Combining a VPN service with Tor is an effective way to protect the privacy and security of your information. These powerful technologies can work together to bring you an incredible level of protection, but it is important to find the right solution to get the best out of this combination. Not all VPNs can be trusted to keep your information private and some don’t offer strong security. It is also important to keep in mind that when you use VPN or Tor, the speed of your connection will be affected. Furthermore, using a slow VPN will make it impossible to use Tor. Tor and VPN services are convenient tools to encrypt your connection and spoof location. Although they have similar functionality, the main difference between them is that Tor is focuses on anonymity, while VPNs are designed for privacy protection. You can cover both fronts by using these two technologies to increase your privacy and anonymity. In order to help you to enjoy the high level of protection that a VPN and Tor can offer, we will present a list of the best VPNs for Tor. But before we share our recommendations, let’s talk more about what it means to use Tor with a VPN.
How to use Tor with a VPN
There are different ways to connect to Tor, but one of the most common ones is using the Tor Browser. Once you have installed it (you can get it from the official Tor project website), you can follow these steps:
- First you need to sign up for a VPN. You can choose from our list of recommended options. After that, the steps are pretty much the same, regardless of the provider you select.
- Once you have signed up for a plan, you can download and install the VPN app.
- Run the VPN app and then choose a server to connect to.
- Press the Connect button and allow some time for the connection to be established.
- Launch the Tor browser. Now you can start surfing the web securely.
Connecting to a VPN and then to Tor, means that your internet traffic is directed through the VPN server first and then through the Tor network. Your data goes through two stages of encryption before it even leaves your device. This prevents others (including your ISP) from seeing what you are doing online. Your internet service won’t be able to see what is in the VPN’s encrypted tunnel, meaning that it won’t be able to detected that Tor is in use.
Why should you consider using a VPN with Tor
When you use a VPN, your traffic is encrypted and routed through a secure server in the location you select. Thanks to this, you get a new IP address that masks your real IP address. Since your traffic is encrypted, other people won’t be able to check your activities. While most providers promise not to keep any logs, not all of them can live up to these claims. There is a level of trust required when you select a VPN service, but some companies have earned a good reputation because even after being approached by authorities, they haven’t provided data that could compromise users’ privacy because they didn’t keep any logs, as promised. That being said, when you use a VPN, your activities may be private but that doesn’t mean that they are anonymous.
The benefit of using Tor is that it encrypts and routes your traffic through several nodes that are run by volunteers. This is known as the Tor network. Whenever a new website request is sent, the route changes, which prevents others from tracing you. There is no centralized control of the traffic flow. The downside is that the entry and exit nodes are documented, meaning that your ISP and the destination servers can find out that Tor is being used. In some cases, ISPs, networks or the government have blocked Tor and you may even get added to a blacklist for using Tor. While your activity is anonymous, it is not private. Thankfully, using Tor and a VPN together can bring you comprehensive protection, allowing you to keep your activities and identity secure. You can encrypt your data and send it via Tor first, and then through a VPN or vice-versa.
Best VPN Services to Use with Tor
In order to select the best VPNs for Tor, we have taken into consideration different factors. First, we looked for VPN services that offer features that focus on Tor and that will enable you to combine these two technologies effectively. Then, we also took into consideration the level of encryption offered. We selected VPNs that offer a high level of encryption to protect your data. In addition, we have chosen VPN services that don’t keep logs that compromise your privacy. The list also features VPN services that support anonymous payment methods such as cryptocurrencies. Last, but not least, the VPNs that we recommend for Tor also offer great speeds. This will allow you to enjoy a high level of security, as well as privacy and anonymity, without sacrificing fast performance.
NordVPN offers servers that are already configured with Tor. This means that all the traffic is first sent through the VPN and then automatically redirected through the Tor network. In addition, NordVPN supports a double-VPN encryption feature, which you can also use with the Tor browser for added protection. Just keep in mind that this level of security will have a significant impact on the speed of your connection. NordVPN is the best choice for Tor users thanks to the fact that it offers top-grade encryption and a zero logs policy that promises that no data about your activities is ever logged. You can pay using Bitcoin, to keep your anonymity protected. NordVPN is based in Panama, out of the jurisdiction of the Five Eyes and it has a generous 30-day money back guarantee.
One of the best things about ExpressVPN is that it offers remarkably fast performance. It now, also features a .onion version that allows users to create an account anonymously. ExpressVPN doesn’t keep logs of your activities and since it is based in The British Virgin Islands, it is not subject to mandatory data retention laws. ExpressVPN protects your data with 256-bit AES encryption and it uses 4,096-bit DHE-RSA keys with Perfect Forward Secrecy and SHA512 for authentication. ExpressVPN is a fast solution that delivers reliable performance. You can pay with Bitcoin as well.
CyberGhost is an ideal solution for users who don’t have much experience with VPN services. It provides an efficient service that is easy to use and that offers all the features needed to surf the internet securely. Although CyberGhost doesn’t have servers that are specifically designed for Tor, it offers a high level of privacy. Every users gets assigned an anonymous ID and the email address used for signing up to the service is encrypted. This prevents third-parties from matching your email address to your CyberGhost account. CyberGhost is based in Romania, where there are no mandatory data retention laws. The provider doesn’t log any data that could be used to identify you, plus it offers features like kill switch, high encryption and great speeds.
Surfshark is a provider that is also based in The British Virgin Islands. While it doesn’t have features that focus on Tor, the high encryption and its strong commitment to privacy make it a solution that is worth considering. Surfshark uses AES-256-GCM encryption, along with SHA12 authentication hash and 2048-bit DHE-RSA key exchange with Perfect Forward Secrecy. Surfshark supports reliable protocols like OpenVPN and it uses zero-knowledge DNS technology. In addition, Surfshark protects you from IPv6 leaks and WebRTC leaks. Surfshark doesn’t keep any logs that can be used to identify you and it also offers fast performance.