Tor browser enhances your online privacy by applying encryption and routing the traffic through a series of relays. However, Tor isn’t fully secure: for example, some of the exit nodes, known as spoiled onions, are malicious and may be snooping on your activities.
Using Tor together with a VPN makes it a lot more secure.
The Tor browser and a VPN go hand in hand if you’re looking to enhance your anonymity and privacy. With that in mind, we look into which is the best VPN for Tor. Without any further ado – let’s get to it!
No time to read? Here are our best VPNs for the onion network:
NordLynx, OpenVPN, IKEv2
- Unbeatable in terms of security and privacy
- NordLynx protocol for the best speeds without sacrificing security
- Onion over VPN feature
- No router app
NordVPN is the best VPN for Tor. Complete with military-grade encryption, Bitcoin payments, CyberSec, and a strict no-logs policy, this service provides you with top-level security and privacy.
Available on all major platforms, NordVPN features specialized Onion over VPN servers that allow you to access the Tor network using any browser. What’s more, this will effectively hide your real IP address from the government and your ISP.
Consider using this Panama-based VPN with Tor if you are on a budget – you can get NordVPN for just $3.71/month. Don’t forget this is the fastest VPN, meaning you will enjoy the best possible speeds. Finally, you also get six simultaneous connections and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of NordVPN, read our NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark VPN
OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard
- Packed with solid security features
- No-logs policy
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Weak self-help support section
Surfshark VPN is among the best Tor VPN services. Firstly, it’s very fast, which is important considering the slowdown you’ll get from using Tor. Secondly, it’s located in the British Virgin Islands (a highly privacy-friendly jurisdiction) and also has a no-logs policy.
But most importantly, Surfshark is loaded with security features. For instance, MultiHop uses not one, but two VPN servers for extra anonymity. Then there are NoBorders and Camouflage modes that scramble your traffic and make it hard to detect even when using Deep Packet Inspection (DPI).
And now comes the best part – you can buy Surfshark for just $2.49/month. For this trivial sum, you’ll also get unlimited simultaneous connections and 24/7 live chat support. Surfshark VPN accepts cryptocurrencies and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of Surfshark VPN, read our Surfshark VPN review.
OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP
- Great in terms of security
- VPN over Onion
- Anonymous payments
- macOS and iOS apps have fewer features
PrivateVPN is a great VPN for the Tor browser. It allows a VPN over Onion connection and even features a handy guide on setting it up. Among other things, this lets you access the websites that block Tor and hides your IP from PrivateVPN.
This provider has no leaks and a strict no-logs policy. It also allows anonymous purchase by accepting Bitcoin and requiring only a valid email address. Therefore, choosing PrivateVPN as your Tor browser VPN is a great idea for those seeking maximum privacy.
Available from as little as $1.89/month, this VPN certainly won’t break the bank. One account will get you six simultaneous connections, fast speeds, and decent global coverage. PrivateVPN is also one of the few that still offer a 7-day free trial which should be enough to see if you want to use it for browsing the Onion network.
For a deeper investigation of PrivateVPN, read our PrivateVPN review.
OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, Chameleon
- Solid security features
- Chameleon 2.0 protocol
- 5 simultaneous connections
- No anonymous payments
VyprVPN is among the best Tor VPN services, thanks to its excellent security, privacy-friendly jurisdiction, and fast speeds. This provider has an independently-audited no-logs policy and owns all of its servers, which means that no third-parties can tamper with them. VyprVPN is also known for the Chameleon 2.0 encryption protocol that works great against Deep Packet Inspection.
Tor browser users often seek maximum anonymity, and the only real issue with VyprVPN is the lack of anonymous payment options. However, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t trust this provider – they’re not afraid to walk the extra mile for the sake of user privacy. The fact that many reviews recommend VyprVPN for China speaks volumes.
One account gives you 5 simultaneous connections and apps for all major platforms. You can download VyprVPN for Tor browser from $2.50/month. All plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For a deeper investigation of VyprVPN, read our VyprVPN review.
5. Private Internet Access
WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2
- Very reliable in terms of security
- Alternative payment methods
- 10 simultaneous connections
- Based in the US
Private Internet Access (PIA) is one of the best Tor VPNs, mainly because of its low price. You can get PIA for just $2.69/month and use it on 10 devices simultaneously. This provider also accepts gift cards and cryptocurrencies.
Even though Private Internet Access is located in the US, this shouldn’t be a concern – their no-logs policy has been proven in court. PIA also has no leaks and a great kill switch. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll experience decent speeds even when browsing with Onion over VPN.
Using the Tor browser and Private Internet Access together also grants you protection from ads, malware, and tracking. Finally, there’s a 7-day free trial that allows users to try out all the features risk-free.
