Your IP: Unknown · Your Status: ProtectedUnprotectedUnknown

Improve your privacy with Onion Over VPN

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    Combine the privacy of the Tor browser with extra VPN security

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    Shield your online activities — even that you’re using the Onion Network

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    No extra setup to use the Onion network — one click is all you need

NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN feature

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?

woman is using the Onion network on a laptop

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.

01

Entry

You connect to the Onion network at a random entry point.

02

Maze of servers

While traveling through multiple servers, your data is enveloped in layers of encryption.

03

Decryption

Further down the road, the layers of encryption are peeled off one by one.

04

Exit

Your data is decrypted, and you exit through a random node, landing on the web.

Why do you need Onion Over VPN?

Hackers are trying to steal the data from the servers

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.

VPN hides online activity

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.

01

Log in

Open your NordVPN app and enter your account credentials.

02

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.

03

Connect to Onion Over VPN

Press “Onion Over VPN” to automatically connect to the best available server.

neutralFor additional information, please have a look at the Onion Over VPN section in our Help Center.

Who should use Onion Over VPN?

Journalist is using an Onion Over VPN

Journalists and political activists

If you feel you need an extra layer of protection against surveillance and censorship.

Traveler is using an Onion Over VPN in autocratic regimes

Residents and travelers in autocratic regimes

If you want to keep the fact that you’re using the Onion network to yourself.

Sensitive data is protected

Persons who work with sensitive data

If a single leak can cause tremendous harm or place people in real danger.

When don’t you need Onion Over VPN?

Enjoy online security on your mobile phone with a VPN

For casual browsing

A VPN tunnel is more than enough to guarantee your safety. You already have increased security when you’re connected to a NordVPN server.

Maximum internet connection speed

For maximum connection speed

Since you take a longer path, routing your traffic through multiple Onion servers, you’ll have to deal with lower connection speeds.

NordVPN’s Double VPN feature

When using Double VPN

If you don’t want to deal with the Onion network, use the Double VPN feature, which routes your data through two VPN servers, providing double the security.

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 .onion sites
  • 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 .onion sites
  • Can access sites that block Tor traffic
  • Keeps traffic encrypted at the exit node

Layer your privacy with
Onion Over VPN

Frequently asked questions