After testing 30+ well-known VPNs, I picked 5 VPNs that have top-shelf security features like military-grade encryption to keep you safe from snoopers. Combine that with Tor’s anonymity, and you’ll get the perfect mix of privacy and security each time you go online. ExpressVPN is my #1 choice to use with Tor. It has outstanding security and privacy features, plus its own .onion site. You can buy ExpressVPN for Tor in confidence as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee — if you don’t like it, you can claim a refund. Browse on Tor with ExpressVPN

Quick Guide: Best VPNs for Tor in 2023

Browse Tor with ExpressVPN

The Best VPNs for Tor (Tested in January 2023)

1. ExpressVPN — Has Its Own .onion Site for Complete Privacy on Tor

Key Features: ExpressVPN has its own .onion site that lets you sign up for the service with full anonymity. Normally, you must enter personal details like your name and mailing address while signing up. You can avoid all that by using the Tor network and paying through Bitcoin to ensure your account’s activities can’t be traced back to you. A great feature to boost Tor safety is ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer network. All servers use RAM disks instead of hard disks, so your data is automatically erased at every reboot. In addition, ExpressVPN offers the following security and privacy features for secure and anonymous Tor browsing:

Military-grade encryption — While the Tor browser hides your real IP address, ExpressVPN’s 256-bit cipher encrypts your internet traffic and makes it inaccessible for hackers, ISPs, and even the government 100% leak proofing — I ran multiple IP and DNS leak tests to see if ExpressVPN leaked my data and found that it didn’t. Using it with Tor means increased anonymity since the browser hides your real IP address at the beginning of your session Split tunneling — Lets you use some apps with a VPN and some without. You could set it to use the VPN connection with Tor and watch local news on another browser Kill switch — Disconnects you from the internet if the VPN server becomes unsteady, preventing accidental leaks on Tor’s entry and exit nodes

I ran several tests, and ExpressVPN gave me a speed loss of just 16% using Tor. Tor reduces your connection speeds because your data hops through multiple servers, taking longer to reach you. This multi-layer network is why Tor is so effective at keeping users anonymous and why it’s referred to as “the onion.” Slowed speeds are to be expected with Tor, but using ExpressVPN’s proprietary Lightway protocol minimizes speed loss when you access .onion sites. While Tor is good for unblocking geo-restricted services, it’s better when paired with a top VPN. ExpressVPN’s large network of 3000 servers can help you to access Netflix US and other streaming sites, including: One subscription allows up to 5 simultaneous device connections so you’re covered every time you want to access Tor. It works on all major platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. You can also set ExpressVPN up on your home router so it runs on every device in your home network. The only drawback of ExpressVPN is its premium price tag, but it offers excellent value for the money. It delivers blazing-fast speeds on the Tor network, a rare occurrence. If you want to bring the cost down, I suggest you subscribe to ExpressVPN’s 1-year + 3 months plan and get a 49% discount on the original price. You can buy ExpressVPN for Tor in confidence as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you’re unimpressed then you can request a refund. I tested its refund policy by requesting a refund via the 24/7 live chat and got my money back in 4 days. Use Tor with ExpressVPN

2. CyberGhost — NoSpy Servers Ensure Maximum Security While Using Tor

Key Features: CyberGhost’s special “NoSpy” servers are optimized for maximum security, making it ideal for Tor users. Its headquarters are located in CyberGhost’s private data center in Romania, outside the 5 Eyes alliance, and its privacy policy has been fully audited and verified. CyberGhost manages its servers directly and addresses downtimes immediately, so each location delivers fast speeds for high-bandwidth activities. While browsing on Tor is slower than on a normal browser, CyberGhost’s local servers gave me good speeds for using Tor. The farther away the server, the greater the speed loss, so I suggest you use the “Best Server” option to connect to the nearest server and get the fastest speeds. Tor users can enjoy enhanced security and privacy with CyberGhost’s military-grade features:

WiFi protection — Automatically starts the VPN when you connect to a new network Leak protection — Its servers prevent IP and DNS leaks, so a hacker can’t access browsing or personal data from a faulty exit node on Tor 256-bit encryption — Keeps your data protected from prying eyes with an indecipherable encryption key.

