what is onion over vpn nordvpn

Onion Over VPN is a powerful online security feature offered by NordVPN. It combines the advantages of The Onion Router (Tor) with the extra protection of a VPN tunnel, ensuring optimum privacy and anonymity while browsing the web. This technology is particularly beneficial for users in countries with heavy surveillance or those who seek to maintain complete online confidentiality.

NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN allows users to access the Tor network without the need for a separate Tor browser. By connecting to a dedicated Onion Over VPN server, the user’s traffic is first encrypted by NordVPN before being routed through the volunteer-operated Tor network. This process provides an increased level of privacy and security, ensuring that even your ISP cannot detect your use of the Onion network.

Key Takeaways

  • Onion Over VPN combines the advantages of Tor and VPN for enhanced online privacy and security.
  • NordVPN offers dedicated Onion Over VPN servers for seamless integration with the Tor network.
  • Accessing the Tor network through NordVPN ensures that even your ISP cannot trace your usage.

Understanding Onion Over VPN

The Concept of Onion Over VPN

Onion Over VPN is a feature provided by NordVPN that combines the security advantages of The Onion Router (Tor) with the privacy benefits of a VPN tunnel. When using Onion Over VPN, your internet traffic is sent through a network of volunteer-operated servers in the Tor network, while also being encrypted by the VPN. This ensures both anonymity and privacy while browsing online.

Importance of Onion Over VPN

The use of Onion Over VPN offers several advantages for privacy-conscious individuals. By combining the extra layers of security from both Tor and a VPN, you can prevent third parties from tracking your online activities. This is particularly useful when accessing sensitive information, whistleblowing, or circumventing censorship and surveillance measures.

The Basics of Tor Network

The Tor network, short for The Onion Router, is a system that allows for anonymous communication over the internet. It consists of a network of volunteer-operated servers that routes the user’s traffic through various layers of encryption, making it difficult to trace back to the original source. While using Tor by itself can provide anonymity, combining it with Onion Over VPN further enhances your privacy and security by adding an additional layer of encryption from the VPN.

NordVPN and its Specialty

NordVPN is a popular VPN service that offers various features and server types for its users. One of these server types is their Specialty servers, catering to different use cases and ensuring a more secure browsing experience. In this section, we’ll discuss NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN feature and how to operate it for enhanced privacy.

NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN Feature

Onion Over VPN is a unique offering by NordVPN that combines the benefits of The Onion Router (Tor) network with a VPN tunnel’s added security. This feature allows users to access the Tor network without requiring a separate Tor browser, providing increased privacy and anonymity while browsing the internet.

When connected to an Onion Over VPN server, your traffic is encrypted by the NordVPN app before entering the Tor network, ensuring an extra layer of security against potential threats, such as hackers, and even your internet service provider1.

Operating NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN

To use the Onion Over VPN feature, user needs to follow these simple steps:

  1. Selecting Specialty Servers: Open your NordVPN app and find the “Specialty Servers” category.
  2. Choosing Onion Over VPN: Under Specialty Servers, you’ll find different server options like Double VPN and Onion Over VPN. Choose the Onion Over VPN server option.
  3. Connecting: Once you’ve selected the Onion Over VPN option, simply click on it, and you’ll be connected to one of NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN servers in no time.
  4. Browsing with Anonymity: After you’re connected, your browsing will be carried out over the Tor network, providing you with a secure and anonymous online experience.

If you encounter any issues or have questions while using NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN feature, you can always seek help from their customer support for prompt assistance.

While using NordVPN’s specialty servers like Onion Over VPN and Double VPN, you are provided with an additional layer of security and privacy. This sets NordVPN apart from many other VPN services available on the market and allows for a more secure and anonymous browsing experience.

Securing Data and Privacy

Protection Offered by Onion Over VPN

Onion Over VPN is a feature provided by NordVPN that combines the benefits of The Onion Router (Tor) with the security of a VPN tunnel. It is designed to enhance your online privacy and security by sending your web traffic through a network of volunteer-operated servers, making it significantly more difficult for anyone to track your online activities or access your sensitive data.

To achieve this level of anonymity, your internet traffic first passes through the secure VPN server, which encrypts your data and masks your IP address. Then, your encrypted traffic is sent through the Tor network by bouncing it off multiple servers, further protecting your identity and ensuring complete privacy.

