7 Best VPNs for Tor users to maximize privacy in 2023


PrivateVPN offers great speeds and advanced security, plus a strict no-logs policy. You can connect 10 devices simultaneously.

The Best VPN for Tor in 2023: Access the Tor Network Without Exposing Your IP Address

Best VPN for Tor

While Tor is adept at anonymizing internet traffic, its use of volunteer servers is its Achilles’ heel. If malicious volunteers set up a Tor node, they can monitor your traffic to see your real IP address. Keep reading to find how using the best VPN for Tor addresses that vulnerability.

The Onion Router (Tor) is a privacy-focused browser that anonymizes your internet traffic to help you bypass internet censorship. In spite of its privacy benefits, you’d be wise to use the best VPN for Tor for security reasons.

Key Takeaways:

  • NordVPN is the best Tor VPN, thanks to its lightning-fast speeds, obfuscation technology and solid security.
  • NordVPN, ExpressVPN and Surfshark use obfuscation technology. Besides hiding Tor use, they mask the fact that you’re using a VPN.
  • NordVPN and ProtonVPN come with built-in support for Tor over VPN on select servers. They are ideal options if you want to route traffic through a Tor network without launching a Tor browser.

Why should you use a VPN provider with Tor? First, your internet service provider (ISP) can see that you’re using Tor — Tor IP addresses are publicly available. Given that this browser is often conflated with entry to the dark web, your ISP might block or throttle Tor traffic.

Second, Tor sends your traffic through three servers: the entry, relay and exit nodes. However, the nodes are volunteer-run, and a malicious volunteer could monitor or redirect your internet traffic. A VPN will provide encrypted security to your internet connection.

A reliable virtual private network (VPN) such as NordVPN — our best VPN for Tor — has the features that complement Tor’s capabilities and seal its susceptibilities. It encrypts your traffic so that your ISP can’t see you’re using Tor, while preventing malicious nodes from exposing you or compromising your traffic. Read on to find out more about the best Tor browser VPN providers.

    What VPN Should I Use With Tor?

We recommend using NordVPN for its excellent speeds, solid security and strict zero-logs policy.

We don’t recommend using free VPNs with Tor, because the vast majority don’t have ideal speeds and security features. However, there are a few exceptions, such as ProtonVPN, which has great security, but you have to upgrade to a paid plan to get access to Tor over VPN.

NordVPN is the best VPN for the dark web, because of its top-notch security, excellent speeds and built-in Onion over VPN servers.

Top VPNs for Tor

  • : PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, AmazonPay, ACH Transfer, Cash
  • : 6
  • :
  • :
  • :
  • :

Average speed
Download Speed 94 Mbps
Upload Speed 9 Mbps
Latency 4 ms
$3.59 / month (save 72%) (All Plans)

  • : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, PaymentWall
  • : 5
  • :
  • :
  • :
  • :

Average speed
Download Speed 91 Mbps
Upload Speed 9 Mbps
Latency 5 ms
$6.66 / month (save 48%) (All Plans)

  • : PayPal, Credit card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay
  • : Unlimited
  • :
  • :
  • :
  • :

Average speed
Download Speed 96 Mbps
Upload Speed 9 Mbps
Latency 112 ms
$2.30 / month (save 82%) (All Plans)

  • : PayPal, Credit card, bitcoin, Amazon Pay
  • : 7
  • :
  • :
  • :
  • :

Average speed
Download Speed 73 Mbps
Upload Speed 9 Mbps
Latency 45 ms
$2.37 / month (save 81%) (All Plans)

  • : PayPal, Credit card, Bitcoin, cash
  • : 10
  • :
  • :
  • :
  • :

$4.99 / month (save 50%) (All Plans)

What Makes the Best VPN for Tor?

A great VPN for Tor has features that remedy the weaknesses of the Tor browser — namely, security, privacy and speed. We examined a number of VPNs through the lenses of these features; here are the five VPNs for the Tor network.

  1. NordVPN — Privacy juggernaut with obfuscated and Onion over VPN servers
  2. ExpressVPN — Great Tor VPN service provider with excellent speeds
  3. Surfshark — Reliable Tor browser VPN with unlimited simultaneous connections
  4. CyberGhost — Tor browser VPN with configurable startup options (smart rules)
  5. ProtonVPN — Best free VPN for Tor with built-in Tor over VPN capability

First and foremost, you need a secure Tor VPN. Solid encryption, a kill switch and DNS leak protection wrap your traffic in extra layers of protection. Dedicated Tor servers are a bonus, though only two VPN providers that we know of offer them.

