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5 Best VPNs for Tor Browser — Tested and Working in 2022

Although Tor provides a degree of privacy, it can still expose you to cyberthreats if you use it without a VPN. Unfortunately, finding a VPN that will truly keep you safe when you use The Onion Router is a challenge. Some leak your identifying information while others slow your internet connection to the point that you can’t even use it with Tor at all.

My team and I tested 60+ VPNs to find the best ones for the Tor browser. I've shortlisted those with the strongest security to keep you safe. Plus, each recommended onion VPN provides fast speeds to minimize slowdowns.

My top pick for Tor is ExpressVPN — it offers best-in-class security features, superfast speeds, and has its own ".onion" site for safe and easy installation. It’s even backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try ExpressVPN risk-free. If you’re not satisfied, you can get a full refund.

Try ExpressVPN With Tor Today

Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for Tor Browser in May 2022

  1. ExpressVPN — Strong security features keep you safe on The Onion Network and fast speeds for smooth browsing. It also has its own ".onion" site, so you can sign up with an added layer of anonymity.
  2. CyberGhost — NoSpy servers to safeguard your privacy. Easy-to-use apps with top-notch security features keep your data from leaking on Tor.
  3. Private Internet Access — MACE feature blocks ads, trackers, and malware. Robust security, including DNS/IP leak protection. However, it’s based in the US, which is part of the 5-Eyes Alliance.
  4. IPVanish — Unlimited connections to protect your devices on the Tor network and Scramble (obfuscation), which hides your VPN use. However, it doesn’t accept crypto payments.
  5. PrivateVPN — A user-friendly interface with customizable security settings, but it has a smaller server network.

Best VPNs for Tor Browser — Full Analysis (Updated May 2022)

1. ExpressVPN — Overall Best Tor VPN With Strong Security and Fast Speeds

  • Robust security features
  • 3,000+ servers in 94 countries
  • 5 simultaneous device connections
  • Supported VPN protocols: OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPsec, and Lightway
  • Compatible with: Tor, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, and more
ExpressVPN Offer May 2022: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

ExpressVPN's robust security features keep you safe on the Tor network. Your data is protected by 256-bit encryption paired with Perfect Forward Secrecy, IP/DNS leak protection, and a kill switch (called Network Lock). I tested its kill switch by changing VPN servers while using The Onion Router — it blocked my traffic until the new connection was established. This prevents unwanted data leaks, even if your VPN connection drops unexpectedly.

It also uses RAM-only servers that wipe your data from previous sessions with every reboot. This is different than most VPN servers, which store data on hard drives and require manual deletion. It also follows a strict no-logs policy and is based in the British Virgin Islands, where there are no data retention laws. You can use The Onion Router without worrying that your data will be exposed.

Accessing onion sites is smooth with its superfast connection speeds. This is helpful since Tor slows your connection down significantly. A split tunneling feature is available, so you can encrypt only your Tor traffic to minimize slowdowns. It even offers a proprietary protocol, called Lightway, that's optimized for high speeds. I tested its Miami and New York servers (using Lightway) and got an average of 18 Mbps. I was impressed, as this was only a 4% drop from my starting speed (while using Tor). I could watch YouTube videos in HD without buffering.

ExpressVPN has its own ".onion" site, so you can install the app safely and easily. This lets you access its website even if you’re in a country that doesn't allow VPNs. Even better, it accepts bitcoin payments, allowing you to sign up for the service with added privacy.

One downfall with ExpressVPN is that it’s a bit more expensive than other VPNs — the minimum you’ll end up paying is $6.67/month. Short-term plans including the same features are also available, but they're more expensive. Luckily, ExpressVPN offers generous discounts and sometimes even free months of service. I got 3 extra months for free when I signed up for its yearly plan.

You can try ExpressVPN with Tor risk-free since it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not impressed, it's easy to claim a refund, as long as it's within this period. To see how reliable the refund process was, I contacted support via the 24/7 live chat to test it. The agent asked about my experience with the service and didn’t pressure me to stay. My request was approved almost immediately, and I got my money back in 3 days.

Try ExpressVPN with Tor Today

2. CyberGhost — NoSpy Servers Protect Your Privacy on Tor

  • Romania-based NoSpy servers
  • Fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth
  • 7,909+ servers in 91 countries
  • Block content feature to block domains used for ads, malware, and trackers
  • Compatible with: Tor, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, and more
May 2022 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 82% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

To keep your browsing activity private, CyberGhost offers special NoSpy servers. These are managed by CyberGhost directly to prevent third-party interference. In addition, it’s based in Romania and outside of 5/9/14 Eyes jurisdiction. This means that it’s not required to share any information with government agencies, even upon request. Plus, its strict no-logs policy ensures that your sensitive info is never stored.

