5 Best VPNs for the Dark Web in 2024: Browse Freely

Raven Wu
Raven Wu Writer
Updated on: May 6, 2024
Fact Checked by Katarina Glamoslija
Raven Wu Raven Wu
Updated on: May 6, 2024 Writer

Short on time? Here’s the best VPN for the dark web in 2024:

  • 🥇 ExpressVPN : ExpressVPN is the best VPN for browsing the dark web in 2024. It supports Tor traffic on all of its servers, provides lightning-fast speeds, and has very strong privacy and security features. It even has its own .onion site!

Not every VPN is good for browsing the dark web. A lot of VPNs don’t support Tor over VPN connections, have weak privacy and security features, and reduce your connection speeds to a crawl when combined with the inherent slowdowns that come with using Tor.

After much research, I put together a list of the best VPNs for the dark web. These providers are fast, secure, and come with great extra features like an ad blocker.

My favorite of the bunch for browsing the dark web is ExpressVPN. It allows Tor traffic on all of its servers, has top-notch privacy and security features, comes with an ad blocker, and is the fastest VPN on the market. Editors' Note: ExpressVPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

TRY EXPRESSVPN NOW

Quick summary of the best VPNs for the dark web:

  • 1. 🥇ExpressVPN — Best overall VPN for the dark web in 2024 (with fast speeds for browsing the dark web).
  • 2. 🥈NordVPN — Excellent Tor browser integration (with strong security features for safe browsing).
  • 3. 🥉Proton VPN — Secure VPN with dedicated Tor over VPN servers and top-notch privacy features.
  • 4. Private Internet Access — Secure VPN with highly customizable apps (with the best ad blocker on the market).
  • 5. CyberGhost VPN — Good for users new to VPNs + fast speeds and convenient launch automation rules.

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

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for the Dark Web in 2024

Approved by our experts
ExpressVPN
Approved by our experts
Most readers pick ExpressVPN
Servers in countries
105
Key Features
Industry-leading speeds
Number of devices
8
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
expressvpn.com
Editors' Note: ExpressVPN and this site are in the same ownership group.

ExpressVPN is my favorite VPN for browsing the dark web. It allows Tor traffic on all servers in 105 countries, so you can find nearby servers to get the best possible speeds. This also makes it very easy to use: you don’t have to change any settings or use specialized servers — all you have to do to use Tor over VPN is connect to any ExpressVPN server and then open the Tor browser.

I really like that it has an .onion site as well. This provides an extra layer of privacy for people who want to use the dark web to sign up, so that their interactions with the provider’s site aren’t tracked.

🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best VPN for the Dark Web in 2024

ExpressVPN comes with advanced privacy and security features, including:

  • Full leak protection. Ensures your data is hidden by preventing IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leaks.
  • RAM-only servers. Your data is stored on volatile memory, meaning it’s erased every time the servers are rebooted (or if they lose power for any other reason).
  • Perfect forward secrecy. Constantly refreshes the encryption keys used to protect your data. This means that if a threat actor obtains one of your keys, they would only gain access to a very limited amount of your data, and your past and future session data would remain private.
  • Threat Manager. Blocks ad trackers and protects you against malicious websites on the dark web.
  • Ad Blocker. Filters out most display ads and stops them from loading and appearing on your browser.

ExpressVPN also has the fastest speeds out of all the VPNs on the market, which helps a lot when browsing the dark web considering that the Tor network causes noticeable slowdowns. When you add the VPN on top of it, you usually see considerable slowdowns. But ExpressVPN really minimizes these effects. In my tests, web pages typically loaded within 10 seconds, which is quite good when using Tor over VPN.

And I like that its apps are user-friendly. I’m a fan of its Smart Location feature, which helps you identify the fastest servers for you, and I find it very convenient that its home screen records your two most recent locations and lets you reconnect to them with just a single tap.

ExpressVPN’s plans start at $6.67 / month, and all subscriptions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can test it out risk-free.

