Tor Browser and VPNs
To get maximum security, try using a VPN with the Tor browser. A VPN encrypts online activities by hiding your IP address, while Tor passes your internet traffic through encrypted relays, making it more difficult to trace you.
Connect to a VPN, Then Use Tor (Onion Over VPN)
The process of using Tor after connecting to a VPN (also known as “Onion over VPN” or “Tor over VPN”) gives you the complete security protection that the Tor network offers. Moreover, using a VPN on the browser prevents Tor nodes from detecting your IP address.
When you use the Tor browser, your home network may notice and raise concerns about it. However, you don’t need to worry if you’re using a VPN, as Tor will only see the encrypted traffic coming from the VPN server. Plus, Tor over VPN helps you access even the geo-restricted networks of the Tor browser, such as school or organizational systems. Additionally, a VPN provides an additional layer of security for coping with threats or bugs (if any exist) within Tor.
Setting this process is simple: Select a VPN server, connect to it, and run the Tor browser.
Tor Vs. VPN: What’s the Difference
In today’s world, someone with specific skills can hack into your browsing history without your knowledge. People are becoming increasingly concerned about their internet privacy and are willing to go to any length to protect it. Some people use virtual private networks (VPNs) to secure their daily browsing, while others use onion routing networks (Tor) to hide their tracks.
Which is the best option, and why? Why not combine these two approaches? Is it feasible, and what are the benefits and drawbacks? Continue reading to find out.
What Exactly is Tor?
Tor (The Onion Routing) is an open-source privacy network that lets users browse the internet anonymously. The United States Navy initially designed Tor to secure sensitive government communications. It was later made available to the general public as an open-source platform, allowing anyone to view its source code.
Volunteer developers in the Tor network developed and improved the browser to protect users’ online privacy. To encrypt user communications, the Tor computer network uses a layered technique similar to the nested layers of an onion.
What is VPN?
A VPN is a method that allows two networks to communicate securely using an unsecured communication medium such as the public internet. VPNs mask your online identity by encrypting internet traffic, making it challenging for third parties to monitor your online activities.
A VPN allows you to change your IP address, disguise your virtual location, and encrypt your connection in real-time to increase your online privacy. ExtremeVPN prevents data leaks if an attacker hijacks the connection and eavesdrops on data in an insecure connection.
Tor and VPN: Which is Better?
Tor and VPN employ proxies, which serve as relays for internet connections. They use scrambles to encrypt data sent to and from the internet so that third parties cannot intercept it. Although Tor and VPN share some features, their applications are different, and the best option for you will depend on your requirements.
You employ Tor when online anonymity is critical, although VPNs are better suited to users that require adequate privacy and security. Tor is extremely slow due to all of the layers of encryption. As a result, page-loading times are significantly slower, making it a wrong choice over a VPN. Tor’s lack of popular activities, such as file-sharing, streaming, and retail transactions, keeps it behind VPNs that offer these services without sacrificing performance or functionality. Moreover, Tor has malicious exit nodes that could mark you for surveillance. VPN, on the other hand, is easier and safer to use. Tor and VPN encrypt and secure your web traffic with the advanced encryption standard (AES) cipher. A VPN encrypts all web traffic that leaves your device, providing network-wide security. The Tor Network only encrypts data transmitted via the Tor Browser.
Regarding location, VPNs are superior because Tor assigns nodes randomly, making it impossible to select a server location. Top-notch VPN providers, like ExtremeVPN, offer servers in dozens of locations worldwide, allowing you to manually choose your preferred server location. Moreover, VPNs have become the preferred method of circumventing geo-restrictions.
Tor and VPN: Are They the Same?
No! Tor is a browser that only encrypts data sent through it, whereas a VPN is a software that encrypts all data transmitted from the device. Another significant distinction is their mode of operation; although a centralized body manages VPN, Tor is a decentralized network run by volunteers. Furthermore, the Tor browser conceals activities from your internet service providers (ISP), whereas VPN encrypts communication before it reaches your ISP.
So, while Tor makes monitoring your online activities more difficult for your ISP, a VPN makes it impossible. To summarize, VPNs prioritize privacy, whereas Tor prioritizes anonymity.