CyberGhost is super easy to use with The Onion Router. With one click, it connects you to the fastest server based on your location. Using this set me up with its New York location, which gave me good speeds around 16 Mbps. The Wi-Fi Auto-Protect feature lets you customize how the VPN reacts when you connect to a new network. Enabling "Always Connect" automatically protects you whenever you join a WiFi network. At one point, I accessed the dark web on public WiFi but forgot to connect to the VPN. Luckily, I had this feature enabled, so it protected me automatically.

It uses top-notch security features to safeguard your digital identity on Tor. Your data is hidden by AES 256-bit military-grade encryption, which is basically uncrackable. Plus, it offers IP/DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch to prevent data leaks. I tested 5 servers on ipleak.net and found no leaks whatsoever. This strong security extends to 7 device connections, which are all covered on one plan.

As soon as you sign up, CyberGhost assigns you an anonymous ID so that your Tor activity won't be traced back to you. The email address you provide while setting up your account is stored as an encrypted hashtag, so you can browse privately.

CyberGhost’s monthly plans are a tad expensive. However, subscriptions are available for as low as $2.29/month with its yearly plans. I advise going with its long-term plans since they have the same features and are lower in price. They also come with a longer money-back guarantee period.

Either way, you can try out CyberGhost with Tor for free using its money-back guarantee (45 days on yearly plans, 14 days with shorter plans). If you’re not happy, it's easy to get your money back. To test this, I requested my refund via the 24/7 live chat support. The customer care rep asked a few simple questions and approved my request within 5 minutes. I had my money refunded in 5 days.

Try CyberGhost with Tor Today

3. Private Internet Access — MACE Feature Blocks Ads and Malware on Tor

  • PIA MACE to blocks ads, trackers, and malware
  • Fast speeds and unlimited bandwidth
  • 10 simultaneous device connections
  • Multihop and obfuscation feature to hide VPN use
  • Compatible with: Tor, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, and more
May 2022 Update: PIA doesn't usually have deals or discounts (it's already so affordable), but right now you can get a new subscription for a crazy 82% off!

PIA's unique feature (MACE) prevents annoying ads and malicious content from loading. This is helpful since Tor recommends that you don't install extensions (like ad blockers) at all — they can compromise your security. After I enabled MACE, I didn’t see any intrusive ads while browsing Buzzfeed on The Onion Network.

On top of this, it offers tons of additional security features for first-class protection when you use Tor. This includes IP and DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch. Plus, it uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect your data from cybercriminals while hiding your Tor use from prying eyes. This helps prevent any unwanted suspicions or bandwidth throttling from your ISP.

It has a vast server network of 29,650+ servers in 84 countries for reliable and speedy connections. During my tests, its Washington and LA servers gave me an average download speed of 14 Mbps, which is fast enough for buffer-free HD streaming. Plus, I didn’t encounter any connection drops during my entire Tor session.

The only problem with PIA is that it’s based in the US, which is the heart of the 5-Eyes Alliance. However, its no-logs policy assures that even if your data is requested, there will be nothing for PIA to hand over. If you’re concerned about this, you might want to consider a VPN in a safer jurisdiction like ExpressVPN or CyberGhost instead.

The plans are pretty affordable. You can get a PIA subscription for just $2.19/month with its long-term plan — I also got 3 months of extra service for free when I signed up. All the subscriptions have the same features, but the long-term options are more economical.

Included with every plan is a trustworthy 30-day money-back guarantee. When I canceled my subscription, I just contacted support via the 24/7 live chat feature. The agent asked a couple of questions, which took less than 7 minutes. I had my money refunded within 6 days.

Try PIA With Tor Today

4. IPVanish — Unlimited Connections to Protect All of Your Devices on Tor

  • Unlimited device connections
  • Good speeds and unlimited bandwidth
  • 2,000+ servers in 75 countries
  • Supported protocols: WireGuard, IKEv2, OpenVPN, L2TP, SSTP, IPSec, and PPTP
  • Compatible with: Tor, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, and more
IPVanish May 2022 Deal: It's hard to find active IPVanish offers so I was really surprised to find this one! Click here to get 63% off your IPVanish subscription today! Discount automatically applied (no code required).

IPVanish offers unlimited simultaneous device connections. To put this to the test, I connected my Windows laptop and Android tablet to the Dallas server at the same time. Despite having multiple connections, I could browse with Tor on my laptop without any noticeable slowdowns. I even played a few YouTube videos without interruptions. This way, you can protect all of your devices with a single subscription.