Proving that privacy is of great importance, CyberGhost allocates a personal ID number to you the moment you sign up, which means your Tor activity can never be traced back to you. Although you have to use an email address to subscribe, it is stored under heavily encrypted hashtag ciphers, so hackers can’t link it to your account. A downside to CyberGhost is its expensive monthly plan, which comes with a short money-back guarantee. However, you can get a great deal on its long-term subscriptions — you can buy CyberGhost for just $2.19 per month with the 2-year + 2 months plan. The long-term plans also come with a 45-day money-back guarantee so you can try CyberGhost with Tor risk-free. If you change your mind, you can easily claim a full refund. I requested my refund through its live chat and received it in 5 business days. Use Tor with CyberGhost

3. Private Internet Access — MACE Blocks Ads and Malware to Protect You While Browsing on Tor

Key Features: Private Internet Access includes MACE, an ad, tracker, and malware blocker that even works on Tor. Although Tor makes you anonymous on the web, it doesn’t make you immune to viruses and other cyber threats such as trackers that can be embedded in pop-up ads. If you activate this feature in the Settings area, you can browse on Tor without worrying about malware and phishing attacks. With multi-hop, you can protect your privacy even further by having your data travel through additional servers. It also hides the fact that you’re using a VPN with obfuscation, making it appear as though your connection is standard traffic. These PIA features mean it’s impossible for prying eyes — including your ISP — to track your browsing activity when you access Tor. Tor users can also benefit from PIA’s security and privacy features, including:

Dedicated IP — PIA provides dedicated IP addresses exclusive to you, meaning you don’t have to share an address with anyone else SOCKS5 proxy — Lets you add a proxy location before your VPN connection for faster speeds on Tor Multiple protocols — Allows you to minimize speed loss when using the Tor browser by using the fastest protocol in its catalog. OpenVPN TCP is recommended for Tor.

My biggest reservation with PIA is that it’s located in the US, a core member of the 5 Eyes alliance subject to data retention policies. However, PIA has a strict no-logs policy, which means whatever you do online isn’t recorded and can’t be shared with third parties — even the government. PIA has even proven itself in court when it was subpoenaed to give evidence from its servers, but there was no user information to give. Of the 3 plans it offers, I suggest buying the 2-year + 2 months plan to get the best-discounted price of $2.19 per month. All plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test PIA for yourself risk-free to see if it’s worthwhile using with Tor. I contacted support using Live Chat toward the end of my subscription. After a quick chat where I explained I no longer needed the VPN, my refund was granted. I had the money back 3 days later. Use Tor with PIA

4. PrivateVPN — Supports VPN Over Tor That Hides Your Tor Activities From the VPN

Key Features: PrivateVPN is one of the few VPNs that supports VPN over Tor. That means first connecting to the Tor server and then the VPN. This configuration is more complicated to set up than Tor over VPN. However, you can read PrivateVPN’s easy-to-understand guides on its knowledge base or contact customer support if you get stuck. I easily accessed and browsed several .onion sites on Tor with PrivateVPN. I also ran multiple leak tests to see if PrivateVPN exposed my data — it didn’t. This means that my personal IP address and the information about the sites I’d been browsing were never revealed. As well as good leak protection, PrivateVPN offers:

Obfuscated servers — Turn on Stealth VPN to use obfuscation and browse Tor without restrictions in high-censorship countries Kill switch — Prevents accidental leaks on Tor’s entry, relay, and exit nodes if the VPN server becomes unstable Stealth VPN — Disguises your VPN traffic so it appears to be a regular connection.

A customizable interface makes PrivateVPN user-friendly for beginner Tor users. It has 2 modes — Simple and Advanced. The simple mode lets you connect to a server in just a click, and PrivateVPN chooses the best settings for you. The advanced mode lets you customize your encryption and protocol settings, which gave me additional peace of mind when I connected to Tor. One limitation of PrivateVPN is its small network of 200 servers. However, it still has locations in 63 countries and even covers often overlooked areas, including servers in the UAE, South Africa, and South Korea. If you want to try PrivateVPN risk-free, you can use its 30-day money-back guarantee. I suggest getting the 3-year plan to trim the monthly price down to just $2.00 per month. I submitted my refund request via email on the last day of my trial and got my money back within 7 days. Use Tor with PrivateVPN

5. IPVanish — Unmetered Connections Let You Use Tor on Unlimited Devices

Key Features: IPVanish offers unlimited devices on a single subscription. That means you can protect yourself while browsing Tor on as many devices as you like. My colleagues and I set up IPVanish on 15 devices, including PCs, laptops, Macbooks, iPads, iPhones, Android phones, and even smart TVs. It’s simple to install, and you can connect to a server at the click of a button. You can trust IPVanish to improve your security on Tor with the following features:

SOCKS5 proxy — Besides multiple protocols, IPVanish lets you use SOCKS5 proxy to improve your speeds and unblocking capabilities on Tor Scramble IP — Lets you get past VPN detectors on geo-blocked sites and high-censorship countries even when using Tor Leak Protection — I ran multiple tests on local and distance servers and found that my IP address and DNS information were fully protected at all times.

