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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

5 Best VPNs for Tor Browser in 2024: Easy to Set Up & Use

James Everard Updated on 28th May 2024 Fact-checked by Emma Browne Senior Writer

The Tor browser and VPN have some similarities. They both route your traffic through remote servers to hide your IP and internet traffic. The difference is that the Tor network is run by volunteers, leaving your IP and data vulnerable at various points in the process. Plus, your ISP can detect the use of Tor, which can cause suspicion, even if you’re doing nothing wrong.

A reliable VPN encrypts your data and routes it through private servers so it’s virtually untraceable to your ISP, Tor volunteers, and other snoops. But some VPNs log user data, while others slow you down so much you can barely use Tor. Since my team and I regularly use them for research, we know which VPNs are best for Tor.

My top pick for Tor is ExpressVPN. It minimizes Tor’s slowdowns with the fastest speeds I’ve ever tested and even has an Onion dark web mirror site for private installation. Plus, it accepts BTC payments. You can try ExpressVPN with Tor risk-free since it has a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, you can easily get a refund. Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

Try ExpressVPN for Tor >>

Short on Time? Here Are the Best VPNs for Tor in 2024

  • Editor's Choice
    ExpressVPN
    ExpressVPN
    The fastest VPN with a proprietary Lightway protocol offering speedy, secure connections.
    70% of our readers choose ExpressVPN
  • NordVPN
    NordVPN
    Use the Onion network on regular browsers — no need to download extra software.
  • CyberGhost VPN
    CyberGhost
    Secure NoSpy servers in Romania for accessing Tor when privacy is paramount.
  • Private Internet Access
    Private Internet Access
    PIA MACE blocker to prevent viruses and malicious content on the dark web.
  • Surfshark
    Surfshark
    MultiHop feature to route your Tor data through 2 separate VPN servers.

Editors' Note: Intego, Private Internet Access, CyberGhost and Expressvpn are owned by Kape Technologies, our parent company.

Best VPNs for Tor — Full Analysis (Updated 2024)

1. ExpressVPN — Proprietary Lightway Protocol Is the Fastest for Tor

Best Feature The best VPN for Tor with an exclusive fast and secure protocol, so you won’t add any more delays on top of the network’s already slow speeds
Ease of Use Easy to set up and combines perfectly with the Tor network, so it’s simple to browse the dark web securely
Crypto Payments Yes, via BitPay
Security Features Adjustable Threat Manager malicious content blocker, Network Lock kill switch, and more
Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

Of all the VPNs I tested, ExpressVPN is the fastest and best to use with Tor. It dropped my speeds far less than other competitors, making it ideal for browsing, streaming, or torrenting without interruptions from anywhere. That’s handy, considering the significant slowdowns that Tor can cause. Such speeds are partly due to ExpressVPN’s proprietary protocol, Lightway.

Protocols handle your data in transit, and most VPNs use standard options like OpenVPN or WireGuard. But ExpressVPN built Lightway from scratch to ensure fast speeds without compromising your security, which is critical for Tor browsing. Independent auditors have examined Lightway twice, and ExpressVPN quickly fixed any identified vulnerabilities after each report.

Screenshot of the ExpressVPN app connected to a UK server over Tor browserExpressVPN's lightweight Lightway protocol even saves battery when using Tor on mobile devices

On top of this, its RAM-only servers wipe all your activity, including Tor data, upon reboot. Combine this with ExpressVPN’s strict no-logs policy and its headquarters in the privacy-friendly British Virgin Islands (outside the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliances), and you’ve got a VPN that offers fantastic security and peace of mind for dark web browsing.

I’ll admit that it’s more expensive than others. But you can save significantly with a longer plan; when I subscribed, I saved 49% on a long-term deal and got 3 months of free service. Plus, you can try ExpressVPN with Tor risk-free thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. I tested this for myself to ensure it’s legit by contacting 24/7 live chat. The agent agreed without asking further questions, and I got my money back 5 days later.

Useful Features

  • Split tunneling. Allows selected apps to bypass your VPN connection. I used this to secure my Tor traffic while using my regular internet connection for other apps and browsers (Mac users, be aware this is only available for macOS 10 and under).
  • Create Tor shortcuts. Get one-click access to Tor and your favorite onion sites right from the app’s home screen.
  • Up to 8 simultaneous device connections. You can protect your Tor activity while others in your household use the VPN to stream, game, torrent, or study securely from anywhere.
  • Automatic obfuscation. Every server has automatic obfuscation that kicks in when they detect Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). That means you can use Tor even on restrictive networks that block it.
ExpressVPN Offer June 2024: For a limited time only, you can get an ExpressVPN subscription for up to 49% off! Don't miss out!

