eBlocker, a new anti-tracking device that offers online anonymity, ad blocking, Tor support and more, is due to hit the market in the coming months. Here’s an overview of what eBlocker does and how it compares to similar products.
According to the eBlocker developers, the device aims to differentiate itself from other privacy solutions through easy installation and comprehensive privacy protection. “Traditional tools focus only on a small, specific area for individual devices…However, the eBlocker blocks all user profiling services and lets you surf anonymously,” the developers say.
To install the device, users plug it into their network. It then works at the network level to block tracking services from creating profiles on all devices using that network. It achieves that by “using community-maintained, open-source filter lists to determine whether an HTTP request is sent to a known tracking server,” according to the device’s website. “In this case eBlocker blocks the request and does not send any data to the tracker.”
Anti-tracking is only part of the offering, however. The device also automatically blocks ads, and it can optionally route all traffic through Tor in order to hide users’ IP addresses. HTTPS encryption of all network traffic will likely be implemented in the future as another privacy feature, according to eBlocker developers.
Ease of use is part of the eBlocker pitch, too. Because the device works at the network level, it doesn’t require the installation of any software, and it is compatible with all operating systems and browsers.
The eBlocker isn’t a totally new type of privacy solution. Similar network-level solutions exist, like Anonabox. But those mostly rely on Tor or VPNs to hide users’ identity. The eBlocker is different in that Tor is an optional additional privacy feature, but the main focus is on beating trackers by blacklisting connections to tracking servers. That may be better for some users, since it doesn’t come with the bandwidth cost of Tor or the need for a VPN subscription.
The eBlocker is available for preorder now. The developers plan to “finalize” the device and prepare it for market by the end of 2015.