With over 14 million users, NordVPN is a trusted name in the VPN industry. To further protect your data, NordVPN’s Onion over VPN feature is another layer of protection you can use. But, what is this feature exactly, and what pros and cons does it offer to you?
- Onion over VPN is a feature of NordVPN that uses the Onion network to enhance your privacy.
- This feature is useful when trying to maintain the privacy of sensitive data but isn’t great when connection speed is important.
- A Double VPN feature can provide a similar benefit with the less connection drawbacks.
NordVPN Onion over VPN
NordVPN’s Onion over VPN feature is an included feature with NordVPN that offers an extra layer of privacy when accessing the Internet. This feature comes at no additional cost with NordVPN’s service. When you use this feature, you go through the NordVPN server into the Onion network.
The Onion network adds layers of encryption to your access as you go through the network’s servers and then removes those encryptions as you approach your destination site. This happens when your connection goes through the random entry and exit points on the network. In addition to these encryptions, you also mask your origin to the destination thanks to these randomized exit points. These exit points give a different IP than your home IP.
You can only access The Onion network through a Tor browser. That means you’d have to download a different browser to access this network. With this feature, you can go through the NordVPN service and your preferred browser rather than downloading a specific program.
NordVPN’s Onion feature has many pros that can make connecting through a VPN even safer. However, there are a few things we’d like to see improved as well. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of NordVPN Onion over VPN.
- Adds an extra layer of security to your NordVPN service
- Nord blocks third parties and doesn’t trace your activity
- Multiple servers enable layers of data encryption
- Easy to use with just one click access
- Routing through multiple Onion servers will slow your connection speed
When to Use NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN?
Onion over VPN is great when you need another level of privacy. Here are some examples of the kinds of folks that would enjoy this feature:
- Journalists and Political Activists: These individuals can work in heavily surveilled or censored areas of the world. Both of these make it hard to do the job effectively. By using Onion over VPN, you can make it that much more difficult for you to be traced back and censored.
- Individuals Targeted By Third Parties: If there’s a third party in the area you live in, or a visitor collects browser data, masking your IP can keep you from being tracked. This feature makes attacks or probes on your data much harder to pull off.
- People Working With Sensitive Data: If you work with confidential or private data, the last thing you want is for that data to leak. Using Onion over VPN adds another level of security through its encryption capabilities that can help keep that data safe and secure when connecting to another site.
In essence, this feature is great to use when privacy and encryption will help you stay safe and secure.
When is Onion Over VPN Not Needed?
Not every circumstance calls for using the Onion network. Here are some examples of times you wouldn’t need to use this feature:
- For Casual Browsing: When you’re browsing the Internet at home or another location you trust, using the basic VPN service will be enough to keep you safe and secure. The encryptions of the Onion network will have diminishing returns in this case.
- When Speed Matters: Since your data has to go through many servers to get through the Onion network, it slows down your connection time. If you need a fast connection, routing through the Onion network would take valuable time and waste it waiting.
- When A Double VPN Will Work: NordVPN also offers a Double VPN service, which routes your connection through two VPN servers. This offers twice the security of NordVPN’s Onion over VPN feature, without the routing and slowdowns of the Onion network.
In general, if you have other methods of securing your connection, the Onion over VPN feature isn’t needed. This is especially true when sensitive data or extra privacy measure isn’t critical.
How is Onion Over VPN Different from Double VPN?
The Double VPN service offers a similar layer of extra protection to the Onion over VPN feature. Both of these services provide additional encryption to your connection but go about it in different ways.
NordVPN’s Double VPN service runs your connection through two VPN servers instead of one. This second server has no information on your original connection since the VPN servers run one after another. In other words, none of your connection data reaches the second server since it was encrypted by the first. Once your connection goes through the second VPN server, it reaches the destination site.
This is different from the Onion over VPN feature in that you never go through the Onion network to reach your destination. Because of this, your connection speed is similar to using a normal VPN service.
What Other VPNs Have the Onion Over VPN Feature?
Both ProtonVPN and Express VPN have used the Onion over the regular VPN Feature.
ProtonVPN offers a similar feature to NordVPN’s Onion over VPN feature. With ProtonVPN, you select a Tor (The Onion Router) server to connect to the Onion network. The client has a list of Tor servers you can select based on location. Once you choose the server you want to use, you can set up this feature to work with many standard browsers rather than using a dedicated Tor browser.
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about The Onion, along with answers.
What is Onion Over VPN?
Onion over VPN is a service offered by NordVPN that adds extra privacy measures to your connection and communications. This is a feature that NordVPN offers through its standard VPN services. You can activate it from the VPN program.
How Does NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN Work?
By routing you through the Onion network after using a VPN server, you add more protection to your connection. Once your connection moves past the VPN server, you’re routed through a randomized entry point, intermediate, and exit point before hitting your target site. Each of these jumps adds encryption to your connection, enhancing your privacy protections.
Can Onion Routing be Traced?
While routing through the Onion network helps to encrypt your connection, there’s no guarantee when using it. Tor is monitored by a number of law enforcement agencies that try to track down illicit activity on the network. They do this by setting up nodes in the network and moniToring where those connections go. If you happen to connect to one of these controlled nodes, your connection data could be compromised.
Wrapping it Up
NordVPN’s Onion over VPN feature is a great way to add another layer of protection when you need it. If you’re looking for VPNs that offer this service, or more reviews of VPNs, check out our other reviews to see which VPN would be the best for your needs.