When Should You Choose a VPN over Tor?
A VPN is a great option for users who engage in online activities that could put their personal or sensitive information at risk, including:
- Checking an online bank account
- Shopping online
- Connecting to public Wi-Fi
- Traveling to countries with high censorship
- Accessing blocked websites
Any time you send information over the Internet, there is a chance that someone will intercept it. If you send any sensitive information over the internet, such as your login information to your online bank account or your credit card number, you should use a VPN service to ensure it’s protected.
This is especially important if you use public Wi-Fi services. While these services are commonly used in places like coffee shops, hotels or airports, they’re notoriously insecure and the equipment to hack into them is both cheap and easily available. VPNs are also efficient ways of protecting privacy if you travel internationally, live in a country with high censorship or torrent.
Additionally, there are several benefits of choosing a VPN, including:
- Speed: VPNs are generally faster than Tor since messages pass through only one VPN server instead of 3 Tor nodes.
- Compatibility with all devices: VPNs work with a wider range of devices than Tor. In particular, as of today, Tor does not work with Apple’s iOS. If you use an iPhone or iPad, Tor is not an option.
- P2P file sharing: VPNs are better suited for P2P file sharing or watching videos.
- All online connections protected: A VPN will protect all your Internet connections; Tor only protects those designed to use the Tor network.
- Price: Several VPNs are free; the ones with a small monthly fee are very affordable.
- Easy to set up and use: VPNs are extremely easy to set up; all you have to do is download the software onto your computer and run it whenever you need to be protected.
- Access to support team: Because VPN providers are major companies, they have helpful FAQ pages, as well as support teams should you run into any problems.
When Should You Choose Tor over a VPN?
You’ve seen the kinds of situations where you should use a VPN and may be wondering, “Why would I ever use Tor?” The truth is, most people don’t need Tor at all. A VPN is sufficient for the vast majority of situations. So, when should you use Tor?
Tor is the tool to use when the stakes are high. Maybe you are a journalist reporting on some government atrocity. Or activist organizing a protest in some repressive country.
In these cases, your liberty and your life could be at risk. A third party may be able to lean on a VPN service to get information about you. But only a few organizations in the world have the power to even attempt to track you down through Tor. VPN download
Additionally, there are a several benefits of choosing Tor, including:
- Complete anonymity: Tor makes it impossible for third parties to trace your online activity. While this is nearly true for VPNs, it isn’t always. Additionally, unlike Tor, VPNs can fail and expose your IP address.
- Price: Tor is always free to use.
- Easy to set up and use: The Tor browser is extremely easy to download and use.
Tor vs. VPN: The Verdict
Overall, VPNs and Tor are both effective ways of protecting your data and keeping yourself safe online. In the end, a VPN is the more practical solution for everyday users looking to keep themselves secure.