The internet is rich with information, activities, jobs, hobbies, streaming services, and many other things.
But, as beneficial as it seems, it is also a dangerous place, filled with nefarious people who will not hesitate to misuse anyone’s personal data if they can find it, whether for money or just to cause a little chaos.
As a result, it is always best to use as much protection as possible.
Nowadays, many people use Tor Browser to access the Tor network and hide their activity from the world, including their internet service provider.
But, while you are hiding your activity, your ISP still knows that you use the Tor browser, as it can still see your actual IP address.
To increase your online security and privacy, it is best to use a VPN. We’ve been testing all the recommended services and reduced this down to the eight you should consider.
We’ll show you exactly why they’re the best and the reasons you should be considering them.
Ready to enhance your online security? Let’s dive in.
Top VPNs for Tor
The first on our list, and undoubtedly the best VPN for Tor, is ExpressVPN.
It supports the Tor browser and Tor network, but it even has its own .onion site within the network.
This means that you can use Tor to access ExpressVPN’s homepage and download it without your ISP knowing, and then use ExpressVPN so that your ISP will never know that you have used Tor again.
ExpressVPN comes with a variety of other security benefits, such as multiple security protocols, AES 256-bit encryption, DNS leak protection, an automatic kill switch, and more.
It also has fast speeds which can be crucial for establishing a Tor connection to the onion network, given that Tor slows down your traffic on its own, while a virtual private network slows it down even further.
The impact is the smallest with ExpressVPN, and the smallest the impact, the closer your internet connection to the normal speed.
All in all, it is one of the best choices for VPN users who want to keep their Tor usage a secret, while Tor traffic will take care of the rest. So, if you’re going to use onion over VPN, we definitely recommend this secure VPN.
You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee, in case you change your mind about using it.
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Next up, we have NordVPN, a Panama-based VPN service with a strict no-logs policy, meaning that it won’t log your internet traffic, and as such, it grants you safe and hidden access to the Tor browser.
NordVPN is a great choice as well, as it offers servers that are specifically designed to provide access to the Tor network. These servers come with high speeds and advanced online security features, making NordVPN one of the best VPN services for the onion network.
Nord offers reliable connections, as well as six simultaneous connections, so that you can access the Tor network from as many as six devices at once.
It has over 5,400 VPN servers in nearly 60 countries. It offers many other top-notch security features, such as 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, VPN over Tor, OpenVPN protocol, leak protection, and more. The VPN also encrypts all your traffic that doesn’t go through Tor, so there are no data leaks, and you can engage in safe file sharing.
Of course, it also replaces your own IP with other IP addresses, which point out towards the server you connected to, rather than your own location.
Unfortunately, while its speeds are primarily good, they can be slower than the competition in some areas.
Next on the list of the best VPNs for Tor that can provide you with private internet access to the Tor network is a Romanian VPN, CyberGhost.
Like the previous two, CyberGhost is easy to use and it is highly compatible with Tor Browser. It uses military-grade encryption, multiple security protocols, with OpenVPN protocol being the default one.
It has a strict no-logs policy, and it has a massive VPN server network that allows you to connect to around 90 countries around the globe.
Out of all VPN providers that we know, this one also has the most extended, 45-day money-back guarantee, essentially allowing you a month and a half to decide whether you want to continue using its service or get your money back.
It is one of the best options to be used with the Tor browser, as it is also speedy and as secure as a VPN can get, with countless security features that will help protect your real IP address and other data that you do not wish to reveal.
Like the others, it can help you hide your activity even from your internet provider. It offers multiple simultaneous connections, meaning that you can establish reliable connections from 7 devices at once.
It does have a flaw, it lies in the fact that its payment options are a bit limited, but it does a great job as a VPN for Tor.
4. Surfshark VPN
Next up, we have Surfshark. This is another VPN from the British Virgin Islands, just like ExpressVPN. It also offers Tor over VPN, with a secure connection for your Tor internet browser.
This VPN encrypts all DNS requests, effectively hiding everything you do online from third parties, and it is one of the most reliable Tor VPNs.
Surfshark has a strict no-logs policy, a kill switch, an easy-to-use VPN app, and a 30-day money-back guarantee. However, the most impressive VPN feature is that it offers unlimited simultaneous connections. This means that, with a single license, you can protect absolutely all of your web traffic.
Now, if you use VPN over Tor, you can make sure that your online activities are anonymous and completely encrypted, which is something that a Tor user should prefer, given that Tor is used for accessing both the deep web and the dark web.
But, Surfshark can also be used to protect your normal internet traffic as well, so you can use it under any circumstances. It has 256-bit encryption that will hide all of your activities and completely secure your entire internet connection.
However, one thing that may be an issue is that its P2P servers are not among the fastest, which could impact Tor users.