2. NordVPN — Browse Tor Sites on a Regular Browser With Onion Over VPN Servers

Best Feature Use the Onion network on your regular browser via servers in privacy-friendly Switzerland and Netherlands — you don’t need to download Tor for it to work
Ease of Use Easy to set up but with some intermediate-level features; if you’ve never used a VPN before, you’ll get on well with NordVPN
Crypto Payments No, but accepts Amazon Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal
Security Features Launch on CPU startup, kill switch, virus scanner

NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN servers let you browse the dark web on (some) regular browsers. I connected to an Onion Over VPN server in Switzerland using Chrome on my Windows laptop and was able to safely browse the dark web. It was noticeably faster than using the Tor browser, too — it’s just a shame it didn’t work on Firefox or Safari. However, its regular servers work just as well with Tor if that’s your preferred browser.

Screenshot of the NordVPN app connected to an Onion Over VPN server over ProPublica's mirror site on Chrome browserYou can choose from 2 Onion Over VPN locations: Switzerland and The Netherlands

NordVPN also offers reassurance via its Dark Web Monitor, which scans the dark net and notifies you instantly if your email leaks so you can protect your accounts. Plus, you get the proprietary NordLynx protocol. It’s an improvement on WireGuard since it doesn’t store your IP when you connect, although it’s not as fast as Lightway.

Personally, I find the server map a little annoying, and the app takes up a good chunk of real estate on your screen. Apart from that, though, NordVPN is user-friendly and easy to navigate, even for newcomers to VPNs.

You can protect up to 10 devices on a single account, and plans start from a very reasonable $5.99/month. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try NordVPN with the dark web for free. If it’s not your ideal Tor VPN, claiming a refund is simple.

Useful Features

  • Threat Protection. This highly customizable blocker helps you avoid malicious content on the dark web by blocking known malware domains, and it works even when you’re not connected to a NordVPN server. It’ll also scan everything you download to make sure it’s free of any viruses or other malware.
  • Presets. You can use this on macOS to configure settings for Tor and Onion sites for one-click secure access to the dark web.
  • Double VPN. When privacy is paramount, you can route your Tor data through 2 separate VPN servers. Even though this typically takes a toll on your speed, I didn’t get considerable slowdowns, and you can choose from locations in 9 countries.
  • App-specific kill switch. You can ask NordVPN to quit Tor if your connection to the VPN server drops. This is unlike most kill switches, which generally cut off your internet connection altogether.

3. CyberGhost — NoSpy Servers Protect Your Privacy on Tor

Best Feature Highly secure NoSpy servers protect your privacy on the dark web — you can be sure third parties won’t interfere with the servers you’re using
Ease of Use A simple plug-and-play solution for safely using the Tor browser makes it the ideal choice for dark web safety
Crypto Payments Yes, via BitPay
Security Features In-built kill switch/leak protection, WireGuard and IKEv2 protocols
Editors' Note: CyberGhost VPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

CyberGhost is a great choice for Tor, thanks to its special NoSpy servers. Many VPNs rent server space in shared facilities, posing the threat of third-party interference. In comparison, CyberGhost owns and manages NoSpy servers in its highly secure headquarters, so you can use The Onion Router without worrying your data could leak.

Screenshot of the NoSpy servers on CyberGhost's desktop appNoSpy servers loaded in a few seconds despite being 2,200 km away

CyberGhost assigns you an anonymous ID when you sign up, preventing anyone from tracing your Tor activity back to you. It stores the email you use to open your account as an encrypted hashtag, so it can’t be used to trace you to your CyberGhost account. You can even use a throwaway email address to leave no evidence of your subscription.

The only downside is that NoSpy servers are notably slower than regular servers, though, so I only recommend them if privacy is a priority. However, nearby regular servers offer great speeds for Tor. Tor’s slow enough as it is, and CyberGhost doesn’t add even more delays on top of this.

You can try out CyberGhost with Tor for free using its money-back guarantee. Long-term plans offer a 45-day refund period — longer than the industry-standard 30 days. But be aware that the monthly plan only offers 14 days. Either way, if you’re unhappy, getting a full refund is easy.