It uses top-notch security features to ensure that your Tor activity is kept safe. This includes AES 256-bit military-grade encryption, IP/DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch. For an extra security layer, you can enable the Scramble option to add obfuscation to OpenVPN. Scramble hides your VPN use so you can overcome VPN blocks and access the dark web.

Browsing on The Onion Router is smooth since IPVanish has reliable speeds. During my tests, I got an average download speed of 13 Mbps with its Boston and Dallas servers. While this wasn't as fast as ExpressVPN, I was still able to watch travel vlogs on Facebook’s onion site without slowdowns. It only took a few seconds for each video to load.

IPVanish doesn't accept cryptocurrency, which is unfortunate since using this payment method provides a bit more privacy. However, it accepts plenty of other methods such as major credit cards and PayPal.

You can sign up for IPVanish for as low as $3.99/month with its long-term plan. There is a monthly plan available, but it's more expensive. Since all subscriptions offer the same features, I recommend the yearly subscription for a better value.

On top of this, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee that you can depend on. I found the refund process to be quick and easy. All I had to do was log in to my account, go to the subscription tab and click “I wish to cancel my subscription”. After confirming the cancellation, I got my money back after 6 days.

Try IPVanish With Tor Today

5. PrivateVPN — Customizable Security Keeps Your Tor Use Safe

  • Choice of protocols and encryption levels
  • Reliable speeds and unlimited bandwidth
  • 200+ servers in 63 countries
  • A remote help service through TeamViewer, and 24/7 live chat
  • Compatible with: Tor, Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, routers, and more

PrivateVPN has a customizable interface, so it's perfect for all levels of VPN users. There are 2 settings: Simple and Advanced. With Simple View, you can connect to a server with one click and the VPN automatically picks the best settings for you. Otherwise, its Advanced View lets you tweak your settings — like choosing the encryption level (AES 128-bit or 256-bit). During my tests, I got the fastest speeds with 128-bit encryption. However, for security-conscious users, you can use 256-bit, which is the strongest available.

With its top-of-the-line security features, you'll have safe and secure Tor sessions. The VPN comes with DNS/IP leak protection and an automatic kill switch. Its Stealth Mode feature disguises your VPN traffic as regular web traffic. This allows it to bypass tough firewalls and even work in restrictive countries, like China and Iran. These features are accessible on up to 10 of your devices under one subscription.

It uses industry-leading security protocols, including OpenVPN, PPTP, and L2TP. I recommend using OpenVPN TCP for Tor, since it offers strong security and decent speeds. Plus, it’s open-source and is regularly updated to make sure there are no bugs or vulnerabilities. Tor doesn’t support UDP traffic, so make sure to choose TCP as your connection type.

The only problem with PrivateVPN is that it has a smaller server network. I was a bit worried that it would give me slower speeds and unreliable connections. However, that wasn’t the case. I tested 10 servers across the globe and had reliable connections (no drops). My speeds never dropped below 10 Mbps while I browsed on The Onion Network.

Plans are affordable, starting at $2/month. You can choose short and long-term plans. I signed up for its 3-year plan because it was much cheaper than the short-term options, and offers the same features.

You can try PrivateVPN with Tor for free thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. I requested a refund through email — the team processed my refund quickly with no questions asked. My money was back in my account in 7 days.

Try PrivateVPN With Tor Today

Quick Comparison Table — Best Tor VPN Features

When shopping for a Tor VPN, there are certain features to look for, for enhanced privacy protection. For instance, some VPNs offer their own onion site — this gives you an added layer of anonymity from the moment you sign up. VPNs based outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes jurisdiction ensure that even government agencies cannot demand user data. What's more, you can even hide your VPN use by using a VPN with obfuscated servers.

Another problem with Tor is that it can slow your connection speeds significantly because traffic travels through so many nodes. So choosing a VPN with superfast servers will help minimize the slowdown you encounter while browsing.

The table below compares the essential features of my recommended onion VPNs.

