Four years in the making, the Anonabox is “a networking device that provides anonymous Internet access and encryption, and helps to bypass censorship in places where access to the Internet is limited.” Built to run on the “deep-Web” Tor networks, all traffic coming in and going out of your device is securely encrypted from interception by authorities.
People in repressed regimes from the Middle East to China can access and share unrestricted information across the Web. they can now freely browse, email, message, and share. Anonabox is portable and tiny, and can be easily concealed.
Advantages Over the Software
Tor has provided software in the past enabling people to access information online when governmental agencies have sought to limit or prevent access due to certain policies or events. The Tor network, using .onion domains has remained hidden from the authorities even in places where there are no restrictions to Internet freedoms, but where there may be some surveillance.
Accessing online content through the software is risky, and if not done properly probing authorities may still identify the user’s location and information. Running other software while working with Tor can compromise security, as encryption is only provided within the network. Anonabox resolves this issue by not requiring the user to install any extra software, but rather allowing the user to run anonymous right from the start.
Using the Tor servers ensures privacy, but slows down connectivity due to the bouncing of data from numerous servers to prevent unauthorized intervention, but with Anonabox, these functionalities are handled within the hardware itself, leading to increased connectivity times.
There are no restrictions on the open-source code either, and developers can modify the device to suit particular uses. To activate Anonabox, simply connect the device between your router and PC or tablet or mobile.
Some uses of Anonabox as given on the Kickstarter campaign page:
- Plug into your router to securely access wireless Internet with family and friends
- Access content blocked in your locality [for sports fans]
- Access Internet where the Web is censored and get the story out [for journalists]
- Users in cafés and other public areas can access content without restrictions from the providers, and they’re also protected from each other
- Ensures privacy from corporations, unscrupulous marketers, and identity thieves
- Allows research of sensitive topics
- Guarantees location safety
- Bypasses Web filtering systems
- Reach “deep” into parts of the web that are otherwise inaccessible
With expected deliveries in January 2015, Anonabox costs $45, and the project is turning into a wild success on Kickstarter. With more than 4,400 backers, the project is blistering through the original goal of $7,500 and had raked in more than $280,000 with 28 days to go.
The keen interest for the project indicates the levels of distrust and uneasiness among Internet users regarding government surveillance of any nature.
Other projects that have incorporated Tor into devices include Torouter, Safeplug, OnionPi and PORTAL, but developers for the Anonabox are claiming to be the first to combine all advantages of security, affordability, and portability with the ease of setup.