Useful Features

  • Auto-Protect. 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, which I highly recommend to protect your Tor browsing.
  • Auto app launch. You can select an app to launch when you hit the power button on CyberGhost. I tried this with the Tor browser, and it worked seamlessly.
  • Block content. This is a one-click solution to block ads, malware, and trackers, so it’s not customizable like ExpressVPN or NordVPN’s blockers. However, it protects you from malicious sites and files that can lurk on Onion sites, giving you greater peace of mind as you browse.
  • No-logs policy. CyberGhost has a strict no-logs policy, and its base is in Romania (outside the 14 Eyes Alliance). That means it’s not obligated to share any information with government agencies upon request.
June 2024 Deal: CyberGhost is currently offering 83% off its most popular plan! Take advantage of this offer now and save more on your CyberGhost subscription.

4. Private Internet Access (PIA) — MACE Feature Blocks Ads and Malware on Tor

Best Feature A powerful malicious content blocker to protect your Tor sessions from cyber threats so you can browse the dark web safely
Ease of Use A host of adjustable features for tech fans and Tor users — it’s ideal for experienced VPN users
Crypto Payments Yes, via BitPay
Security Features Connection Automation, WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols
Editors' Note: Private Internet Access and this site are in the same ownership group.

PIA’s MACE is ideal for keeping you safe while you use Tor. There are many worthy uses for the dark web, but it can also be dangerous, with malware, harmful links, and viruses galore. Further, Tor advises against installing browser extensions (including ad blockers) that could offer some protection against malware posing as ads. But PIA’s MACE works at the DNS level, so harmful content won’t reach your device — no browser extension is required.

Screenshot of the PIA MACE feature in the Private Internet Access Settings menuPIA MACE stopped 74% of ads and malicious files when I checked it with an online tool

PIA has an array of customizable features; VPN beginners may even find its settings menu a little overwhelming. But if you’re a tech fiend like me, you’ll enjoy customizing your connections for Tor. For example, if your network speeds are sluggish, you can drop to 128-bit encryption instead of the standard 256-bit.

Every plan has a trustworthy 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try PIA for free. If you’re unsatisfied, getting a refund is easy.

Useful Features

  • Customizable kill switch. The Advanced Kill Switch works even when you quit PIA, ensuring you can’t browse on Tor without connecting to a VPN first.
  • Multi-Hop. Routes your data through a VPN and a proxy server to disguise your VPN use on the Tor network. Plus, you get some extra security without the extra delays caused by traditional multi-hop servers.
  • Court-verified no-logs policy. Although based in the US in the 5 Eyes, PIA has a loyal following thanks to its dedication to user privacy. Its no-logs claims have been court-verified on several occasions when governmental agencies requested specific customers’ data, proving that PIA doesn’t compromise its users.

5. Surfshark — MultiHop Servers for Extra Privacy While Visiting Onion Sites

Best Feature Custom-create your own server combos from the full location list to help you get the best possible speeds and double the protection on the dark web
Ease of Use Simple setup, but navigating the server list requires some knowledge; you’ll get on best with Surfshark if you’ve used VPNs before
Crypto Payments Yes, via CoinGate
Security Features Auto-connect, kill switch, NoBorders mode

Surfshark helps protect your privacy on the dark web even better with its dynamic MultiHop feature. Your traffic gets sent through two server locations simultaneously, making your connection more secure. I easily found its MultiHop server list from the menu beside the regular server locations and static IPs, and I particularly liked that you could choose a premade connection or set up your own.

Screenshot showing the MultiHop server list on Surfshark's appThere are 12 preset MultiHop combos on Surfshark's list, or you can configure your own

Unfortunately, this VPN is based in the Netherlands, which is part of the 9 Eyes Alliance. However, I have no concerns since Surfshark upholds a strict no-logs policy verified by Deloitte. Your Tor browsing activity stays private as it's not collected or stored.

If you’re unsure, you can try Surfshark risk-free for 30 days using its money-back guarantee. I found its refund policy trustworthy when I tested it.

Useful Features

  • Camouflage mode. This obfuscates your VPN connection, allowing you to use Tor with your VPN on restrictive networks where either may be blocked.
  • Fast speeds. Nearby servers are especially nippy, which is ideal for browsing the dark web or streaming securely in HD from anywhere. Tor isn’t particularly fast as it is, but I found that servers close to my actual location gave me the best possible dark web speeds with Surfshark.
  • Rotating IP. Surfshark regularly changes your IP address while keeping you connected to the same location. This gives you even greater privacy on the dark web and better protection against compromised entry nodes that might attempt to link your activity to your IP address.

