Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a tool to anonymize your web surfing. You can hide your traffic from your ISP or employer. It is a server that sits between your computer and the site you are visiting.
The TOR network stands for the The Onion Router, it is a layered network setup that hides your IP address. It is much slower than a normal connection. TOR is useful for journalists under threat. It is used for dark web activities as well.
TOR vs. VPN
It is known that intelligence agencies track downloads of the TOR browser bundle! TOR does provide greater anonymity than a VPN. TOR is easier to detect, websites can know that someone is using a TOR browser due to the ability to recognize the type of servers used by TOR. It is tougher to know if a user is connecting through a VPN.
Public Spy Wi-Fi
Coffeeshops, airports and hotels have low to no security safeguards, exposing potential business or personal information
Hiding your IP address is similar to masking your phone number which is important in some cases
Don't Get Tracked
TOR was designed to prevent 'traffic analysis', a form of network surviellance that we are not protected from without special tools
Even using a VPN, leaked DNS queries can give away your online behavior