Moreover, it’s important to look for a secure VPN that uses obfuscation technology. Such a VPN service kills two birds with one stone. First, it conceals Tor use, so that government agencies won’t train their sight on your internet activity. Second, obfuscation hides VPN use so your ISP won’t block your internet traffic.

Speed is important when picking the best VPN services for Tor. Remember: Tor routes your traffic through three nodes, and that makes it slower than other web browsers. A VPN’s encryption further slows down your connection, but the best VPN for Tor ensures the impact is minimal to prevent the connection from becoming annoyingly slow.

The 5 Best VPNs for Tor

Our list comprises the top five VPNs that can hide Tor use and protect you from malicious Tor nodes. However, these services offer varied tools and are uniquely priced. We compiled the details to help you pick a VPN service that offers the features you need at an affordable price.

1. NordVPN

More details about NordVPN:

  • Obfuscated VPN servers
  • Onion over VPN servers
  • Robust security & privacy
  • Advanced features can be difficult to use

NordVPN — a great VPN for hackers — provides a fleet of obfuscated VPN servers in some countries that change the way your VPN traffic looks to mask the fact that you’re using a VPN. Doing so lets you covertly use a VPN for Tor in countries where VPNs and anonymizers are banned, like Russia, Turkey and China.

Moreover, NordVPN has other helpful security features such as the double VPN, which sends your traffic through two VPN servers. However, if connection speed is a priority, we suggest sticking to NordVPN’s regular or obfuscated servers, as the double encryption slows it down.

Speaking of speed, NordVPN is one of the fastest premium VPNs we’ve tested, even when using the slower OpenVPN protocol. The lighter and more modern NordLynx protocol is incredibly fast as well, so much so that when using it with Tor you can do any speed-intensive activity without interruption.

Enjoy the Efficiency of Onion Over VPN Servers

In addition, NordVPN offers Onion over VPN servers that route your traffic through the Tor network. They come in handy when you don’t want to launch the Tor browser, but still want to send traffic via the Tor network. Even traffic from apps other than your browser get routed through Tor, which gives you added security.

NordVPN’s monthly plan is on the higher side of the pricing spectrum. However, extended plans are cheaper — with the two-year plan offering a significant discount. All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee (read our NordVPN review to learn more).

1-month plan
1-year plan
$59.88 billed every year
2-year plan
$86.13 billed every 2 years
1-month plan
1-year plan
$69.48 billed every year
2-year plan
$107.73 billed every 2 years
1-month plan
1-year plan
$83.88 billed every year
2-year plan
$140.13 billed every 2 years

2. ExpressVPN

More details about ExpressVPN:

  • Fast speeds
  • Solid security & privacy
  • Easily bypasses geoblocks

ExpressVPN — best privacy VPN — ticks almost every box for one of the best VPNs for Tor. With AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption and solid VPN protocols, it helps hide your Tor traffic from your ISP. The automatic kill switch (called “network lock”) cuts your internet traffic when the VPN connection drops, preventing leaks that could tip off your ISP about Tor use. Its only downside is its hefty price tag.

All of ExpressVPN’s servers use obfuscation technology, ensuring your ISP doesn’t detect VPN use. To add to this, the VPN service has a strict no-logs policy, meaning it doesn’t record, store or share details about your online activity — which is great if you intend to traverse the dark web.

Enjoy Great Speeds With Lightway Protocol

ExpressVPN’s Lightway protocol barely slows down your connection. When your internet traffic leaves the VPN server and heads into the Tor entry node, it has nearly the speed of an unprotected connection. As a result, you can stream videos, watch vlogs on the Facebook onion site or make cryptocurrency transactions without interruption.

Unfortunately, though, ExpressVPN is quite expensive. However, given all the features it offers, its value for money is excellent, plus you get a discount if you opt for the annual plan. You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee with each plan, just in case you change your mind. Read our full ExpressVPN review to learn more.

ExpressVPN Plans
1-month plan
6-months plan
$59.94 billed every 6 month
15-months plan
$99.95 billed first 15 months and 12 months thereafter

3. Surfshark

More details about Surfshark:

  • Uses camouflage mode
  • Anonymity with IP rotator
  • Unlimited simultaneous connections

Surfshark is another great VPN for Tor browser that excels at hiding Tor use. For features, it offers AES-256 encryption, robust protocols and DNS leak protection. Beyond that, it has a split tunneling feature (called “bypasser”) that enables it to configure the Tor browser to use the VPN tunnel while allowing other apps to access the internet directly.

Even better, it comes with camouflage mode (Surfshark’s version of obfuscation). The feature springs into action when you connect to Surfshark’s servers. The only quibble is that camouflage mode runs only when you’re using OpenVPN, meaning IKEv2 and WireGuard don’t support this option.

