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The Tor Browser is a free, downloadable software that looks and functions like a typical browser. A VPN is a separate software that hides your identity by routing your traffic through its global server network.
Technically, you can also be anonymous while using a VPN, especially if you choose a VPN with a cryptocurrency payment option. Even if your particular use case requires Tor, a VPN can help protect you from compromised nodes and other Tor-associated risks. There are 2 ways to use a VPN with Tor.
The safest way is to connect to a VPN and then launch Tor. This protects you from any deanonymizing attacks from a compromised entry or middle node. Some clear web websites e. You can subscribe to a VPN to minimize the information that you give to your VPN provider, but keep in mind that you might not be eligible for any money-back guarantees.
The level of security that you get depends on the VPN you use. Tor inevitably slows down your connection too, so using a bad VPN will slow your internet down further. One good example is ExpressVPN — its no-logs policy is both third-party audited and has been tested in real-life settings. You can also connect to Tor and then to your VPN. Connecting to a VPN while using Tor allows you to visit sites on the clear web that normally block Tor addresses. This approach will also hide your browsing activity from the exit node.
Since the VPN over Tor setup is more complicated and thus more prone to mistakes that can actually reveal your IP address , I recommend using it only when necessary. I could access Tor securely, without any significant decline in connection speed.
It does this by blocking all internet traffic until the VPN connection is re-established. Tor users can access the ExpressVPN. The dedicated. ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, which is known for its strict, no-data retention laws , and for being free from international intelligence exchange treaties.
The authorities found nothing, proving that ExpressVPN stands by its commitment to keeping no logs on their servers. Additionally, ExpressVPN is covered by a day money-back guarantee, so you can try it with Tor risk-free. I tested how straightforward the process was by requesting a refund through live chat — the money was back in my bank account in less than a week.
October Update! See more information on this offer here. These servers are located in Romania outside the reach of the 5- and Eyes Alliance , and are designed to withstand hardware attacks. I was able to browse Tor without any major slowdowns. Of course, being on Tor is still slower than browsing the internet on a normal browser, but unlike other VPNs that essentially render Tor useless, CyberGhost allows you to browse sites with relatively little issue.
I got even better speeds when I connected to servers closer to my location. CyberGhost also features 4 different VPN protocols. WireGuard is a newer, open-source protocol designed for easier use and higher speeds. Every three months, the CyberGhost team publishes transparency reports that detail legal requests, infrastructure statistics, and malicious activity flags.
While this sounds great, keep in mind that CyberGhost logs data such as your email address, payment information, and cookie preferences. Should you change your mind, you can claim a refund. When I requested a refund via live chat, and received the money on my account immediately. The entire process took less than 5 minutes. Stay safe on Tor with CyberGhost. Loading Tor websites while connected to servers in the US was quick my actual location is close to the US.
Browsing Tor on an Australian server was slower, and downloading files was near impossible. With 10 simultaneous device connections, PIA can protect all of your household devices. PIA has a clear-cut no-logs policy: it never stores or shares any personal information. Asking for a refund via live chat was a quick and easy process, and the refund was in my account in less than a week.
Stay safe on Tor with PIA. Hurry and check out the deal here! The Onion Network is the wild west of the internet. The high level of anonymity means more freedom, but it also means danger at every turn. Protect yourself accordingly: do not, under any circumstances, share personal identifiable information on the dark web such as your real name, your real-life email address, links to your social media accounts, or mobile number.
In some countries, Tor use is outright illegal. China has outlawed the use of Tor, while countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela technologically try to block their citizens from accessing Tor. If you live in these jurisdictions, make sure you completely understand the risks before installing Tor on your devices. Yes, it is safe to download Tor, as long as you download the browser bundle from the official website. Hackers have been known to set up mirror sites to fool unsuspecting victims.
Downloading an app from one of these sites will infect your device with a Trojan designed to harvest login credentials and other sensitive information. Tor over VPN can help mask your activities even if you do manage to accidentally download an infected version.
Using a VPN with built-in malware detection features such as CyberGhost might even prevent this from happening.