ExpressVPN: Save 49% on the 12-month plan + FREE months!
Get a full 15 months (12 months + 3 free months) at a 49% discount.

Bottom Line:

ExpressVPN is the best overall VPN for browsing the dark web. It supports Tor traffic on all of its servers, provides very strong privacy and security features, and has lightning-fast speeds. It also has intuitive apps that are great for both beginners and more advanced users. All subscriptions are backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full ExpressVPN review

🥈2. NordVPN — Excellent Tor Integration + Strong Security Features

Servers in countries
111
Key Features
Great malware blocker
Number of devices
10
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
nordvpn.com

NordVPN lets you browse .onion sites directly on your regular browser via Onion Over VPN servers. So you can surf dark web sites in regular browsers like Chrome, rather than having to download a separate Tor browser, which is very convenient.

Its Onion Over VPN servers are located in privacy-friendly countries, including the Netherlands and Switzerland. In addition, the provider also supports Tor traffic across servers in 55+ countries.

NordVPN has strong privacy and security features. It has full leak protection and uses perfect forward secrecy and RAM-only servers. It also comes with Threat Protection, which blocks ads, trackers, and malicious sites. It also scans files that you download for malware.

What’s more, the provider has a dark web monitoring feature. This tool sends you an alert if your NordVPN account credentials are part of a data breach.

🥈2. NordVPN — Excellent Tor Integration + Strong Security Features

In terms of speeds, NordVPN is quite fast. It took around 13 seconds to load an .onion site in Firefox, though again, this is normal when using Tor over VPN. Still, ExpressVPN is the slightly faster option.

NordVPN has intuitive apps that make it very easy to find and connect to its Onion Over VPN servers (which fall under Specialty Servers in NordVPN’s apps). You can also use the interactive map to find the rest of the servers that support Tor traffic, which is really convenient.

NordVPN’s plans are competitively-priced at $6.67 / month, and it backs all purchases with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

NordVPN: Save 72% on the Ultimate plan!
You can save 72% if you act right now.

Bottom Line:

NordVPN lets you access the dark web in regular browsers like Firefox and Chrome. The VPN also has excellent security features (including a dark web monitoring tool and malware protection), provides fast speeds, and has easy-to-use apps. All of its plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full NordVPN review

🥉3. Proton VPN — Privacy-Friendly VPN + Dedicated Tor Over VPN Servers

Servers in countries
91
Key Features
Audited open-source apps
Number of devices
10
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
protonvpn.com

Proton VPN has dedicated Tor over VPN servers in 5+ countries that allow you to browse .onion sites on regular browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Edge. Although it has only a handful of Tor over VPN servers, they’re strategically spread across the world, including in France, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and the US, so you can find a server that’s close to your location for the best possible speeds. In addition, the VPN also supports Tor traffic on servers in 60+ countries.

This provider has great privacy and security features like full leak protection and perfect forward secrecy. And while it doesn’t use RAM-only servers, it has full-disk encryption, which makes the data on its servers unreadable. I also like that all of its apps are open-source (so anyone can check its apps for vulnerabilities) and that it comes with an excellent ad, tracker, and malware blocker called NetShield.

🥉3. Proton VPN — Privacy-Friendly VPN + Dedicated Tor Over VPN Servers

Proton VPN maintains decent speeds when browsing the dark web. In my tests, it took about 15 seconds for most web pages to load, which is slower than both ExpressVPN and NordVPN, but still pretty good.

Its apps are clean and easy to navigate. I like how simple it is to find and use Proton VPN’s Tor over VPN servers, and I think it’s great that the server selection menu indicates each server’s load percentage, which makes it super easy to avoid overcrowded servers (which slow down your speeds).

Proton VPN’s plans start as low as $4.49 / month, and it backs all purchases with a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee. It also has a really good free plan that supports Tor traffic but limits you to servers in 3 countries (the Netherlands, the US, and Japan) and doesn’t include the Tor over VPN servers.

Proton VPN: Save 55% on the 24-month plan!
You can save 55% if you act right now.

