What’s the Difference Between VPN and Tor? | Mythbusting with Mikko Hyppönen

What’s the Difference Between VPN and Tor? | Mythbusting with Mikko Hyppönen

Hello! My name is Mikko.
Many people don’t know what is the difference between
VPN services and Tor.
So what is the difference? They’re both used for anonymizing your connections and encrypting them.
Well, Tor is based on open source and it’s run by volunteers,
which means it’s a free service. You pay no money to use Tor.
It’s also based on a layered approach.
So let’s say you use your computer and you want to do a Google search,
but you want to do it over Tor.
That means that the traffic from your computer will hit one Tor layer,
which encrypts it and gives it to the second layer, third layer, fourth layer,
and then it finally exits the layers and hits Google search.
Well the results of that layered approach are several.
One is that it’s slower. There’s multiple layers, so it takes a little bit of time.
Another thing is that anybody can run those layers.
So if there are bad people running the first or last layer,
they will be able to see some unencrypted traffic.
Another thing that affects Tor is that
since it’s so popular, there’s all kinds of people using that service.
That’s why some websites will not let you access their services
if you come from the Tor network.
For example some online stores or some streaming services
simply will not work when you use Tor.
VPN providers don’t use a layered approach.
They typically have dozens of data centers around the world
and you pick one data center and all of your traffic will be
encrypted and routed through that data center.
Its going to be much faster, because there’s no layers.
And if you trust the VPN provider, in that sense there’s not going to be an enemy
who could possibly look at some of your traffic if they happen to be the first or last node.
And since most VPN traffic is by corporate users for business purposes,
these don’t really get filtered nearly as badly as Tor traffic does.
However, Tor can also be used in a different way.
There are services where you can run a website inside the Tor network.
And this is known as Tor hidden service.
And most likely the best known Tor hidden service website was the Silk Road service,
which was providing illegal services including
selling drugs and guns over the Tor hidden service network.
We shouldn’t get the misconception that everything on Tor is bad,
because that isn’t true.
All kinds of people use Tor, I use Tor myself.
And Tor is especially important for dissidents living in totalitarian countries.
In a nutshell comparing Tor and VPN:
Tor is slower and gets filtered more, but it’s free.
And VPNs give you better performance and they work better, because there’s less filtering,
but you have to pay money for the service.
And that is the difference between Tor and VPN.


  1. Considering the factors stated in the video, which would be seen as more secure for the user? Should I value layers over the chance of someone seeing un-encrypted data at either end or use a VPN with one direct line and pay?

  2. So what i would say not use Tor for personal use since somebody else can see the data going from one server to an another one. Tor is good for searching data

  3. Isn't it also possible that someone could get a subpoena on the VPN provider and still access logs which could identify you but not really possible on TOR?

  4. than you say tor encryption better than vpn
    many encryption layers mean it is safer than vpn .
    in fact i live in Iran i use freedom but with this video
    i get a little worried
    tor is open source but that not use one single key to encryption all user dates so is not weakness it's open source it just a clarification

  5. I'd just use a FREE vpn that I trust because then there would not be any traces of my personal things such as my credit card. You could use the vpn and the tor browser at the same time. I use Cyberghost 6 as my VPN which is free.

  6. Hasn't Tor been compromised? Heard a uni was planning release a publish off how to de-anonomise users, but the release of the publication was pulled at the behest of the Fbi

  7. I use a free VPN that actually changes my IP to another location.
    And I use Tor so hopefully, that all adds up to maximum security.

  8. Hey dude all you did in this video was tell us, one is free and the other you have to pay for. Thanks for that information i always wanted to know, the difference between the two.