Quick Comparison Table: Tor VPN Features

Some key features are vital for your privacy when looking for a Tor VPN. For instance, some VPNs offer an Onion mirror site to install their app over Tor. What's more, you can hide your use of VPN on the dark web with obfuscation.

Plus, Tor can considerably reduce your connection speeds due to routing your traffic through multiple nodes. A VPN with fast speeds will reduce slowdowns while browsing Tor. Finally. I used an online test to gauge how well each VPN performed in blocking incoming scripts and domains known to host malicious content.

Lowest Price Dark Web Mirror Site Speeds Obfuscation Malware Blocking
🥇ExpressVPN $6.67/month Yes Consistently fast Automatic on every server 97%
🥈NordVPN $5.99/month No Consistently fast Yes, via Obfuscated servers 54%
🥉CyberGhost $2.03/month No Very fast No 81%
PIA $2.03/month No Pretty fast Yes, via MultiHop and Obfuscation 74%
Surfshark $2.19/month No Very fast Yes, via Camouflage mode 84%

Tips on Choosing the Best VPN for Tor

I used the following criteria to rank the VPNs in my list. You can use it as a checklist of useful features when choosing the best Onion VPN:

  • Strong security. To ensure your traffic passes through Tor's nodes safely, your VPN should provide essential security features like 256-bit encryption, IP/DNS leak protection, and an automatic kill switch. I ensured the listed VPNs offered these features.
  • No-logs policy. This is a promise that the VPN provider won't record or share your data with third parties. I thoroughly read each VPN’s logging policy to confirm it won’t monitor your browsing.
  • Fast speeds. Since using Tor slows down your internet connection, selecting a VPN with fast speeds is crucial. Each listed onion VPN gave me at least 5 Mbps while using Tor, which is fast enough for smooth browsing without compromising your security. This is also enough for HD streaming from anywhere.
  • Extensive device compatibility. The Tor browser is available on all major platforms, including Windows, Android, macOS, and Linux. I’ve checked that all listed VPNs are compatible with the most popular operating systems.
  • Responsive support. All of the listed VPNs offer reliable support via 24/7 live chat in case you run into technical issues when using your VPN on Tor. Email or contact form support is also available if that’s the communication method you prefer.
  • Reliable money-back guarantee. This allows you to try the service with Tor risk-free. I tested the VPN’s money-back guarantees — getting a refund with any of our recommended services is easy.

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

During my research, I found some VPNs that are unsafe for Tor, including:

  • Hola Free VPN. It’s not a real VPN, but actually, a P2P network that requires you to share your bandwidth with other users. This means that other Hola users can use your IP address. If another user does something illegal, the authorities could trace this back to you and hold you liable for something you didn’t do.
  • BetternetVPN. Its users found its Android app contained tons of malware. On top of that, only the paid option offers a no-logs policy. The free version logs vast amounts of data, including your email, IP address, and connection timestamps.
  • TouchVPN. It stores user data and shares it with third parties, defeating the whole point of using a VPN.
  • SuperVPN. It asks permission to track your location and WiFi connection. In addition, it doesn’t specify which security protocol and encryption type it uses, so you don’t know how (or if) your traffic is protected.

Do I Really Need a VPN for Tor?

While it’s great for private browsing, Tor isn't perfect and has vulnerabilities. When you use Tor, your data passes through a network of volunteer-run nodes. The first vulnerability is at the entry node — a volunteer could see your IP and use this to identify you. The last is at the exit node, where a volunteer can see what site you’re trying to visit.

Furthermore, your ISP can detect the use of Tor. This can arouse suspicion — even if you’re doing nothing illegal or immoral. So, many ISPs throttle (limit) users’ speeds if they detect the use of Tor. And Tor is slow enough as it is!

Diagram of the Tor networkTor leaves you vulnerable at the entry and exit node points unless you use a VPN

In 5/9/14-Eyes countries, ISPs are legally obliged to track their users’ browsing. Because your traffic will always contain information about the browser you’re using and the servers you’re communicating with, your ISP can see you’re accessing the dark web.

VPNs encrypt your data, preventing your ISP from detecting the use of Tor to access the dark web or to keep your surface web browsing private. Therefore, if your ISP attempts to monitor your traffic, all it will see is encrypted data that’s virtually impossible to crack.

