Concerned about someone snooping on your online activities? Tor is one of the best services in the world to anonymise your Web traffic, using a thousands-strong network of computers around the world to bounce your data on the way to its eventual destination, disguising its origin. If you have multiple traffic sources on a network, though, and installing Tor on each isn’t possible, you might be interested in a piece of open source hardware that can do the same job.
Coming to us via Wired, the Anonabox is a Kickstarter project for a US$51 open source embedded router, which anonymises all the Internet traffic on a network by sending it via Tor on the way to your networked devices. Since it’s a hardware device sitting between an Internet connection and the devices that access it, there’s no way for a malicious service or malware to function outside Tor and reveal your identity.
The appeal of Anonabox is that it runs over microUSB power, and so can be powered from a laptop or USB battery pack, and functions as both a wired and wireless router. If you’re travelling internationally in a country that censors its Internet access, using the Anonabox sanitises your traffic and lets you access online services without the fear of being tracked or monitored in the process. The hardware and software running the Anonabox is entirely open source, so buyers can be confident that there are no hidden backdoors or surreptitious monitoring going on.
Pledging your money for an Anonabox will set you back US$51 plus US$15 for international shipping, very roughly $75 to get it to your doorstep in Australia. Considering the price of a similarly focused Onion Pi is twice as high, the Anonabox looks to be a surprisingly low-cost way to anonymise your Internet traffic.
Speaking to Wired, the device’s creator and spokesperson August Germar especially talks up its use as a useful, disposable dissenter’s tool in a country where Internet crackdowns take place:
“Maybe it’s too late and the police are already downstairs, so you smash the box with a brick and throw the pieces out the window. Or maybe you just crush it by stepping on it with your shoe and flush the pieces down the toilet.”
While we don’t have as much of a need for anonymised interet traffic as someone in, say, Syria or China, it’s good to know that there are ways to ensure that only you, and no interested third parties, can track your online activities. [Kickstarter]