Update: This Kickstarter campaign has been suspended.
Internet users say they’re concerned about their digital security, and yet, most don’t take the best actions to protect their data and privacy. In fact, many millennials are notorious for often ignoring security protocols at work, mostly because they don’t see the value in the tools or policies. Anonabox, a tiny encryption box that works with your existing home Internet setup, hopes to make everything remarkably easy.
“The Anonabox is a networking device that provides anonymous Internet access and encryption, and helps to bypass censorship in places where access to the Internet is limited,” the official Kickstarter page reads. There couldn’t be a simpler description of a simpler device.
The device uses the Tor network to anonymize all data passing through a router. This will prevent tracking by corporations, marketers, governments and reportedly, even bypass the “Great Firewall” in China.
The original funding goal was $7,500, which the project surpassed within the first day. At the time of this writing, the project had surpassed $500,000 with more than 8,000 backers and 27 days to go. The device itself costs $45 dollars during this first run, and according to its description, using the device will also be very simple.
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.
While a product like this could prompt lazy users into protecting their browsing habits easily, the device is intended for greater things, according to Wired contributor Andy Greenberg.
“The Anonabox is ultimately intended for users in other countries where Tor’s anti-censorship and privacy properties can help shield activists and journalists,” he writes, adding, “The hardware design of the Anonabox is also intended to work in the most sensitive international situations.” The device could easily be hidden, can be used on any network, and could easily be destroyed if the user felt they were about to be discovered.
Until this point, we’ve seen a trend where the only users that act on their security and privacy concerns have been nerds. A solution like this enables anyone browsing and using the Internet to do so safely and anonymously.
The device has not yet reached the mass market, but it’s a very promising step toward providing an easy solution to a complex problem. It might even solve some problems for the Internet of things.