What Is Onion Over VPN? A Detailed Guide

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What Is Onion Over VPN

Have you heard of the dark web? There are a ton of theories about what happens there.

Nowadays, online privacy, anonymity, and security are hot topics. Why? Every online service, including search engines, wants to sell your data to third parties for profit. And then there are the governments and cybercriminals.

Traditional VPNs were helpful for privacy and security in the past. Today, Onion over VPN is the best option available.

You may ask, what is it, and how does it work?

Onion Over VPN is a security feature offered by some VPN services that allow users to access the Tor network securely by routing their Internet traffic first through the VPN server. This feature adds an extra layer of security by encrypting the user’s Internet traffic and sending it through the Tor network, which is known for its anonymity and privacy. Essentially, Onion Over VPN combines the benefits of both Tor and VPN to create a highly secure and private online browsing experience.

This article will explain the fundamentals of Onion over VPN and how to use it to surf the web privately, securely, and anonymously in this age of digital surveillance.

Background on Onion Over VPN

The term “Onion over VPN” refers to a blend of two separate technologies: Onion Routing and Virtual Private Networks (VPN). Among the most popular and widely used provider is Torn.

Here’s how it works: Your data travels through a VPN server before entering the Onion network. This encrypted Onion routing protocol ensures that users can mask their digital personas while navigating the web.

The good news is that most VPN providers, such as Surfshark and Nord, already have this function, so you get the best of both worlds by doing nothing extra.

Although VPN and Tor are effective privacy tools, the Onion network uses distinct underlying technologies. The Onion network places a greater emphasis on giving you complete anonymity.

Related: Surfshark Vs. Express VPN – An In-Depth Comparison

How Onion Over VPN Works?

How Onion Over VPN Works

Connecting to Onion over VPN is rather simple. Now, how does Onion over VPN encrypt your traffic for anonymity?

  • When you connect to a VPN server, the VPN app establishes an encrypted tunnel to the server, hiding your online activity and the IP address from your ISP and any prying eyes
  • When using a VPN with the Tor browser, your VPN server’s IP address will be visible to the guard node (the first Tor node) rather than your public IP address. It’s a nice extra measure of security
  • Although your online activity has encryption while on the VPN server, it gets decrypted when it leaves the VPN’s network
  • As your traffic traverses the Tor network, it gets routed to at least  three ‘nodes’: the guard node, the middle node, and the exit node. Here is how it works: Before transferring data to the next node, each node removes one layer of encryption and adds another layer.

    Before it gets to its destination, your traffic becomes decrypted at the exit node. Even though the VPN IP address isn’t visible, the Tor exit node can still access the contents of your browsing traffic

To put it another way, the VPN server is just another component of the chain of data transmission. Onion over VPN adds an extra layer of encryption on top of Tor’s at least three-layer system.

Related: Why You Need a VPN at Home: The Ultimate Guide

Benefits of Onion Over VPN

Onion over VPN has several benefits, such as:

Enhanced Privacy and Security

Onion over VPN is highly secure because each node that the data goes through will decrypt and read your data. Although some nodes may attempt to snoop on your actions, users can trust the vast majority to keep their information safe.
Sure, data security is crucial, but so is the ability to conceal your true identity. It’s especially true in countries that impose heavy regulations on online activity. By using an Onion over VPN, users can remain anonymous and evade encryption and censorship imposed by governments.

Ease of Use

Using an Onion over VPN service is an excellent way to increase your online safety and privacy. Instead of figuring out how to access the dark web on your own, use one of the many VPNs that provide access. 

Popular services in this category include NordVPN and Surfshark. The vast majority of users will find both options to be easy to implement and highly successful.

Related: What Is VPN on iPhone And How it Works

Choosing the Right Onion Over VPN Service

Choosing the best Onion over VPN service from the hundreds available can be daunting. To ensure your onion networking stays private and safe, consider the following carefully before settling on a provider.


Ensuring a VPN works on all the popular operating systems, including iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows, is a must. It’ll make using Onion over VPN on any of your gadgets simple.

Ease of use

It would help if you didn’t overlook user-friendliness since you don’t want to waste hours trying to comprehend how a VPN works. If you plan on using the Tor browser, the product you select should be compatible with it.

Integrated Safety and Security

Choose a VPN that provides full anonymity protections, including OpenVPN protocol, multiple logins, DNS leak prevention, internet kill switch, and 256-bit encryption. With these additions, you can safely use the Tor browser for all your online needs, including streaming videos online.


A VPN’s server speed is another crucial factor to think about. Nothing is worse than waiting for something to stream, download, or load on a website.

The good news is most VPN services include a risk-free trial. Putting all these features through their paces before committing to a membership is essential.

Related: Best VPN for Firestick – Stream Anywhere, Anytime in 2023

Setting up Onion Over VPN on Your Device

The first step in getting your Onion over VPN server up and running is customizing the VPN to do what you want. To accomplish your goal, you must:

  1.  Select a VPN provider and sign up for a service that doesn’t keep logs. If you’re looking for a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs, is lightning fast, and won’t break the bank, go no further than NordVPN or Surfshark. The annual cost of NordVPN or Surfshark is $60, and they both provide their Onion over VPN servers that let you directly access Tor.
  2. Connect with a VPN server. Pick a remote server and establish a VPN connection to it. You should note that your speeds will increase with proximity to your physical location.
  3. Go to the Tor website to download the Tor Browser.
  4. Installing the Tor Browser on your device is as simple as clicking the proper icon and following the on-screen instructions of your device.
  5. Fire up the Tor browser while connected to the VPN service.
  6. Browse in privacy. Make sure you avoid any sites that could compromise your anonymity when you browse. It includes using a computer to do personal business, such as checking email or a social media account.

What Is Onion Over VPN FAQs

Is Onion Over VPN Better Than VPN?

There are benefits and drawbacks unique to VPNs that the Onion Network does not share. One will serve some purposes better than the other, but using both will get the best results.

What’s the Difference Between a VPN and an Onion Browser?

Tor merely encrypts information while it’s in transit within the browser. A VPN is a privacy protection software that encrypts every data leaving a device, regardless of whether it originates from a browser or an app. What sets a VPN apart from Tor is how it operates.

How Do I Use Onion Over VPN?

Connect with your VPN. Open the Tor browser. Start your search with double the privacy and protection.

Why Is Onion Over VPN So Slow?

The latency of connections is a key problem while using Onion over VPN. Your internet speed suffers because your data gets encrypted many times and sent through different servers and nodes.


The Onion Router is a tool for hiding one’s online identity while still allowing access to the internet, including the dark web, and evading censorship. When combined with a VPN, security gets significantly increased. 

When using a VPN, your data remains encrypted even after it leaves the Tor network. It keeps third parties from tracking your position and rogue Tor exit nodes from revealing you. Plus, no one will tell if you’re using Tor if you use Onion over VPN.

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