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Can you use Tor without a VPN?

Can you use Tor without a VPN?

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Yes, Tor works fine without a VPN. There are no drawbacks to using Tor alone, but using a VPN along with Tor can add important additional layers of security and privacy.

To better understand how Tor and VPN perform, it is essential to know the differences between them.

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The difference between Tor and VPN

While Tor and VPN provide online security and privacy, the way they use each is unique. If your only concern is “How can I hide my IP address?” Then both work fine.

Tor is an open source software, and the name Tor is an abbreviation of “The Onion Router” to hide the location and activity of its users, it is based on an overlay network consisting of thousands of relays. These relays are operated by volunteers from all over the world. Data travels from one relay to the next, each time with the source IP of the previous relay and the destination IP of the next relay, until the data reaches its destination.

In addition to the overlay network, Tor also encrypts data at the application layer and encrypts source and destination IP addresses. It anonymizes the data but does not prevent online services from determining that they are being accessed through the Tor network.

In short, instead of hiding online activity, it makes it very difficult for an online service to trace that activity back to the user.

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It’s safe to use Tor alone, but it’s safe to use VPN and Tor together.

– VPN

VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network”. To provide security and control over an individual’s data, a VPN acts as a secure tunnel between devices. It extends a private network over a public network allowing the source and destination to communicate as if they were connected to a private network.

In addition to the secure tunnel, the VPN also encrypts all your internet traffic. This encryption prevents any third party from accessing user data, but since all data passes through private VPN servers, users should be able to trust VPN providers with their data.

All in all, the VPN encrypts and hides all data from prying eyes and provides security via its own servers across the world.

Using Tor and VPN Together

There are two ways to use VPN and Tor simultaneously for added security:

  • Tor Over VPN
  • VPN via Tor

If your concern is with intellectual property, both methods work well.

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– Tor Over VPN

In this configuration, the user first connects to the VPN and then uses the Tor network via the Tor Browser. With this configuration, the final node of the Tor relay, a known vulnerability in the Tor network, is secured by VPN encryption.

Even if the final node is compromised, the data you hope to exit from the node is encrypted and safe from intrusions.

Using a VPN does not hide your data and internet traffic from the VPN itself. Tor gives a path to deal with this security barrier. Connecting to a VPN first and then using Tor to access the World Wide Web hides your traffic even from the VPN.

With this configuration, as well as your browser traffic, all communications from your device are encrypted. A VPN secures every app in your device that sends and receives data with encryption and anonymity.

– VPN Over Tor

Unlike “Tor Over VPN” in this configuration, the user first connects to the Tor network and then uses the VPN service. This configuration is comparatively slower and doesn’t add much to security either. It is also boring to implement.

With this configuration, VPN services are still able to see the data of their users. Moreover, any connection from other apps on your device remains unprotected. With this configuration, a VPN instead of providing system-wide protection can only protect your browser traffic.

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In the end, it all boils down to the question, “Can you use Tor without a VPN?” And the answer is again, as was said at the beginning of this article, definitively “yes”.

Tor without VPN

Tor is a great open source software when it comes to online privacy. It does not currently have any significant competitors in the technology industry. It is one of the most secure and easy ways to gain anonymity online.

Tor without a VPN is still secure, but bringing a VPN into the equation adds a few notable extra layers of security and protection for your onion router.

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