best vpn for tor

Ask many and they’ll say that no other web browser is safer than Tor. While it is very secure, lots of online security experts recommend using it with a VPN. One problem is that countless VPNs claim to be the best for the job.

Today, we’ll discuss what are the best VPNs for the Tor browser. Additionally, we shall also talk about why you should use a VPN alongside Tor and how to do so.

(In case you're in a hurry, our top recommendation for the Tor browser is NordVPN.)

What Are The Best VPNs For Tor Browser In 2021?

Following a long period of testing, we’ve been able to narrow down our list of the best VPNs for the Tor browser to five services.

  1. NordVPN
  2. ExpressVPN
  3. Surfshark
  4. PrivateVPN
  5. CyberGhost

While all of our picks are excellent services to have, each has its set of disadvantages. Due to that, it’s necessary to take a closer look at them. Only once that’s done will it be right to finally settle on what to purchase, install, and then utilize.

1. NordVPN

logo nordvpn


NordVPN is a leader in the industry. For years, it has been regarded by millions of people to be the best VPN. The reason why is because it has excellent security, speed capabilities, and is capable of working around nearly every geoblock and censorship system in the world.

The main reason why NordVPN is so good to use with Tor is because of Onion Over VPN. For those who don’t know, it’s an exclusive feature that makes NordVPN very optimized for the Tor browser. Because of it, you’ll be able to have a hassle-free and buttery smooth experience.

As you might’ve expected, NordVPN makes use of AES 256-bit encryption. Besides that, it also supports all top-tier protocols, including WireGuard. Moreover, the service has also integrated many great features like a kill switch, split tunneling, and malware blocker into its apps.

You’ll surely be impressed with NordVPN’s speed capabilities. After all, the service is without doubt the fastest available. Regardless of the server being used, you’re guaranteed to get blazingly fast connection speeds.

Unfortunately, the huge network of NordVPN isn’t 100% P2P enabled. Be that as it may, the service is still a great choice for people who frequently download torrents. Why? It detects downloading activity and then automatically connects you to an optimized server.

Our testers in China have nothing but praise for NordVPN. During their time with it, they’ve never had trouble bypassing the Great Firewall. As such, it’s safe to say this VPN is an indispensable tool when it comes to fighting against internet censorship measures.

NordVPN’s developers have made sure everyone can use it. They have created native apps for almost all major platforms. Also, browser extensions for Google Chrome and Firefox have been made available. Last but not least, the service can be installed on a plethora of routers.

You don’t need a lot of cash to purchase NordVPN. For just $11.49 a month, you can use the service as much as you want. That said, anyone wishing to try it without risks may do so with zero difficulty. Simply buy it then take advantage of the 30-day money-back policy that exists.

2. ExpressVPN

logo expressvpn


Lots of experts and websites say that ExpressVPN is the best service on the market. It provides a high degree of online security while also being able to unblock most geo-restrictions. Apart from that, it’s also fully optimized for torrenting and has exceptional speed capabilities.

ExpressVPN adheres to robust encryption standards as it employs AES-256 and has an RSA 4096-bit key exchange. Like its closest rivals, it also supports all major protocols except for WireGuard. One thing the service doesn’t have though is an extensive set of features.

Your base connection will hardly be affected when using ExpressVPN. During my time with the service, I’ve had nothing but a great experience browsing, downloading content, and playing online games. And yes, it didn’t matter what server I was connected to.

The entire network of ExpressVPN is fully P2P enabled. Hence, all of its servers can be utilized for torrenting purposes. Because of that, you’ll not have to go through the trouble of guessing around or researching just to find a suitable location for your downloading needs.

ExpressVPN can bypass whatever geoblock you throw at it. Its developers have made sure that it can grant you access to the foreign libraries of every widely-used streaming platform. To add to that, they’ve also strived to make it capable of letting you tap into all kinds of websites.

You can download an ExpressVPN app on Android, Linux, Windows, Chromebooks OS, iOS, and macOS. Besides that, browser extensions exist for Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. It’s also possible to install the service on many compatible routers.