All of IPVanish’s 2000 servers are self-managed. This minimizes outside interference, and the company can fix arising issues immediately. None of the servers I tried were overcrowded, which prevented additional slowdowns while I was using Tor. One disadvantage of IPVanish is that it doesn’t accept cryptocurrency payments. If you use Tor to retain anonymity online, it might not be the best choice for you. However, if you are happy to subscribe with another payment method, it accepts credit cards and PayPal. Sign up to the 1 year  plan to get the highest discount of 66% and an affordable price of just $3.99 per month. You can test IPVanish with Tor for 30 days with its money-back guarantee. If you have any issues, simply cancel your subscription on IPVanish’s website dashboard. This was by far the easiest cancellation process of all the VPNs I tried, and I got my money back in 7 business days. Use Tor with IPVanish IPVanish also unblocks: Netflix, Showtime, Discovery+, Paramount+, ITV Hub, ESPN, Vudu, and more.

Comparison Table: 2023’s Best VPNs for Tor

Browse on Tor with ExpressVPN

3 Easy Steps to Access Tor With a VPN in 2023

Browse on Tor with ExpressVPN

Avoid These VPNs with Tor


Betternet lacks the security features to keep you safe on Tor. Although it uses 256-bit encryption, it doesn’t include a kill switch to protect you if the VPN server drops. It also consistently failed my DNS, IP, and WebRTC leak tests. Upon further research, I found that its Android app is riddled with malware and can put your sensitive data at serious risk.


SuperVPN doesn’t use the standard military-grade, 256-bit encryption protocol. I consider this vital for any reliable VPN. Worse yet, it also lacks a kill switch and has a sketchy privacy policy that allows it to store and sell your data to third parties. It was caught leaking its users’ data without consent in May 2022. If you care about your privacy, steer clear of SuperVPN.


Despite offering split tunneling, I can’t recommend TouchVPN because it doesn’t offer a kill switch unless you use its Android app. It also uses the outdated PPTP protocol, which can compromise your online safety while using Tor. TouchVPN leaked my data, so I wouldn’t recommend using it with Tor or any other browser. You might be tempted to get TouchVPN because it’s free, but it has a daily data cap of 500MB — that’s not enough to even scroll through social media, let alone dive into Tor.


HMA has 256-bit encryption and leak prevention, which makes it better than Betternet or SuperVPN. However, it has no kill switch for iOS devices and this feature on the Mac app doesn’t appear to work. Although it claims to have a strict no-logs policy, this is not substantiated by an independent audit. Worryingly, HMA uses Avast’s servers, a VPN caught storing and selling its users’ data.


Don’t be tempted into trying PureVPN’s 1-week free trial because you’ll automatically be subscribed to the expensive plan. PureVPN had many connection problems during my tests and my attempts were met with countless error messages. Even if you get connected, you’ll likely experience speed drops of over 60% and even more on Tor. Tor users should also beware that PureVPN reportedly provided information about one of its users to the FBI despite claiming a no-logs policy. Instead of putting your data and privacy at risk, I recommend connecting to a top-quality VPN every time you access the Tor network. The best VPNs for Tor, such as ExpressVPN, give you fast speeds and excellent security features to ensure you’re protected on the dark web. You can buy ExpressVPN for Tor in confidence as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you find you don’t like it for any reason, simply claim a full refund. Browse Tor Safely with ExpressVPN

What’s the Difference Between Tor Over VPN and VPN Over Tor?

Tor Over VPN

Tor over VPN means you first connect to the VPN and then the Tor network. This is the safest way to access it because the VPN encrypts your internet traffic, so Tor’s entry node can’t identify your real IP address. As a result, you get increased privacy in case Tor’s middle or exit nodes get compromised. Even if they do, your data will be encrypted using a military-grade and impenetrable protocol, making it indecipherable. Another benefit of Tor over VPN is that your ISP or any other third party surveilling your traffic won’t know that you’re using Tor. However, you’ll be assigned a Tor IP address at the exit node, so you may have trouble accessing your bank account or Apple ID. For Tor over VPN to work, you need a highly secure and fast VPN with a proven no-logs policy.

VPN Over Tor

VPN over Tor means you’ll connect to the Tor network before the VPN server. This is much more complicated to set up because you’ll need a VPN that supports Tor connections and will have to manually configure it before it works on Tor. Using a VPN over Tor will hide your data at the exit node but not at the entry node. Your VPN may be able to see that you’re using Tor, so make sure you choose a VPN that supports VPN over Tor and has an audited no-logs policy. PrivateVPN is one of the few reliable VPNs that support VPN over Tor and has a detailed guide in its knowledge base on how to set it up. Access Tor safely using ExpressVPN

How I Tested and Ranked the Best VPNs for Tor

I considered the following aspects when picking the best VPNs for Tor:

Security and privacy — I chose VPNs with 256-bit encryption, strong leak prevention, a kill switch, and a no-logs policy to guarantee a secure Tor browsing experience Speeds — Browsing on Tor can be slow, so I picked VPNs that deliver fast speeds to minimize the speed loss while using Tor Device compatibility — Tor works on all major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android. I made sure each VPN on my list works with the same devices Server network — All VPNs on my list have large networks to provide seamless access to Tor Customer support — I tested each contender’s support options and picked those that gave me fast and helpful replies to my technical queries Money-back guarantee — I tested each VPN’s refund guarantee and evaluated how easy it was to claim a refund and the number of days to get my money back

Browse Tor with ExpressVPN

Why do I need a VPN with Tor?

