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Re: [tor-talk] VPN then Tor - is this safe?

On 04/29/2014 03:20 PM, Bernard Tyers wrote:
> Hi there,
> Genuine question from someone today:
> - they use a VPN service (I think Witopio?)
> - they want to use Tor browser to surf safely
> They asked can they "safely" use Tor through their VPN service. When
> questioned they meant "will Tor give me enough protection to browse
> the web anonymously".
> My first answer was let me find out. My personal opinion was if they
> connect to the VPN service *first* then connect to Tor it was safer
> than doing it vice-versa. Correct/false?
> Any helpful opinions welcome.
> Bernard

Using Tor through VPNs, it is VPN providers who see connections with
entry guards, rather than ISPs. And ISPs see VPN links rather than
connections with entry guards. Which is safer depends on how much one
trusts ones ISP vs ones VPN provider.

Using VPNs tunneled through Tor is always less anonymous than using Tor
alone. Even with free VPNs, the exit IP does not change, except in a
limited way using different VPN exits. Also, Tor circuits don't change
except when the VPN reconnects.

However, using VPNs tunneled through Tor is always more anonymous than
using VPNs alone. And that may be necessary for accessing websites that
block Tor exits.
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