Whether you live in a country with strict censorship laws or want your browsing data protected when surfing the web, an onion over VPN can provide the anonymity you need online. On the outside, this precaution might seem like overkill. But in actuality, it gives an invaluable security network.
While you might be familiar with the concept of a virtual private network, many people get confused when people use it in tandem with an onion network.
So what is Onion over VPN? The short answer that the Onion network and a VPN are both services that give you an anonymous browsing experience. The crucial difference between the services is that the Onion network only provides anonymity when routed over traditional HTTP web traffic.
As such, when you use Onion over VPN, it provides an additional layer of security while browsing on the web. But, before we fully comprehend the entire concept, we need first to make sure that we understand the broken down components, like what a VPN and Onion network is and how they work together
What Is A Virtual Private Network?
A VPN is an encrypted internet connection between a device and a private network. A virtually closed system helps ensure that fishers, hackers and other shady internet figures cannot access any sensitive data and information you share over the network.
It might be helpful to envision the virtual private network as a long tunnel connecting your browsing device, whether it is a personal computer, smartphone or tablet, to the private network. Since the data is encrypted, anyone trying to intercept the information in the tunnel will only get gibberish.
In business settings, a company might use a virtual private network to share delicate company information with interests or employees working from a remote environment. These networks are also often used in university settings for sharing paid access to educational materials.
However, a VPN’s use is not limited to large corporations and universities. Individuals can also utilize the benefits of an active VPN. The most popular non-security use of a VPN is using it to access streaming service shows that a limited to other countries.
The United States, Great Britain, Canada and Norway all have Netflix content only available for streaming if you are in the country. Since a VPN hides your IP address, you can fool the services into thinking you are streaming from the nation, when in reality you do it remotely.
What Are the Different Types of Virtual Private Networks?
There are two main types of virtual private networks. The first is known as a remote access VPN. This type of server can be accessed by anyone with the proper log-in credentials, from anywhere with an internet connection. In this case, the computer connects directly with the VPN network.
The other type of virtual private network is a site-to-site. These types of servers are a little more restrictive than remote access servers. They connect to the leading network, but from a pre-established location.
As such, if you wanted to access information on a site-to-site network, then you would need to go to the location where the server connection becomes established. This type of private system is usually only reserved for corporate offices that contain incredibly delicate information.
Now that we know a little more about virtual private networks let us take a closer look at the Onion network.
What Is A Onion, or TOR, Network?
Onion routing is very similar to a virtual private network in that they both encrypt data and send it anomaly so you cannot trace the data back to the source. The service gets its name because it encrypts each piece of information you post in multiple layers — just like an actual onion.
Unlike a virtual private network, which requires you or the company to pay for it, the Onion networks is a free service operating by a large number of volunteer servers dedicated to the system.
When you send this information, the data gets shipped to different network nodes. Each of these nodes peels back a layer of information and carries it onto the next. As such, if someone intercepts the data, then they will only be able to identify the node of the last person who sent it.
As we mentioned, the main difference is that the Onion operates only on HTTP. HTTP or HyperText Transfer Protocol is the protocol used on the world wide web. It is vital that we distinguish the world wide web from the internet at large.
While the worldwide web might provide access to the topsoil on information internet, there are deeper recesses you can access. Below the baseline worldwide network lay things like the dark web which contains a variety of legal and illegal information and services.
However, the Onion network is not infallible. There are methods that hackers can use to break the anonymity associated with the process. As such, you should think twice about sharing incredibly personal data over the network.
However, as we will see, when the Onion network works together with a VPN server, they help fill in each other's blind spots and provide a much stronger security method when you surf the web.
How Do the VPN and Onion Network Work Together?
When you use an Onion over a VPN service, then any internet activity you participate in will first go through the virtual private network server, then it goes through the Onion network. This double encryption process makes it virtually impossible for anyone to trace the information back to you.
Unfortunately, many people live in countries that place strict, authoritarian censorship laws on internet use. While the Onion network might seem like a useful method for bypassing these laws, your internet service provider will still be able to see that you used a TOR network for sharing information.
In the strictest company, the simple fact that you used an Onion network could be enough to target or arrest you. What is more, some governments can infiltrate the Onion network, deploying thousand of relay points that can capture bits of the decoded data as it comes it.
So, by itself, the Onion network contains some significant flaws. But, when you use it in tandem with the VPN, then it becomes a much safer system. The main reason for this increase in security is that fact that a virtual private network will not let your internet service provider know that you use an Onion network.
Furthermore, after you send sensitive information, the “paper trail” cannot come back to you. When you use Onion over VPN, the service protects your internet protocol address.
Why Is It Important to Try and Remain Anonymous Online?
Now that we know the answer the question ‘what is Onion over VPN?’, let us explore why we should even care about our anonymity online. For many journalists, political activists and artists living in countries with strict censorship laws, remaining anonymous can mean the difference between life and death.
As such, a system like Onion over VPN becomes indispensable since it is impossible to trace back to the source. However, situations involving restrictive governments are not the only reason someone would want the additional security of the service.
While we put a lot of faith in the security of the internet, this confidence is misplaced. From an infrastructure standpoint, the internet was never intended to become the global marketplace that it became. As such, it contains a variety of holes where sketchy individuals can access your info.
Whether you know it or not, the things you look up while on the internets are being mined by companies — both legally and illegally. Corporations like Google sell the information you look up online with advertisers so they can target you with personal ads.
While this act might not seem like a big deal, the implications of it are huge. Anything you search, whether it is private medical information or compromising websites, can be accessed relatively easy by hackers. A VPN ensures that hackers cannot access your data when you send it.
We hope this article helped you figure out what is Onion over VPN. We believe the service provides an indispensable extra layer of backup when you browse online. While not everyone cares the same amount about their security online, it nonetheless remains crucial.
Whether you know it or not, you have a lot of personal data on the internet, whether it be your social security number, bank information, or personal information. As such, if you are not careful, then you could get your entire identity stolen, or worse. The Onion network over VPN makes it a lot harder for hackers.