Bottom Line:

Proton VPN is great for privacy and surfing the dark web in regular browsers — it has dedicated Tor over VPN servers that let you use your normal browser to visit .onion sites. The VPN also has good privacy and security features, including audited and open-source apps. All of its plans are backed by a prorated 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full Proton VPN review

4. Private Internet Access — Good Tor Support + Highly-Customizable Apps

Servers in countries
91
Key Features
Excellent ad blocker
Number of devices
Unlimited
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
30 Days
privateinternetaccess.com
Editors' Note: Private Internet Access and this site are in the same ownership group.

Private Internet Access (PIA) supports Tor traffic across servers in all 91 countries. You can connect to any PIA server and start surfing the dark web on a Tor browser.

PIA is also very secure. It includes full leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and RAM-only servers. Plus, its apps are also fully open-source, and it comes with MACE, which is the best VPN ad, tracker, and malware blocker in 2024.

PIA has decent speeds on the Tor browser. In my tests, it took around 11 seconds for websites to load, which is pretty good. That said, it’s still slower than ExpressVPN.

4. Private Internet Access — Good Tor Support + Highly-Customizable Apps

The provider also has feature-rich and highly customizable apps. You can easily change your VPN protocol, switch between 256-bit AES and 128-bit AES encryption, tweak proxy settings, and change other connection options (for example, if it should connect to untrusted Wi-Fi networks), and more. I also like that you can filter the server list by latency and quickly reconnect to the last 6 servers you connected to using its Quick Connect feature.

Plus, the VPN also allows unlimited connections, making it a great pick if everyone in your house needs a VPN for the dark web.

Private Internet Access (PIA) has very affordable plans, which start at $2.03 / month. Also, it backs all of its plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Bottom Line:

Private Internet Access has feature-rich apps and decent Tor support. Its apps are easy to use and very customizable, so they’re a good pick for both beginners and advanced users. PIA also provides fast speeds and strong security features. Its plans are all backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full Private Internet Access review

Editors' Note: Private Internet Access and this site are in the same ownership group.

5. CyberGhost VPN — Beginner-Friendly VPN for Surfing the Dark Web

Servers in countries
100
Key Features
Special streaming servers
Number of devices
7
OS compatibility
Money-back guarantee
Up to 45 days
cyberghostvpn.com
Editors' Note: CyberGhost and this site are in the same ownership group.

CyberGhost VPN has beginner-friendly apps and good Tor support. It allows Tor traffic on all of its servers in 100 countries, which is really good.

What I really like about CyberGhost is its incredibly intuitive app design. I like how you can tweak the VPN client to open the Tor browser automatically after you connect to a server or have CyberGhost automatically connect to a server when you open the Tor browser.

5. CyberGhost VPN — Beginner-Friendly VPN for Surfing the Dark Web

It’s also very good at protecting your privacy and security. It has strong leak protection and uses perfect forward secrecy and RAM-only servers. Also, it has NoSpy servers that can only be accessed by CyberGhost’s in-house staff. CyberGhost also comes with an ad, tracker, and malware blocker as well, but it’s not very good at blocking ads. I much prefer Private Internet Access’s MACE.

The provider also has pretty good Tor over VPN speeds. When I tested it, it took around 13–14 seconds for most .onion links to load.

CyberGhost VPN has cheap plans ($2.03 / month), and its long-term plans come with a generous 45-day money-back guarantee (the shortest plan is backed by a 14-day money-back guarantee).

Bottom Line:

CyberGhost VPN allows Tor traffic on all of its servers and has intuitive apps that make it a great choice for beginners. It also provides advanced privacy and security features and decent speeds for browsing the dark web. All of its long-term plans have a 45-day money-back guarantee.

