What is Onion Over VPN?
Onion Over VPN is a special feature of NordVPN. It gives you all the advantages of The Onion Router (Tor) combined with the extra security of a VPN tunnel.
How does the Onion network work?
In the Onion network, you send your web traffic through a network of volunteer-operated servers. Instead of taking a direct route, your internet data enters the Onion network via a random relay anywhere around the globe. Your internet traffic goes through layers of encryption at every point of connection, making it difficult to identify where the traffic comes from.
You connect to the Onion network at a random entry point.
Maze of servers
While traveling through multiple servers, your data is enveloped in layers of encryption.
Further down the road, the layers of encryption are peeled off one by one.
Your data is decrypted, and you exit through a random node, landing on the web.
Why do you need Onion Over VPN?
Protect yourself from snoops on the Onion network
Onion servers are volunteer-operated — anyone can set up and run one. That means bad actors could deploy thousands of compromised servers to track you online. But using Onion Over VPN hides your real IP address from the entry node, meaning your identity is protected even from someone monitoring vast portions of the Onion network.
Add an extra layer of privacy with a VPN
Without NordVPN, your internet service provider can see that you use the Onion network. This can be especially risky for activists, journalists, and bloggers in censorship-heavy countries. NordVPN shields your online activities from all third parties and does not track your online activity, letting you enjoy privacy online.
How to use Onion Over VPN
Start using our Onion Over VPN feature in 3 easy steps.
Open your NordVPN app and enter your account credentials.
Find specialty servers
The “Specialty servers” tab is on the left-hand side of the screen on desktop devices. On mobile devices, simply swipe up.
Connect to Onion Over VPN
Press “Onion Over VPN” to automatically connect to the best available server.
Who should use Onion Over VPN?
When don’t you need Onion Over VPN?
Tor over VPN or VPN over Tor?
Our Onion Over VPN feature operates under the principle known as Tor over VPN — that is, you connect to a VPN server first, then access the Onion network. But it’s not the only privacy solution to combine Tor anonymity with VPN security. VPN over Tor reverses the steps, first plugging you into the Onion network, and then adding VPN protection to the mix.
VPN over Tor lets you reach websites that normally block Tor traffic, but suffers from serious drawbacks compared to Tor over VPN. Notably, it’s more difficult to set up, doesn’t shield your IP address from the entry node, and doesn’t hide the fact that you’re using Tor from your ISP. You’re trading the biggest plus of Tor over VPN — increased privacy — for a few extra websites.
Tor over VPN
- ISP can’t see you using Tor
- ISP can see you’re using a VPN
- Can access
- Can’t access sites that block Tor traffic
- Protects your IP from the entry node
VPN over Tor
- ISP can see you using Tor
- ISP can’t see you using a VPN
- Can’t access
- Can access sites that block Tor traffic
- Keeps traffic encrypted at the exit node
Frequently asked questions
Is the Onion network the same as a VPN?
Is Onion Over VPN safe?
Is the Onion (Tor) browser illegal?
Double VPN or Onion Over VPN — which one is better?
Keep in mind that certain websites may block connections from the Onion network. Double VPN is also slightly faster, although both options will slow down your connection due to the extra security measures.