If you have been trying to access the dark web, it would be a bummer if everyone on the web can easily identify your whereabouts. Although you’ve likely heard about Tor browsers being able to hide your identity, you still need a much powerful tool like a Tor over VPN to actually encrypt your internet traffic.
Despite extensively routing your network traffic through multiple nodes, even a single compromised node is enough for a hacker to steal your personal information. That’s why the best VPN for Tor is recommended. With extensive routing and powerful encryption, your data would make no sense to anyone spying on you.
Pretty cool, right? I have tested several VPNs out there and bring you some great VPNs for Tor that offer amazing compatibility with several platforms and servers. Our top recommendation is ExpressVPN because it is the fastest VPN in the market and works great with Tor.
- 3,000+ Servers in 94 Countries
- Hard disk free infrastructure (RAM only)
- 256-bit Military-Grade Encryption
- Excellent unblocking capability for Netflix, Hulu & more
- 5 Multi Logins
- Zero-knowledge DNS
Quick Overview – Here are the best VPNs for Tors browsers
7 Best VPN for Tor in 2021
Now that we’ve gotten Tor and VPN out of the way, let’s check out some of the very best VPN services for the Tor browser in 2021.
1. ExpressVPN – Overall best VPN for Tor
Next up, we have ExpressVPN for Tor. I guess labeling this VPN as the very best wouldn’t be an understatement. It is by far one of the best VPNs you can get for pretty much every application.
With over 3000+ optimized VPN servers, ExpressVPN guarantees crazy fast speeds every time. Heck, if you’re primarily looking for speeds, just go with ExpressVPN. It also one of the best-encrypted VPNs on this list with military-grade 256-bit AES encryption.
Another reason why I consider ExpressVPN as one of the very best Tor browser VPN is because of its superb performance and onion over Tor support. Its extensive security and advanced encryption protocols make this VPN is one of the best VPN services in the market right now.
That said, one thing I don’t like about ExpressVPN is the fact that their Onion website no longer works.
Not a deal-breaker, but it’s nice to have one.
Moving on, ExpressVPN offers 24/7 live chat support, leak protection, kill switch, and other awesome features that are just perfect for Tor browsing. It comes with a 3-month free subscription on its annual plan, which is fantastic. For more information, check out our exclusive ExpressVPN review.
- 3000+ global servers in the world
- Fantastic Tor support
- AES 256-bit encryption
- Unblocks all geo-restricted services
- OpenVPN protocols
- Slightly expensive price
2. Surfshark – Affordable VPN for Tor
If you’re looking for a super affordable Tor compatible VPN, then Surfshark is perhaps the best for surfing the Tor browser.
Although Surfshark might not offer any exclusive features, you can still use it in conjunction with Tor. Performance is great, if not the best, and 3200+ servers are plenty to get pretty much everything done.
Now let’s talk about features. Right of the bat, the MultiHop feature is really great to use. It is super secure but can slow down your connection a bit. Other than that, Surfshark supports industry-standard 256-bit encryption, offers a strict no-log policy, a 30-money-back guarantee, and, best of all, is compatible with all major platforms. It also offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.
You can get this budget-friendly VPN only at a price of $2.49/mo . It also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee to users who want to test its service.
For more information, check out our exclusive Surfshark review.
- Another best VPN to use with Tor
- 3200+ servers worldwide
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Compatible with popular platforms
- Offers a .onion website
- Good budget option
- Chrome and Firefox extensions offered
- Some servers may offer slow speeds
3. NordVPN – Speedy Tor VPN
Next up on this best Tor VPN list, we have NordVPN. Now there are plenty of reasons to love NordVPN, and its servers are obviously one of them.
With over 5200 servers, global server coverage isn’t a big deal for NordVPN. As far as features are concerned, specialized servers (onion servers) offered by NordVPN come pre-configured with Tor over VPN. Thus, NordVPN is a perfect solution if you’re looking for an onion over a VPN solution.
Not only that, if you want to take your privacy to a whole another level, but you can also even use NordVPN’s Double VPN feature. However, your speeds are going to suffer a bit due to extensive encryption. Aside from that, 256-bit encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and excellent device compatibility ensure your privacy is never compromised.
