Anonymity with Tor and VPN

by Daniel Segun January 13, 2020


The so-called “Onion over VPN” is known as the most secure way to use the Internet and protect your data. We’ve prepared material for you to know how it works and how you can benefit from using such a method.

Start with VPN, continue with Tor

To provide security, a VPN service is used together with the Tor Browser encrypting traffic. In such a way none of the nodes of the browser will be able to identify your IP address. It will allow you to use Tor even in the locations and networks where it is banned.

Connecting to a VPN service first and then to Tor is a good idea because your personal information and actions within the network will be hidden from everyone including your VPN. Providing some extra security, it will also help you to elude bugs in case they are in the browser.

Difference between Tor and VPN

Let’s compare Tor and VPN services considering the principles of their functioning. The main difference between them is the fact of whether or not they collect your personal data, such as payment details, shared files, etc.

First of all, it is worth mentioning that you cannot be sure of the absolute security of your Internet session when using only one service – either the browser or a VPN. To ensure you have the best possible option, it is advisable to use both.

Tor makes your personal information anonymous while a VPN processes your data and even the files you share with other people through its network. However, even though Tor does not save data, you cannot be absolutely sure that there are no logs. So, security with Tor alone is not as high as you want. 

Tor does not collect any of your information when VPN services do need to collect at least some part of it, such as your payment details.

Follow the scheme: first VPN, then Tor

Using the services another way round, that is “VPN over Tor”, is more complicated. What is more, it does not contribute to your security and autonomy as it will allow VPN services collecting your data.

Speaking abstractly, usually, your data is not kept and you can trust the services you use, however, such a way of using security tools does not provide you with many advantages in terms of additional privacy leaving you only with slower speeds of your connection due to the process of encrypting.

Tor without VPN

The Tor Browser has been nicknamed the Onion Router because of its system of functioning. It has multiple layers of proxy servers that move your traffic around different points. These include:

  • First – entry node
  • Second – middle node
  • Third – exit node

This list is not limited to these three points. In general, they allow hiding your IP address separating the entry and exit nodes. It facilitates your anonymity on the web. However, the exit node will know the websites you’ve visited.

Because of the focus of the Tor Browser on security, it will not give the maximum speeds. On the other hand, you can enjoy anonymity and privacy with it.

You should also keep in mind that the Tor Browser does not work with other additional applications running on your computer. It secures only your browsing information. If you need complete protection, try TAILS. It is a much more elaborate system that covers all your programs and applications within the Tor network.

Combine VPN with Tor

To sum up, if you need to have a private space that will secure your data on the Internet, use “Onion over VPN”. It is an effective method to enhance your anonymity. Remember to connect to your VPN service first and only then access Tor to enjoy complete security.

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