I just saw a post in TOR stack exchange titled “Is it recommended that we use a VPN along with Tor?” and wanted to post about using VPN and TOR alongside. Previously, I’ve posted Socks Rocks! The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Socks Rocks Again! and this post is conclusion of the posts.
Actually VPN hides your IP from ISP but the VPN server will know your real IP address and your packets’ destination.
TOR uses three extra (software-based) router in order to hide your IP from destination and routers. (Actually the first router knows your real IP but does know the destination. Final router knows destination but does not know your real IP). It is considered in TOR that the routers do not share the information, else they can identify your session and IP.
Based on the above, you can use TOR through VPN or VPN through TOR.
- In VPN through TOR, you will connect to VPN server from TOR. VPN does not know your real IP (knows the final router’s IP) but the destination does not know you’re requesting through TOR.
- In TOR through VPN, you will connect to TOR through VPN, therefore VPN provider will know your real IP but wont know the destination. First router will know the VPN’s IP (not your real IP).
Case 1 can help you when you want use TOR and access sites such as Google which has banned access from TOR which is discussed in Socks Rocks Again!. Case 2 can help you in privacy, because you add an extra layer of IP to access you. The following picture depicts the two cases: