Unlike many other so-called secure browsers, people prefer to use the Onion browser for its anonymity. It enables you to browse the web without keeping any browsing tracks and additional sensitive information. Tor browser’s popularity also originated from its ability to access the Onion network while protecting its online identity. That’s why you need to learn more about Onion over VPN!
But, unfortunately, Tor won’t make you 100% secure because the Tor working mechanism that can expose your data traffic and other security flaws has developed like in its exit nodes. To boost your online security, you need to use a legitimate VPN provider in combination with the Tor browser, commonly called Onion over VPN. Using a VPN with the Tor browser adds an extra layer of protection.
Keep reading and find more about what is Onion over VPN?
Is Tor Browser Safe to Use?
The Tor browser is primarily designed to make your internet traffic and activities anonymous while using the Tor network. Journalists, whistleblowers, and individuals who worry about censorship or their online privacy use the Tor browser for exchanging information and communicating privately.
The Tor network uses several multiple nodes to make you anonymous. When you connect to the Tor network, it connects to any random entry node. The data traffic hops through the middle node and then to the final exit node. When the data goes from one node to another, it enjoys some encryption and changes your IP address and thus making you anonymous. But, when the data goes through the exit node to the hosted site, it’s unencrypted, making the Tor browser unsafe to use. Besides this, other reasons make the Tor browser unreliable to use like:
- The Tor exit nodes are malicious and have been compromised in the past.
- The exit nodes even record your requests’ content, and later malicious actors can use them with bad intentions.
- The hackers can monitor the Tor exit node and track you to compromise your data.
- Your ISP blocks your access to the Tor browser because of its association with the dark web.
- Your ISP throttles your connection when you connect to the Tor browser.
These points prove that the Tor browser is not entirely safe and secure to use. But, if you want to access the Tor network anonymously, you need to follow a security-enhancing tool like a VPN. here is the guide to use Tor safely.
What Is Onion Over VPN?
Onion over VPN is an advanced technology used by the best Tor VPNs who want to maximize their security and privacy while using the Tor network. When you use this technology, your data is routed first through the VPN server and then through the onion network before reaching its final destination.
In this way, instead of encrypting the data within the layers, your entire data will be encrypted using military-grade encryption. You can even access the dark web to collect information without worrying about being tracked or hijacked. The Tor browser does provide some sort of anonymity, but it’s not enough; thus, you need to use a VPN because there are some threats that only a VPN can mitigate. Your ISPs, hackers, or government surveillance agencies won’t be able to track your activities.
How Does Tor Over VPN Work?
Tor over VPN works by connecting you to a VPN. First, your data is encrypted and routed via a remote server and then to the Tor network. The VPN makes you utterly anonymous over the web, leaving no room for the snooping eyes to monitor or track your online behavior. Also, the VPN hides your IP address by assigning a temporary IP address. In this way, the ISP would have no idea about you being connected to the Tor browser. You can bypass internet censorship and access the blocked sites easily.
Moreover, it keeps you protected from the Tor exit nodes vulnerabilities. The VPN uses robust encryption and various advanced features that increase your online security and prevent hackers from intercepting your network.
However, using Tor over VPN has some drawbacks. Though the prying eyes won’t monitor your activities, the websites can still block you from accessing Tor. Besides this, the Tor exit nodes are still vulnerable and can compromise your valuable data. But you can get around this problem by subscribing to a legitimate VPN provider offering compatibility with the Tor browser.
Is Onion Better Than a VPN?
Tor is a browser, while VPN is software used to increase your digital privacy and security. Both are excellent tools but a VPN makes you both anonymous and secure over the web while Tor only provides a high anonymity level. A VPN offers a range of features that make your web browsing experience worth amazing compared to the Tor browser. Here are some of the features that a VPN offers, but you can’t enjoy them while using the Tor browser:
- Unlike the Tor browser, a VPN won’t ever slow down your internet speed. It comes with a vast server network and ensures fast connection speed.
- You can use a VPN for downloading torrents and accessing the blocked streaming content.
- A VPN enables users to access blocked websites and services by changing their IP addresses.
- By encrypting the contents of your data traffic, a VPN ensures that you can communicate privately, and no one can know about your online activities.
- With a VPN, you can even access the unindexed part of the internet without risking your digital privacy.
- A reliable VPN provider won’t leak your IP address or allow anyone to view your data traffic.
As a whole, a VPN offers more benefits to the users than the Tor browser. It can make your communication private by providing other extra benefits, too, so a VPN is way better than using a Tor browser.
What Are the Benefits of Using a VPN on Tor Browser?
Tor is among the list of most secure browsers. It comes with a range of impressive and advanced features that anonymous your browsing activities. But, the significant drawback of using the Tor browser is that it is vulnerable to web attacks and even fails to provide complete encryption and security to the users. Since it uses layered encryption, when the data traffic leaves the exit nodes, it goes unencrypted, making it subject to hacking and surveillance. You can always use a reputable VPN provider and boost your digital privacy on the Tor browser.
