what is onion over vpn nordvpn

Onion Over VPN is a powerful privacy feature offered by NordVPN. It provides an additional layer of security by combining the benefits of The Onion Router (Tor) network with a Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnel. This sophisticated approach enables users to access the Tor network with enhanced privacy, without requiring a separate Tor browser.

The primary aim of Onion Over VPN is to ensure that your internet traffic remains secure and private while traversing the internet. By encrypting your data through both the VPN and Tor networks, it effectively hides your real IP address and protects against various threats, such as hackers, identity theft, and surveillance. With NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN feature, users can easily maintain their online privacy in today’s increasingly data-driven world.

Key Takeaways

  • Onion Over VPN combines the advantages of Tor and VPN for enhanced privacy
  • NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN provides a secure way to access the Tor network without a separate browser
  • Increases protection against cyber threats, hackers, and surveillance

Understanding Onion Over VPN

What is Onion Over VPN?

Onion Over VPN is a unique feature that combines the power of The Onion Router (Tor) network with the security and privacy of a Virtual Private Network (VPN). It allows users to access websites and services on the Tor network without using a separate Tor browser. The Onion network routes user traffic through several volunteer-operated servers, providing multiple layers of encryption and anonymity.

NordVPN and Onion Over VPN

NordVPN is one of the few VPN providers to offer Onion Over VPN as a feature. They have a special category of servers dedicated to this functionality, ensuring users can access the encrypted Tor network while simultaneously enjoying the privacy benefits of a VPN. By using NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN feature, your traffic is first encrypted by the VPN client before entering the Tor network, adding an extra layer of security and privacy.

Onion Over VPN vs Double VPN

While Onion Over VPN focuses on providing privacy and security through the Tor network, Double VPN is another NordVPN feature that adds an additional layer of encryption to your connection. Double VPN routes your traffic through two VPN servers, encrypting it twice before reaching its destination. This method provides enhanced security and privacy, especially if you are engaging in sensitive online activities.

While both Onion Over VPN and Double VPN offer increased security and privacy, they are tailored for different needs. Onion Over VPN is best suited for accessing the Tor network and enhancing privacy, whereas Double VPN works well for users seeking an added layer of encryption without accessing the Tor network. Choose the feature that best fits your specific requirements for an optimal online experience.

How Onion Over VPN Works

The Onion Router (Tor) Network

The Onion Router (Tor) is a network that enables anonymous communication by routing your internet traffic through multiple layers of encryption and random volunteer-operated servers. This process is intended to protect your privacy by obfuscating your true IP address and making it difficult for others to track your online activities.

VPN Services and Tor

Virtual Private Network (VPN) services provide a secure connection between your device and a remote server through an encrypted tunnel. This helps maintain your privacy by hiding your true IP address and encrypting your data from potential snoopers. Onion Over VPN combines the security features of both VPN services and the Tor network for an enhanced level of online protection. One of the providers offering this feature is NordVPN.

Encryption and Identity Protection

With Onion Over VPN, your internet traffic is first encrypted by the VPN service, which then connects you to an entry node within the Tor network. Your traffic continues to be encrypted as it passes through multiple Tor nodes before reaching its final destination. This process effectively hides your IP address from the entry node, offering even greater anonymity than using the Tor network alone.

By utilizing Onion Over VPN, your identity is protected from potential monitoring by internet service providers, hackers, or governments. It is a powerful tool for maintaining privacy and security online, especially when combined with other privacy-focused practices.

Benefits of Onion Over VPN

Anonymity and Privacy

Onion Over VPN enhances your online anonymity and privacy by combining the encryption of a VPN with the Tor network. When using this feature with NordVPN, your traffic is first encrypted and routed through a VPN server before reaching the Tor network1. This process hides your real IP address from the entry node, adding an extra layer of privacy2. This powerful combination prevents your internet service provider from seeing that you’re using the Onion network3, while also keeping your activities hidden from your VPN provider.

Bypassing Censorship and Surveillance

Another benefit of Onion Over VPN is its ability to bypass censorship and surveillance measures. Since your VPN connection keeps your activities hidden from your ISP4, it becomes more difficult for them to restrict or monitor your online activities. Furthermore, the Tor network adds another level of anonymity by routing your traffic through multiple nodes, making it extremely difficult for any third party to trace your digital footsteps. This dual-layered approach can help users bypass regional restrictions and maintain their privacy in heavily monitored environments.

Accessing .onion Websites

Onion Over VPN also enables users to access .onion websites without using the Tor Browser5. These websites, also known as the dark web, are not indexed by traditional search engines and can only be accessed through the Tor network. By using Onion Over VPN, you can securely and anonymously browse .onion websites while still enjoying the benefits of a VPN, such as increased security and privacy. This integrated approach allows users to easily explore the hidden corners of the internet without compromising their anonymity.

Setting Up NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN

NordVPN App and Specialty Servers

Setting up Onion Over VPN with NordVPN is relatively simple, thanks to their user-friendly app. First, download and install the NordVPN client on your device. When you launch the app, you’ll find a list of specialty servers, including Onion Over VPN. Select one of these servers to connect to the Tor network through NordVPN’s infrastructure. This will provide you with a secure and private connection, ensuring your data is encrypted and protected as it traverses both the VPN tunnel and the Tor network.