It’s also worth noting that ExpressVPN has wonderful customer support. All its representatives are quick, cordial, well-trained. There’s also a large online knowledgebase and many video guides available that make DIY troubleshooting incredibly easy and free of hassles.

Sad to say, ExpressVPN isn’t a cheap VPN. In fact, it is a bit more expensive than most of its competitors. Luckily, you try it risk-free by purchasing a basic subscription then asking for a refund within 30 days as the service has a 30-day money-back guarantee policy.

3. Surfshark

logo surfshark


Despite being established recently, Surfshark has managed to surpass most of its rivals in the industry. It achieved this by launching an aggressive campaign and providing superb online security at reasonable prices. Also, it allowed for unlimited simultaneous connections.

Surfshark is the only service apart from ExpressVPN that has a RAM-based network. Due to that, it cannot store personal user information. Therefore, it’s way more secure than other top-tier VPNs. With it, you can rest assured that your data is in safe hands.

In addition to what's mentioned above, you should know that Surfshark employs military-grade AES-256 encryption and supports every leading protocol. It also has numerous must-have security features like a kill switch, malware blocker, and split tunneling.

Despite having fewer servers than most VPNs, Surfshark can unblock many streaming sites with zero effort. It can also bypass the Great Firewall of China along with other censorship systems put in place by various governments. On top of that, the service is also adept at providing access to many regionally exclusive web-based services and applications.

Speed is something that Surfshark excels at. No matter what server is being used, it’s certain that your base connection won’t get handicapped. Everything from gaming to downloading work-related content will be easy, smooth, and problem-free.

Not all of Surfshark’s servers are P2P enabled. Luckily, the service employs the same strategy as NordVPN. It automatically detects downloading activity then connects you to a suitable location. As such, it’s still a great choice for anyone who downloads torrents regularly.

Compatibility won’t be a problem with Surfshark. Its developers have created many extensions and native applications. They have also made it work alongside a large collection of routers so that you may use the service on consoles and obscure devices that access the internet.

A 2-year Surfshark subscription costs a mere $2.49 per month. Like many VPNs, the service doesn’t offer a free trial. Nevertheless, you may still give it a shot without spending by taking advantage of the 30-day money-back policy that it has in place.

4. PrivateVPN

logo privatevpn


PrivateVPN is a rapidly growing Swedish VPN that’s currently not highly-ranked. Despite that, it’s a great service to try out, especially for those who value configurability. Why? The service’s settings can be tweaked in a myriad of ways to meet your exact needs.

In comparison to other VPNs, the network of PrivateVPN is really tiny. It operates fewer than 200 servers across the world. It is not ideal for anyone who needs to access the version of the internet of as many countries and territories as possible.

When using PrivateVPN, you may pair AES-256 encryption with protocols such as OpenVPN, PPTP, IKEv2, and LT2P. There’s no need to worry if your connection suddenly gets hindered thanks to a kill switch. Sadly, the VPN developers have yet to add a malware blocker feature.

Expect to have a good and reliable internet connection when using PrivateVPN. Despite switching from server to server, not once did I stumble upon any issues when it came to my internet speeds. Using the service, I was able to play games, download files, and watch all my favorite shows and movies without any hiccups.

PrivateVPN can work around the geoblocks of Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime. It does so with amazing consistency, making it a good option for people who use VPNs solely to watch content that would otherwise be unavailable where they’re from.

Many have sworn by PrivateVPN’s capabilities when it comes to bypassing China’s draconian internet censorship measures. Although it has a remarkably small network, the service has a good track record when it comes to providing free internet access in the country.

Like most smaller services, PrivateVPN doesn’t have a P2P enabled network. Nonetheless, it’s still good for torrenting as it has special P2P servers. In addition, it also maintains a zero logs policy and doesn’t have a bandwidth cap.

