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Many years ago I used some days or weeks Tor Browser, but gave up because too slow and especially because of the many CAPTCHAs.

Now I have since a few days the Tor Browser set as default and get less CAPTCHA than in normal Firefox (with ad blocker and other privacy addons). I use a VPN with normal Firefox.

I am really puzzled why I have less CAPTCHA with Tor browser than with normal Firefox via VPN.

Can someone explain this?

I check ifconfig.co and see that I really have a different IP.

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One possibility of running into a lot of CAPTCHAs might be because this VPN is used by many and generating a lot of traffic, hence the websites might be confusing all of it as automated traffic.
That said, another thing that might explain why you're seeing less CAPTCHAs since the last time you were using Tor, is the attitude of website owners and administrators towards Tor users might have improved. For instance, if you compare the list of websites in the old wiki and the list of websites and services in the updated ticket you might notice that a lot of websites have improved their usability over Tor.

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