  9. Maybe im just asking a stupid question.. If you used tor and vpn at the same time would that make any difference? I dont know much about this :s

  10. Let's say, pure hypothetical here, that that United States becomes a totalitarian country. They can see all Tor traffic through traffic analysis and nail the bad guys. Point is Tor isn't a good tool to use by legitimate US dissidents if the United States becomes a totalitarian or oppressive regime. I know…it's a ridiculous to even consider with such a law abiding and respectful president as we have now. /s

  11. You forgot to mentioned that some VPN service could actually be funded and managed by gov directly that do nothing but just capture your data specifically. No one will go to a VPN provider and check/verify their staff and system. People just blindly trust VPN service providers. There is actually no guarantee at all from them.
    If they could spend billions of dollars on military, they could spend 0.001% of that money to provide free/paid VPN service to let people who have something to hide to go to them directly. Simple trap.
    Again, VPN is only technologically safe. There is no guarantee you are actually using a trustworthy VPN service even if you pay lots of money. No one can be trusted in this world.

  12. Most TOR exit nodes ran by US government. They can track back to you. VPN's can be raided and don't actually delete your information. Proton VPN shows promise. Time will tell. They need better Linux support and price structure. If you use windows or Mac you are already being spied on by the OS.

  13. Truly have thought about what's the fundamental difference between VPN and Tor. Thanks for clarification. The last time I gave the subject a time slice was probably during network security courses ages ago. 🙂

  14. I use a apk the provider tells me not to use a VPN because it wont work with it on.I am not sure about this,he says they do this all over the world and you don,t need to use a VPN.

  15. Is Tor secure ? Good question. Here is the answer : https://www.europol.europa.eu/newsroom/news/darknet-euro-counterfeiter-arrested-in-poland.

  16. This one is soooooo inaccurate
    Vpn services most of the times will give away your data easily if they are forced to by the government when tor … well obviously they can't force tor as there are no company behind it!
    For a security and a tagged privacy video I think they should mention it.

    Tor is the number one for privacy despite it's cons.

  17. which WEIRDO would buy drugs and guns at the internet??? you get that much faster at your central trainstation, long live poland!

  18. He forget to mention it's also possible VPNs are owned by the CIA 😀 … If I was the CIA I'd setup multiple cheap VPN server! Also when you open a VPN account you give them your name, address and CC info lmao.

  19. When using Tor, you have to trust the nodes; when using a VPN proxy service, you have to trust the proxy server. It's all the same, either you use a secure protocol (like HTTPS), or you are only given a false sense of security.

  20. This is fake news. A VPN provides privacy by policy as the VPN technology wasn't developed for privacy, it's just what VPN companies advertise it for these days. You have to trust your VPN provider and their word on that they'll protect your privacy and even then the VPN providers maybe under gag orders if their located within the UKUSA jurisdiction area.

    Your data is only encrypted while it goes to your VPN, then it's unencrypted and regular traffic, this means that a VPN has access to all of your activity while your connected to them. And let's not forget about how your real IP can still leak through a VPN if you're setup isn't configured properly.

  21. Wow, someone who knows what they are talking about. One important thing. TOR does not keep logs. TOR Can't keep logs. It is not Server based.
    It is Relay based. VPNs keep logs except in rare cases. Some VPN services even lie stating they don't keep logs when in fact they do. And last, using TOR requires users to develop new habits or you can still be traced. Tracing may not be easy, but it is possible. So much computer info is passed on, users need to learn how to hide computer data also so a specific computer can be anonymous. I am not sure but I also believe that since TOR is not server based, your IP traffic is not encrypted as it is with a VPN. So, an Internet Provider can use a Deep Packet Anylizer and break down individual packets and find the IP origin coupled with the NIC ID. In my opinion, the best VPN services are not in the 14 eyes. If you don't know what that is, look it up.