Surfshark’s MultiHop feature (its version of double VPN) routes your traffic through multiple VPN servers. This adds an extra layer of protection, and may come in handy for journalists, activists and whistleblowers in restrictive countries. However, using the feature slows down your connection; add this to Tor browser’s sluggish nature and your connection could be challenging.

Unlimited Simultaneous Connections

Most VPNs limit the number of devices you can connect at once, but Surfshark places no such limits. With its unlimited simultaneous connections, you can protect all of your devices at once. You can even share your account with family and friends to split the bill, though Surfshark is pretty cheap as it is.

Surfshark doesn’t match NordVPN’s VPN server network, but it has unique capabilities such as unlimited simultaneous connections. To make it even sweeter, it’s cheaper than our top two picks when you select the one-year or two-year plan. Each plan comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee (read our full Surfshark review to learn more).

Surfshark Starter

  • Unlimited GB bandwidth, Unlimited devices, Secure VPN, Ad blocker, Cookie pop-up blocker.
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited
  • Yes

1-month plan
1-year plan
$47.88 billed every year
2-year plan
$55.20 billed every 2 years
Surfshark One

  • Everything in Starter, plus Antivirus protection, Identity protection, Email Breach and Credit Card Alerts, Online Alias
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited

1-month plan
1-year plan
$53.88 billed every year
2-year plan
$77.28 billed every 2 years
Surfshark One+

  • Everything in One, plus Data removal
  • Unlimited GB
  • Unlimited

1-month plan
1-year plan
$99.48 billed every year
2-year plan
$143.76 billed every 2 years

4. CyberGhost

More details about CyberGhost:

  • Large VPN server network
  • Constant protection via smart rules
  • 45-day money-back guarantee

CyberGhost doesn’t support obfuscation, but that doesn’t mean it’s a fly-by-night VPN service. Besides a comprehensive security suite that includes AES-256 encryption, secure protocols and DNS leak protection, it offers NoSpy servers. The privacy-focused servers work well with Tor browser to bypass internet censorship in restrictive countries.

CyberGhost is easy to use, even for VPN rookies. Its menu is laid out clearly, and even advanced options have descriptions about what they do. This means that you can optimize your security for Tor browsing in an informed way.

Its NoSpy servers are located in privacy-friendly Romania and feature added security measures. CyberGhost directly owns and supervises these servers.

Get Always-On Protection With Smart Rules

Let’s face it: Sometimes, you might forget to turn on the VPN, even when accessing the dark web. If you’re a dissident, journalist or whistleblower, that could be a catastrophic error privacy-wise. Luckily, CyberGhost’s smart rules lets you configure CyberGhost to establish a secure connection every time you open the Tor browser.

Like the rest of our picks, CyberGhost’s monthly plan is quite expensive, and it only has a 14-day money-back guarantee. However, extended plans offer significant discounts and a generous 45-day money-back guarantee. Read our comprehensive CyberGhost review for more details.

CyberGhost Plans
1-month plan
6-months plan
$41.94 billed every 6 month
2-year plan
$56.94 billed every 2 years

5. ProtonVPN

More details about ProtonVPN:

  • Tor over VPN servers
  • Free plan
  • Secure core servers
  • Slower connection speeds

ProtonVPN made it onto our best VPNs for Tor list, thanks to its built-in Tor over VPN features (we’ll get to that in a bit). Its security suite is stacked with AES-256 encryption, solid VPN protocols and perfect forward secrecy features that wrap your traffic in layers of protection, hiding it from your ISP and malicious snoopers.

Additionally, ProtonVPN is one of the best free VPNs, though it has some limitations. The free version places a soft cap on your speed by putting you on a high-traffic server.

ProtonVPN also has NetShield — a built-in ad blocker that will stave off ads. However, because of the way Proton handles DNS requests with Tor over VPN, its ad blocker won’t work with Onion servers.

Use Tor Over VPN With Single Click

Like NordVPN, ProtonVPN features built-in Tor over VPN. The feature isn’t available for free users, but paying users will be able to enjoy Tor protection — which is why we can’t recommend ProtonVPN as the best free VPN for Tor.

ProtonVPN’s free plan limits your available servers to three countries (United States, Japan and Netherlands), but you can remove the limit with a premium plan. However, it does not have data caps, unlike Windscribe or Tunnelbear’s free plans.

If you want to use ProtonVPN for Tor, go with a paid plan. The monthly plan is expensive, but the two-year plan will save you a chunk of money. These plans also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read our full ProtonVPN review to learn more.

Why Use a VPN With Tor?

