Tor and VPN are two technologies that protect your privacy online in different ways. In some ways, you may mix them. But their natures are so different that they have different use cases.
What is a VPN?
A VPN, virtual private network, builds an encrypted tunnel between your device and the VPN server in order to hide your real IP address and online activity from your ISP and hackers or spies who might be monitoring the network.
What is Tor?
Tor is a free open source software that lets you remain anonymous online. When you surf the Internet with the Tor browser, your traffic is randomly routed through a network of servers before it reaches the final destination. Tor will protect your location and identity.
How do they work?
A VPN is a network of servers that are typically located in multiple countries around the world. If you use a VPN, all your data will travel through an encrypted tunnel and reach one of the VPN servers. In this way, your IP address and online activity are kept only to yourself.
The Tor Browser is a tool that allows users to be anonymous online. Before entering the Tor network, your data is bundled into layers of encrypted packets. The Tor network is made up of thousands of independent servers operated by volunteers around the world. Then, your data will be sent through several randomly chosen servers. Thus, your online activity is harder for others to identify.
Tor is not a VPN
Although both Tor and VPNs perform similar functions, they are different things. A VPN offers safeguards to users’ privacy, while a Tor allows users to communicate anonymously. When using a VPN, you have to trust the VPN service provider. When it comes to the Tor, you don’t need to trust anyone.
In conclusion, Tor and VPN are both useful tools. You can make good use of them according to their nature.