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PAPARouter – this is what you need if you REALLY want to be anonymous on the web


paparouter3 PAPARouter   this is what you need if you REALLY want to be anonymous on the web

Privacy is a big deal to a lot of people, no matter what all those government spooks say, but it generally takes too much effort for ordinary folk to achieve. After all, who wants to spend hours researching and setting up complex software and hardware to keep prying eyes at bay? Well now there’s a very cool alternative.

PAPARouter is a very simple plug and play box which automatically routes all of your Internet traffic through the Tor network, which is the encrypted network which provides privacy for all kinds of net communications. The key thing about the PAPARouter is you don’t need to know anything about technology, all you have to do is plug it into your normal home router with an Ethernet cable and then access the web using its WiFi connection.

paparoute4 PAPARouter   this is what you need if you REALLY want to be anonymous on the web

The other cool part about PAPARouter is the fact that after routing your data over the Tor network it only uses exits (the point where your Tor data emerges onto the ‘generic’ Internet network) in countries which are not friendly to state snooping from US and UK authorities. This adds an additional layer of privacy as it should be harder for the spooks to tap into your data and work out where it originates from. More info on Tor is here.

paparoute5 PAPARouter   this is what you need if you REALLY want to be anonymous on the web

The important thing to note about Tor is it doesn’t guarantee anonymity, you still need to adopt proper procedures (e.g. using privacy settings in browsers, deleting cookies etc etc). But if privacy is your thing, then this $99.95 box is definitely a solid start. The product works with Mac, Linux, Windows and anything else that can connect to a standard WiFi access point. Not available for sale outside the USA.

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.



  • bloater

    Looks awfully like re-invention of the adafruit ‘onion pi pack’ – or am I missing something? (eg. http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2013/06/14/new-product-pack-onion-pi-pack-make-a-raspberry-pi-tor-proxy/)

  • bloater

    Looks awfully like re-invention of the adafruit ‘onion pi pack’ – or am I missing something? (eg. http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2013/06/14/new-product-pack-onion-pi-pack-make-a-raspberry-pi-tor-proxy/)

  • Owl

    Yep, that’s definitely a Raspberry Pi – Make just had an article showing how to build one of these yourself: http://makezine.com/projects/make-36-boards/how-to-bake-an-onion-pi/

  • Julian Cook

    That’s exactly what it is. Anonymity should be available for all and not just geeks who know how to build RPi based Tor solutions. More importantly, people shouldn’t be lulled into thinking that just because they have managed to download the Tor browser bundle that they are safe since that package is the subject of special scrutiny by the the U.S. government. PAPARouter is the Onion Pi built, configured and a little more hardened for people who want to be anonymous but are stymied by the technical aspects. Best of all, it’s only $5.00 more than buying it from Adafruit. You don’t need to build it, just plug it in and it works. Bad news is that it can’t be sold and shipped outside the U.S. since it’s already configured and has encryption capabilities right out of the box. Pesky U.S. export laws. :-(

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