Gadget Review: Anonabox, a Tor Hardware Router

The Anonabox combines various softwares and hardware to provide full anonymity when you surf online. It is a 100% open source embedded networking device that is designed specifically to run the software Tor. Tor is considered the most secure way to access the Internet anonymously it is extremely simple to use. No software to download or configure, no registration. Simply plug it in and your network connection is encrypted.

anonaboxPhoto Credit: Anonabox

“1. Run a cable from the anonabox to your regular router. 2. Plug in the USB power cable wait for it to power up, then connect wirelessly (or via an Ethernet cable) to your device of choice.”

 Though this is not the first attempt at integrating Tor in a router, August Germar – one of the developers – says that it strikes the best balance of cheapness, easy setup, size and security. Just how small and convenient is it? In the image below, the anonabox is placed on top of a dollar note. Measuring as wide and about ⅓ the length of the note, it can be concealed and brought just about anywhere. In sensitive situations that call for immediate destroying of the Anonabox, one can simply crush the router by stepping on it.

comparison Photo Credit: Anonabox

The developers, a group of friends who worked in IT consulting, got the inspiration for this “anti-censorship” box from cases of journalists and protesters getting cut off to the Internet. With the anonabox, people in places where there is limited or restricted access to the Internet will no longer have to live with the censorship.

Germar claims that the anonabox provides better security than other available products as it is completely open source and open hardware. “Anyone can audit and browse the code, or download hardware shcematics. For this reason, it is guaranteed to be free from the documented back-doors and security flaws common to other commercially available routers.”

Anonabox’s Kickstarter campaign has been extremely successful, gaining nearly $600,000 (out of their $7,500 goal) in a mere 5 days. However, it has also been gaining criticism from many skeptics. They claim that the anonabox is similar to many products out there and that stock devices available on Alibaba appear to be nearly identical. Despite that, the support for anonabox has barely slowed.

Check out Anonabox on Kickstarter here!