Guy using VPN:
why would anybody use tor unless he hides something?

Me (using Tor):
why would anyone use VPN unless he hides something?

In my opinion there is no difference in using Tor than in using VPN, it's all about privacy. I would consider Tor as an free alternative for your everyday privacy needs, if you can't afford VPN, or am I wrong?

  • 2
    I know nearly nothing about vpn but I use Tor because our school blocked certain sites.

    porn, youtube, emails and dirtymarkup
  • 5
    There is definitely a difference between VPN and TOR - mainly in how much harder it is to get around the privacy of both.

    Especially with all the firefox bugs, which the default browserkit from tor uses, iirc how interceptive nodes can be setup in tor etc.
  • 13
    @BambuSource porn in school?
  • 2
    @fuck2code okay, so is it better when I use Tor and VPN as combination, or should I just go with VPN alone? Furthermore how can one determine which vpns are actually good, because after all it's a question about trust too.

    As a student it's not that easy to pay fees in general, and now I wonder if free VPN services like windscribe are better than Tor in that case...
  • 4
    @cave good vpn cost $5+/month, but you can buy a nat vps and set your own vpn up for as low as $4/year

    The advantage of the /month vpn is, that they got battlefield tested, see PIA on torrentfreak for example, it has been requested twice by the FBI to get all logs and they didn't have anything at all to give out.

    The nat vps has the advantage of being shit cheap, but if you're planning on using it to be e.g. a north-korean reporter, you're going to have a bad time, since the host will most likely comply with a request and read all your server logs.
  • 1
    @JoshBent Okay, this is actually good to know. Wish I have the money for a vpn, but I will get one asap, thanks.
  • 4
    Tor is better with a VPN
    Tor can be monitored from the exit node in some cases
    A VPN can sometimes log what you do
    Why not use Tor with a VPN to not be either logged or monitored?
  • 1
    @JoshBent ofc. I'm not talking about me - but my teachers :D

    My physics teacher wanted to open a site and got a large "blocked because of pornography" page
  • 7
    @fuck2code It can be but mostly through user mistakes.

    It's known that the FBI can live-track about 5 percent of the entire network. Sounds scary but also: ONLY 5 percent. For an agency with such vast amounts of resources this is very very little.

    And that 5 percent is mostly the group which makes mistakes while using tor!
  • 2
    @linuxxx sounds interesting. You got a source?
  • 5
    @BambuSource Lost the source too badly :/.

    Fact is that they deploy a big range of malware through firefox/javascript and if you for example turn off noscript, they could insert JavaScript based ip gathering malware. Can't find sources atm on that one due to traveling and every site not loading because I block Google 😤
  • 0
    @linuxxx well.. "mistakes" many bugs have been reportedly abused before actually reported, I wish I could find the link that also claimed the guys behind tor closely work together with the gov anyway
  • 4
    @fuck2code VPNs require you to trust the VPN provider. Tor doesn't require trust, but is not 100% secure (VPNs are not either).

    A good VPN wouldn't be more secure as there is only one entity that needs to violoate trust, and it can fail to maintain privacy with many of the same issues as Tor. Especially if that VPN is not widely used or your ISP is not trustworthy.
  • 4
    @JoshBent The tor network was created by the us government haha.

    But yeah there's been corruption and abuse of power :/

    Luckily the network is so hard to take over, it hasn't worked yet!
  • 0
    @fuck2code Is that true?
  • 4
    @linuxxx Correction, the Tor network was paid for by the US. It still gets much of it's funding from different departments of the US government (not bad, but not ideal) who want to pay for their own privacy solutions. There are also some tor nodes that are owned by the US government I'd be more concerned about these, however they own such a small percentage that it is not much of a threat.

    Tor has it's ups and downs, if you're interested in learning more Roger Dingledin did a great talk on it last August at Defcon 25, it should be on youtube by now.
  • 2
    Some of us live in shitty countries where imgur, wikipedia, part of reddit, tumblr etc. is banned by the government, so we, at least i use VPN as daily basis.
  • 0
    @Schroedinbug It was created by Darpa which is part of the us govt as far as I'm aware?
  • 0
    Aren't they made for different things? As in, VPNs are usually able to handle more traffic and have lower latency. Doing stuff like torrenting/streaming is usually considered a bad behaviour... Security wise, yeah, they are made to be used together imho.
  • 2
    @linuxxx DARPA isn't a research agency, they are just a selective funding and investment agency. DARPA mostly consist of program managers, and not the actual researchers who work on these projects.

    I am not permitted to comment on the leaks by snowden, but the Tor wikepidia article (in "Reception, impact, and legislation") does a pretty good job discussing the problems and resiluancy of tor to government data collection.

    I'd suggest doing some reasearch and a cost/benifit analysis to decide what you are confortable with and what is best for you.

    I'd like to note that if you only use one less used service it will probably be pretty easy to determine who did something whenever it is local (bomb threats are a great example) as you were the only person connected to that speciffic service (whether it be a VPN or Tor) at the time that the action was done. . So whatever solution you come up with don't be afraid to do more than one thing.
  • 0
    @Schroedinbug "I am not permitted [...]" as in you have more information, but can't share?
  • 2
    @JoshBent As in I am not allowed to speculate or give info if I did.

    I have a TS and government job in Space Systems Ops (so I don't even work in intel). While I don't work with cyber systems or information gathering I'm still not allowed to speculate on anything in this area. Even though I have no way of knowing anymore than your average joe the media can latch onto careless comments and make something out of nothing.
  • 0
    Am I the only one who uses SSH tunnelling instead of VPN or Tor?
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