Understanding Encryption Methods

Encryption plays a vital role in maintaining online security and protecting sensitive data. NordVPN uses AES-256 encryption, a highly secure method recognized as one of the best in the industry. This encryption level is considered virtually unbreakable, providing a high level of confidence in its ability to keep your data secure.

With Onion Over VPN, the combination of NordVPN’s robust encryption and the Tor network’s multilayered routing ensures your online activities, IP address, and personal information remain private, offering you anonymity and increased security.

Ultimately, NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN feature provides a powerful solution for those seeking to enhance their online privacy and protect sensitive data. By combining NordVPN’s industry-leading encryption with the anonymity offered by the Tor network, users can surf the web with confidence, knowing their identity and data are secure.

Technical Details of Onion Over VPN

Nodes in VPN

Onion Over VPN is a powerful security feature that combines the privacy and encryption of a VPN with the anonymity of the Tor network. When you connect to an Onion Over VPN server, your internet traffic is encrypted and routed through three different nodes in the Tor network, allowing you to browse the web with a high level of anonymity.

The first node your traffic encounters is the entry node. This entry node only knows the IP address of your VPN server and is unable to see your actual IP address. The traffic then passes through a series of intermediate nodes that only know information about the previous and next nodes in the line. This chain of nodes keeps your data secure, as no single node can read both the source and destination of your information.

After traveling through multiple nodes, your traffic ultimately reaches the exit node. The exit node decrypts the final layer of encryption and sends your request to the desired website. This node is also unable to access your original IP address, further maintaining your anonymity online.

Types of Nodes

In the Onion Over VPN setup, there are two types of nodes: VPN nodes and Tor nodes. When you connect to a VPN service like NordVPN, your internet traffic is first encrypted and sent through a secure VPN tunnel. This means that even if someone were able to intercept your data, they wouldn’t be able to read it.

After exiting the VPN tunnel, your traffic enters the Tor network. As mentioned earlier, your traffic will pass through three Tor nodes: the entry node, one or more intermediate nodes, and the exit node. Each of these nodes provides a layer of encryption, ensuring that your online activity remains private and secure.

By using Onion Over VPN, you can effectively combine the powerful encryption and privacy benefits of a VPN with the additional layer of anonymity provided by Tor. This combination allows you to browse the internet with confidence, knowing that your data is secure and your identity is protected.

Practical Scenarios

Usage in Travelling

While travelling, it’s essential to maintain a secure and private internet connection, especially when using public Wi-Fi networks. Onion Over VPN with NordVPN provides an extra layer of security, ensuring that your data remains encrypted while you’re on the go. By connecting to an Onion Over VPN server, your traffic is first routed through the VPN, and then it enters the Tor network, offering increased privacy and protection against potential cyber threats.


Political activists often face surveillance and censorship while fighting for their causes. In such scenarios, using Onion Over VPN with NordVPN serves as a reliable tool to maintain their anonymity online. It helps activists protect their identity, communicate securely with other activists, and access resources that may be blocked in their location. This versatile security solution prevents adversaries from tracking their online activities, reducing the risk of retaliation and harassment.

Onion Over VPN

Accessing .onion websites on the Tor network generally requires a separate Tor browser. However, with NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN feature, you can leverage the benefits of the Tor network without needing a separate browser. It provides increased privacy by encrypting your traffic and routing it through the VPN before entering the Tor network. This setup adds an additional layer of security and ensures that your ISP or any other third-party cannot snoop on your online activities, even if they intercept your connection. It’s particularly helpful for users who frequently access .onion websites or wish to maintain a high level of anonymity while browsing the web.

Analyzing Speed and Connectivity

Connection Speeds with NordVPN

NordVPN is known for providing reliable and fast connection speeds, which are critical for a seamless browsing experience. When using Onion Over VPN, it is essential to understand that the addition of the Tor network may slightly affect the connection speeds. However, NordVPN’s robust infrastructure ensures that any speed reduction is minimized, allowing users to enjoy a secure and relatively high-speed connection.

It’s worth mentioning that NordVPN utilizes a race mechanism within their Onion Over VPN feature. This helps to reduce latency and ensures comparatively faster connection times, optimizing the overall user experience.