Read the full CyberGhost VPN review

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

Quick Comparison Table

VPN Starting Price Tor Support Browse the Dark Web in Regular Browser Number of Connections Free Plan Money-Back Guarantee
🥇1. ExpressVPN $6.67 / month
(All servers)
Up to 8 30 days
🥈2. NordVPN $3.39 / month
(All servers)
10 30 days
🥉3. Proton VPN $4.49 / month
(All servers)
10 30 days (prorated)
4. Private Internet Access $2.03 / month
(All servers)
Unlimited 30 days
5. CyberGhost VPN $2.03 / month
(All servers)
7 Up to 45 days

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

How to Choose the Best VPN for the Dark Web in 2024

  • Choose a VPN that has good Tor support. All of the VPNs on my list support Tor over VPN connections. A few of my picks even have dedicated Tor servers that allow you to access the dark web using a regular browser, like Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.
  • Pick a VPN with strong privacy and security features. I only picked VPNs that have industry-standard security features, like 256-bit AES encryption, a strict no-logs policy, and a kill switch (blocks your internet connection if your VPN connection drops, preventing accidental data leaks).
  • Get a VPN that provides high-speed connections. The Tor browser routes your connections through at least 3 servers. VPNs also slow down your connections due to the encryption process. So you want to get a VPN that has very fast speeds to offset the slowdown that comes from using Tor and a VPN together. All of the VPNs I recommend have good speeds, but ExpressVPN is the fastest.
  • Get a VPN that’s easy to use. You should only opt for VPNs that come with intuitive apps that make it simple to find and connect to a VPN server to start securely surfing the dark web.
  • Look for a VPN that offers good value. I only recommend VPNs with reasonably-priced plans, a money-back guarantee, and a minimum of 5 device connections.

Top Brands That Didn’t Make the Cut

  • PrivateVPN. PrivateVPN supports Tor traffic on all of its servers, is pretty fast, and provides good security features. Unfortunately, it’s missing extra features that other top VPNs offer, such as split-tunneling or an ad blocker.
  • DroidVPN. The provider doesn’t say if it supports Tor traffic, but even if it did I wouldn’t recommend using it. That’s because it lacks many essential security features, and it also leaks your DNS data.
  • BolehVPN. The VPN supports Tor traffic on its servers, but its apps are very difficult to use, and the provider also has really slow speeds on distant servers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which VPN is best for the Tor browser?

ExpressVPN is the best VPN to use with the Tor browser. It supports Tor traffic on all of its servers, provides blazing-fast speeds, has high-end privacy and security features, provides user-friendly apps for all major platforms, and comes with great additional features, like a malicious site blocker and an ad blocker.

Is it a good idea to use a VPN with Tor?

Yes, using a VPN with Tor can enhance online privacy and security. This setup shields your internet activity from your ISP and provides an extra layer of encryption. Also, it prevents Tor server operators from seeing your real IP address. However, it can slow down your internet speed and, if the VPN keeps logs, it may affect anonymity. That’s why I recommend choosing a quality VPN that has excellent security and can protect your privacy.

Is Tor illegal?

While it’s often associated with illegal activities, Tor itself is legal in most countries. That said, certain restrictive countries have blocked access to the Tor network — in this case, you can use a VPN with Tor support to get access to the network — but check your local laws and regulations before doing so.

Am I traceable on the Tor network?

Using the Tor network will hide your IP address and browsing activity, as your internet traffic is sent through several encrypted servers. However, your ISP will be able to see that you’re using Tor.

Another thing is certain Tor server operators might see your real IP address. If this is a concern for you, consider using Tor over VPN. A good VPN will hide the fact that you’re using Tor and prevent Tor servers from logging your IP address. All of the providers on my list have excellent Tor support.

Quick Overview of My Top Recommendations:

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9.8
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2
9.2
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3
8.4
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4
9.6
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5
9.4
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About the Author
Raven Wu
Raven Wu
Writer
Updated on: May 6, 2024

About the Author

Raven Wu is a freelance writer, editor, and translator. He is a strong advocate of internet freedom and is very passionate about technology, and he’s honed his craft by researching and writing about a variety of other topics including education, literature, health, pop culture, and games. Outside of work, he's an amateur novelist and history enthusiast who enjoys hard games, spicy food, and thinking way too hard about everything.

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