The next VPN we can recommend for protecting your Tor browser is VPN.ac. Now, this is not a VPN behemoth like our previous entries, but it is still one of the best VPNs for Tor, even if it is a bit smaller, lesser-known VPN provider.
VPN.ac offers access to multiple VPN server locations in 21 different countries. It keeps no usage logs, and it has no speed limit, which is vital for using the Tor browser, as mentioned in the past.
Another interesting thing is that it offers up to 12 simultaneous connections. All have military-grade encryption, but one of them uses OpenVPN protocol while the other uses a newer one called WireGuard.
VPN.ac is not specifically a VPN for the Tor network, or at least, it wasn’t made to have that purpose in mind. But, we tested its VPN connection and it works well.
As for its cons or downsides of using it, we only found two. It has a small server network, and it has a money-back guarantee that lasts only for seven days.
While arguably enough to test a VPN, it is still far shorter than the standard offer of 30 days.
6. Private Internet Access
The next entry on our list of the best VPNs for Tor browser and the Tor Network is Private Internet Access, also known as PIA.
Now, this can be a pretty good Tor browser VPN, given that it is fast, it has an extensive list of VPN servers around the globe, and overall, it is an old, experienced, and well-known VPN provider.
One thing that should be mentioned is that it is based in the US, and given that the US is huge on online surveillance, VPN providers from the States are usually not trusted around the world.
However, PIA claims to have a strict no-logging guarantee, as well as audits to prove it, so it can be used by Tor users without having to worry too much about it.
It also has a 30-day money-back guarantee, just in case you decide that you wish to change it. As mentioned, it should be risk-free, given that it has all the features that prevent exposure, such as the kill switch.
But, the final decision lies with you, the user, as you are the one who will use this VPN with Tor.
Nearing the end of the list of the best VPNs for Tor browser, we have VyprVPN.
VyprVPN is another one of the larger VPN providers covering 70 countries and its VPN server count goes beyond 700 individual servers. As such, it is quite a decent Tor VPN, as VPNs go.
Of course, there is the standard 30-day money-back guarantee, a large variety of security features that a VPN for Tor needs to have, such as strong encryption, multiple security protocols, a kill switch, leak protection, and more.
VyprVPN is a risk-free premium VPN with which you can access Tor without issues.
While larger than most VPNs, its server network is still relatively small for the number of countries it covers, at least when compared to most services listed previously.
Also, its speeds are nothing special from what we have seen. Lastly, it might have a relatively slow connection time. These are the things that users should be aware of to make the best decision if they wish to use a VPN with Tor.
The last on the list of the best VPNs for Tor browser, we have IPVanish. Now, IPVanish is another US-based VPN provider, so some users tend to trust it, some don’t.
It still has a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can get a refund at any time if you change your mind, and based on everything it has to offer, it’s not the worst choice for Tor users.
Its VPN feature count is at a decent height, including all security features like encryption and VPN protocols, the ability to bypass censorship and geo-restrictions, safety on public WiFi, and more.
You’re also able to use it on an unlimited number of devices at the same time.
There are some concerns to be also mentioned, however.
For example, as a US company, there might be some privacy issues, as mentioned before. It should also be noted that the VPN has a relatively poor client app and that its customer support is not the best in the industry.
But, while the VPN isn’t perfect, no VPN is, so keep that in mind when choosing a provider.
How we tested the above providers
When it came to testing the mentioned VPN services, the primary condition was that they are compatible with the Tor browser and the Tor network, obviously.
However, after that, we looked into various aspects, such as speed, money-back guarantee, how would entry and exit nodes work while protected by VPN, how many VPN connections you could get with each provider, and more.
In the end, we are confident that our list is good enough for anyone who wishes to use a VPN with Tor and make sure that their online actions will only be known to them.
How to use a VPN with Tor
The easiest way to use Tor over VPN would be to secure a VPN by subscribing to one of the providers above and to download the Tor browser onto your device.
Tor Browser is the easiest way to access and browse the Tor network, even if you do have a VPN service.
Our selection of a Tor VPN will be ExpressVPN, but you can choose any from our list. Start by following these steps:
- Go to the ExpressVPN website and click the red ‘Get ExpressVPN’ button.
- Select a plan and your preferred payment option, and provide your email and your payment details.
- Download ExpressVPN from the website, install it and launch it.
- At this point, all that remains is for you to connect to one of many VPN servers, and you will be done.
- The last step is to ensure that your VPN is connected, and if it is, open the Tor browser and start browsing the Tor network.
Why should I use a VPN with Tor?
You might be wondering why do you need to use Tor over VPN? Why not only VPN, or only Tor?
Tor’s specific features should be enough to protect you as you browse the onion network, right?
Well, yes. However, with a VPN, you get an added layer of protection where your data gets fully encrypted and unreadable to anyone who might try to get it.
Plus, if you use VPN and Tor together, you also don’t have to worry about logging policies. If the VPN fails, Tor will keep you safe, and if Tor fails, you have a VPN to protect you.