Although Tor can be useful for increased privacy and as an access point to the deep web, it also has a few major flaws. Its nodes are run by volunteers, who might not have your best interests in mind. Frequently, these nodes are actually operated by surveillance agencies, and they may be operated by hackers as well.

If your traffic happens to pass through a malicious Tor exit node, its operator can alter your traffic and hijack it. They can redirect you to a copycat website and steal sensitive information if you don’t notice the switch. They can even hijack crypto transactions to siphon money into their wallet.

What’s more, your ISP (and thus your government) can see that you’re using Tor. If you’re a dissident or journalist, this might not be ideal. A VPN will encrypt your traffic before it reaches the Tor network, so no one will know you’re using it. Plus, the originating traffic points to the VPN server and not you, meaning your IP address is hidden from the node operators.

Final Thoughts: The Best Tor VPN Options

There’s no doubt that using Tor and VPN together enhances your digital security and privacy. The benefits of this combination outweigh the risks if you’re taking part in politically sensitive activities. It’s great for journalists, whistleblowers or human rights activists looking to share sensitive information without the fear of reprisal or government monitoring.

However, if you’re a regular user who only desires security and privacy when streaming or playing games online, you’re better off with just a VPN. Remember, while Tor anonymizes your internet traffic, it can be slow and inefficient for streaming, torrenting or gaming, and it can be downright dangerous if used incorrectly.

Have you used a Tor over VPN combination before? Did the combination deliver the security and privacy benefits you were looking for? What would you recommend Tor over VPN for? We’d like to hear about it in the comments. As always, thanks for reading.

7 Best VPNs for Tor users to maximize privacy in 2023

Best VPN Tor user

Tor and a VPN are both tools that use a combination of proxies and encryption to make it difficult for snoopers to track you. While they share some similarities, the key difference is that Tor is for anonymity, and a VPN is for privacy. The two can be used in tandem to further bolster both privacy and anonymity. This article will cover the best VPNs for the Tor browser and explain how to use a Tor VPN.

We get into a lot of detail below, so if you only have time for a summary, here is our list of the best VPNs for Tor:

  1. NordVPNBest VPN for Tor. Fastest VPN on the market. Military-grade encryption, with special Tor over VPN servers. 30-day money-back guarantee.
  2. Surfshark Best low cost VPN for Tor. Decent speeds, no connection limits, and impressive unblocking abilities.
  3. ExpressVPN Fast veteran provider that accepts Bitcoin and has an onion site. Great for streaming, torrenting, or just general browsing.
  4. CyberGhost Excellent security, fast connection speeds, and zero logs. Another good budget VPN for Tor.
  5. PrivateVPN Simple to use VPN for Tor. Fast servers, and no logs. Also works well with streaming sites.
  6. IPVanish Advanced security, zero logs, and fast. Also popular with Kodi and torrent users.
  7. AtlasVPN Servers in over 40 locations. Offers apps for desktop and mobile and unblocks a vast range of streaming services.

TIP In our testing we found that the cheapest NordVPN plan (Standard) works perfectly for Tor.

How to use Tor with a VPN

We’ll use Tor Browser as an example, though there are several ways to connect to Tor. With the Tor Browser installed:

Here’s how to use a VPN with Tor:

  1. Sign up with a VPN. Our top recommendation is NordVPN.
  2. Download and install the VPN app.
  3. Run the app and select a VPN server.
  4. Hit the Connect button and wait for the app to confirm the connection.
  5. Open the Tor Browser and surf the web.

This setup sends your internet traffic first through the VPN server, and then through the Tor network. That means your data goes through two phases of encryption before it ever leaves your device: once by the VPN and then again by Tor. Your internet service provider can’t see what’s in the VPN’s encrypted tunnel, and therefore cannot detect that Tor is being used.


NordVPN is offering a fully-featured risk-free 30-day trial if you sign up at this page. You can use the VPN rated #1 for Tor without any restrictions, limits, or caps for a monthgreat if you want to experiment with all of its privacy features before making a decision.

There are no hidden termsjust let customer support within 30 days if you decide NordVPN isn’t right for you and you’ll receive a full refund. Start your NordVPN trial here.

Best VPNs for Tor browser and the dark web

We’ve evaluated the best VPNs for Tor-based on the following criteria:

  • Features designed specifically for Tor users
  • No logs policy
  • Strong encryption
  • Anonymous payment methods
  • Fast connection speeds

The best VPNs for Tor – At a glance

We’ve compared the most important features for the top VPNs here. Prefer to read the in-depth reviews? Start with NordVPN – our #1 choice for Tor.

In addition to the above criteria we run a wider program of extensive VPN testing and research. You can read more here on our VPN testing methodology.

