Top VPN joins forces with the Tor Project for a more secure internet

One of the best VPN services around has teamed up with the Tor Project in an attempt to create a more secure Internet.

The Swiss-based provider behind ProtonVPN and ProtonMail is now actively supporting the project as a member of Green Onion. This means that the two teams will work closely together to improve the user experience when connecting to Proton web applications via Tor.

“Tor’s work aligns closely with our vision to build a better Internet where privacy is the default,” the company wrote in a blog post. “Unfortunately, more and more governments are turning to censorship or internet shutdowns to control their citizens. This has made Tor, with its anonymous browsing and ability to circumvent advanced internet blockages, an essential tool in the fight against against censorship.

What is the Tor Project?

Becoming a non-profit organization only in 2006, the idea behind the Tor project dates back to the mid-1990s.

The concept of the so-called “onion routing” behind the Tor Browser is simple: route traffic through multiple servers and encrypt data every step of the way. The goal is to allow users to browse the Internet with as much privacy as possible. All open source, of course.

Even though this process is very similar to what VPN services do, Tor is more secure because it routes your data through at least three servers instead of just one. Also in terms of encryption it goes a step further by using multiple layers which get took off as you travel from server to server.

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A notable downside of using a Tor browser is that all those layers of encryption will inevitably slow down your connection. However, even VPN providers recommend combining the two services when your online anonymity is paramount – such as if you’re browsing from a highly guarded and restricted country like China.

ProtonMail on Onion browser interface

(Image credit: Proton)

Easy connection of Proton apps with Tor Browser

While with a ProtonVPN account you can connect to the Tor network through a normal browser, things are slightly different when you want to access your secure email service. Thanks to this new collaboration, you can now Sign up for your ProtonMail account directly on the ProtonMail onion site.

This isn’t the first time Proton and Tor have worked together. In 2017, the nonprofit organization actually helped the provider launch the first version of the site. But now, thanks to a major site update, users can take advantage of Tor’s enhanced privacy features to add an extra layer of protection to their chats, calendars, and files stored on disk.

As the provider explained, “At Proton, we believe everyone should be able to use the internet and express themselves without worrying about censorship or surveillance. Joining the Tor Project as a Green Onion member is part of our work towards this goal.

“Our close collaboration with the Tor Project and our updated onion site will provide more ways for people facing advanced online surveillance and censorship to access our services.”

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