Online privacy and security are two hot topics in our modern world, even more so since many people started working from home without expensive office firewalls and cybersecurity systems. Many people turn to VPNs or other, more extreme measures to protect themselves. As two such measures, which would be better, using Double VPN or Onion Over VPN?
Both Double VPN and Onion Over VPN are overkill for most users’ purposes. For those individuals who require added security, Onion Over VPN offers better measures to protect against data leaks and online attacks. At the same time, Double VPN is a better option if more speed is required.
Though VPNs and Tor are often compared and have similarities, there are fundamental differences in how they operate. This leads to different strengths and weaknesses. In the comparison of Double VPN vs. Onion Over VPN, I will determine the winner through two questions: What makes these two options different? And what is it that you want to achieve with all this added security?
Double VPN Vs. Onion Over VPN – What to Choose for You?
This is where the additional question comes in – What are your requirements? To summarize the pros and cons of the two, Onion Over VPN has a far lower chance of data leaks than Double VPN. The latter, however, is very well protected already while having a significant speed advantage over the former.
If data transfer speed is not an essential consideration for you and you want the best possible protection, Onion Over VPN is ideal. However, if you can accept better-than-average VPN protection with slightly better speeds, Double VPN might be the better option for you. However, there won’t be much speed on either one, while both offer significant protection. Personal preference is what it’s really about.
Double VPN Advantages
As the name suggests, Double VPN means connecting using two VPN servers instead of just one. This means that your data is encrypted, routed to the first VPN server, where an additional layer of encryption is added before it is routed through to the second VPN server. This added level of routing and encrypting makes it much harder to track or read your data, keeping you safer.
Very few VPN providers offer Double VPN as an option. NordVPN is one of a small number of VPN providers with Double VPN as one of their optional features. They specifically mention that you do NOT need Double VPN for private home web browsing, when you need maximum speed, or when you want to browse the Tor network. So when would Double VPN be a viable option?
1. Double VPN For Journalists
Double VPN could be an added layer of protection and privacy for journalists who are at risk if they or their sources get exposed. With Double VPN, a journalist can safely search for information, send out communication, publish articles and share facts without fear of being prosecuted or persecuted if they keep their identity private.
2. Double VPN To Restrict Government Surveillance
In many autoritarian countries where freedom of speech is limited, where censorship and surveillance are rampant, a Double VPN will give you access to information that would typically be hidden from you and make it twice as difficult for the government to see what you are up to. Whether you are traveling or live in such a country, Double VPN may be the perfect option for you.
3. Double VPN To Protect Those Who Communicate With You
Whether you are a journalist or activist or not, there are cases where some people need to communicate with people in compromising or dangerous situations, like sources. These conversations can be well hidden, and the parties’ identities are kept secret with a well-implemented Double VPN solution.
In summary, Double VPN is an excellent solution for those in high-risk communities or circumstances. Through Double VPN, these people can protect their identities, and they can access information that they couldn’t access otherwise.
Onion Over VPN Advantages
Tor, short for “The Onion Router,” is a network of volunteer-operated servers on the internet. These servers offer a free VPN-like service with no commercial gain or purpose whatsoever. Though Tor has many similarities to VPN, it also has many unique features and aspects that entirely make it a different system.
Tor is most well-known as the system that allows you to access the Dark Web. Because of this, Tor is regarded with suspicion by many people, especially governments and law enforcement agencies. But Tor itself is simply a network. Yes, you can use it to access the Dark Web, but you can just as easily browse the known web, simply using Tor’s security and encryption systems to keep yourself safe.
Onion Over VPN is a system that combines the unique features of Tor with the power of a VPN. Yet again, NordVPN is one of the few VPN providers that offer this as an option to their users. With all the benefits of the Tor network, combined with all the advantages of a VPN (though not Double VPN), Onion Over VPN can be an excellent choice for various reasons.
1. Tor’s Maze Of Servers
When you connect to the Tor network, you enter at a random point, so there’s no way to determine which of the volunteer-operated servers is your first connection point. From this first server, you are forwarded to multiple other servers at random, one at a time, until eventually, your data exits at another random point. Because these points are unpredictable, your signal is virtually untraceable.
2. Tor’s Layers Of Encryption
As your connection progresses through the Tor network from node to node, each server adds a layer of encryption to your data. These layers add up and protect your data more and more until, somewhere around the halfway point, the servers start stripping away the layers one by one, releasing your unencrypted signal at the exit point.
3. The VPN’s IP And Activity Protection
One of the main pitfalls of Tor is that your ISP can still see that you are using Tor, even if they cannot see what you’re doing with it. Using Onion Over VPN encrypts your data connection right from the start so that not even your ISP can see that you are accessing the Tor network. This is a significant benefit since many governments demand that ISPs share their users’ usage information with them.
Onion Over VPN Disadvantages
The fact remains that the Tor network is slow. Along with the multiple layers of encryption, all those nodes mean that speed is not, and probably never will be, one of Tor’s top features. Using Onion Over VPN does not improve this at all since it only adds an additional route and layer of encryption. If speed is what you need, Onion Over VPN is definitely not ideal.
Very few people need Double VPN or Onion Over VPN. You can use the free Tor Browser if you want to browse the dark web out of curiosity (not recommended for the fainthearted), rather than paying for Onion Over VPN. However, for those who find themselves in compromising situations or dire circumstances, either of the options will offer excellent security and peace of mind.