1. NordVPN

Apps Available:

VPN Ratings:

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

NordVPN gives users access to specialized servers pre-configured with Tor over VPN, which means all traffic is first sent through the VPN and then automatically redirected through the Tor network. This is great if you have apps other than an internet browser that you’d like to use with Tor. A double-VPN option is also available, which could be used with the Tor browser for a total of two VPNs and the Tor network, if you can tolerate the speed hit. NordVPN also boasts a strict zero logs policy and 256-bit AES encryption. The company accepts Bitcoin.

Apps are available for Linux, Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.

Note that some experts object to Tor over VPN servers because NordVPN could hypothetically see what users are doing with their Tor connection by analyzing traffic before Tor encrypts it. NordVPN says it keeps zero logs, but if this is a concern, we recommend setting up Tor and the VPN independently.


  • Onion servers
  • No logs
  • Extremely high speeds
  • Advanced security features
  • Accepts bitcoin


  • A few servers didn’t work

4.5 out of 5

BEST FOR TOR: NordVPN is our first choice. Offers Tor-specific servers, exceptionally high speeds and secure connections. What’s more, it comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, allowing you to try it risk-free.

NordVPN Coupon
SAVE 61% + 3 month FREE
Discount applied automatically

2. Surfshark

Apps Available:

VPN Ratings:

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

Surfshark has 3,200+ servers in more than 60 countries, so you should be able to get a fast connection regardless of where you are in the world. This VPN has a no-logging policy and secures your traffic with 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, and protection against IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks. Making it a solid choice for a Tor browser VPN.

This service also has a couple of more advanced features to keep your online activity hidden. For instance, you can connect to multi-hop servers for even greater anonymity or speed up your other apps by using the split tunneling feature. Surfshark accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple payments, allowing you to sign up almost completely anonymously. Support is available 24/7 over live chat.

Surfshark offers iOS, Android, Linux, MacOS, and Windows apps. It also works with supported routers but must be configured manually.


  • Puts major emphasis on user security and privacy
  • Has no connection limit
  • Great unblocking ability
  • Keeps no logs
  • Good speeds


  • Menus could be better organized

4.5 out of 5

BEST BUDGET OPTION: Surfshark takes your security seriously, keeps no logs, and comes at a very reasonable price. Better still, it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Surfshark Coupon
Get 2 Months FREE with a 2-year plan
Discount applied automatically

3. ExpressVPN

Apps Available:

VPN Ratings:

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

ExpressVPN recently launched a .onion version of its website for users who want to anonymously make an account. The British Virgin Islands-based company accepts Bitcoin and sticks to a strict no-logs policy. Some non-identifying information is logged such as dates (not times), choice of server location, and total amount of data transferred each day. Cutting-edge encryption is used by default including 256-bit AES encryption, 4,096-bit DHE-RSA keys with perfect forward secrecy, and SHA512 authentication.

ExpressVPN is highly rated, fast, user-friendly and has apps available for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and Linux (command line).


  • Fast and reliable
  • Accepts bitcoin
  • Has a .onion site
  • Great security and privacy offering


  • Slightly more expensive
  • Few advanced configuration options

4.5 out of 5

SPEEDY AND SECURE: ExpressVPN is fast and versatile , with strong unblocking ability and a ton of security features. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

ExpressVPN Coupon
SAVE: 49% on the annual plan
Coupon applied automatically

4. CyberGhost

Apps Available:

VPN Ratings:

Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS

CyberGhost doesn’t have any Tor-specific features, but it is the only VPN to earn a perfect score in our security and privacy assessment. For this reason, it pairs well with the Tor Browser. CyberGhost assigns each user a unique anonymous ID, and the email address you use to sign up is encrypted. This prevents third parties from connecting a users’ email address to their CyberGhost account. CyberGhost stores no identifying logs.

The company is based in Romania, which has no mandatory data retention laws. Strong encryption, leak protection, a kill switch, and perfect forward secrecy are all included in the apps, even on mobile. Internet connection speeds are plenty fast enough to handle Tor traffic.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. You may connect up to seven devices at a time.


  • Advanced online security
  • Zero logs
  • Bitcoin accepted
  • Fast


  • No Tor-specific features
  • Could offer more customizable options

4.5 out of 5

FAST SPEEDS: With comprehensive protection and one-click unblocking enabled by default, as well as high download speeds and a low cost, CyberGhost is ideal for those new to VPNs. This comes with a 45 day money-back guarantee.

