Skip to main content

This router promises to shroud your online activities in secrecy (Updated)

kickstarter suspends controversial anonabox router project breaking rules
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Update 10/15/14 6:06 p.m. ET by Konrad Krawczyk: The creators of the Anonabox router are generating plenty of heat from the Reddit community.

A significant amount of people on Reddit have questioned Anonabox’s claims that the hardware was custom-made. One user even found a very similar-looking router that’s being sold for under $20 on an Alibaba site dubbed That router doesn’t feature any Tor-centric privacy functions. Meanwhile, the Anonbox costs $45.

In a Reddit AMA, Anonabox developer August Germar posted the below comment. In it, he acknowledges that initial claims indicating that the Anonabox consists of custom hardware were not accurate.

“So my understanding is that the main issue is I used the term from ‘scratch’ when the device has many standardized components and resembles closely other hardware that currently exists right,” Germar asked. “The truth is we can make Tor routers out of a lot of existing hardware, but I thought it would be helpful to have a standardized piece of hardware to do it on.”

It will be interesting to see whether the project gets taken down, and/or if backers decide to pull their funding back as a result of this backlash.

To this point, Anonabox has raised over $570,000 via Kickstarter.

Original story

Privacy is hard to come by on the Internet, and some folks out there are just not satisfied with that reality.

One firm, dubbed Anonbox, has created a router of the same name that, it claims, is the device you should use if you want the “best and most secure way to access the Internet anonymously,” according to the project’s official Kickstarter page.

The Anonabox allegedly encrypts all Internet activity without requiring you to download software, create any sort of log-in information, or do any configuration. There’s no need to register for any sort of services either. The setup process consists of just plug-and-play.

With this open source router, Anonabox purports that you’ll be able to use popular services like Skype, Safari, and others without having to worry about whether your online activities are anonymous or not.

Anonabox notes that as more and more people start using the Tor network, there are bound to be some folks who are unaware of what steps they should take to make sure that they don’t accidentally leak out any information about themselves while surfing the Web. This problem, the company claims, is one that’s solved by the Anonabox, due to its simplicity, and ease of use.

The router’s creators were inspired to create the Anonabox by reports of Arab Spring protesters being cut off from Twitter by the government there.

“How about if we were to actually build that anti-censorship box we were just talking about and mail it out to people,” Anonabox’s creators wondered when they were thinking of how to create such a device. “Little did we know, it would take over four years, and a lot more tacos and beer, to create a device with the security, speed, functionality and easy-of-use that is the anonabox.”

As an added bonus, the Anonabox is pretty small, allowing you to conceal it just about anywhere.

So far, the Anonabox Kickstarter campaign has been fabulously successful. While the developers set an initial funding target of $7,500, the campaign has received over $85,000 in contributions as of this writing. Plus, that’s with 29 days to go.

If you order an Anonabox now by pledging $45 or more, you should get it sometime in January 2015. However, keep in mind that the page notes this as an “estimated delivery” time-frame.

You can learn more about the Anonabox here.

Editors' Recommendations

Konrad Krawczyk
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Konrad covers desktops, laptops, tablets, sports tech and subjects in between for Digital Trends. Prior to joining DT, he…
Your digital fingerprint is tracked everywhere online. Brave wants to change that
6 important tech tasks you should get over with while social distancing chores computer privacy getty

We have more tools to secure our identity online than ever before. You can ban cookies -- the little pieces of information websites deposit in our browsers to identify us -- block invasive trackers from tailing our machines, switch to incognito mode, opt out of cross-app tracking with Apple’s latest iOS update, or even go as far as to surf the web only through highly encrypted virtual private networks.

But there’s a tracking method that can still slip past these defenses and it’s growing in popularity: Fingerprinting.
The anatomy of a fingerprint
What makes fingerprinting so elusive and difficult to defend against is the fact that the data it exploits is essential to the web’s foundational functions.

Read more
Give your router new superpowers by installing DD-WRT
report advises governments to avoid encryption backdoors internet router

Frustrated by the software limitations of your router? Replacing it with the Linux-powered DD-WRT firmware can be a big upgrade. Maybe you want to use an old router as a second access point for your home network or as a Wi-Fi extender. Maybe you want more precise control over how your bandwidth is used so you can prioritize bandwidth for your gaming sessions, or perhaps you hate the firmware that came with your router and prefer something with more features.

Whatever you want your router to do, the odds are that DD-WRT can do it. Installing DD-WRT can be complicated, but the most common method includes using the "upgrade firmware" functionality built into your router's default firmware.

Read more
How to find the IP address of your router for customization and security

Tired of being the only wireless network in your apartment building without a clever name like "Wu-tang LAN" or "Bill Wi the Science Fi"? Or maybe you want to make your network password more secure so that it prevents your neighbors from mooching off your internet connection.

To make these changes, you need to know your router's IP address. Why? Most routers provide a control panel that's only accessible through a web browser. You must enter the router's IP address into the browser's address bar to access that panel.

Read more