Anonabox has turned out to be a phenomenal success on the crowd funding site Kickstarter.
Against a target of $7,500, Anonabox’s promoters have already received commitments for $581,943 from 8,927 contributors (as of 22:06ET on October 15, 2014), just two days after the project went live on Kickstarter.
I suppose the huge response for Anonabox is a clear indication that tons of people are concerned about privacy issues.
China, India, U.S., Russia, Egypt, Bahrain….it’s hard to find a country that’s not snooping on or censoring Internet usage of average citizens these days.
So what are regular non-tech savvy biddas, bhais and thambis to do.
WTF is Anonabox?
Simply put, Anonabox is an device that provides anonymous Internet access and encryption to beat online snooping and censorship.
Think of it as Tor for dummies. No need to go through the hassle of downloading and installing Tor software on individual PCs if you get this device.
Yes, the device uses the Tor anonymizing software to encrypt the Internet traffic from your PC.
It works with both WiFi and Ethernet.
And when people install Anonabox between their modem and router, it’s supposed to “Torrify” the whole home network. Cool!
A major drawback of Tor has been that it slows down your Internet speed. Apparently, that’s not as big an issue with Anonabox since the encryption chore is being offloaded to the box.
Anonabox’ promoters say their device is fast (580MHz processor and 64MB flash memory).
Here’s what Anonabox claims:
We noticed also that pageload times and end user experience is significantly faster than when running the Tor browser bundle software, because all the hard work is being done in the background by the anonabox.
Still, don’t even dream of using Anonabox for online gaming.
Users can access the device’s system files via the command line or a GUI interface called Luci.
It’s not clear how much the device will cost when it hits the market. I’m guessing it’ll be around $99.
Of course, there are already anonymizing alternatives like VPN (virtual private network) available today. They cost anywhere from $35-$99 a year. But installation of a VPN is never an easy thing, more so for non-techies. Although some VPN providers offer client software, it may not work on all operating systems.