CyberGhost Coupon
SAVE 82% on the 2 year plan + 2 months FREE
Discount applied automatically

5. PrivateVPN

Apps Available:

VPN Ratings:

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

PrivateVPN’s website has a helpful guide on how to alter the OpenVPN configuration files included in the app so that outgoing internet traffic first passes through the Tor network, and then through the VPN—a setup known as “VPN over Tor”. If you want to use the Tor browser to access sites on the clear web that don’t normally allow Tor connections, your IP address will be that of the VPN server, and the site won’t block you. Note that if you don’t want your ISP to see that you’re using Tor, it’s better to use a standard VPN connection with the Tor browser.

PrivateVPN offers great speeds and advanced security, plus a strict no-logs policy. You can connect 10 devices simultaneously.


  • Zero logs
  • Fast servers
  • Strong encryption
  • Supports Tor-over-VPN


  • Smaller server network

4.5 out of 5

UP AND COMER: PrivateVPN is a newer provider that earns its place among the veteran players. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

PrivateVPN Coupon
SAVE 85% on the three year plan
Discount applied automatically

6. IPVanish

Apps Available:

VPN Ratings:

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

IPVanish is a speedy VPNs that doesn’t sacrifice privacy or security. A subscription gets you strong leak protection, unbreakable encryption, and a strict no-logs policy. IPVanish allows any number of simultaneous connections, which is extremely rare for a budget provider. IPVanish apps come with an obfuscation feature that disguises the encrypted VPN tunnel as normal internet traffic. It doesn’t accept bitcoin, though, so if you want to make an anonymous purchase, look elsewhere.

Apps are available for Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android.


  • Fast speeds
  • Privacy protection is solid
  • No logs


  • Bitcoin not accepted
  • Doesn’t work in China

4 out of 5
IPVanish Coupon
SAVE 72% on the 2 year plan
Discount applied automatically

7. AtlasVPN

Apps Available:

VPN Ratings:

Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS

AtlasVPN operates 750+ servers in over 40 locations with fast and consistent connections across its network. This is great as Tor can have a negative impact on your speeds. If you stream while using Tor and AtlasVPN, your connection is boosted with the WireGuard protocol. AtlasVPN lets you watch Netflix US, Disney plus, prime Video, and more from anywhere without running into geo-blocks.

AtlasVPN doesn’t record your internet activities and uses AES encryption to secure your connectivity. Split tunneling lets you separate regular traffic from VPN traffic, while its kill switch cuts your connection if your VPN drops. Breach monitoring, ad blocking, and malware protection are also included.

Apps for iOS, Windows, Android, and macOS are available with unlimited device limits. 24/7 support is included; you can try it risk-free for 30 days, but canceling is a little tricky.


  • Full P2P support
  • Speedy VPN with great streaming ability
  • Lots of powerful security tools


  • Users must email support to cancel
  • Can’t be installed on Linux or routers

4 out of 5

EASY-TO-USE APPS: AtlasVPN works with Prime Video, Netflix US, Hulu, and more. It uses WireGuard and includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.

AtlasVPN Coupon
SAVE 85% on a 2 year plan
Coupon applied automatically

VPNs that Tor users should avoid


Due to poor logging policies that have led to the arrest of at least one user in the past and more invasive data retention laws recently passed in the UK, England-based VPN provider HideMyAss should be avoided by anyone who values privacy and anonymity.


A man accused of cyber stalking was recently arrested by the FBI thanks in part to records provided by Hong Kong-based VPN provider PureVPN. The individual used PureVPN in an attempt to hide his identity, but the provider handed over logs that ultimately led to his arrest. PureVPN has since updated its privacy policy to state that it keeps absolutely no logs, but Tor users should probably still steer clear if you’re looking for an extra layer of privacy.

Tor over VPN vs VPN over Tor

Should you use VPN over Tor or Tor over VPN? Both have their advantages when it comes to both security and usability. We’ll outline the advantages and disadvantages here.

Tor over VPN


You can use Tor over VPN simply by connecting to a VPN and accessing the internet through the Tor browser. Your traffic is encrypted by both Tor and the VPN before leaving your device. The traffic flow looks like this:

My device –> Encrypted by VPN and Tor –> VPN server –> Tor Network –> Internet

  • ISP cannot see you are using Tor
  • Neither ISP nor VPN can see your traffic*
  • Easy to set up. Just connect to VPN and turn on Tor browser
  • Access to .onion websites
  • Flexibility to use VPN by itself with a normal browser for non-critical tasks
  • Tor entry node cannot see real IP address
  • Websites can block traffic from Tor exit nodes
  • VPN can see (and potentially log) your real IP address
  • Exposes traffic to compromised Tor exit nodes

*Note that NordVPN and BolehVPN could hypothetically analyze your traffic before it’s encrypted by the Tor network when using their Tor-over-VPN-enabled servers. The trade off is that all traffic can be routed through Tor without configuring individual apps to be used with Tor.

