What’s Better: Tor vs VPN vs Utopia
You can often find articles that recommend using a VPN as the main means to ensure privacy and security on the network. By the way, we also focus on this tool as a way to ensure your online security.
Each of us should be aware of online surveillance and do everything possible to ensure our privacy rights now.
You can also find advice to use Tor, as it has proven to be a good tool for maintaining online anonymity. Tor, like a VPN, allows you to hide your online activity from outsiders, such as advertisers, hackers, and other “snoopers.”
Stop being afraid! Be anonymous on the internet and follow the steps in the article Anonymity Online: How to Stop Being Afraid of Surveillance.
In addition, there is the decentralized Utopia P2P ecosystem, which is completely anonymous. It does not monitor user actions and has serious data protection for all users.
This raises the question of what is best to use? So, let’s see how these tools differ and what advantages we can get by using each of them.
The Tor system was created by federal order at the US Navy Research laboratory. Later, the source code was transferred “for general use” to speed up the development of the system. As a result, an open-source client-server application was developed, and anyone could check its performance.
Open source vs. closed source: do you know the difference and the advantages and disadvantages? We’ve told the truth in our article.
Tor is a set of proxy servers in different parts of the world, united in a system that provides an internet connection that is protected from surveillance. In this way, you remain anonymous when visiting websites, conducting e-mail correspondence, blogging, etc. Traffic anonymization is carried out thanks to a distributed network of so-called “nodes” — servers between which data is transferred. This prevents anyone analyzing traffic using technologies that violate your right to data privacy, personal correspondence, online privacy, and communication secrecy in general.
In addition, the Tor system can create hidden web resources on pseudo-top-level domains. Such sites are used, among other things, to commit illegal actions. Using Tor, we can protect our data from annoying advertisers, hide our real location while online, and get access to necessary internet resources in countries where they are blocked or unavailable for any reason.
For security, additional encryption is required for both the communication channels and the transmitted data. Tor uses the SOCKS Protocol, which is not supported by all applications, and by the same token, Tor does not support all protocols that popular services use. For example, the network does not provide complete anonymity when using VoIP services and BitTorrent. Skype will not work correctly via Tor by default, and Flash is disabled in the Tor browser by default since it can connect to remote servers independently, thus giving out user data.
In addition, your provider will see that you are using Tor since its addresses are publicly available. There is an opinion that the security services show a special interest in Tor users — whether this is true or not.
But, unfortunately, this system is not a panacea and is not able to 100% protect its users from an invasion of privacy and give them complete anonymity. The fact is that Tor hides the very fact of communication between the client and the server, but does not provide full protection of the transmitted data in the way that, for example, a VPN does.
A VPN is a generic name for a private network or connection created inside of a public network, such as the internet. Simply put, it is a tunnel consisting of a VPN client installed on the user’s device and a VPN server. Inside this tunnel, data exchanged between the user and web resources is encrypted. The essence of VPN technology is to protect the traffic of any information network systems, audio and video conferences, e-commerce systems, etc.
Today, a VPN is one of the most reliable ways to transfer data due to the fact that this technology implements the experience of two serious companies — Microsoft and Cisco. For example, the collaboration of the RTD Protocol (the brainchild of Microsoft) and GRE (a Cisco product), as well as the even more advanced L2TP and L2F Protocol, which were also developed by Microsoft and Cisco.
Data privacy during a VPN connection is ensured since encryption occurs at the sender level, and decryption occurs only at the recipient level. The content of intercepted packets sent in such a network is only clear to the owners of the shared encryption key, the length of which is the most important security parameter.
The key is generated on the user’s device and server and is available only to them. It is generated based on random data such as a random question, your computer’s response, response time, operating system, and so on. This set of factors is unique. Any attacker attempting to decrypt data will have to repeat all these random factors, which is almost impossible since modern VPN services use powerful encryption algorithms at the same level as financial organizations.
This way, the VPN protects all outgoing and incoming data on the user’s device. The user also gets the IP address of the VPN server, which replaces his own, and there is a possibility to select the IP by location. Let’s say you want to connect to a service as a user from the United States. Then you need to select the IP of the American server.
Changing your IP address and encryption ensures that your data is safe from hackers and other intruders, as well as completely hiding your Internet activity.
One of the disadvantages of a VPN is a decrease in traffic speed. You will also most likely have to pay for using a good VPN service if you need to use a secure connection regularly.
Some VPN providers have a problem with information leakage via IPv6 or DNS spoofing, but since the public has noticed this, improvements in protection will not be long in coming.
Utopia is a decentralized ecosystem that performs the function of secure data transmission and storage. It is based on a peer-to-peer architecture, so it does not use a single server for data storage. Utopia is an anonymous ecosystem. All you need to start using the ecosystem is to download and register by creating a nickname. Then Utopia generates a unique key that gives the user access to the user’s data server.
What is P2P? Everything is simple and clear. You can read the latest information on this topic in our article and see the real benefits of such a system.
The ecosystem was created to preserve the anonymity of each user and the right to privacy. It does not monitor users’ online activity and provides the ability to host your own sites on the web. It includes an arsenal of built-in tools that provide comprehensive features:
- Web browser
- Crypto container
There is poker gameplay, where everyone has fun with friends and wins Cryptons (the internal cryptocurrency). You can buy, trade, and sell it on exchanges as well as playing poker. In addition, the developers have recently added a new game — chess.
Each of these tools ensure secure and private work, making the ecosystem the most private and secure one. It does not display the real IP address and user data because no one really knows this information. It is free from control and censorship. The anonymous browser has some websites that are available for public use. Each user can also create new ones with open access. The messenger sends and receives messages only between sender and recipient. The built-in wallet saves the internal cryptocurrency of the ecosystem — Cryptons.
Utopia uses multi-level internal data encryption. It was developed by a team of anonymous creators who remain unknown to this day. This was done to avoid external pressure on the functioning of the ecosystem. The creators did all the work on creating and financing the ecosystem at their own expense.
From open sources, we can learn that the ecosystem uses an elliptical curve and 256bit AES to ensure security. In addition, the unique key that is generated at the registration stage has no analogues and cannot be selected individually. All other data remains secret. According to the developers, this helps better to ensure the security and privacy of user data.
The future belongs to decentralized systems. You can read more about decentralization in the article The Clear Advantages of Decentralization.
What to choose: Tor vs. VPN vs. Utopia
So, let’s summarize the above information about VPNs vs. Tor vs. Utopia:
1. A VPN connects you to a server of your choice in the country you need. Tor transfers you to different servers located in different parts of the world without your control over the process. Utopia creates a separate data server for each user.
2. A VPN hides your real location and provides a new IP address for the server you selected. Tor hides your real IP and provides a random address of the last node you connected to. Utopia does not have data about your IP or any other addresses.
3. A VPN encrypts your data all the way to the server and back. Tor sends decrypted data from the last node you connected to, putting it at risk. Utopia encrypts all your data from the beginning to the end.
4. A VPN allows you to protect correspondence in VoIP services and use torrents. Tor will only help if the VoIP app uses the appropriate protocols. Utopia has the necessary built-in tools for fast and secure data transfer.
So, we see that a VPN, Tor, and Utopia each have their advantages and can serve us in different situations and for different purposes.