The prices of PrivateVPN are within the reach of average consumers. You should also know that a 7-day free trial is available. Furthermore, there’s also a 30-day money-back policy for anyone who has regrets after making their purchase.

5. CyberGhost

logo cyberghost


CyberGhost is widely-known for having the largest network of any VPN. It operates more than 7000 servers across the world. The service even has a presence in places that are not friendly towards VPNs such as China and Russia. If anything, this makes it quite unique in the industry.

Like all its major competitors, CyberGhost employs AES 256-bit encryption. Additionally, it also supports lots of protocols. One issue is that it hasn’t made WireGuard, OpenVPN, LT2P, IKEv2, available on every platform that it works on. Thus, users of some devices may find themselves at a grave disadvantage.

The speed capabilities of CyberGhost vary from server to server. In some instances, you might have a blazingly fast connection whereas, in others, your internet may become unusable. For that reason, it’s best to bookmark any good server that you come across.

CyberGhost is a decent option for movie buffs. While it can’t unblock all streaming platforms, its apps let you choose from a list of servers that are optimized for bypassing geoblocks. The same can also be said for torrenting. Hence, you’ll surely have no issues doing what you need to.

Sad to say, you can’t use CyberGhost in China. Although it has a presence in the country and maintains the largest VPN network, the service can’t bypass the Great Firewall. It isn’t the best thing to have if you frequently travel to the country.

CyberGhost apps are available on most mainstream operating systems. The service also has a few browser extensions. Furthermore, it can be installed on many routers and used with lots of gaming consoles, smart TVs, and streaming devices like Amazon Fire TV stick.

One other thing that makes CyberGhost stand out is the fact that it has a free trial. You may use the service for a whole day to see whether it’s for you. That said, a refund policy also exists for those who change their minds. You have a window of 7 to 45 days to get your money back depending on the plan you chose to subscribe to.

A great thing about CyberGhost is that it’s priced reasonably. For an 18-month subscription, you just need to shell out a mere $48.5. Thanks to that, the service is more than a viable option for anyone who’s looking to spend little and get excellent online security.

Why Use A VPN With Tor?

Why Use A VPN With Tor


Tor is an incredibly safe web browser that millions of people use daily. It’s basically a heavily altered version of Firefox made to run on the Tor Network. When using it, you’ll not have to worry about browser fingerprinting, data collection, or intrusive advertisements.

For those wondering, the Tor Network is an openly-sourced network that’s designed to facilitate anonymous communication. It works by moving internet traffic through a volunteer overlay network in order to keep information hidden from any third-party that’s watching.

Many would argue that using a VPN with Tor is unnecessary. After all, the browser is already one of the safest available. With that said, you should know that it’s still prone to being compromised, especially by well-funded hackers and government monitors.

With the right VPN, you’ll get to add yet another layer of security to your online browsing experience. It shall be much harder for anyone to track your online activities, collect your information, serve you intrusive ads, and discover your legitimate information.

How To Use A VPN With Tor

How To Use A VPN With Tor


You can use a VPN with Tor in two different ways. First is Tor over VPN, which is the simplest and most secure method to get the job done. The second is VPN over Tor. While it isn’t the easiest way, it’s almost just as secure, and therefore, also a viable option.

  • Tor over VPN

Setting up Tor over VPN is something that anyone can do. Just connect to your VPN then open the Tor browser. Following that, all your outgoing internet traffic shall be encrypted by Tor’s server and your VPN’s. In turn, it’ll be twice as hard for people to detect your activities.

  • VPN over Tor

The first step when setting up VPN over Tor is to open the Tor browser. It’s only when that’s done that you activate your VPN then connect to a server. 

Now, if you’re wondering, what makes VPN over Tor different is that your outgoing traffic will be encrypted then routed through the Tor network before your VPN’s server. Consequently, you won’t be as safeguarded. Still, there shouldn’t be a need to worry as many experts have concluded that VPN over Tor is a very safe way to use Tor alongside a VPN.