This speedy VPN comes at a price of $3.30/mo (VPN Awareness Month - 2 year plan at 72% off + 3 months FREE) only. Along with that, it offers a risk-free 30-day refund policy and 6 multi-logins to users.
For more information, check out our exclusive NordVPN review.
- Specialized onion servers
- Unblocks BBC iPlayer, Hulu, and more
- Military-grade encryption
- Kill switch available
- Outdated desktop app
4. CyberGhost – User-friendly Tor VPN
CyberGhost is another really great VPN you can use for Tor browsing. Even though CyberGhost doesn’t explicitly advertise anything about being compatible with it, it does work surprisingly well with it.
As far as servers are concerned, CyberGhost offers over 7000 servers in 90 countries. It offers decent speeds, military-grade encryption, and even an extensive 45-day money-back guarantee. Combine with the fact that CyberGhost doesn’t keep any logs, so you can browse over Tor all day long without worrying about a thing.
For more information, check out our exclusive Cyberghost review.
- 6600+ servers
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- AES 256-bit encryption
- Decent Tor support
- Whitelister, kill switch, no-logs offered
- Some servers might not offer the best speeds
5. Private Internet Access – Tor VPN with a large server network
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a great option for individuals with extreme security and privacy needs as it supports Tor-over-VPN. PIA is a USA-based VPN, but it follows a no-logs policy and offers the best security features available in the market. PIA allows SSL and SSH tunneling to help you bypass government blocks and checks.
PIA has the largest server network among other VPNs on this list. It has 35500+ servers across 78 countries. Apart from thousands of servers, PIA VPN comes with an automatic kill switch, 256-bit encryption, and DNS leak protection. It is also compatible with major devices, including Windows, macOS, Linux, and more.
This VPN service is also quite affordable and allows 10 devices to connect simultaneously. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test this VPN and try it with Tor risk-free.
To know more about this VPN, read our in-depth PIA review.
- 23000+ global servers in the world
- Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, Linux, etc.
- 30-day risk-free refund policy
- DNS leak protection, anonymous browsing offered
- 10 simultaneous connections available
- Some servers may offer slow speeds
6. IPVanish – Reliable Tor VPN
IPVanish is one best VPN to use with Tor that offers fewer worldwide servers than all other VPNs but works great with Tor. With its 1900+ servers in 75+ locations, you can connect to any of the servers for added privacy and completely secure your data.
This VPN offers unlimited simultaneous connections on one account, enabling users to use a Tor browser and secure their logs on more than a single device. Speaking of which, its obfuscation feature will conceal your VPN tunnel as regular internet traffic, not letting your ISP know that you’re using a VPN.
IPVanish offers a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee to users but doesn’t accept Bitcoin payments which is a bit sad. You can learn more about it in our IPVanish review.
- Works well with Tor
- Encrypts data using OpenVPN
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Lesser servers than other VPNs
- Doesn’t accept payments through Bitcoin
7. PrivateVPN – Secure VPN for Tor
PrivateVPN is one recommended VPN for Tor by us. This VPN offers a user-friendly setup guide of VPN over Tor. One advantage of using a VPN over Tor is that some websites that do not let you access them through a Tor browser will enable access when the VPN will change your IP address.
Let’s not forget that PrivateVPN offers great speeds, OpenVPN protocols, AES 256-bit encryption, and a strict no-logging policy to users. It also lets you connect 6 devices on one account.
You can learn more about this service in our PrivateVPN review.
- Offers a great VPN over Tor guide
- Uses the OpenVPN protocol
- Cheap prices
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- 150+ servers only
How we choose the best VPN for Tor browser? Our test methodology
Wondering how to choose the best VPN for Tor?
Now that you know what Tor is and what it can be used for, we’ve mentioned some of the most reliable VPNs you can use with Tor. To make it super easy for you, I’ve only rounded some of the best VPNs to use with Tor that offers the following features:
- Doesn’t keep any VPN logs that could jeopardize your privacy.
- Offers powerful encryption and robust VPN leak protection.
- Offers industry-standard speeds.
- Complete Tor compatibility.
