Over on Kickstarter, there’s a project that aims to provide consumers with a way to access the Internet anonymously. Called the Anonabox, this device was created by August Germar and includes two Ethernet ports and one USB port (for power) – and that’s it. The campaign is looking to drum up a mere $7,500, which has been surpassed by 5,224 backers pledging a huge $331,465 so far.
The Anonabox is based on the open source software Tor, which encrypts all data flowing in and out of the user’s computer. This box will hide the user’s location and will also provide better performance than when using the Tor browser on the desktop.
According to the Kickstarter site, users don’t have any software to install or configure, nor will they need credentials to use the new device. Just plug a laptop or desktop into the box via Ethernet and user data is instantly encrypted. They can also use services like Skype, Safari and Filezilla, among others. There’s even a built-in firewall to prevent hackers from accessing the user’s PC.
That said, the Kickstarter campaign makes a surprising point. Web surfers not keen on using something like the Anonabox can use the Tor browser bundle to browse the Internet. However, the other apps and services are wide open for government tracking. By using the Anonabox, users are protected regardless of what browser or application they are using.
“As more people use the Tor network, more people accidentally reveal information about themselves by using the software incorrectly, or by simultaneously running other software that compromises their security,” the Kickstarter description said. “The Anonabox uses Tor to allow anyone to access the Internet anonymously.”
The Kickstarter page states that the project took four years to develop; this final version is the fourth generation. The first prototypes were huge in size and price. However, Germar’s team has managed to shrink the form factor down to a small box that can fit in your hand. The innards include 64 MB of memory and a 580 MHz processor.
The Anonabox is completely open-sourced on both the software and hardware fronts. Anyone can browse and audit the code, the campaign states, as well as download the schematics. This ensures users that the Anonabox is free of the back-doors and security flaws that can be seen with many routers on the market.
At press time, the Kickstarter campaign still had 28 days to go. The estimated delivery of Anonabox is January 2015.