Tor hardware privacy adapter


The Janus team have published a preview of their new Privacy Adapter. It’s a small two port router. You just plug it in-line between your computer/switch and your internet connection. It will then anonymize all of you traffic via the Tor network. You can also use it with OpenVPN. The hardware appears to be a Gumstix computer mounted to a daughtercard with two ethernet ports. It will have a web configuration just like a standard router. This looks like a great plug-n-play privacy device. The only improvement we would suggest is adding auto-detect so a crossover cable isn’t required.

Janus is responsible for JanusVM, a virtual machine designed to protect your privacy with technologies like Tor and OpenVPN.

[via @hdmoore]


  1. Man On Fire says:

    tor’s privacy is over-rated, but I must admit it’s better than nothing.

  2. Jose Torres says:

    Nice professional look. He should censor his IP in the tor stats photo. I would like to see a custom case for this board.

  3. Shadow says:

    Great, doubt i’ll ever need one thou

  4. Sk says:

    @man on fire
    tor is about anonymity not privacy. There is a difference.

    That being said, this piece of hardware could be really handy.

  5. edenist says:

    Will be a must have for any australian web user if the government continues its plans for full web censorship….

  6. gschool says:

    “It will then anonymize all of you traffic via the Tor network.”

    Spell-check and learn English, asap.

  7. SuperJdynamite says:

    Does anybody actually use tor on more than an experimental basis? I find it to be unusably slow.

  8. Bigdue says:

    Kind of off topic, but does anybody know any forums or websites with other gumstix projects? I’ve searched around a bit but can’t find much. They seem perfect for a hand held web tablet or something similar.

  9. Simon C. Ion says:


    I use Tor occasionally. I also run an exit node. (This makes IRC fun and exciting!)
    Sometimes you’ll luck out and get a circuit composed of several high-bandwidth machines. However, much of the time, you’ll get circuits composed of machines -like mine- that transmit @ 20 Kbyte/s.
    I also find that tor takes a few minutes to “warm up” after I first start using it. There’s some mumbo-jumbo behind “establishing a circuit” that I’m sure a Tor developer could clue us all in about.

  10. blitzcat says:

    Needs power over ethernet. Its silly to hook this up to a wall wart.

  11. Tom Robinson says:

    @blitzcat: it would be silly to use PoE. most people’s cable/DSL modems and switches don’t have PoE, so they would need an injector, which would require a wall wart anyway.

  12. msuicman says:

    @blitzcat & tom robinson:

    needs batteries. its meant to be portable (and therefore probably temporary) anyway. i’m sure it doesn’t suck much power.

  13. St.Jimmy says:

    WANT. Privoxy is such a pain to setup.

  14. dinosaur says:

    BTGFELLA is this your site

  15. Jules says:

    tor’s privacy is over-rated >> I agree with that. But with an auto VPn network via OpenVPN the thing is really cool


  16. EveningStarNM says:

    Janus clearly says that it works not only over Tor but also over OpenVPN. It pays to RTFM.

  17. metfan2000 says:

    hey guys created a new blog heres a link if you wanna check it out

  18. Chris McDonald says:

    I would make it USB powered and provide a serial console over the USB connection. Or take it one step further and make it a usb Ethernet adapter.

  19. GrU says:

    I can see a real market for these in Aus if the mandatory filter takes hold…Tor might be slower than normal browsing, and this might still need to be ironed out some BUT its better than the alternative

  20. jason says:

    I agree with chris mcdonald. Making the connection to the pc via USB would be excellent.

  21. netracer says:

    hi just wondering where can I get 1 of these and how much does it cost

  22. dan0va says:

    I think its cool but how its work? what does it cost? (i think it will be expensive)
    because you need to buy Gumstix board!!
    & what software and code is loaded into the mmc?

  23. BobPaul says:

    This would be good for situations where you don’t control the software on the computer, but would still like to access tor (workplaces, schools, internet cafes and libraries). I wonder if this works with hidden services.

  24. kyle says:

    JanusPA is now selling. The website has been updated. I would recommend reading the FAQ, it’s very informative as to what it can be used for and how to use it.

    Two power options: USB or an AC outlet.
    The USB doubles as an Ethernet connection.

    Just to sum it, you can use it for a single PC or a whole network. The choice is yours.

  25. Grazor says:

    I live in China where ALL web traffic is censored. I have many friends in Taiwan and to be able to chat with them, or even read their blogs, I have to use tor. So tor is a must have for foreigners in China.

  26. hunnter says:

    Wow, must have missed this one, nice little device.
    A further improvement would be support for I2P and similar encrypted networks.
    Guess this could be V2, since it looks like they are now selling this one.

  27. torkhum says:

    $150? Are you kidding? How about $19.99. Maybe you can sell more.

  28. superbob says:

    On the survey for the website it says
    “q: would you buy a pre-built januspa for $150?
    584 people said ‘yes’
    505 people said ‘no’

    Also from the website if you click “no” on the survey, it says
    “that’s sad. :(
    there is always ‘tor vm’ or ‘janusvm’ which are both free software solutions.” which has links to both of those projects.

    Sell it for $19.99? It’s a portable router, not a usb flash drive, and I’m sure that free software is making them money…not. If $150 is too rich for your blood, you can always get the free version, janusvm or tor vm.

    Anyone who has tried to make a living on freeware knows it doesn’t work out well. If these guys are selling hardware to try and compensate for the freeware they release, more power to them. After looking at how many people voted Yes, I suspect they are not doing too bad, possibly doing quite well.

  29. charley says:

    Tor is really unusably slow 90% of time, so its just not practical. Not for web surfing and especially not for any kind of live or dynamic content.

    As for less bandwidth intensive traffic like messaging/chat its a nice idea.

  30. phil e. drifter says:

    Looks ‘shopped.

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