Quick Guide: How to Use a VPN With the Tor Browser in 3 Easy Steps

  1. Get a VPN. I recommend ExpressVPN because it offers Tor-friendly speeds, an easy-to-use app, and automatic obfuscation on every server. You can try ExpressVPN completely risk-free.
  2. Connect to a server. Choose a server and click the power button to connect. For the fastest speeds, it’s best to choose a server close to your actual location.
  3. Start browsing. Open the Tor browser and enjoy safe and secure browsing.

Editors' Note: Expressvpn and this site are in the same ownership group.

Tor Over VPN (Onion Over VPN) vs. VPN Over Tor: Which is Better?

Two methods exist for integrating the privacy features of a VPN with Tor. Below is a brief overview of each approach:

Tor Over VPN

This is also known as Onion Over VPN. To follow this method, simply connect to a VPN server, then open the Tor browser. This provides an extra layer of encryption and anonymity, as your VPN first encrypts your traffic before routing it through the Tor network.

It can also help you avoid potential issues with exit nodes on Tor. The VPN first encrypts your internet traffic, so deciphering your data would be virtually impossible, even if an attacker intercepts it. Additionally, if you use a restrictive network that blocks Tor, a VPN can help you use the dark web securely.

Certain VPNs may let you access the Tor network on your regular browser with this method. I would advise caution here, as your regular browser may have usernames or passwords stored in autofill, which can be hijacked on malicious sites. For this reason, the Tor browser has autofill turned off by default.

Pro Tip: If you’re going to use your regular browser with Tor, I recommend using a private browser window with a clear autofill cache to protect your personal information.

VPN Over Tor

Choosing the VPN Over Tor option routes your internet data through the Tor network prior to being encrypted by the VPN. However, this could make you susceptible to potential vulnerabilities like exit node attacks.

Exit nodes are your data's final contact points before it reaches its destination. If an attacker compromises an exit node, they could intercept your data, compromising your privacy and security.

VPN over Tor is a much slower method, and it’s more complex to configure (plus, very few VPNs even support it). Additionally, your ISP can detect the use of Tor if you use this method, so it doesn’t prevent the risk of throttling.

FAQs on VPNs for Tor

Is it legal to use Tor?

Using the Tor browser is legal in most countries. It’s designed for anonymous web browsing and accessing the deep web, which itself has plenty of legitimate uses. However, illegal activities conducted over Tor remain illegal. Some countries with strict internet regulations may restrict Tor use. However, even in countries where Tor is permitted, it’s advisable to use a VPN to keep your Tor activity private.

Is it safe to use Tor without a VPN?

No — the Tor network isn’t free from security vulnerabilities. For example, volunteers that host entry nodes can see your IP address, and exit node owners can see your browsing data. Because of these reasons, it’s best to use one of our recommended Tor VPNs to stay safe on the dark web. Make sure you pick a VPN with strong encryption, a verified no-logs policy, and leak protection for the best peace of mind.

Researchers previously found a security flaw in Tor Browser called TorMoil. This was leaking users’ real IP addresses on Mac and Linux devices. Even though the Tor Project patched this in 2017, there may be other vulnerabilities that haven’t yet been discovered.

Plus, your ISP can see that you access Tor. If your ISP doesn’t block Tor outright, there’s a good chance that it will throttle your speeds if it discovers you’re browsing the dark web.

Tor vs VPN: what’s the difference?

Tor is a secure browser for accessing a hidden layer of the web and keeping your regular browsing more private. In contrast, a reliable VPN for Tor is a security-enhancing app. Like Tor, VPNs encrypt your traffic to prevent prying eyes from spying on your activities. However, VPNs offer additional security and privacy features Tor doesn't provide.

For instance, reputable VPNs adhere to a strict no-logs policy while always encrypting your traffic. A no-logs policy ensures your chosen VPN won’t monitor or store your browsing, while the end-to-end encryption hides your 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. To use Tor safely, check out this beginner’s guide with additional tips to improve security.

Can I use a Tor VPN for Android and Windows?

Yes, as long as your VPN is compatible with Android and Windows. I ensured the VPNs for Tor in this list have Android, Windows, macOS, iOS, and Linux apps. Additionally, each one allows for at least 7 simultaneous device connections, so you only need one subscription.

The native apps allow you to download these onion VPNs to your Android and Windows devices quickly and easily. You can also access their robust security features like military-grade encryption, leak protection, and a kill switch. That way, it protects your Android or Windows device and any personal data on it.

