On Sunday (October 12th), Chico, California resident, August Germar, hit Kickstarter with a crowdfunding campaign for his new for hardware router, the anonabox. The project, which was only seeking $7,500, has become so popular within the first three days that it has raised $527,572 from 8,137 backers.
The anonabox is described as a device that is designed specifically to run tor and it provides anonymous Internet access, along with encryption. It also helps to bypass censorship in places where access to the web is very limited. It also has better security than most available products because it is completely open source and open hardware.
Germar stated, “The anonabox easily encrypts Internet usage with a simple device that secures all web traffic, not just the traffic coming from one program. No software to download or configure, no login credentials, no registration, just plug it in and your network connection is encrypted.
“The anonabox also allows people to use programs over tor that never supported it before or required complicated configuration like Skype, Safari and Filezilla, to name just a few. Also the default firewall configuration protects your computer or network from outside access.”
How to run the anonabox is simple: Run a cable from the deice to your regular route; plug in the USB power cable wait for it to power up; Connect wireless (or through a Ethernet cable) to the device of your choice. Nearly any device can now access the tor network through the anonabox, including:
- Old machines
- Anything with network connectivity works without any configuration
The anonabox has already had four prototypes. The first two ranged from $200-$400 just for the parts, but they worked well and proved the concept. By its fourth round of prototypes, Germar’s team had created a model with 64mb memory and a 580mhz CPU, which made its software not only run well, but extremely fast.
During a recent interview with the Guardian, Germar explained, “When we first started building it, I had no idea that anyone would be interested in it,” he said. “Initially we thought there would be enthusiasm from developers, journalists and librarians. But it turns out there are a lot more regular users. I think it’s not so much about privacy as about freedom of speech and freedom of information. This allows people to access information when people might try to censor them.”
Germar predicts that backer’s anonaboxes will ship as early as January 2015. The campaign is set to close on November 11th.
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