Why You Should Use a VPN with Tor2 min read

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Why You Should Use a VPN with Tor

VPN and Tor are two of most important privacy software available to the the digitally savvy. In a world dominated by snooping governments and spying corporations, these two form the perfect one-two punch to protect your privacy.

What is a VPN?

VPN, short for Virtual Private Network, is a secure tunnel formed around your web traffic as your device communicates with its server and device counterparts. This allows you to access servers from anymore without the government snooping in. With a VPN activated, not only is your browsing experience safe, you are also protected on your messaging, online banking and emails.

What is Tor?

Tor, short for The Onion Router, is a browser that allows people to browse the Internet anonymously. It works by relaying your traffic information through a myriad of networks and not accessing the server connection directly. This hides your IP address from the sites you visit by bouncing your connection all over the world. The random server relays allow you to hide your trail from people monitoring.

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How to Use a VPN with Tor

When using VPN with Tor (commonly called Tor over VPN), one must remember to connect to their VPN first before accessing Tor. This is because of the added layer of protection this provides ensuring greater security in two ways.

While Tor is known for its reliability, many governmental institutions and network administrators tend to look at all Tor users as criminals because they are actively hiding their activities. For the privacy-conscious, this stigma is highly unfair and can be prevented by using a VPN to hide your use of Tor in the first place. This is because your traffic was originally encrypted by the VPN.

Your activity within Tor itself would also be hidden, from both the Tor nodes and the VPN service provider because each protects you from the other. If bugs appear on the Tor browser, rendering your traffic viewable, your VPN puts an additional layer of security between yourself and Tor.

The reasons one should not connect to Tor first before connecting to VPN are two-fold. Firstly, not only does it NOT increase your anonymity, your VPN service can see your traffic. While reputable VPN providers such as ExpressVPN would not log your traffic, unscrupulous services such as PureVPN are known are track user activity and hand it to the government. Secondly, setting up a VPN in this manner is also more difficult.

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