While Tor hides your IP address by routing your data through several nodes, your ISP can still retrieve data or identify that you’re using Tor. Using a reliable VPN like the ones on my list encrypts your data with a military-grade protocol so that even if your data leaks, it’s unreadable. Plus, top VPNs have verified no-logs policies, which means whatever you do on Tor isn’t stored and can’t be shared with anyone.

Is Tor a free VPN?

Tor isn’t technically a VPN. It encrypts your connection and hops your data through multiple servers on its volunteer-run server network. Conversely, a VPN with the right features encrypts your internet traffic and routes it through a specific server run by the VPN. A VPN lets you choose a country’s server and provides an IP address there, whereas Tor doesn’t give you that control. I recommend using both — because the servers used by Tor can’t be monitored, it’s safer to use a VPN whenever you access Tor so that your initial connection and IP address remain hidden from the start of your session.

Can I be tracked if I use Tor?

Yes, a compromised Tor exit node can be used to track your data. Using VPN over Tor can hide your data at exit nodes but not the entry nodes. While Tor does a reasonably good job of keeping you anonymous, it still can’t protect you against trackers and malware. It’s always best to use both a VPN and the Tor network. This will keep your IP address and personal information completely hidden while you use Tor servers. It will also prevent prying eyes such as your ISP from recognizing that you’re visiting Tor at all.

Yes, it’s legal. In fact, using a VPN and Tor together strengthens your security and privacy while browsing. ExpressVPN is my #1 pick to use with Tor. It has its own .onion site where you can subscribe without revealing personal information, such as email address and payment credentials.

Is Tor safe?

Yes, it’s safe because it routes your internet traffic through its volunteer-run network. However, a well-resourced hacker may still intercept your data unless you follow this 3-step guide and pair Tor with a top VPN for a more secure browsing experience. While Tor keeps you anonymous, it can’t block trackers and malware as some VPNs can. There is also no control over who hosts the servers your data passes through, so it’s always a good idea to protect your connection from the moment you access Tor.

Should I use Tor for all my browsing?

You can, but I don’t advise it. You can protect yourself with a good VPN using a regular browser, so it isn’t essential to use Tor all the time — even if you are concerned about your anonymity. Tor routes your data through multiple nodes which makes it slower than a normal browser, so it’s not advisable to use it for general streaming or gaming activities. Moreover, Tor can block scripts and cookies and not allow you access to your banking app and geo-blocked sites. Great VPNs offer split tunneling, so you can keep an obfuscated connection to a local server as well as use the VPN for wider activities and Tor access.

Can I use Tor on iOS, Android, and Mac?

Yes, the Tor browser is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux without installing any additional software. On iOS and Android devices, you’ll need to install The Onion Router app. If you’re using it with a VPN, ensure your VPN is also compatible with those platforms. Check out the comparison table of the best VPNs for Tor on my list — all of them work on major platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, and more.

What’s the difference between Tor and a VPN?

Tor encrypts your data by running it through its volunteer-run network, whereas a VPN routes it through its own server. A top VPN like CyberGhost also provides extra security features, such as an ad and malware blocker, to keep you safe from trackers, prying eyes, and hackers.

Which is the best free VPN for browsing the deep web?

There are some reliable free VPNs to browse the deep web on Tor, but most aren’t safe to use. I suggest using one of the VPNs in this article to browse the deep web with military-grade security and privacy. Most free VPNs lack adequate security features like 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and leak prevention. This could leave your IP address exposed on the deep web, so it’s better to stay safe with a reliable choice for Tor, like ExpressVPN.

Browse Tor Safely With the Best VPN

Tor gives you access to the dark web, but beware that the deep web is ridden with cyber security threats and unregulated content that can put you at risk. Since Tor only provides you with browsing anonymity and not security against threats, it’s wise to use a VPN while browsing onion sites on Tor. The problem is that Tor can slow down your speeds since it routes your data through multiple nodes on its network. Therefore, as well as top-grade security, you need a fast VPN to prevent further slowdowns on Tor. ExpressVPN topped my list because it provides lightning-fast speeds even on distant servers, so you needn’t worry about slow browsing speeds on Tor. You can buy ExpressVPN for Tor in confidence as it’s backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee — just claim a refund if it doesn’t meet your expectations. Browse Tor with ExpressVPN

Summary — Best VPNs for Tor in 2023