Besides, you need to use Tor to access onion websites. Onion over VPN can only be accessed with Tor, so the privacy service is crucial.
Which free VPN is best for Tor?
When it comes to free VPNs, we can’t point to any of them and call them good Tor VPN services.
In fact, we can’t call them good VPNs in the first place. Free VPN is often dangerous and always limited.
With free VPNs, you will always experience slow speeds due to only a handful of overcrowded servers. Some free VPNs were also known to be malicious, and the last thing you need is for a hacker to get a hold of your activities over Tor.
However, we understand that sometimes you have no choice, which is why we will recommend a free VPN for situations when protection is essential.
In such situations, you can use ProtonVPN.
It is a Swiss VPN that is not an actual free VPN but a free plan of a premium service. As such, it is minimal in terms of available servers, but its security is on point, and that should be enough to protect you.
Which VPN is best for the dark web?
For those who may not know, the internet is made up of many layers.
There is the surface internet, which includes things that you can reach via Google. Then, there is the Deep Web.
The Deep Web is the largest section of the internet that consists of other sections, where the Dark Web is only one of them.
However, Dark Web is essentially covered by the Tor Network, so the way to access it would be through the Tor browser.
You don’t need a VPN to go there, but it certainly helps.
Tor bridges you to the deep web on its own, but using VPN over Tor will certainly help increase your privacy, which is something that Tor-specific features can do on their own, although only partially.
It’s often referred to as the ‘dark web’ because some of the content you can find there is illegal, but that’s only one part of the story and there are many legitimate uses.
As for which VPN you should use, we would always recommend ExpressVPN. This is the best VPN that has not failed us yet.
Do I need a VPN on Tor?
Tor works in a specific way, where you try to reach a particular address via Tor’s browser. Once you do this, the request for information is sent.
However, when you send a request for information via a regular browser, it chooses the fastest path, going as directly as possible between the website and you.
Tor doesn’t do this. It bounces your signal around the world countless times so that nobody could ever track it back to you. It then retrieves the information and brings it back to you, also traveling around for a while first.
So, Tor does a pretty good job at covering its tracks.
However, Tor has something called Tor exit nodes. An exit node is a place where the information leaves the Tor network, and as such, an exit node is a weak point where data could potentially leak.
With VPN over Tor, you can get rid of that risk and secure Tor exit nodes every time. Along the way, you add another layer of protection, just in case.
Unfortunately, as you can imagine, all of this can impact speeds very much, so it is not the best idea to use Tor for streaming, especially not with a VPN, which slows speeds down even more.
Which is better VPN or Tor?
This is a difficult question to answer, as both have their downsides and upsides.
Let’s take Tor as an example. It is free, it allows you access to the Deep web and the Dark web, it is legal, and it protects you very well.
Unfortunately, its speeds are often slow, and its exit nodes can be a point of failure.
Then, we have VPNs, which are reliable, faster than Tor, capable of unlocking and using streaming services, can be used on multiple devices, and have a range of security features to ensure that you will not be exposed under any circumstances.
But, you need to pay to use them (at least when it comes to the good ones).
In summary, it depends on what you want to do and how worried you are about security. If you’re going to stream foreign Netflix, Tor will be useless to you. If you wish to access the deep or dark web, you need it.
If you want to reach absolute safety and security and speed is not an issue, onion over VPN is the best, so it’s possible to combine the two.
Is using Tor illegal?
No. Tor browser itself is a version of a Firefox browser that comes with extra features that allow you to access things that are not available on the surface internet.
But, it matters what you access. That can be legal or illegal.
So, if you use Tor to access a website that offers legal content but is not Google-friendly for some reason – you’re good.
But, if you use it to access the dark web’s illegal content, like black markets and other, more notorious things, you will possibly be breaking laws pretty quickly.
Is using a VPN illegal?
Again, VPN itself is not illegal in most parts of the world.
Some countries might have a problem with it, such as China or some countries in the Middle East. However, in most other parts of the world, it is perfectly legal.
It is simply security tech that you have the right to use.
What you do with it, on the other hand, is a different story. For example, using a VPN for online piracy is not legal, but using it to access foreign news sites and alike should not be a problem.
Tor is a special browser that uses its private network to access websites that would otherwise be unavailable, as they only exist within its own onion network.
While you should be safe enough if you use Tor alone, those who want extra security might benefit if they choose to use Tor over VPN.
There are lots of VPN services out there and they all have their positives and negatives.
Our extensive testing showed ExpressVPN is best for the job.
It has a specific Tor access address and its download speeds far surpassed any of the competition. We also liked their extensive range of apps and if you find it’s not for you, the crucial 30-day money back guarantee has you covered.
If you’ve got time to shop around, it might be worth visiting all 8 providers, but if not, ExpressVPN is undoubtedly our top recommendation.
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