  22. If you want to check out FREEDOME VPN that Mikko mentioned in the video, you can download it for free from here: https://www.f-secure.com/en/web/home_global/freedome?ecid=10674&smcid=10674

  23. their is no truly safe way to do things when you have a smart hacker who is sitting around hacking for days at a time just for the thrill he will get in. ubt if you want to be safe a good thing would be to use a roughter with a firewall hooked into a hardwear firewall with firewall on your computer using a protected browser and privit cpn server you run in your home witch roughts threw a public vpn with goes threw a hardwear vpn. depending what I am doing on the net I am behind 3 firewalls 1 soft 2 hard and a vpn sometimes I enable more things. I do not do anything mad on the internet its just I like to search the internet and find things most people do not or download a song of video that someone left on a server that was open and even tho I do not take that info or share that info I do not want to get in trouble for it. the only time the info is shared is with the company to let them no they are open. I also want the security for the fact I use youtube and beleve it or not youtube and facebook track people as much or more then google and if you some how come across a video that youtube pulls for something it should not be on their fore the first person they contact if the person who viewed it thet can be traced to see if you no who listed it or if you did it and how you found it if you did not. I also think things should be free big brother should not be watching us we have the right to be free. to me black people have it wrong to say whites and other colors do not no what slavory is as that's not true. we are all slaves to the government.

  24. With Tor i don't think you can choose the country of origin so if i am in Spain and want to watch bbc iplayer i need to be in GB therefore i need to have a VPN system ? correct me if i'm wrong.

  25. The thing is, many of you are wrong and different information about TOR and VPN. VPN is just a small simple technology that encrypts your data, but TOR its encrypts your data too. But not 100% your right, some information like most US government created VPN or spmething else, But why should they do that, Most all governments wants to trace you for accessing on the website, Well its not. They created VPN (Someone) because they want you to encrypt your data and kepp you tunneling through the internet, So the government will never know you what accessing like pornography and something else. VPN can be good but not all VPN are secure, it means your ISP will still able to track you whether you use vpn or not. So the VPN serviced added the feature called "Change DNS" . DNS is everthing starts on the internet is the DNS like you access facebook or yahoo or twitter. Your DNS and ISP will able to track you so stop feeling that you are secure especially you use VPN or TOR.


    Tor is an app that hides your identity and encrypts your data and keeps you tunneling through anonymously, Well it's not remember your DNS and ISP will able to track you. If you use tor but your connection is not secure the ISP (Internet Service Provider) will collect your data like what you used your app, accessing and something else, once they collect your data it will sent to FBI then the government then the police, sometimes FBI traces your data to what app you use.

    So its hard to choose if its TOR or VPN

    NOTE: but some of the VPN apps are very secure and fast, So i choose vpn

    ANOTHER NOTE: but if you take to level 2 on Tor it means your all encrypted but not sure if it was, because its illegal it has drugs, hire for assasination, and everything illegal. Im not sure if your fully encrypted or not

    Hope you read all of this…. This might help you…

  26. The concluding remark does not do justice to reality in my opinion. The difference is that in VPN, you trust a central party (although sometimes only an e-mail is required) while in the Tor network, you don't.

  27. I would actually say Tor is better than a VPN. VPNs only hide you from country blocked content and your ISP. Also, almost all VPNs keep logs, even most ones that say they don't.

  28. this guy does not know head or tails he is talking. please be kind to watch another more professional video with actual information. it seems this guy is trying to sell VPN. FAKE INFORMATION !!! . Please go to professional video with real details of TOR to https://youtu.be/wlP1JrfvUo0 …. and please read all the comments and you will see this guy is a FAKE INFORMATION PROVIDER or MANIPULATOR … and guy in the video … PLEASE TELL THE TRUTH.

  29. Just one single doubt if the government cannot be trusted so how do we trust the volunteers of TOR?

  30. honestly, this kind of comparison should not happen. tor is for vpn just as a volkswagen is for a benz mercedes. I'm sorry for all the losers who failed to pay a vpn but tor is a ridiculous thing…

  31. Most of VPN actually doesn't protect our privacy entirely the patriot PACT is a good example. Tor simply splits from different places instead of one our datas and there are never the same at each research.

    Tor isn't a simply VPN but a proxy. Tor 1 – Other VPNs 0

    Orfox is also a good alternative to VPNs as well combined with Tor for more security.

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