For a deeper investigation of Private Internet Access, read our Private Internet Access review.
Why do you need a VPN for Tor?
You need a VPN for Tor to maximize your security and privacy and protect yourself from snooping and hacking. While the traffic inside the onion network is anonymous, its weak points are the entry and exit nodes. What’s more, the Tor browser offers no protection for the traffic outside of it, such as torrenting.
Using a VPN with the Tor browser solves the problems mentioned above by encrypting your whole connection with a virtually unbreakable military-grade cipher. Your IP address will be hidden from the ISP, which will only see the VPN server IP. The best Tor VPNs will let you choose from dozens of countries to connect from, making it extremely hard to track your location.
You can choose to connect using either Tor over VPN or VPN over Tor. We describe these methods in more detail below.
How we made this Best VPN for Tor Browser list?
We made our best VPN for Tor list by checking three main criteria: privacy, security, and speed. A Tor browser VPN must score high in all three to be even considered usable.
Because the Onion network is all about anonymity, that’s our most important criterion for a VPN as well. It should have a strict no-logs policy and anonymous payment options. In terms of security, military-grade encryption and modern tunneling protocols is a must.
Finally, a VPN for Tor should provide a fast connection. That is because browsing the onion network is slow in itself, and adding a VPN on top won’t speed things up. While the fastest providers don’t necessarily have the most servers, it’s good to have plenty of options all around the globe and nearby.
How to use TOR and a VPN together?
Using TOR and a VPN together is simple. The quickest way to do so is following our step-by-step guide:
- Get a reliable Tor VPN. NordVPN is our best VPN for Tor browser.
- Download and install the VPN of your choice.
- Connect to a VPN server in your desired location. Nearby servers are usually the fastest.
- Launch the Tor browser and enjoy maximum anonymity!
The above guide describes a method known as Tor over VPN. That’s when you establish a VPN connection first and add the Onion layer on top. It’s the easiest way that requires no manual configuration.
Alternatively, you can use NordVPN’s Onion over VPN feature. It allows you to use the Tor network with Chrome, Firefox, or any other browser of our choice. Few other VPNs have this feature.
Finally, you can connect using the VPN over Tor method, but it requires additional configuration. Only a few providers, including PrivateVPN that’s on our list, offer that. You can learn about the differences between Tor over VPN and VPN over Tor below.
Is it illegal to use the Tor browser?
No, it’s legal to use the Tor browser in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, and virtually any other country. However, in some places like China and others where internet access is restricted, using the onion network is banned. Of course, if using the Tor browser is legal, that doesn’t mean you can do illegal activities with it.
Since this article is on the best VPNs for Tor browser, we must also point out that using a VPN is illegal or restricted in some countries. These include China, Russia, Belarus, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, among others. You can check if VPNs are legal in your country on our dedicated page.
If you’re planning to use the Tor browser in a country where VPNs are illegal, we highly recommend you to choose NordVPN – the best VPN for Tor. This way, you’ll have maximum security and privacy that’s needed to stay away from trouble.
Is it safe to use a free VPN with Tor?
No, it’s not safe to use a free VPN with Tor browser. While it’s possible, you’d be putting yourself at risk. Free VPNs lack security, privacy, and speed that are an essential part of the best VPNs for Tor.
Many free services collect your data and sell it to third parties. Some of these VPNs even inject tracking cookies into your sessions. If that wasn’t enough, the lack of servers and IPs means that it’s much easier to track you down.
Finally, free VPNs are known for slow speeds. Most of them throttle your bandwidth and limit the amount of data you can download. Now add the not-so-fast Tor browser on top of this, and you will get the combination of a sluggish connection and privacy issues.
What’s the difference between Tor over VPN vs VPN over Tor?
The main difference between Tor over VPN and VPN over Tor is the connection order. In the case of Tor over VPN, you connect to the VPN first, and vice versa. Both options have their pros and cons.
Tor over VPN
Tor over VPN is the easiest and most common connection method. You simply connect to a VPN and launch the Tor browser.
This method is good because you encrypt your data before entering the Onion network. Furthermore, the ISP can’t see that you’re using Tor and can’t see your traffic either. Also, the entry node won’t see your real IP.
The main downside of Tor over VPN is that some websites might block traffic from the Onion network.
VPN over Tor
VPN over Tor is a much more complicated method. From our best VPNs for Tor browser, only PrivateVPN offers a detailed guide on setting it up.
This option disguises your traffic from both your VPN and your ISP. Additionally, it lets you access the websites that block Tor. And most importantly, you’re less susceptible to malicious exit nodes.
The list of cons starts with the ISP seeing that you’re using Tor. Secondly, you won’t be able to access .onion websites. Also, all of your traffic slows down considerably because of double encryption.