Using Tor Browser with NordVPN

While NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN servers are designed to work seamlessly with the Tor network, you can also use the popular Tor Browser alongside NordVPN for an additional layer of privacy. The Tor Browser is based on Firefox and has been modified to protect users’ privacy more efficiently. To use the Tor Browser in conjunction with NordVPN, simply connect to a NordVPN server, then launch the Tor Browser. By combining both tools, your online activities will be protected by the robust encryption and privacy features offered by both the VPN and the Tor network.

Customer Support and Resources

NordVPN takes pride in offering excellent customer support and a wealth of resources for their users. If you encounter any issues while setting up Onion Over VPN or require assistance in utilizing it effectively, the NordVPN support team is available 24/7 via live chat and email. They are knowledgeable and ready to help you with any queries you may have. Additionally, NordVPN’s website hosts an extensive library of guides, tutorials, and articles to help users understand and maximize the full potential of their VPN service, including Onion Over VPN.

Potential Limitations and Concerns

Connection Speeds

One of the primary concerns when using Onion Over VPN with NordVPN is the potential impact on connection speeds. Combining the encryption and routing processes of both VPN and Tor can result in a significant decrease in connection speeds, which may not be suitable for activities that demand high-speed internet, such as gaming or streaming. It is important to consider whether the added privacy is worth the trade-off in performance.

Compatibility with Specific Activities

Not all online activities are fully compatible with Onion Over VPN. Some users on platforms like Reddit have reported occasional issues with NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN servers, causing them to temporarily disappear from the server list and affect their access to specific websites that previously used Onion Over VPN 1. Furthermore, certain services may block or restrict VPN or Tor connections, making it difficult to access them while using Onion Over VPN.

Alternative Privacy Solutions

While Onion Over VPN does provide an additional layer of privacy and security, some users may find other solutions more suitable for their needs. An alternative option is VPN Over Tor, where the user connects to the Tor network before the VPN. This setup offers some benefits and drawbacks compared to Onion Over VPN, so it’s essential to weigh the options based on your specific requirements 2.

Another choice in terms of privacy-focused VPN providers is ProtonVPN, which also offers a feature called Secure Core that routes traffic through multiple VPN servers to further enhance security and privacy 3. However, it is crucial to compare the features, performance, and costs of different VPN providers before making a decision.


Onion Over VPN is a powerful security feature offered by NordVPN, which combines the anonymity of the Tor network with the encryption and IP masking capabilities of a VPN. This combination provides users with a high level of online privacy and security, ensuring that their internet activities are protected from prying eyes.

When using Onion Over VPN, a user’s traffic first passes through NordVPN’s encrypted servers, which hides their true IP address. Following this initial connection, the traffic is then routed through the Tor network, utilizing a series of nodes or relays to further obfuscate the user’s identity and activities. This double layer of protection makes it significantly more difficult for an attacker or surveillance agency to identify or track a user’s internet activities.

Bear in mind, however, that Onion Over VPN does not provide complete anonymity or invincibility. Users should still be cautious with their online behavior and take additional measures such as using secure websites, being wary of revealing personal information, and employing strong security practices to further enhance their privacy and safety.

In summary, NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN feature offers a substantial increase in online privacy and security, efficiently combining the strengths of VPN encryption and the Tor network. Utilizing this feature can greatly minimize the risks associated with internet surveillance and cyber threats, creating a more secure and private online experience for its users.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is using Onion over VPN safe?

Yes, using Onion over VPN is safe as it provides an extra layer of security and privacy. When you use Onion over VPN, your traffic is encrypted by the NordVPN client and routed through the Tor network, ensuring that your online activities remain anonymous.

How does Onion over VPN compare to Double VPN?

Both Onion over VPN and Double VPN offer enhanced security features. Onion over VPN routes your traffic through the Tor network for increased anonymity, while Double VPN encrypts your data twice by routing it through two VPN servers. Both options are effective, but Onion over VPN provides a higher level of privacy and anonymity, while Double VPN focuses more on encryption and security.

Should I use Onion over VPN for better privacy?

Using Onion over VPN is a great solution if you want to achieve increased privacy online. Not only does it combine the security features of NordVPN with the anonymity of the Tor network, but it also allows you to access the Tor network without a separate Tor browser.

What is the main purpose of Onion over VPN?

The main purpose of Onion over VPN is to provide a secure and anonymous browsing experience for users. By combining NordVPN’s encryption with the privacy of the Tor network, Onion over VPN allows users to access the internet without being tracked, monitored, or censored.

How does NordVPN implement Onion over VPN?

NordVPN implements Onion over VPN by routing your traffic through a specialized category of NordVPN servers that are specifically designed to work with the Tor network. When you connect to an Onion over VPN server, your data will be encrypted by the NordVPN client before entering the Tor network, providing increased privacy and security.

Can I use Onion over VPN for P2P connections?

Yes, you can use Onion over VPN for P2P connections. By using Onion over VPN, your P2P connection will be encrypted and routed through the Tor network, making it more difficult for third parties to trace and monitor your activities. However, it’s important to note that using Onion over VPN for P2P connections may result in slower speeds due to the additional layers of encryption and routing.


  1. (https://support.nordvpn.com/General-info/Features/1047408202/What-is-Onion-over-VPN-and-how-can-I-use-it.htm) 2
  2. (https://nordvpn.com/features/onion-over-vpn/) 2
  3. (https://www.cloudwards.net/onion-over-vpn/) 2
  4. (https://www.comparitech.com/blog/vpn-privacy/onion-over-vpn/)
  5. (https://www.top10vpn.com/guides/onion-over-vpn/)

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