Hi @RealHorrorshow, welcome to the forum!
Some of you may remember a few months back Tor started asking people about their use of VPN alongside Tor, the questionnaire became part of the default homepage for a while.
I answered all questions in full and gave some advice from the view of an end user, advice which has perhaps been forgotten in hope of future possibilities.
Thank you for participating in the survey! On the contrary, the survey is far from forgotten and has been hugely useful in understanding our users’ motivations for using different VPNs. We’re also planning to publish a short public report summarizing the stats from the survey once we’ve finished analyzing the 45,600 complete responses we recieved.
I also commented on the Tor Blog about it, back when comments were allowed. (All of which have now been erased).
Just to note: blog comments have not been banned, but have been replaced with the forum instead. New blog posts get automatically crossposted (and crosslinked) to the News section of the forum, where the community are invited to pick up the discussion. “Legacy” comments should still be visible on the blog too, if you look back far enough, but it’s not impossible that some may have been lost in the migration.
The comments I made related to financial stability and available resources, mostly focusing on my belief that the questions surrounding VPN use was a water test to see whether they are viewed as beneficial or detrimental. This I said was being done for the purpose of creating a premium VPN company from which Tor would receive financial benefit, I even guessed the somewhat unimaginative name of TorVPN.
The Tor VPN Project is fully funded for the next two years, and like Tor Browser, will remain free for everyone to use. Ensuring that access to Tor is unrestricted is part of our mission as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and is made possible by our generous donors.
One search has shown that TorVPN actually already exists under the development of its owner, who used to charge but now allows free use. Many other results came back for TorVPN, how do you intend to ensure yours comes as the first result? Getting it wrong could mean free advertising for one of the many other results. Fast VPN provider - USA/UK/EU VPN nodes on PPTP, OpenVPN and SSH proxy
Good question! One thing to bear in mind that although we’re calling it the “Tor VPN Project” for now, this does not necessarily reflect the name of the final product – which will go through its own branding process before release. However, for the time being, we thought it was a good enough description to convey the general functionality we have planned for the new client.
Tor Browser has also faced similar issues in the past, and in response we conduct semi-regular user testing on the “findability” of our applications. These studies will naturally apply to the VPN client in time too, and will help inform our future strategies to ensure “official” apps are still findable alongside third-party alternatives.
How will you manage to create, run and maintain the entire network on a staff of three? Your thinly stretched resources and staffing has resulted in the Android version being all what abandoned for the foreseeable future whilst you fix the problems with v11, and V1.0.1, and V1.2a.0.
I’m not sure where you got “three” from, are you referring to a specific team maybe? Nonetheless, the Tor VPN Project will involve developers from multiple teams across the Tor Project. In addition, we’re continuing to expand the Applications Team itself (which recetly welcomed its newest developer) and are also partnering with devs from the LEAP Encryption Access Project and the Guardian Project to develop the Tor VPN client while still supporting Tor Browser.
Lastly, progress is being made on Tor Browser 11 for Android – and I can assure you it hasn’t been abandoned.
How will you convince everybody to trust one point of failure with everything and at a cost when they could simply use the actual Tor network for free? Are you going to start scaling back the public network to focus on paying users?
Please see my answer above regarding cost (in short: the new client will remain free to use).
More importantly though, the new Tor VPN client will use the same Tor Network that Tor Browser does, with the key difference being that it will route multiple apps through Tor – rather than a single web browser.
I hope to get answers to all these legitimate and genuine questions but I have a feeling they may bring too much question for their liking, it will be an interesting experiment of financially censorship, from Tor.
On that subject: a gentle reminder that questions asked in good faith will receive answers in good faith in return