best vpn for the dark web

The dark web has now become an important tool for complete privacy online. But this tool is also associated with criminal activities as a result of which many countries have blocked access to it. The Tor browser, which is used to access the dark web, is blocked in many regions.

China and Russia are among the countries where the Tor browser is blocked.

Accessing the Tor browser or the dark web is considered illegal and could be recognized as suspicious even if you use it for legal purposes. To access it securely, you will need a VPN. A VPN will let you access the Tor browser securely so that you can use the dark web for legal purposes. By connecting to a VPN, you can hide the fact that you are using the Tor browser, from your ISP, the government, and all other third parties.

The Tor browser is one of the ways to access the dark web. You can read our article on Best VPN for Tor Browser to know more about Tor by clicking here.

The following are the top five VPNs for the dark web.

Top Five VPNs for the Dark Web

  • NordVPN
  • ExpressVPN
  • Surfshark VPN
  • IPVanish VPN
  • Ivacy VPN

NordVPN – Perfect fit for the dark web

NordVPN that comes packed with all the strong security features is our top recommendation for the dark web. It is based in Panama, known for its privacy-friendly laws and comes backed up with strong encryption, and other security features like kill switch, DNS leak protection, ad and malware blocker.

It has a massive server network of over 5000 servers worldwide. It has specialized servers for torrenting and has onion over VPN servers. This makes it one of the best and powerful choices for accessing the Tor browser. This feature is sure to keep you safe while you browse the dark web.

Its double VPN feature will offer double security and the CyberSec feature will keep you safe from adware and malware when you browse the web. NordVPN also gives you the freedom to access any streaming service or game from anywhere in the world.

  • 5200+ servers in 62 countries
  • Use up to 6 devices
  • Next-generation Encryption
  • Double VPN Feature
  • Strict no-logs policy

You can seamlessly access games like Fortnite, and PUBG and streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, Netflix US, HBO, Hulu, Showtime, Disney+, and more.

Android, macOS, iOS, Android TV, Linux, Chrome, and Firefox, are among the platforms this VPN is compatible with. Our detailed NordVPN review includes detailed information on its premium features, privacy policy, and money-back guarantee, we recommend checking it out for more information.

ExpressVPN – Fastest VPN to securely access the dark web

ExpressVPN, the fastest VPN is our next recommendation for the dark web. All its apps support the Tor browser and it is one of the most secure options for the dark web.

This powerful VPN is great at unblocking blocked streaming services, games, and websites that may not be available in your region. Netflix US, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, Sling TV, DAZN, etc and games like PUBG are among the blocked services ExpressVPN can unblock.

ExpressVPN values your privacy, as a result of which it offers strong security features like 256-bit encryption, null knowledge DNS, network lock security switch, split tunneling, and more. It makes sure no one can see your personal information and the websites you browse by following a strict no-logs policy. If you value your privacy, then ExpressVPN is the one for you.

expressvpn logo
  • 160 server locations
  • Network Lock kill switch
  • Zero-knowledge DNS
  • VPN split tunneling
  • Stream Sports online
It offers the fastest speeds for streaming, gaming, browsing, and torrenting. It has over 3000 VPN servers in 90+ countries and all its servers support torrenting.

You can try this fastest VPN for 30 days using its money-back guarantee policy. If you would like to know more, you can check out our review of ExpressVPN.

Surfshark VPN – Bypass restrictions with its NoBorders Mode

A relatively small VPN service with a growing network, Surfshark VPN is another great choice for the dark web. It possesses excellent unblocking capabilities and you can use this VPN to evade blocks in countries like China.

A few of its unique features include NoBorders mode, Whitelister, CleanWeb, DNS leak protection, Camouflage mode, and kill switch. While the Whitelister feature will let you access blocked websites and streaming services using the VPN connection and other local services using your direct internet connection at the same time, the NoBorders mode will help you get around censorship of all kinds.

When you use the Tor browser to access the dark web, the Camouflage mode will make sure what you access online is completely anonymous. It will hide your internet usage from your ISP, the government, and all other third parties. You can unblock all blocked services like HBO, Netflix US, Hulu, NBC, Disney+, ESPN, and Amazon Prime Video.

  • Connect unlimited Devices
  • AES-256-GCM encryption
  • IP & DNS leak protection
  • Unlimited bandwidth
  • Free Browser Extensions
  • Strict no-logs policy
You can try out Surfshark VPN for free using its 30-day money-back guarantee. If you would like to know more about its services, you can read our detailed review of Surfshark VPN.

IPVanish – Fast speeds for browsing the dark web

IPVanish, our next recommendation for the dark web is sure to protect your privacy while you browse the web. It also offers fast speeds and comes with great unblocking capabilities. It offers unbreakable encryption and other security features like DNS leak protection, kill switch, and more.

It offers ultimate data protection and protects your personal information so that no one, including your ISP and cybercriminals can see it. It comes with apps for multiple devices including Windows, macOS, iOS, Fire TV, and more.

You can use the VPN on any number of devices and browse the web with consistent speeds. Unblocking Netflix US, Hulu, HBO, Sling TV, Amazon Prime Video, and more will be a breeze with IPVanish.