- Supports anonymous payment options (accepts cryptocurrency).
- Extensive money-back guarantee.
- Excellent support.
- Affordable pricing plans.
VPNs Tor users Should Avoid
This VPN claimed to have a strict no-logging policy until a user got arrested on the account of his online activity. Furthermore, this VPN also had some data invasive laws that a user needs to be vigilant about. This is why we ask our Tor users to stay away from HMA.
2. Hola VPN
Hola VPN was declared to be avoided back in 2015 when the VPN got exposed for using computers of all its users into exit nodes. All the internet traffic of all users was then routed towards these nodes which Hola then used to sell to third parties.
Tor over VPN vs VPN over Tor – Which is Better?
As I said, both Tor and VPN can’t offer complete anonymity. However, combing both together can guarantee unmatched security and privacy. Using the encryption of a VPN and decentralized nodes of Tor, you can make it nearly impossible for anyone to trace you.
If you are thinking about how to use a VPN with Tor, then there are two ways you can go about it. You can either use Tor over VPN or VPN over Tor. It might sound quite similar, but they both function quite differently. Let’s take a look at each of the two approaches.
Tor over VPN
This one is the recommended method for effectively using both technologies simultaneously. If you’re wondering how this works, you basically need to connect to the VPN server and then use the VPN for the Tor browser.
If you use Tor before connecting to the VPN server, surveillance agencies or Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can identify whether you’re using Tor or not. However, enabling the VPN mitigates this issue by masking your Tor traffic through powerful encryption. Therefore, make sure to use Tor with VPN.
In addition to that, enabling VPN prior to using Tor ensures one additional benefit.
If you connect to a VPN server before browsing over Tor, you’re essentially restricting the Tor browser from knowing your real IP. Instead of your true IP address, the Tor browser will only see the IP address of the VPN server you’re connected to.
Long story short, no one will be able to track you, and your data will be secure.
- Renders ISPs and VPN services from identifying your Tor traffic.
- Zero configuration required; just connect to a VPN server before using Tor.
- The entry node of Tor won’t be able to see your real IP address.
- Allows access to Dark web and onion websites.
- It allows for easy switching between Tor and everyday browsing.
- VPN providers can potentially log your real IP address.
- Websites that don’t permit Tor can actually block traffic from Tor exit nodes.
- Users cannot access .onion sites.
- Entry nodes can see your original IP address.
- Cannot run P2P programs.
Tor over VPN is the recommended one amongst the two by us for offering the best privacy to users and letting them be completely secure over the internet.
VPN over Tor
VPN over Tor, on the other, is a bit tricky to implement. Besides that, this method is not really recommended as most VPNs don’t support this model.
This method basically takes your Tor-browser traffic from the exit node and passes it through the VPN server you’re connected to. Again, this method is not recommended and requires quite a bit of tinkering around to properly configure.
- Renders ISPs and VPN providers from identifying your Tor traffic.
- Can bypass and access Tor blocking websites.
- Through extensive routing, VPN service providers won’t be able to see your real IP address.
- Greater anonymity.
- Freedom to choose the server location of your choice.
- ISPs can see you are using the Tor browser.
- It can be difficult to set up even with the help of a VPN service provider as it requires quite a bit of tinkering.
- It can’t access onion websites.
- Entry nodes can see your real IP address.
- Cannot run P2P programs.
VPN over Tor is difficult and not recommended by us as it might let your ISP know that you’re trying to hide your activity using a Tor browser.
End-to-End Timing Attacks
An End-to-end (e2e) timing attack is a technique used to de-anonymize VPN and Tor users. This technique simply correlates the time when the VPN or Tor users were connected to the time of other anonymous behavior online. A successful attack against a Tor user is nearly impossible, but not for government agencies like NSA.
Therefore, to have an extra layer of security and privacy, you should use a VPN with Tor. It will also help protect against end-to-end timing attacks.
Should I use a free VPN for Tor?
Although not preferred, you can technically use the best free VPN for Tor if you don’t feel like spending money.
There is no technical obstacle that can prevent these VPNs from working alongside the Tor network. Nonetheless, using a free Tor VPN might prove to be the wrong choice for a few reasons.
