VPN Pros: Do I Need a VPN With Tails Browser?
Edward Snowden credits the Tails browser for helping to keep his identity safe while he was leaking classified information. Security professionals say it's one of the most effective ways of using the internet anonymously without leaving a trace of activity behind. Others call it the world’s most secure platform. And no, it’s not VPNs we’re talking about. It’s Tails, a live operating system that, despite its credibility amongst security professionals, is still relatively unknown to the general public. So what is Tails and how does it work?
What is Tails?
Tails is an encrypted and anonymous operating system (OS) that’s run through a USB stick or disc drive. It’s easy to install and simple to use, allowing you to use the internet anonymously and encrypt the information you’re transferring as all of its incoming and outgoing transmissions are routed through Tor. Any non-anonymous connections are simply blocked.
Tails has such a solid reputation when it comes to providing anonymity because it’s an amnesiac system. It’s the equivalent of getting rid of your old computer and buying a new one every time you browse the internet. There are no save files or saved programs that could keep your information (although there is a way to configure the OS so it can do this if you really want it to).
One of the biggest questions surrounding Tails is its compatibility with VPNs. Combining something like Tails with a VPN could only add additional layers of security on top of an already solid platform, right? The creators of Tails don’t advise using a VPN with Tails. The main reason for this is because there are so many VPNs out there, choosing a terrible one and using it with Tails could potentially expose your identity, which would then lead to the platform being criticized. Some VPNs are also incompatible with the OS.
However, it’s perfectly safe to use a VPN with Tor, as long as you’re using a reputable, trusted VPN. Using a VPN will allow you to hide the fact you’re using Tor from your ISP. It’s important to remember that until you actually connect to the Tor network through Tails, your ISP can tell you’ve connected to Tor – they just won’t be able to see what you’re doing.
Why A VPN Is Worth It
Unlike Tails, which was originally designed to work on Linux computers and isn’t compatible with a lot of Apple devices as a result, you can connect a VPN to any of your devices. That includes your tablet, mobile phones, and even video game consoles such as the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. As Tails runs off a USB device or disc, there’s a possibility that you could accidentally lose it. That’s something you don’t have to worry about with a VPN.
Of course, one of the main reasons people use VPNs, on top of the anonymity and security they can provide, is their ability to bypass geo-blocks. Geo blocks are used by businesses to restrict access to certain content depending on your location. For streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and even video game marketplaces such as the PlayStation Store and Xbox Live Store, the content you can access is specific to your location. Each region has its own unique library. Connecting your devices to a VPN lets you connect to private servers located all over the world, which means you can bypass geo-blocks and access content from other countries.
The Best VPNs For Tails Browser
If you’re looking for a high-security VPN with incredible encryption and a bunch of additional security features, ExpressVPN is a great choice. It's one of the most highly regarded VPN services out there. Its clear no-logging policy, which means it doesn’t capture any information about your IP address or DNS queries, makes it a great VPN to use with Tails.
As well as being one of the more popular VPNs available, NordVPN is surprisingly cheap too, with subscription prices starting from as little as $2.99 a month. It may be slightly slower than ExpressVPN, but it shares all the same security benefits such as a clear no-logging policy and enhanced features such as DNS leak protection and a kill switch in case your connection is ever compromised.
CyberGhost offers its users military-grade encryption and a variety of other security features designed to protect your anonymity. None of the personal data you register with CyberGhost is stored and like ExpressVPN and NordVPN, it also offers a clear no-logging policy, so you can trust it with your information. Prices start from $2.75 for a monthly subscription.