Newbie looking improve security and privacy/anonimity a bit.. Always start with my browsing habits , browser settings (NoScript, Adblock Plus, Disconnect, etc), Hardware/sw configs (using KIS, MBAM Pro & other s/w for on demand). Also, update regularly... Question = Is the Tor portable browser or VPN's (eg: Private Internet Access...Cyberghost) any help and how does TOR differ from PIA? Is one preferable over the other/ ( won't even bother asking about Tails & Inverse Path). Just a regular guy looking to surf without leaving crumbs or revealing personal info. And them I hear about 'end to end encryption to avoid middleman attacks....how does a noob deal with this? Someone responded to me (re: TOR & VPN) with the below answer,, suggesting it's all essentially worthless. So, why do tech sites still recommend them? Also heard using TOR now raises red flags with NSA, etc... Confused... Thanks ------------------------------------------------------------- "TOR or any other proxy should never be thought of as a security measure. Proxies are ran by any one many of whom do not have your security as a interest. Once your on a proxy they can do any thing they want such as presenting you with a fake log in page for your bank or paypal ebay etc. These fake pages can not be detected by normal anti phishing tools or methods. Do not ever go any where where security is a concern while behind any form of proxy that you do not control. Running your own squid proxy caching or not can be a boost to your security by removing things such as advertisements from 3rd parties on web pages etc. But and I speak from experience here a proxy can cache a web page say the one for pnc bank. At this point a person with only moderate coding skills can now make that page send them your username and pass word or in the case of a online store credit card information. And the bad part is it will or can be made to still allow you to log in or purchase the item etc. You would never know it happened until it was far to late. Proxies such as tor etc may have some small benefit to your anonymity but with the ability to finger print not only your browser but your os and even your computers hardware even that is questionable today. Even though in a server log it will show the proxies user agent or should web pages can use java script and other methods to gather information about your browser os screen res logged in user name video card even your real ip."