Is there a VPN for Tor with a malicious content blocker?

Yes, all of my recommended VPNs for the dark web have some kind of ad and malware blocker. There are hardly any ads on Onion sites (there’s little publicity you can get by advertising on a deliberately hidden site!). However, malware and malicious files are prevalent. You can see how effective each VPN’s blocker is in the comparison table above.

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

Yes, but it doesn't offer the same level of security. For solid security and privacy, it's best to use a reliable Tor 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 detect and block them. So, if you just want to use Tor on restrictive networks, or if your ISP blocks the network, then Tor bridges are enough to help you use the dark web. But if you don’t want anyone spying on your data, you need a VPN.

What’s the best VPN for Tor according to Reddit?

Redditors generally agree that our top recommended VPNs are the best ones on the market for Tor. Our #1 VPN uses a proprietary protocol that offers fast and highly secure connections. Plus, it has automatic obfuscation on every server, so you can access Tor even if there are tough firewalls on restrictive networks.

Following that, the VPN that takes the silver medal today has specialty Onion Over VPN servers that allow access to the Tor network on regular web browsers. This is super handy if you’ve got limited storage space on your PC and want to browse the dark web without having to download any extra software.

Is Tails OS safe for Tor?

Tails OS is specifically designed for privacy and anonymity, making it a safe option for Tor users. It routes all internet connections through Tor by default and leaves no trace on the computer you use it on. However, the level of safety can also depend on user practices and the specific threats you’re guarding against. It also doesn’t protect you from Tor’s entry and exit node vulnerabilities on its volunteer-run network.

Is Tor a red flag for the FBI, CIA, or my ISP?

Using Tor can be a red flag for ISPs and government agencies like the FBI and CIA, mainly because it can mask illegal activities. This is despite the fact that the dark web has many legitimate uses. ISPs can see when you’re connecting to Tor, which might lead to monitoring. However, your Tor activity is virtually untraceable if you use a reliable Tor VPN.

Another risk is through fingerprinting techniques. This is where an attacker can identify your device or browser based on unique characteristics, such as your screen resolution or plugins. While Tor Browser is designed to minimize fingerprinting risks, using a VPN can provide additional protection by masking your device's unique identifier.

Can I use a free VPN with Tor?

Yes — but I don’t recommend it. It’s better to use a secure and low-cost premium VPN with a trustworthy money-back guarantee. Paid VPNs 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 Tor.

Free VPNs often have slow speeds, too. Since Tor is inherently slow, using a free VPN can make it almost impossible to use the browser. Plus, free VPNs usually lack essential security features and can expose your actual IP address at exit nodes while alerting your ISP to your use of Tor. Even worse is if the VPN collects logs, making you vulnerable to third parties.

Get the Best VPN for Tor

The Tor Project created its eponymous browser so you can use the internet anonymously. It’s a powerful tool that journalists, whistleblowers, researchers, and those living in oppressive regimes can use to protect their browsing. However, Tor has vulnerabilities that can expose your data to cybercriminals.

A VPN can protect you against these vulnerabilities. However, not all VPNs are suitable for Tor. Some are too slow, making your dark web browsing feel more like a crawl. Others lack important security features and can’t keep your browsing private. After extensive testing, my team and I found a few you can rely on.

ExpressVPN is the #1 VPN for Tor. It has the fastest speeds we’ve ever tested (even on the sluggish Tor network), automatic obfuscation on every server, and security and privacy features to keep your browsing private. You can even try ExpressVPN with Tor risk-free. It has a money-back guarantee, so you have 30 days to claim a full refund if you’re not satisfied.

To summarize, these are the best VPNs for Tor...

Rank
Provider
Our Score
Discount
Visit Website
1
medal
9.9 /10
9.9 Our Score
Save 49%!
2
9.4 /10
9.4 Our Score
Save 74%!
3
9.7 /10
9.7 Our Score
Save 83%!
4
9.5 /10
9.5 Our Score
Save 82%!
5
9.3 /10
9.3 Our Score
Save 86%!
Privacy Alert!

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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

We review vendors based on rigorous testing and research but also take into account your feedback and our affiliate commission with providers. Some providers are owned by our parent company.
Learn more
vpnMentor was established in 2014 to review VPN services and cover privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

About the Author

James conducts rigorous hands-on research and testing to evaluate dozens of VPNs for his articles. He's an advocate for digital freedom.

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