A Tiny Box that Allows True Anonymity on the Net

anonabox

Imagine a world where everything you wanted was at your fingertips. You don’t really have to think too hard about it, because it is the world we live in today. Between the one-click checkouts, proxy servers, whether you are looking for a tangible product to decorate your home with or an owner’s manual for the new Blue Ray player you just bought, chances are you can find it online. Unfortunately, however, the Internet is not the most welcoming of places. There are thieves trying to steal your personal info and sites trying to collect your browsing and shopping habits, which begs the question; Can you surf the Internet in complete anonymity these days?

For years, Tor’s software has provided an anonymous way to get around the Internet. In fact, there is no other tool available that protects a user’s anonymity on the Web better than Tor, which encrypts Internet traffic and bounces it through random computers around the world. However, Tor comes with many limitations. While using the software for Web browsing works wonderfully, Tor has required a mixture of finicky technical setup and software tweaks for those who want to employ its methods for other kinds of web traffic. Needless to say, it is not a very beginner-friendly process.

Now, a group of privacy-focused developers have launched a Kickstarter campaign for Anonabox, a $45 open-source router that automatically directs all data that connects to it by Ethernet or Wifi through the Tor network. In just a few days, the company met and exceeded their funding goals. Their success is hardly a surprise. The Anonabox, despite being small enough to fit two into a pack of cigarettes, uses the Tor network to hide the user’s IP address and avoid censorship. The device was built to make Tor easier to use for anyone who could benefit from incognito browsing, and its small size is designed to allow the box to be portable and used on the go.

“Now all your programs, no matter what you do on your computer, are routed over the Tor network,” says August Germar, one of the independent IT consultants who spent the last four years developing the Anonabox. “It was important to us that it be portable and small—something you can easily conceal or even throw away if you have to get rid of it.”

As Wired explains, the Tor router isn’t a new idea. The Anonabox, however, is easily one of the most accessible and portable options that could soon become available. Learn more about the technology and follow the path to development on the product’s Kickstarter. There, you can also find a video that explains how the whole thing work, and pre-order your own Anonabox with a pledge of $45. Boxes are expected to start shipping in January of next year, but at least you’ll also receive a limited edition t-shirt available only through Kickstarter for your early contribution to the cause.

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Category: Technology