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NSA-Proof Your Computer Part 5: Tor vs VPN (PPTP vs L2TP)

As some of you know, I’m a VPN enthusiast, I have tested lots of different VPN providers, so let’s take a quick look at how Tor compares to a VPN

First Things First: Why VPN’s Rock For Business Users And Consumers

For business users: I use VPN’s extensively due to my job as a webmaster and blogger. It’s simply a necessity for me to be able to see how a page would look like from a different country e.g. the US. Most websites prioritize or even hide content from non-US visitors. With VPN’s I can easily switch between several IP’s and see what cool stuff is going on “behind the scenes”. If you would like to employ geo-targeting on a site of yours, you may find this guide useful

From a consumer standpoint: With VPN’s you can “legally” watch ABC, Hulu and other networks. We have published a few guides you may want to read if you would like to do that too:

VPN and TOR compared

TOR does not provide privacy, it provides security – what does that mean? A lot of people use Tor, making it very difficult to figure out who visited a website. However, it does not mean everything you send over a Tor connection is “secured” and private. On the contrary. If you have sensitive data to share, you need to use encryption and preferably share the key PERSONALLY .. in person!

Let’s take a close look at the advantages of a VPN compared to Tor:

VPNTOR
FastSlow
P2P, Gaming, StreamingNo P2P/Gaming/Streams
VPN Provider May Log/Watch YouVery Secure, Difficult/Impossible To Trace Back

In general, VPN’s provider will most likely log some data that they could reveal to 3rd-parties. It has been reported that some VPN providers actively log activities of their user base. Tor is slow but has some security advantages as there is no admin who can log your data

The NSA Cracked Many Encryptions – Here’s How To Configure Your VPN Properly

Apparently, the NSA cracked many encryptions. In general, you should visit encrypted SSL sites and not configure your VPN not to use PPTP. PPTP has many security flaws. L2TIP is a much more secure alternatives and many providers offer 256-bit encryption, which is very secure and can’t be decryted on the fly, making it more difficult and costly to retrieve data.

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Read The Full Guide

Additional Resources: Sharing VPN via Wifi For Your Xbox or Xbone One

Wifi is generally speaking rather insecure, because you never know who might be eaves-dropping on you. All WLAN networks are easy to crack compared to encrypted VPN connections. However, if you trust your neighborhood and secure your Wifi a little bit, then you can share your VPN connection with your XBox over Wifi. The entire process is also possible to share a VPN over a regular network which is even more secure:

In this guide we are taking a close look at how you can share your VPN connection to connect to it from a Xbox One or Xbox 360

 

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Published: Thursday, January 9th, 2014 Last Modified: February 7, 2015

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