Anonabox Pro Tor And VPN Router Review: Protect Your Privacy

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Anonabox Setup and Administration

To get our Anonabox Pro working with our router, so that we could have both hard-wired and WiFi access, we had to plug one cable into a LAN port on our existing router, and then plug the other end of that cable into the WAN port of the Anonabox. We then ran a cable from the LAN connection of the Anonabox into the NIC on our PC. WiFi is established without doing anything special aside from configuring the connection (more on that in a bit). The whole process took only a couple of minutes, though there was some initial confusion. The instructions included with the Anonabox are well written and illustrated, but they may not be completely clear to users with minimal networking experience.

The Anonabox also has a USB power cable, which we plugged into our router, but any USB port will work.

Once we were connected, and the on-board LED was flashing to indicate functionality, we fired up our web browser and pointed it to: http://192.168.19.84:1776/ in order to enter the administration menu. Here's the main page showing the system status:

status

We didn’t have to do anything to actually get the unit running except connect to the Tor network, which is just a one-click affair. It took about 30 seconds to negotiate the transaction, and once it did all of our traffic was being sent over the Tor network.

One note about the device's administration menu—it is not designed for newbies. Almost every menu is designed for people with advanced networking knowledge, so if you know what you're doing you'll feel right at home as it mirrors the "advanced" menu of many routers on the market today. If you're not sure what any of it means, the good news is you don't need to know what any of it does. None of it is critical to the basic functions of the router, but there are plenty of advanced options available should you want to tinker a bit. As just one example of the menu system here's a window that lets you stop or start the installed scripts:

scripts

The Wifi does require you to set it up though, like any good router. The manual walks you through all the steps, but they are not complicated. You just enter the wireless settings, setup a security password, name the network and you’re ready to go. It was all very simple. The ability to customize the Wifi settings is one of the benefits of the Pro model as opposed to the original. Many reviewers complained about the fixed Wifi password being printed on a piece of paper in the box, and it was 24 characters long as well. 

The only real downside to using the Wifi router is its only capable of 802.11n, and maxes out at 300Mb/s. The way it works is once you set it up you have a "new" wireless network available that leverages Tor. On our home system we named our networks 5G and 2G for their respective bands, and the Tor network is labeled ChestnutEagle (we live on Chestnut street). We could see all three networks, and would connect to whichever one we needed at a given time. 

That's about all there is to getting it setup. It's about as plug-and-play as one could hope for. You plug everything in, reboot your modem, and it's connected. There's no fancy wizard or hand-holding because there doesn't need to be, and this isn't something that someone without any networking knowledge is going to buy anyway, so it's not necessary. Still, we can see how a wizard would be useful for some folks, so perhaps future iterations will include such a feature.

Tags:  Privacy, Router, VPN, Tor, Anonabox

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