In Summary

I’d like to briefly go over the five best VPNs for Tor that I talked about earlier. Despite all of them being excellent choices, each one has its cons you should know about. After all, the last thing you’d want to have after purchasing a subscription is regrets.

NordVPN’s feature called Onion Over VPN makes it incredibly optimized for the Tor browser. In addition, it’s amazing speed capabilities ensure that you won’t have trouble streaming, playing games, and downloading content. And yes, this is regardless of where you’re connected to.

One thing you must know about NordVPN is that it was once hacked. A few years ago, a hacker working independently was able to compromise a rented server in Finland. Luckily, no private user information got stolen. If anything, only the service’s reputation got tarnished.

Though it lacks exclusive features and a malware blocker, ExpressVPN is extremely secure. It has a RAM-based network that prevents data collection. Moreover, the VPN utilizes AES-256 encryption and supports every mainstream protocol except WireGuard.

An area of improvement that ExpressVPN must work on is pricing. Even if it isn’t the priciest VPN out there, it’s still not within the reach of those with tight budgets. With all that said, our team believes that the service is well worth it if you can afford it.

Surfshark stands out because it allows for unlimited simultaneous connections. Aside from that, it also provides great security, has excellent speed capabilities, and is able to bypass most geoblocks. Lastly, the VPN is more than capable of bypassing China’s Great Firewall.

Because it’s quite new, the network of Surfshark isn’t that large. This is especially true when you compare it to ExpressVPN and NordVPN, which both operate a few thousand more servers.

PrivateVPN is quickly climbing the ranks in the VPN industry. While it’s still very tiny with less than 200 servers, it is already considered by many to be their favorite. How come? It can unblock most streaming sites, work in China, and keep its subscribers protected.

If you opt to purchase PrivateVPN, you shouldn’t expect much in regards to connectivity. Also, the small network it boasts isn’t the best for keeping you 100% anonymous. Thus, if staying under the radar is your priority, we suggest that you go with something else.

You won’t run out of servers to pair with if you’re using CyberGhost. That’s because the VPN has the largest server network in existence. For that reason, it’s adept at keeping your legitimate IP address hidden from any troublemaker that would want to find out your location.

Sad to say, CyberGhost’s protocol support varies from platform to platform. Due to that, users of some operating systems might find themselves less protected than others. As such, we highly recommend that you only get CyberGhost if it runs your preferred protocol on your device.

VPNWhy Is It Good for Tor?PricesLink
logo nordvpnGreat unlocking capabilities,
Decent apps,
Blazingly fast speeds,
Works in China,
Excellent iOS app
$6.99/Month (1-Year)
$4.99/Month (2-Year)
$3.49/Month (3-Year)

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee For All Subscriptions
Click for BEST Price
logo expressvpnTopnotch security,
Highly-optimized iOS app,
Fast speeds,
Great unblocking capabilities,
Easy-to-use apps,
Works in China
$9.99/Month (6 Months)
$6.67/Month (15 Months)

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee For All Subscriptions
Click for BEST Price
logo surfsharkEasy-to-use iOS app,
Fast speeds,
Excellent security features,
Unlimited simultaneous connections,
Great unblocking capabilities,
Works in China
$6.49/Month (6 Months)
$2.49/Month (2 Years)

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee For All Subscriptions
Click for BEST Price
logo privatevpnHighly-configurable apps,
Works in China,
Decent security,
Reasonably priced
$5.03/Month (3 Months)
$2.07/Month (2 Years)

30-Day Money-Back Guarantee For All Subscriptions
Click for BEST Price
logo cyberghostUser-friendly apps,
Reasonable prices,
Decent security,
Lots of servers
14-Day Money-Back Guarantee

$7.99/Month (6-Months)
$2.76/Month (18-Months)
45-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Click for BEST Price

About the author 

Erwin Caniba

Erwin, our Chief Editor, has an established career in digital marketing. Since 2012, he’s always used a VPN. As such, it came to his mind to share his experience with every VPN that he’s used. And so, VPN Thrive was born.