Both a Tor-Browser and VPN enable you to be online anonymously and securely. But which of these two options is better? And in certain cases, can it be worth combining a Tor Browser with a VPN connection?
This article will explain when it’s appropriate to use a Tor Browser, when it’s better to use a VPN and in which cases they should be used simultaneously.
Which Is Better: Tor or VPN?
There is no set answer to the question of whether Tor or VPN is better. Rather, the answer to the question depends on what exactly you have in mind. We have prepared an overview below.
When Should You Use a VPN Connection?
VPNs are the best choice if you just want to surf the net, download content, or stream anonymously. A normal VPN connection is also ideal for bypassing geo-blocking.
Compared to Tor, VPN is known above all for its high speed. A premium user of the Shellfire VPN, for example, can always enjoy unlimited speed and 256-bit encryption. The free version of the Shellfire VPN is limited to 1,000 kbps.
Our VPN client is available for the following operating systems:
Our hardware VPN, the Shellfire Box, also allows you to connect to a VPN server with any type of device, even if the device does not actually support a VPN at all.
In What Cases Should One Use Tor?
Tor offers a high level of anonymity and is completely free to use. You also get access to “Tor-hidden” services, so-called .onion websites that cannot be accessed using a standard browser such as Chrome or Firefox. In the media, this type of service or website has been called “darknet” or “deep web”.
However, Tor is not a good way to selectively bypass geo-blocking, since it connects to a random server and you have no control over what country it is in. Tor is also unsuitable for normal browsing, downloading, or streaming because the speed of its connections is usually quite slow.
When To Use Tor Browser and VPN Simultaneously?
Tor Browser and VPN can also be used simultaneously, giving you a much higher level of anonymity compared to using them individually. If you are using Tor, not even your VPN client will know what site you are on, and if you use a VPN provider without logs, such as Shellfire, you will have the highest level of anonymity.
Note that in this combination, you will no longer be able to access the “darknet”, and that your VPN provider’s transfer speed will be limited by your use of Tor.
In summary, this method only makes sense to use if you’re working with highly sensitive data, such as if you are being persecuted by the government of an autocratic state for political reasons.
If you want to connect to the darknet/deep web, there is no way around using a Tor Browser. In almost all other cases, VPN is the better method.
The combination of Tor Browser and VPN may also be appropriate in some (very rare) cases. This provides you with a high degree of anonymity but limits the speed of your VPN connection.
If you just want to surf, download, stream, and/or geo-block anonymously, you can use the Shellfire VPN, which is available in both a free Lite version and a paid Premium version.
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