How come VPNs are not as anonymous as Tor?


I’ve read the PrivacyGuides Posts on both VPNs and Tor and I had this question.

As far as I understand, a VPN is like a direct line between A and B, and the only way to find the information is if B snitches on A.

With Tor, it goes from A to 1,2,3 then to x,y,z, and so on till it reaches B, hence even if B snitches it won’t connect to A.

But, if I can absolutely trust B to not snitch on me, I could remain anonymous simply by using a VPN such as Mullvad, right?

Are there any faults in my thinking?

It’s a different usecase, Tor is more than just a proxy. It also anonymises your browser fingerprint by making you look like every other Tor users

And even if you do fully trust Mullvad, there is still a really small risk (not important to most, but may be important to some) of them being served a gag order or a rogue employee messing things up. It really depends on your overall threat model

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Yes, that’s correct. This is also the reason a lot of people in countries with restricted internet access like Egypt prefer VPNs in a lot of cases. Lots of people don’t have to worry about legitimate multi-national investigations into their internet activity, they just have to be reasonably confident that their VPN provider won’t comply with Egyptian (or whatever repressive country) investigations, which is a pretty easy ask for most VPNs.