What is Onion Over VPN?

What is Onion Over VPN? (Updated for 2024)

Published on: June 20, 2023
Last Updated: June 20, 2023

What is Onion Over VPN? (Updated for 2024)

Published on: June 20, 2023
Last Updated: June 20, 2023


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What is Onion over VPN?

Virtual private networks (VPNs) have rapidly become the industry standard software for circumventing geo-restrictions and protecting user information from being accessed by individuals or bots with harmful intent. 

Utilizing a VPN is a safe approach to safeguard both your anonymity and the data that is being transmitted.

Tor, on the other hand, employs Onion routing to prevent hackers from tracing your data back to you.

Understanding Onion Over VPN

NordVPN Onion Over VPN

It’s possible to utilize the Tor browser and a VPN simultaneously, known as an “onion over VPN” setup.

In order to protect your online privacy even further, it uses a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your data before it reaches the Tor network.

It is possible to increase your browser traffic’s anonymity and security by employing both a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and The Onion Router (Tor).

Even though the Tor network is frequently criticized for being the entry point to the dark web, using it is an effective strategy for protecting one’s privacy and anonymity when using the Internet.

The fact that our network (also known as the Onion network) is operated by anonymous volunteers poses a security concern.

Using a VPN service that supports “Onion over VPN” is the most effective method for mitigating this danger.

What Are Onion Domains?

In addition to offering anonymous and encrypted access to the Internet, Tor also gives users access to a feature that is commonly referred to as the deep web or dark web.

These websites, unlike conventional websites, are not stored on openly accessible IP addresses.

It uses sophisticated asymmetric and hashing cryptography to secure security. Onion domains and is independent of any DNS servers.

The domain name itself acts as a key in a decentralized database, allowing it to locate the website of your choice and securely connect you to it.

This is done while ensuring that no nodes in the chain are privy to information on who is hosting the website or who is using it.

What Is An Onion, Or TOR Network?

Onion routing functions similarly to the finest VPN service in that it encrypts every piece of data you post in many layers.

When utilizing a VPN, you must pay for the service. On the other hand, this is not the situation with a TOR network.

It is a no-cost service that is managed by a large number of volunteer servers that are exclusively dedicated to the system.

Unfortunately, the onion network is vulnerable to attack, as hackers can reach and decrypt it. Without a VPN connection, you should not share your personal information over the network.

What Is Tor?


TOR is abbreviated as “The Onion Router.” It’s an additional method for keeping your internet activity hidden.

TOR is not owned or operated by a firm or organization; rather, it is a decentralized network maintained by volunteers.

You should utilize the TOR browser rather than a conventional web browser such as Safari, Chrome, or Edge because it is compatible with the vast majority of operating systems.

It secures your confidentiality and provides similar features as a VPN:

1. Each and every one of your transmissions are encrypted not just once but three times over.

This ensures that your ISP, employer, and anyone are unaware of your online behavior, despite the fact that they can observe your use of TOR.

Nor will a VPN provider.

2. Your web traffic will first be routed through a random node on the network, which will be a computer belonging to a volunteer.

After that, it will be routed through at least two more nodes before it reaches the website you want to connect with.

The websites that you browse will be unaware of your actual IP address and location.

Benefits Of Onion Over VPN

NordVPN Onion Over VPN

Typically, the Onion over VPN configuration employs a VPN service with the Tor browser. Consequently, this configuration will solely secure your web traffic.

Moreover, configuring Tor to function with other programs is a tedious process. Some VPN companies offer Onion over VPN to circumvent these restrictions.

This technology enables you to safeguard all of your Internet traffic with a VPN and the Tor network.

The Tor browser’s increased security and privacy features, such as end-to-end encryption, will be unavailable.

NordVPN and ProtonVPN are two of the most recognized VPNs offering an Onion over VPN capability.

These VPNs provide superior security, absolute anonymity, and swift connectivity. There are no obligatory data retention regulations in their regions, and they do not keep logs.

Onion over VPN appeals to a diverse audience. This is because of its greater security and ease of usage.

The following individuals are drawn to Onion over VPN and the reasons why:

Residents And Visitors To Authoritarian Regimes

It is incredibly user-friendly. You will be routed through the Onion Network with one click. There are a few VPN products that support Onion network integration.

Depending on your preference, you can connect to a NordVPN server and utilize the TOR browser.

Additional Security

Because anybody can operate Onion servers, your data is subject to snooping.

This issue is resolved by routing your connection through a server of NordVPN, which conceals your IP address.

There Is No Need For A Unique Browser

NordVPN Onion Over VPN

Downloading and installing a browser that enables The Onion Routing is typically required.

With NordVPN, all you require is to link to an Onion over a VPN server, and you’re free to use any browser you want.

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Simplicity Of Use

Onion’s security and anonymity may be obtained in two ways: the first is simple, and the second is much simpler.

The first method needs visitors to first connect to a dependable VPN server and then to their preferred Tor browser.

Selecting one of the numerous VPN providers that already have dark web browsing features is the simpler option.

NordVPN and ExpressVPN are two well-known solutions in this regard. The majority of consumers will find both options to be straightforward and effective.

Enhanced Security

As you may have observed, the method described above utilizes three distinct nodes. The goal is to restrict the amount of data carried by each node.

