VPN vs. Tor Comparison Chart

by Tracy Knauer •

If you want to stay private online or beat Internet censorship, should you use a VPN, Tor or both? Keep reading for a comparison of VPN services and Tor.

VPNs and Tor are different types of services. But their feature sets overlap in certain areas. They can both be useful for circumventing censorship and for increasing privacy.

The following tables compares the privacy, anonymity and anti-censorship features of VPNs and Tor.

VPN

Tor

Provides access to censored websites

Yes (if connected to servers in uncensored countries)

Yes

Encrypts traffic

Yes

No (traffic can be sniffed after leaving the exit node)

Hides real IP address

Yes (but possibly subject to DNS leaks)

Yes (but only in Tor browser or other torified apps; also, some browser plugins can leak a real IP)

Protects traffic inside Web browser

Yes

Yes

Protects traffic outside browser

Yes (in most cases)

No (in most cases)

Supports torrents

Yes

Theoretically yes, but not recommended

Reduces bandwidth

Usually not

Usually

Costs money

Yes (for decent service)

No

Easy to install

Yes (with most providers)

Yes (if using Tor browser)

Can be blocked

Yes

Yes

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