VPN over Tor

VPN over Tor is more difficult to set up because it requires configuration on the VPN server. As far as we know, only AirVPN offers this capability. The traffic flow looks like this:

My device –> Encrypted by VPN and Tor –> Tor network –> VPN server –> Internet

  • Neither ISP nor VPN can see your traffic
  • Access to websites and apps that normally block traffic from Tor exit nodes
  • VPN cannot see your true IP address
  • Not vulnerable to compromised Tor exit nodes
  • All traffic routed through Tor without individual configuration
  • No packet discrimination by Tor exit nodes
  • ISPs can see you are using Tor
  • Difficult setup, requires VPN provider’s assistance
  • No access to .onion websites
  • Tor entry node sees your real IP address
  • Not application-specific, so unable to run P2P or other programs outside of Tor network without disconnecting from the VPN

Methodology: Finding the best VPNs for Tor

If you’re using Tor, it’s a safe bet that you’re interested in privacy. However, this isn’t the only thing to think about when looking for a VPN; you’ll also need one with high speeds, consistent performance, and the ability to fly under the radar. Here are the key features we looked for when creating our list of the best VPNs for Tor:

  • Security: To make our list, providers must have a minimum of 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch. We prioritized VPNs with their own anti-surveillance protocols or cloaking features too, since these hypothetically grant you access to Tor from anywhere in the world.
  • Privacy: In addition to the tools above, we require our top VPNs to have a no-logs policy. This ensures that your activities can’t be revealed under any circumstances. Many of the services allow you to pay anonymously too, for a second layer of protection.
  • Speed: Tor is notoriously slow, so it’s important we don’t restrict speeds even further by using a sub-par VPN. The services above all performed well in our recent VPN speed testing, although it’s good to bear in mind that they are limited by your base connection speed.
  • Unblocking ability: If you’re looking to use Tor somewhere it’s unavailable, or simply access geo-blocked services as you travel, unblocking ability is crucial. We tested the VPNs above against a wide range of platforms including HBO Max, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime Video to make sure we only recommend the most versatile.
  • Usability: Needless to say, the VPNs above all have apps for the most popular operating systems. Anything that makes the service more user-friendly is a huge bonus. This could be special Tor over VPN servers, 24/7 customer support, or a lack of connection limits.

Looking to find out what other tests we perform? You’re in luck: we have a post that breaks down every step of our VPN testing process.

VPNs for Tor FAQ

Why use a VPN with Tor?

A VPN encrypts all of a device’s traffic and routes it through a remote server in a location of your choosing. This assigns the user a new IP address–a string of numbers and decimals unique to a device that can be used to pinpoint the user’s location. The encryption prevents internet service providers from being able to monitor your activity.

While most good VPN providers offer a “no logs” policy, VPNs still require a degree of trust that the provider won’t record user traffic or give in to corporations, hackers, and governments that demand user information. Your activity is private, but not necessarily anonymous.

Tor encrypts the user’s traffic and routes it through several nodes run by volunteers, known as the Tor network. Every time a new website request is sent, the route changes, making it next to impossible for anyone to trace the user. Unlike a VPN service, there’s no central authority that controls the traffic flow, so trust is not necessary.

These entry and exit nodes are well documented, however, so both your ISP and the destination server can easily find out if you’re using Tor. Some ISPs, websites, apps, and governments will block traffic to and from Tor entry and exit nodes altogether. In some countries, simply accessing the Tor network will get your name added to an ISP’s naughty list. That means your activity is anonymous, but not entirely private.

VPNs are faster and thus more suitable for streaming video, torrenting, and other download-intensive tasks. Tor is more suitable for anonymous web browsing and accessing .onion websites on the DarkNet.

For extra protection and more flexibility, Tor and a VPN can be combined. Traffic can be encrypted by both and then channeled first through the Tor network and then over a VPN (VPN over Tor) or vice versa (Tor over VPN). We’ll discuss the pros and cons of both configurations further down, but first let’s talk about which VPNs are most suitable for Tor users. Note that while combining Tor with a VPN will improve anonymity and privacy, it will have a heavier impact on connection speed and latency than using either one on its own.

Can I use a free VPN with Tor?

Yes, but you might be doing more harm than good. Technically, nothing is stopping you from connecting to a free VPN service and firing up the Tor browser.

Be wary of free VPNs. They look enticing on the surface, but in reality, they often use substandard encryption, lack security, force users to wait in queues to connect and impose data or bandwidth caps on users. They often have fewer servers and IP addresses, which makes it easier to trace individual users. Many inject advertisements and tracking cookies into users’ browsers, sacrificing their privacy rather than bolstering it.