First, you can never be sure if a free VPN service keeps logs or not. Usually, logs are kept and sold by these VPN providers to fund their business. As such, your privacy is always under threat if you are using these VPNs. Aside from this, these VPNs do not usually offer proper encryption and come with bandwidth limits. Therefore, it is not recommended to use such free tor VPNs.
Is Tor even Legal?
Yes, I’m not going to beat around the bush here, Tor is totally legal.
Even though you might see pretty scandalous headlines depicting how evil it is, in reality, it is just a technology that facilitates safe and anonymous browsing.
In fact, the Onion network is fully legal and can be pretty much used freely anywhere in the world.
That being said, while the technology itself is totally legal, some individuals use it for pretty shady reasons. I’m talking about accessing the dark web for nefarious services. For those who have no idea what shady services I’m talking about, you can basically hire a hitman to do all your dirty work.
Not only that, but you can also even purchase explosives, stolen credit card numbers, social security number, and god knows what else. [Source]
This is exactly the reason why ISPs and government agencies closely monitor Tor traffic. If you’re even remotely considering browsing the dark web, I highly suggest you use a VPN.
Tips to stay safe while browsing over Tor.
Even though combining Tor with VPNs should be enough to keep you safe and anonymous online, there are few easy precautionary steps you can take to strengthen your privacy further.
Here are my top 5 tips to stay secure while browsing over Tor:
- Don’t visit sketchy or suspicious sites. Usually, the site’s look and feel are the biggest giveaways, so pay close attention.
- As a general rule of thumb, always check the URLs of the sites you’re visiting. Make sure the site you’re visiting is HTTPS encrypted. To verify, just look at the lock icon at the beginning of the URL.
- Periodically delete your cookies and temporary files to flush unwanted trackers.
- Before connecting to any public network, always make sure you are connected to a reliable VPN server.
- Avoid paying with credit cards. Try using alternative payment modes such as cryptocurrencies or PayPal.
VPNs for TOR Twitter
Twitter is a very interactive platform that provides neutral opinions about pretty much everything. On that note, I decided to look at Twitter to see what Twitter users had to say about Tor.
You should opt for Tor if you’re not a fan of annoying ads.
So now that you know what the best VPNs for Tor are are let’s go through some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Tor and VPNs.
Yes, Tor is a completely safe browser to use. It offers strong encryption and complete privacy to users, removing all vulnerabilities that a normal browser has, such as cookies. This is one of the reasons why it’s encouraged to use a Tor browser if you want to be careful about your information.
ExpressVPN is the safest and the best VPN for Tor browser. ExpressVPN offers .onion sites and offers added privacy and security on Tor through AES 256-bit encryption and OpenVPN protocols. It also offers a kill switch, zero-logs, and other advanced security features to stay safe.
We don’t advise you to do that. Many websites don’t work great with Tor. Some even block Tor browsers. On top of that, you might end up facing a lot of CAPCHAs. Let’s not forget, Tor browsers offer relatively slow speeds than a normal browser which might only annoy you in the end.
iOS devices offer Onion Browser on their App Store that is endorsed by Tor itself. Similarly, Tor browsers can also be found on Google Play Store or you can use Orbot, which is practically older than the Tor browsers on Android. However, iOS users may suffer from some drawbacks. So, you can use the best VPN for Android and the best VPN for iPhone; ExpressVPN on your Tor browser to encrypt your data further.
There are many free VPNs for Tor out there, but we recommend that you use one of the premium VPNs mentioned above. All these VPNs offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try the VPN for Tor free of any risks.
Yes, ISPs can actually block Tor traffic if detected. However, you can use Tor and VPNs simultaneously to avoid getting blocked by your ISP.
If you’re like tons of other folks that think they can secure their privacy with just Tor, you’re just fooling yourself.
As I mentioned plenty of times in this blog, you just can’t rely on just one technology. To truly remain anonymous in the ever so intrusive world, it’s imperative that you get yourself one of the best VPNs for anonymity and use it for the Tor browser.
So what are you waiting for? Get yourself the best VPN for Tor today.
What VPNs do you find the best? Do let me know in the comments below.