Effect on Browsing Speed

Onion Over VPN is an advanced privacy feature that combines the benefits of both Tor and VPN services. This combined setup typically results in slightly slower browsing speeds as your internet traffic passes through multiple layers of encryption and a network of voluntary-operated servers. However, the speed reduction is often a trade-off for enhanced security and privacy.

NordVPN’s infrastructure plays a significant role in minimizing the impact on browsing speeds. The company operates a vast network of high-quality servers, resulting in efficient traffic management and reduced latency. Additionally, NordVPN’s smart algorithms help in selecting the best servers for the Onion Over VPN feature, ensuring optimized performance and stable connections.

In summary, it is essential to consider the effects of Onion Over VPN on connection and browsing speeds. NordVPN has made efforts to minimize these impact, making it a reliable choice for users seeking a balance between security, privacy, and speed.

Reviewing Alternatives

Comparing NordVPN with ProtonVPN

NordVPN and ProtonVPN are both popular VPN services in the market, each with its own set of features and benefits. Let’s briefly compare the two to help you better understand their offerings.


NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN feature provides an added layer of privacy by routing your traffic through the Onion network, attaining increased security without the need for a separate Tor browser. This feature may not be available in ProtonVPN.

Additionally, NordVPN has over 5400 servers in 59 countries, while ProtonVPN has a smaller network of 1200+ servers in 55 countries. A larger server network usually translates to better performance and reduced latency.

Privacy Policies

Both NordVPN and ProtonVPN are committed to their users’ privacy. NordVPN has a strict no-log policy to ensure that no user data is recorded or stored. ProtonVPN also maintains a no-logs policy and provides additional privacy-focused services like ProtonMail.


NordVPN offers a diverse range of plans, from monthly to biennial subscriptions, with prices starting at $11.95 per month or $89 for the yearly plan. ProtonVPN, on the other hand, provides a free plan with limited features and a range of paid plans starting from $4 per month or $48 per year for their basic plan.


Both NordVPN and ProtonVPN support various platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux, ensuring cross-platform compatibility.

In conclusion, choosing between NordVPN and ProtonVPN ultimately depends on your individual needs and priorities. While NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN offers extra privacy, ProtonVPN offers a free plan for users with basic requirements. It’s essential to weigh the features, privacy policies, pricing, and platform compatibility to make an informed decision.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of using Onion over VPN?

Onion over VPN provides an extra layer of security and privacy for users when accessing the internet. By combining the privacy benefits of the Tor network and the encryption of a VPN, Onion over VPN ensures that your online activities remain anonymous and your data is protected from potential surveillance or hacking attempts.

Is it safe to use Onion over VPN with NordVPN?

Yes, using Onion over VPN with NordVPN is safe. NordVPN is a reputable VPN provider that prioritizes user security and privacy. Onion over VPN servers are fully compatible with the Tor network, ensuring optimal performance and security when connected.

What are the differences between Double VPN, Onion over VPN, and P2P VPN?

  • Double VPN: This feature passes your traffic through two separate VPN servers, adding an additional layer of encryption and security.
  • Onion over VPN: This feature routes your traffic through a VPN server and then through the Tor network, providing added security and privacy.
  • P2P VPN: P2P VPN servers are optimized for peer-to-peer activities, such as file sharing or torrenting.

How does NordVPN support Onion over VPN?

NordVPN offers a special category of servers that enable Onion over VPN. These servers are optimized for accessing the Tor network with increased privacy, without the need for a separate Tor browser. When you connect to an Onion over VPN server, your traffic is encrypted by the NordVPN client, providing added security.

Can I use Onion over VPN on different devices?

Yes, you can use Onion over VPN with NordVPN on different devices, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. NordVPN offers compatible applications for various devices, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of Onion over VPN across multiple platforms.

How does Onion over VPN compare to using the Tor Browser?

Onion over VPN and Tor Browser both provide access to the Tor network, but the main difference is the level of security and privacy. Onion over VPN encrypts your traffic before entering the Tor network through a VPN server, while Tor Browser relies solely on the Tor network for anonymity. Using Onion over VPN in conjunction with NordVPN ensures a higher level of security and privacy.


  1. NordVPN support - Onion Over VPN with NordVPN

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