What Is Onion over VPN and How Does It Work?

What Is Onion over VPN

Last updated on January 5th, 2022 at 5:07 pm

Security and privacy are the two main challenges of any modern digitized system. While data is vulnerable during the transfer from one system to another, unauthorized access compromises the privacy of the crucial information. Hence, the IT world is struggling to develop modern tools and technologies that add an extra layer to the existing security features. The leading security services like Norton offer much-needed protection and the ideal combination of Onion over VPN.

Onion over VPN

Let us go through the concept of this merging of two different security tools in one, its practical working in safeguarding any system followed by some quick questions on the same. However, before jumping to combination, let us understand Onion and VPN independently.

What is Onion?

The data in the onion network are encrypted and then transmitted through network node series like the onion layers. These network nodes are called the onion routers. The message or data arrives at the destination when the final layer is decrypted.

What is Onion

The protection of the identity is at its best as every next layer knows about the preceding layer details only. It is also called the Tor network.

What is VPN?

The Virtual Private Network or VPN creates a simple private network from any public internet connection.

Virtual Private Network

Hence, VPNs mask the IP address of the internet user, and all the actions remain highly untraceable. Therefore, it is perfect for devices at high risk of losing data protection when connected to public internet connections.

What is Onion over VPN?

It is common and quite understanding to desire the double benefits of the onion network and VPN. Hence, the Onion over VPN was created. Also known as Tor over VPN, this setup passes the internet traffic through VPN and then through the Onion network before sending it to the internet servers. In other words, the internet user’s identity remains anonymous, and there is no possible option to trace back the connection. 

What is Onion over VPN

It simultaneously uses the Tor browser and VPN for any inbound or outbound data traffic. The primary purpose of this setup is multi-layer encryption using the benefits of the onion network and VPN at the same time. As a result, it significantly covers the double VPN benefits and offers easy use and high-end security uses.

How does Onion over VPN work?

It is easy to understand the workflow in the Onion over the VPN network. The primary needs of such setup are a good internet connection, VPN, and onion browser. The VPN providers often offer Onion over VPN setup as an in-built feature in their app. Let us understand the inbound and outbound internet data flow separately for the step-by-step working of this effective setup.

inbound and outbound internet data flow

Outbound internet data flow:

  • The data from the device is encrypted using the VPN.
  • The encrypted data from VPN is again encrypted for adding layer of encryption to the data.
  • The double encrypted data is sent to the VPN server.
  • Once data is received by VPN, it decrypts the data. The onion browser or Tor browser still encrypts the data from the VPN at this stage.
  • According to the requirements, this encrypted data is sent through the Tor browser to the dark web or the clear web.
  • For the dark web, data is decrypted once it reaches the destination.
  • For clear web, data is decrypted at the node of the onion browser and then is sent to the World Wide Web.

Inbound internet data flow:

  • The app, service provider, or website data is sent to the Tor browser.
  • The Tor browser receives the data and encrypts it.
  • The encrypted data from the Tor network is sent to the VPN server.
  • The VPN server adds another layer of encryption to the encrypted data from the Tor network.
  • The double encrypted data is sent to the user’s device.
  • The tor browser decrypts the data sent to the device.
  • The VPN again solves the data from the tor browser.

Why is Onion over VPN used?

Security and privacy may seem like the only two main benefits of Onion over VPN, but there is a lot more technical.

encryption layers

The main advantages of this setup include:

  • It offers exceptional levels of seamless internet connectivity as VPN hides the home IP address and prevents it from entering the Onion network. Hence, the system can’t generate the IP address of the user.
  • It offers end-to-end data encryption for the user. Even the VPN provider can’t access the data going to the onion network due to the additional encryption layers over the VPN. It is hard to trace back a connection made using this setup. The possibility of an unauthorized node in the onion network is best handled by the VPN that prevents data access to any outside entity.
  • It is an easy-to-use setup. Moreover, multiple VPN service providers offer Onion over VPN setup as a built-in feature. Thus, it eliminates the use of any external browser, and this setup is achieved using a single click only.
  • It is possible to access the restricted websites that are not possible using the independent onion network. Hence, many users benefit from accessing dark websites with the combination of Onion over VPN. 


  1. What is the simple flow in Onion over VPN?

The internet details from the device go through the VPN server and then pass through the Onion network in this setup. After going through the Onion network, the details reach the World Wide Web.

  • What do I need for using Onion over VPN?

The main requirements of using this setup include high-speed internet access, a VPN, and Onion or Tor browser. Depending on the requirements, the user can go for any other browser than the Tor browser.

  • How to use Onion over VPN setup?

It is easy to use this security setup. First, the user can open the VPN app with in-built support to this combination. Then, once a VPN connection is achieved, the Tor or Onion browser can be accessed for quick internet surfing.

  • Do VPNs offer in-built Onion over VPN support?

Some VPNs like NordVPN, ProtonVPN, etc. comes with in-built support to the Onion over VPN combination. It allows quick access to any application without configuring it to the independent Onion browser.

  • Is Onion over VPN different from VPN over Onion?

Yes, both these security settings are quite different from one another. It isn’t easy to set up a VPN over Onion and has a different set of advantages and purposes than the useful combination of the Onion over VPN.

Wrapping Up:

Onion over VPN wins by large numbers when it offers modern security and privacy standards to any device. The protection of browsing history from the independent VPN, hiding real IP address, and performing all critical tasks safely is turning many VPN providers to offer in-built support to this combination. When compared with the VPN over Onion, the Onion over VPN is easy to setup, understand, and comes with a long list of security and privacy benefits for any personal or professional user.

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