Onion Over VPN: All You Need to Know (Pros, Cons, Etc.)

What is Onion Over VPN, and How Do You Use It?

These days, more and more people are beginning to realize the importance of using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). A VPN secures you from the nefarious individuals lurking around on the internet. Users who want to take their security even stronger make use of the Onion over VPN feature. In this review, you will find out what using the Onion over VPN entails, and how to use it. 

What is Onion Over VPN?

You may have come across VPN-providers who claim to provide “Onion over VPN” access. Essentially, this means that the provider allows you to make use of the Tor network together with your VPN network. Tor stands for The Onion Router (network).

Typically, when you make use of a VPN, the provider routes your traffic through secure servers. This encrypts the traffic and further assigns you an IP address different from your regular one. This improves your security. The new IP address would then allow you to access some restricted content.

With the Onion over VPN, you get a much more standard system of encryption. The process routes your traffic through your VPN’s servers, then further runs it through the Onion network before arriving at your destination website.

Onion over VPN uses much more advanced technology, stronger even than what your VPN provides. As we will see later, this has some unique benefits for users.

NordVPNs onion over VPN function.

How to use Onion Over VPN

Generally, you can only access the Onion network with the Tor browser. Hence, you will have to download the browser for the process to work. The step-by-step process involves downloading the browser, then connecting to a regular VPN server. After you do this and begin browsing, your traffic will then be routed through the Tor servers.

However, some VPN-providers dispense with this need. Their technology allows you to make use of the Onion server without downloading the Tor browser. You will only need to connect to the special Onion over VPN server they offer, and you will be able to route your traffic through the Onion network. For most providers who offer this feature, you can get it working by simply flipping a button.

Making use of an Onion over VPN is reminiscent of making use of a tunnel. In the beginning, your provider first routes your traffic through the VPN server. After this, it then connects to the Tor network following an entry node. Your network will further pass through a relay node before finally exiting through an exit node. From there, it then connects to your intended website.

Why You Need to Make Use of Onion Over VPN

Here are a few reasons you should consider making use of Onion Over VPN:

1. Improved Security

As you must have noticed, three different nodes are used in the process described above. The purpose is to limit the information that each node carries.

For instance, the entry node can only see your IP address. In this instance, it would even be the IP address provided by your VPN since you will be connected to it. The exit node will only be aware of the site you are visiting. The relay node separates them. Seeing as the entry and exit nodes are not in direct communication, it enhances security. This is because hackers will find it almost impossible to break through the “tunnels” and access a user’s private data.

This is also especially useful for persons living in countries with heavy censorship. The multiple encryptions make sure that you do not get found out. It outsmarts the government’s encryption while also making your network impenetrable.  Additionally, you would be able to access restricted content. This could range from social media sites to even geo-blocked streaming platforms. Routing your VPN traffic over the Onion network ensures internet liberty.

2. Protects Sensitive Data

An Onion over VPN protects any sensitive information you send over the network. Thus, if your job requires you to have access to, or transfer sensitive data, you should consider making use of this feature. Categories of jobs here will naturally include journalists, political activists, and even military personnel.

3. Provides Better Security for the Onion Router Network

In regions where there is internet censorship, making use of the Tor network alone can land you in trouble. You may be able to bypass these restrictions using the Onion network. However, your Internet Service Provider will be aware of your activities. Some ISPs report such activities to the government. This could land you in trouble. In some cases, they may be compelled to give up such information.

Even more so, some governments may go the extra mile of infiltrating the onion network. They can exploit the different relay points, gather pieces of data, and then track you down with it. You may have to serve jail terms in some jurisdictions.

When you make use of the Onion network together with a VPN, you plug every loophole. Your ISP will not be aware that you are making use of the Onion network. This is because what it will access will just be the VPN-generated IP address.


Always bear in mind that you may experience some slower speed when you make use of the Onion over VPN feature. This happens because of the multiple connections to different servers. Thus, you may want to disregard this feature for day-to-day use. It is only in the situations when you need tighter security that you should activate the Onion over VPN setting. In that scenario, the lag will be more than worth it.