Lowest Price Outside of the 5/9/14 Eyes Jurisdiction Dark Web Mirror of the Website Speeds With Tor Obfuscated Servers
🥇ExpressVPN $6.67/month Yes Yes Fast Yes
🥈CyberGhost $2.29/month Yes No Fast No
🥉Private Internet Access $2.19/month No No Average Yes
IPVanish $3.99/month No No Average Yes
PrivateVPN $2/month No No Average Yes

Try ExpressVPN Today

Tips on How to Choose the Best VPNs for Tor Browser

I used the following criteria to rank the VPNs in my list. You can use this as a checklist of features to look for when choosing the best onion VPN:

  • Strong security — To ensure your traffic passes safely through Tor's nodes, your VPN should provide essential security features like 256-bit encryption, IP/DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch. I made sure that all of the listed VPNs offer these features and more.
  • No-logs policy — This is a promise by the VPN provider that your personal data won't be recorded or shared with third parties. I thoroughly read each VPN’s logging policy to confirm that no data from your browsing sessions will be collected, stored, or shared.
  • Fast speeds — Since using The Onion Router slows down your internet connection, it’s important to select a VPN that offers fast speeds. This helps minimize the slowdown you'll experience from added encryption and security. Each listed onion VPN gave me at least 10 Mbps while using it with The Onion Router. That's fast enough for browsing and HD streaming.
  • Extensive device compatibility — The Tor browser is available on all major platforms, including Windows, Android, macOS, and Linux. I checked that all of the listed VPNs are compatible with the most popular operating systems.
  • Responsive support — In case you run into questions or concerns, your VPN provider should be there to help you. All of the listed VPNs offer reliable support, whether via live chat, email, or contact form. The 24/7 live chat is most preferred because you can get your answers as quickly as possible.
  • Reliable money-back guarantee — This allows you to try the service risk-free. I tested the VPNs in this list for their money-back guarantees — it’s easy to get a refund with all of them.

Warning: These VPNs Aren't Safe to Use With Tor

During my tests, I found some VPNs that are unsafe to use with Tor, including:

  • Hola Free VPN — Hola free VPN is a P2P network that requires you to share your own bandwidth when using the service. This means that other Hola users can use your IP address. If they do something illegal, it could be traced back to you and you could be held liable.
  • BetternetVPN — Doesn’t protect you from leaks, and its Android app was riddled with malware in 2016. On top of that, only the paid option offers a no-logs policy. The free version logs a huge amount of data, including your email, IP address, and connection timestamps.
  • TouchVPN — Stores user data and shares it with third parties.
  • SuperVPN — Asks permission to track your location and WiFi connection. In addition, it doesn’t specify which security protocol and encryption type it uses.

Try ExpressVPN With Tor Today

Quick Guide: How to Set Up a VPN for Tor in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Get a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN because it offers top-notch security to protect your Tor sessions, fast speeds, and plenty of servers. You can try ExpressVPN completely risk-free.
  2. Connect to a server. Choose a server of your choice and click Connect. Make sure to choose a server close to your actual location for the fastest speeds.
  3. Start browsing. Open Tor browser and enjoy safe and secure browsing!

Tor Over VPN vs. VPN Over Tor: Explained

Using a highly secure VPN can enhance your safety when you use The Onion Router. There are 2 different ways you can use a VPN with Tor — each offering different security benefits. The following information explains the 2 methods for using a VPN with Tor: Tor over VPN and VPN over Tor.

Overall, it’s better to use Tor over VPN — it’s easier to set up and offers stronger privacy by hiding your real IP address from the entry node. VPN over Tor is only really useful if you don’t trust your VPN provider (and have signed up for the service anonymously).

Tor Over VPN

In this setup, you connect to your VPN first and then launch the Tor browser. It adds an additional layer of security because your traffic is encrypted, so that none of Tor's nodes will be able to see your real IP address.

The traffic flow looks like this: User → VPN → Tor → Internet

Pros: Cons:
  • Easy to set up.
  • Prevents entry nodes from seeing your real IP address.
  • Hides Tor usage from your ISP.
  • Easy access to the Tor network even where it is blocked.
  • Prevents IP leaks within the The Onion Network.
  • Your VPN provider can see (and log) your real IP address, but this is not a problem if your VPN has a strict no-logs policy.
  • Your Tor activity can be exposed to your ISP if the VPN connection accidentally drops. However, this is preventable if your VPN has an automatic kill switch.

VPN Over Tor

With this method, you first launch the Tor browser, and then you connect to a VPN server. Your traffic is encrypted by the VPN before it leaves the exit node, meaning exit nodes cannot see your traffic.

The traffic flow looks like this: User → Tor → VPN → Internet

Pros: Cons:
  • Exit nodes cannot see your traffic.
  • The VPN cannot see your real IP address, so it’s a good option if you don’t trust your VPN provider.
  • Very difficult to set up.
  • Not many VPNs support VPN over Tor.
  • Doesn’t hide Tor usage from your ISP.
  • Slow speeds.

Try ExpressVPN With Tor Today

FAQs on the Best Tor VPNs

Why do I need a VPN for Tor?