  • 1,500+ VPN servers
  • 40,000+ shared IPs
  • Unthrottled speed
  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Unmetered connections
LAN traffic blocking and OpenVPN traffic obfuscation are among the unique features of IPVanish. It follows a zero-logs policy and to ensure utmost security, this VPN accepts payments made through anonymous payment methods like cryptocurrency.

It has over 1000 VPN servers worldwide and does not limit the bandwidth you can use so that you can stream shows, play games, and also torrent files whenever you wish. You can learn more about this VPN by going through our detailed review of IPVanish.

Ivacy VPN -Top security features for anonymous dark web usage

One of the most-promising and most secure VPNs, Ivacy VPN is one of the great choices for the dark web. It is an affordable VPN service that offers strong security features and possesses strong unblocking capabilities.

It does not store logs and makes sure your data remains private all the time. You can be assured that your data will remain secure when you browse the dark web using the Tor browser. Ivacy VPN also offers other security features like 256-bit encryption, kill switch, IP leak protection, and DDoS protection.

All its servers support P2P traffic and streaming HD videos will be a breeze. Ivacy VPN is sure to offer you a lag-free streaming experience. You can access Netflix US, HBO, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, Hulu, and more using this VPN.

  • 3500+ Servers in 100+ Locations
  • 10 Devices Simultaneous Logins
  • Unlimited Bandwidth
  • Malware Protection
  • P2P Support
You can download the VPN app on most of your devices including Android, Windows, Mac, iOS, Xbox, Linux, Firefox, and Chrome. To know more about the VPN’s security features and other premium features, we recommend reading our detailed review of Ivacy VPN.

How to Use a VPN to Access the Dark Web

You just have to follow the below-mentioned steps to connect to a VPN and access the dark web.

  • From the list above, choose a VPN that offers strong security features. We recommend NordVPN for the dark web.
  • Subscribe to a suitable plan and install the VPN app or software for the device you intend to use to access the dark web.
  • Once you install the VPN app, sign in, and select a server from a country that allows users to access the dark web and access the Tor Browser.
  • Now, visit the Tor Browser to access the dark web from anywhere.

Choosing the Best VPN for the Dark Web

While you can find a lot of VPNs in the market claiming to be the best for the dark web and other online activities, as well, you need to carefully choose a VPN when your sole purpose of using a VPN is to access the dark web. When you use a VPN for the dark web, your ISP may not be able to see that you are using the dark web but the VPN to which you are connected can see that you are using Tor to access the dark web. So you will need a VPN with a clear privacy policy and the one you can trust to access the dark web. We chose the above-mentioned VPNs based on the following factors. You can choose a VPN for the dark web from the list above or do your own research. But make sure the VPN you choose meets the following criteria.

  • Clear no logs policy where no personal information will be stored
  • Military-grade 256-bit encryption
  • DNS and IP leak protection
  • Fast and reliable connections
  • Onion over VPN feature
  • Multiple payment options including cryptocurrency

Free VPN for the Dark Web

We can see several free VPNs lurking around promising to offer the same features the premium services offer. As its name implies, free VPNs are free and you do not have to pay to use them. Free VPNs come in the form of apps and browser extensions, as well. You can sign up in seconds and start using them. They only promise to offer the same security features a premium VPN service like NordVPN or Surfshark VPN offers but in reality, the security and protection they offer is nowhere close to what the premium services offer.

When it comes to the server network, most free VPNs do not have their own server network and they also have a smaller server network. Though you can connect to one of those servers to browse the web, you will have to connect to overcrowded servers most of the time.

Similar to premium VPNs, the free services also offer encryptions but their encryption standards may not be as strong as the encryption standards premium services like NordVPN offers. Likewise, such weak encryption standards would most likely result in your becoming a victim of cyberattacks.

If you would like to stay completely anonymous online, you should go for a paid VPN service and forget about using a free VPN. Free VPNs will not be as secure as premium VPN services. They may not follow a clear no-logs policy and most of them will log your data. They will also sell it to third parties for a profit. Many free VPN apps are just scams. Some also inject ads, where you will be interrupted by ads and your whole browsing experience will be ruined.

Bandwidth limitation is another problem with free VPNs. Such limits and server congestion will further slow down your internet connection while you access the dark web. Unlike free VPNs, premium services will keep you completely anonymous online. They focus on security and privacy and they also have a good server network. So it is always wise to go for a premium VPN service for the dark web as well as for general browsing, torrenting, streaming, and more.

Is it legal to use the dark web?

The dark web itself is not illegal and many use it to avoid censorship and for general privacy, journalism, and security. However, since it is also associated with illegal activities like money laundering and drugs, many view it as a place for illegal activities. Though the dark web is not illegal, it is a place where illegal activities happen. So it is wise to step into the dark web with caution, though you use it for legal purposes.


You might want to access the dark web for several reasons. Though you access it for legal purposes, there are risks involved. You could be tracked by your ISP or the government. The only way to access it without being tracked is by using a VPN.