A VPN benefits the users on the Tor network in the following ways:
- It encrypts your data traffic using AES-256 bit encryption and secure VPN protocols and makes it impossible for the prying eyes to invade your network and compromise your privacy.
- Tor exit nodes are malicious and vulnerable to hacking, but the VPN’s advanced features further increase their online presence.
- By masking your IP address and spoofing your location, a VPN helps in retaining greater online anonymity.
- Using the Tor network slows down your internet speed. By connecting to the fastest server, a VPN boosts internet speed and even helps in bypassing ISP throttling.
- The VPN’s built-in IP leak protection and the kill switch features prevent your IP address from leaking.
To further boost your security and privacy on the Tor network, ensure that you choose a VPN compatible with the Tor browser and follow a strict zero-logging policy. Such VPN providers are more reliable and provide a safe browsing experience.
Tor Over VPN Vs. VPN Over Tor- Which One to Choose?
Using a VPN is the best way to boost your digital life and access the Tor network safely and anonymously. It’s because of the VPN’s impressive end-to-end encryption ability that makes it best among others. There are two ways to use a VPN on the Tor browser. In the first Tor over VPN method, you first connect to the VPN and then access the Onion network. It is a much reliable and secure way to use because:
- Your ISP won’t learn that you’re connected to the Tor browser, and they won’t slow down your internet speed.
- Your data remains protected from all snooping eyes.
- The Tor entry nodes will view the IP address assigned by the VPN provider.
- The setup process is easy.
Another way to access the Tor network with a VPN is to first connect to the Onion network and then to the VPN. It is a less common way to adopt because:
- It requires technical knowledge because the setup process is not easy.
- You can’t access the .onion sites.
- When you connect to the Tor browser and the VPN, your ISP learns that you’re connected to the Onion network. In this way, you won’t remain utterly private and anonymous.
- The Tor exit nodes can view your actual IP address, and hackers can get a chance to track your activities.
Hence, you should always choose Tor over the VPN method to access the Tor network. It is a secure method, as the data encryption feature makes you private over the Tor network. Also, you can enjoy fast speed and don’t need any configuration on the VPN server, so use it instead of the second method.
Is Onion Over VPN Safe to Use?
The Onion network is free and community-based; anyone can access it and set up a Tor node. The potential hackers can take advantage of this and set up rogue or malicious nodes to spy and compromise your online activities. Experts have suggested using a VPN in combination with the Tor browser. It is the safest method to ensure anonymity and security over the Tor browser.
The VPN provides an end-to-end encryption feature that Tor doesn’t. It even masks your actual IP address and makes it challenging for the ISP to tell from where you’re browsing the Tor network. Moreover, a VPN for Tor offers other extra advanced security and privacy-focused features that strengthen your digital security. However, be careful while choosing a VPN for the Tor network. Using a free or poorly configured VPN will further put your privacy at risk. Hence use a premium VPN or VPNs that offers a free trial period.
How to Set Up a VPN with Tor Browser?
Using Onion over the Tor browser isn’t complicated if you know the appropriate steps. Once you’ve selected the best VPN for Tor, then follow the steps as mentioned below:
- Subscribe to the best Onion over VPN. To keep your online identity hidden, make sure you choose the anonymous mode of payment while purchasing the VPN.
- Download and install the VPN app on your device.
- Connect to a server of your choice. Ensure that you connect to a server that offers the fastest connection speed.
- Configure your VPN. Navigate to the Settings menu and enable the Tor-centric features.
- Download and install the Tor browser.
- Open the Tor browser and then connect to the Tor network.
That’s it. You can now use the Tor browser safely and anonymously. The VPN will first encrypt the data traffic before accessing the Tor network. In this way, you can prevent the vulnerabilities posed by the Tor browser.
Does Using Tor Bridges Help in Reducing the Privacy Risks?
The Tor network was primarily designed to facilitate anonymous communication by hiding the user’s IP address via layered encryption. However, since the Tor browser is vulnerable to malicious end nodes, and the encryption it offers is limited to the layers, this raises suspicion on Tor browser reliability. Users are now using Tor bridges to enhance their security over the Tor browser and mitigate security concerns.
The Tor bridges are the private Tor relays that act as a proxy and help in bypassing the network restrictions. They disguise your traffic like regular traffic and add an extra protective layer while browsing the Tor browser. You can use Tor bridges since there are no significant drawbacks of using them except that there is no complete list of Tor bridges. You can sometimes use fake or bogus bridges that expose you instead of protecting your online identity. Moreover, the ISP has a list of such fake Tor bridges, and they block your access when you use them. Therefore, you should be confident that the Tor bridges you are using are reliable; otherwise, it’s better that you use a legitimate VPN provider.
Tor browser is an excellent way to make your communication private and to access the dark web. But the risks associated with the Tor browser make it unsafe to use. Using a VPN in conjunction with the Tor browser can double up your privacy on the Tor network. So, start using the best Onion over VPNs and boost your digital privacy.