For example, the entrance node only has access to your IP address. In this case, it would be your VPN’s IP address, as you will be linked to it.

The exit node is only informed of the website you are currently visiting. The relay node serves as a barrier between them. 

It is more secure because the entry and exit nodes are not directly connected. This is because it will be nearly impossible for hackers to penetrate the “tunnels” and obtain a user’s private data.

This is also very helpful for those who reside in nations with strict censorship. Multiple encryptions ensure that you cannot be discovered.

It defeats the government’s encryption while securing your network. Furthermore, you would have access to exclusive content.

This may include social networking sites and geo-blocked streaming services. By routing VPN traffic through the Onion network, internet liberty is ensured.

Added Anonymity

NordVPN Onion Over VPN

When used properly — which involves not login into any accounts (unless you’re solely using pseudonymous identities) — both Tor and VPNs contribute significantly to online anonymity.

By combining both privacy methods with NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN, you may boost your anonymity.

It is no longer possible for the Tor Entry Node to view your real IP address and instead only sees the IP of your NordVPN server.

Therefore, even if the Tor Network is compromised, attackers cannot determine your true IP.

How Does Onion Over VPN Work?

NordVPN Onion Over VPN

Your data typically flows from your device to the ISP’s server and then to the Internet when you join the Internet. It’s a rather straightforward relationship.

Your data is routed through a network of servers that are run by volunteers and are referred to as nodes or relays when you are utilizing the Onion network.

Typically, data is transmitted through three types of nodes (guard, middle, and exit), making it impossible to trace your activities.

Initially, the relay node will be used as a starting point. It is your Tor network entry point, and it understands your IP address.

Your data then passes via multiple intermediary nodes, which add more security layers and hide the sources of the traffic.

The central node decodes the second layer and transmits the message together with its last layer of codification to the exit node.

The exit node detaches the final layer and can interpret your message. However, it is unable to recall the rumor monger. This node delivers the message to the intended recipient.

Combining the security of a VPN connection across your server and your device is what “Onion over VPN” does.

In addition, many Tor relays are added between the VPN server and the actual network location.

It dramatically increases the number of intermediates between your device and the server you’re contacting:

  • When you connect to a VPN server, your connection is encrypted, and your IP address is concealed.
  • The request is then routed through a least three relays before arriving at its destination.

If someone tried to track the connection back to its source, it would be extremely difficult to do so if you are using a VPN service with no logs that you have paid for anonymously.

How to Configure Onion Over a VPN?

It is rather simple to connect to Onion via VPN. All that is required is:

  • Connect your device to your VPN.
  • Launch your Tor browser (it may be downloaded for free from the Tor website).
  • Begin browsing with double the privacy and security.

Some VPN providers include compatibility for Onion over VPN, eliminating the need to start a Tor browser.

You instead join a Tor-over-VPN server, and the VPN will immediately route all of your traffic over Tor.

In addition to your browsing traffic, your complete connection will become anonymous.

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Onion Over VPN

NordVPN Onion Over VPN

The following are some advantages of Onion over VPN:

  • Facilitates safe and private connections. onion sites on the deep web
  • Restricts your ISP from discovering your VPN usage.
  • Prevents the VPN service provider from viewing your traffic or the sites you visit
  • Allow you to access the Internet privately and securely
  • Capability to use a VPN with a standard web browser for non-essential tasks

Nevertheless, there are certain disadvantages of Onion over VPN:

  • The VPN service provider can see your actual IP address and the fact that you are utilizing the Tor network
  • Affected Tor exit nodes can possibly disclose your data
  • The combination of Tor and VPN will dramatically decelerate your connection speed.

Why Can’t VPN Replace Tor?

Alternatively, VPN might be used over Tor. Nevertheless, Onion over VPN is superior and quicker to deploy.

The only “advantage” of this strategy is increased privacy, as the Vpn service will no longer be able to view your actual IP address.

Nevertheless, if you already lack confidence in them, why employ them?

In contrast, using Onion over VPN, you can access any website on the Internet.

Additionally, it is mentioned that neither Tor nor the majority of VPNs encourages or permit this configuration.

Is Onion Over VPN Secure?

NordVPN Onion Over VPN

Before utilizing the Tor browser, it’s a good idea for users to use a virtual private network (VPN) to offer an extra layer of protection and anonymity.

Furthermore, this does not mean that users may rely only on it, even though it can be used to boost Tor’s security when employing Onion over VPN.

As a result of using Onion via a VPN, your browser will be protected from any type of surveillance.

The VPN service cannot monitor your activity, and your ISP cannot determine that you are utilizing Tor.

This configuration can be quite annoying because it is slower than utilizing the Tor browser alone. The configuration is only suggested when security is paramount.

The Bottom Line

The term “Onion over VPN,” which we have learned about in this article, describes the concurrent usage of the Tor browser and software for a VPN service.

In order to protect your online privacy even further, it uses a virtual private network (VPN) to secure your information before it reaches the Tor network. 

It is possible to increase your browser traffic’s secrecy and privacy by employing both a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and The Onion Router (Tor).

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Written by Trevor Cooke

Trevor Cooke is an accomplished technology writer with a particular focus on privacy and security. He specializes in topics such as VPNs, encryption, and online anonymity. His articles have been published in a variety of respected technology publications, and he is known for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and accessible manner.

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