and fast internet even when you’re on the go.

Speedify also has automatic failover protection that seamlessly switches traffic away from a bad connection. If you have connected multiple networks and one of them fails, Speedify will direct the traffic on the remaining channels so you can have a seamless online experience.

Don’t have two connections to use at once? Speedify also recovers lost network packets and sends them again before they cause any delay. This can mean better internet for you as well.

We do recommend using a VPN instead of Tor for most typical activities. But make sure you get the fastest VPN out there – Speedify!

Download Speedify

Speedify is the only app that combines your wifi, cellular, wired, and even your friend’s phone signals – and turns them into one ultra-fast and super secure link that keeps you all connected for the best possible live streaming, video calling, or just posting to your favorite app.


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