Words like “privacy”, “anonymity” and “internet” are frequently found bundled together in the same sentence these days – and they’re often underscored by an emotive tone. With details as basic as an IP address able to reveal physical location with surprising accuracy, privacy has become a hot topic, concerning everyone from security gurus to complete technophobes.
Enter Safeplug. This handy little device embodies privacy in a box by routing web traffic through the increasingly mainstream Tor service.
What’s Tor, you may be wondering? Glad you asked. Once the preserve of journalists, IT security professionals and other privacy-conscious types, Tor is a service that sends web traffic through a random succession of internet relays run by its supporters around the globe. None of these relay points get to see a complete “roadmap” of the route a data packet takes to its destination and Tor automatically re-routes these random circuits around every 10 minutes during a browsing session – meaning there is also no consistency to connection pathways used.
The net result of all this geekery is that that the source and destination details of a Tor user’s web traffic remain anonymous. This helps to protect against marketing organisations, identity thieves or other criminal types who could be attempting to gain details of unsuspecting web users, either by conducting web traffic analysis or simply by purchasing details of browsing habits.
Setting up Safeplug set-up is a breeze: you plug the device into a power socket and the web router in use (cables provided), visit the safeplug website to activate the device and you’re all set.