Using a VPN with The Onion Router adds an additional layer of security and privacy. In 2017, researchers found a security flaw in the Tor browser called TorMoil. This was leaking users’ real IP addresses on Mac and Linux devices. Even though this vulnerability was fixed, it’s best to use an onion VPN with strong encryption and leak protection just to be safe.

With Tor over VPN, your traffic is encrypted before you enter the The Onion Network, so the entry node cannot see your real IP address. It also hides Tor usage from your ISP, which is helpful if your ISP throttles or blocks Tor traffic.

Is using Tor and a VPN legal?

For the most part. In most countries, Tor is legal, and using a VPN with Tor is legal as well. You won’t get into any trouble as long as you’re not using it for illegal activities.

The only exceptions are countries that impose VPN restrictions or censor Tor usage, like China and Iran. I don’t condone illegal activities, so please check the most up-to-date local laws to ensure that you’re not accidentally breaking any of them.

What's the difference between Tor and a VPN?

Tor is a secure browser used for accessing every layer of the web, while a VPN is a security-enhancing app. Similar to Tor, VPNs encrypt your traffic to prevent prying eyes from spying on your online activity. However, VPNs offer additional security and privacy features that are not offered by Tor.

For instance, reputable VPNs adhere to a strict no-logs policy while encrypting your traffic from the moment you connect. The no-logs policy ensures your browsing sessions won't be recorded, while the end-to-end encryption hides your personal data from all of Tor's nodes.

Additionally, VPNs safeguard your entire device and not just your browser traffic — plus, they're much faster than The Onion Router.

Tor offers some privacy by using decentralized nodes to transfer data securely. Although it encrypts your data, browsing Tor without a VPN exposes your IP address to the entry nodes. In addition, the exit node, and its operator, can see your data request.

Can I use a Tor VPN for Android and Windows?

Yes, as long as your VPN provider is compatible with Android and Windows. I made sure that the VPNs in this list have apps for Android, Windows, and more. In addition, each one allows for at least 5 simultaneous device connections, so you only need one subscription across your devices.

The native apps allow you to download these onion VPNs to your Android and Windows devices quickly and easily. Plus, you get access to all of their robust security features like military-grade encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch. That way, not only is your Android or Windows device protected but so is your personal data that's on it.

Is it okay to use Tor bridges instead of a VPN?

Yes, but it doesn't offer the same level of security. For strong security and privacy, it's best to use a VPN instead. A VPN with 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and leak protection will keep your sensitive info from being exposed through Tor.

Tor bridges are just unpublished nodes, using them makes it harder for your ISP and streaming sites to discover and block them. So, if you just want to bypass Tor blocks by your ISP or access geo-restricted content, then Tor bridges are enough.

Can I use a free VPN with Tor?

You can, but it’s not recommended. It’s better to use a secure and low-cost premium VPN with a trustworthy money-back guarantee. Paid VPNs usually offer features that free ones don't, like leak protection and a no-logs policy. This helps prevent your data from being leaked to prying eyes and cybercriminals when you use the Tor browser.

Free VPNs often have slow speeds, too. Since Tor is inherently slow, using a free VPN with it can make it almost impossible to use the browser at all. Plus, free VPNs usually lack important security features and can expose your real IP address at entry nodes, while alerting your ISP of your Tor use. Even worse is if the VPN collects logs, making you vulnerable to third-party interception. It's not worth the risk when you can get a fast and secure VPN (like the ones on this list) with a reliable money-back guarantee.

Try ExpressVPN with Tor Today

Get the Best VPN for Tor Browser Today

Since the dark web is associated with various cyberthreats, using a highly secure VPN with Tor is crucial. On top of this, The Onion Router is slow as it is — so you'll need a superfast VPN to prevent additional slowdowns.

Based on my tests, I found ExpressVPN to be the best Tor VPN. It has strong security features to protect your personal data from leaking. Plus, it's superfast, which minimizes speed loss while you browse. You can try ExpressVPN with Tor risk-free since it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you find it's not for you, you can easily get a full refund.

To summarize, here are the best VPNs for the Tor browser in 2022…

Privacy Alert!

Your data is exposed to the websites you visit!

Your IP Address:

Your Location:

Your Internet Provider:

The information above can be used to track you, target you for ads, and monitor what you do online.

VPNs can help you hide this information from websites so that you are protected at all times. We recommend ExpressVPN — the #1 VPN out of over 350 providers we've tested. It has military-grade encryption and privacy features that will ensure your digital security, plus — it's currently offering 49% off.

Visit ExpressVPN

About the Author

Akash is a tech enthusiast and a gadget freak. His specialty is Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence, and SEO. He loves testing VPNs and helping people stay safe online.

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