Is Tor a free VPN?

Tor is free but it’s not a VPN. Both Tor and VPN are types of encrypted proxies, but there are a few key differences. Tor connections are encrypted several times, and pass through several volunteer Tor network nodes in a randomized sequence. Tor can also be used to access .onion sites on the dark web.

A standard VPN, by contrast, encrypts your connection once and routes it through a single server. That server location is operated by the VPN company. A benefit of how a VPN functions is that subscribers can pick from a list of server location options in the VPN app. This gives the user control over where they spoof their IP address, which provides the added benefit of being able to access regional internet services.

Can I be tracked if I use Tor?

Tor has its vulnerabilities and is not immune to attacks that could be used to track users. Most of these attacks involve compromising an exit node—the last server relay in the sequence.

However, such attacks tend to be costly, targeted, and would require a well-resourced adversary to pull off. Tor’s anonymity and security is more than adequate for the vast majority of users.

Bear in mind, users can also be a threat to their own privacy if they’re not careful. Tor can’t prevent tracking if you log in to a website with your real email address and password, for example.

Which is the best free VPN for browsing deep web?

Don’t trust free VPNs with your privacy. It’s better to try a paid VPN and cancel before the guarantee runs out if you don’t want to spend money.

Is using a VPN with Tor legal?

Yes, it is perfectly legal to use a VPN, Tor, or both together in the vast majority of countries. Check out our article on where VPNs are illegal if you’re not sure about the rules where you live.

Disclaimer: We’ve done countless hours of research on this topic but make no claim to be legal experts. Nothing in this post should be taken as legal advice, and we encourage you to do your own due diligence if there’s any doubt about the legality of VPNs (or Tor itself) in your country.

Is Tor safe?

Tor is widely regarded as a secure tool. It uses strong, layered encryption and strips away many would-be vulnerabilities found in other browsers, such as scripts and tracking cookies. Although a well-funded adversary could conceivably pull off a correlation attack to identify Tor users, the vast majority of users will face no such threat.

Should I use Tor for all my browsing?

You can try, but it probably won’t go well. Many websites block connections from Tor exit nodes outright. Tor’s script blocking and cookie deletion make many websites inconvenient or downright dysfunctional. You’ll probably have to wrestle with a lot more CAPTCHAs. On top of all that, Tor connections are slow, so sites will take a long time to load and videos will frequently stop to buffer.

Can I use Tor on iOS and Android?

An official first-party Tor browser is available on the Google Play Store for Android devices. You could also try Orbot, which is third-party but has been around longer.

iOS users only have a third-party option, Onion Browser. It’s an open-source browser endorsed by the Tor Project. However, one must assume that it suffers from the same drawbacks on iOS that have prevented an official Tor Browser on iOS from being released.

Will a VPN hide my IP address when using Tor?

Both your VPN and Tor encrypt your data and hide your IP address . As such, you don’t need a VPN in order to have your IP address hidden when using Tor. Despite this, it doesn’t hurt to connect to a VPN while using Tor because it simply adds an extra layer of protection. Without a VPN, your ISP can see you’re connected to Tor although they can’t see which websites you’re visiting. However, if you use a VPN, your ISP won’t even be able to see that you’re using Tor.

Is the Tor network legal?

The Tor network is legal in the United States. No law prohibits users from using or connecting to the Tor network. Furthermore, the US government does not consider its access and use illegal, as it has even funded some of its development.

Many people need to understand that using Tor isn’t illegal. Instead, it’s simply an anonymous way to browse the web safely and securely from anyone who can access a few basic technologies like browsers and routers.

It is important to note that while there are plenty of legitimate uses for Tor, some people use it for malicious purposes like buying drugs or trading child pornography – activities that remain illegal regardless of whether they are done through Tor.

Which is better? Tor Over VPN (Onion Over VPN) or VPN Over Tor?

Normally when you use Tor, only the exit node has access to your unencrypted traffic. Tor over VPN setups prevent this by adding a layer of encryption before the first node, ensuring that nobody on the Tor network ever sees any usable data. In other words, as long as your VPN provider has a no-logs policy, your activities can’t be monitored in any meaningful way.

It’s also possible to reverse this, using a VPN over Tor system. This stops your ISP from seeing that you’re using Tor and lets you use sites that normally block Tor traffic outright. However, there are real downsides too: VPN over Tor is trickier to set up, doesn’t actually let you browse the dark web, and allows entry nodes to see your real IP address. For this reason, we’d recommend sticking to Onion over VPN instead of degrading your security for very little reward.