The Dark Web is a part of the Internet not indexed by regular search engines and only accessible by special browsers. It’s widely associated with criminal activities and personal information theft, making it risky to access without any safeguards. If you don’t have the time or expertise to secure your devices yourself, then a VPN for the Dark Web is the best solution for you.
A Dark Web VPN will hide your personal information and real location when you connect to servers in different countries. It will also prevent your ISP from seeing that you’re using browsers like Tor to access the Deep Web.
Whether you’re using the Dark Web or the Deep Web, the 5 VPNs you’ll find in this article will help you do so safely. We will also show you how to access the Dark Web with a VPN, further explain why you need a VPN, and more.
So, let’s get into it!
Best VPNs for the Dark Web – Our Shortlist
- ExpressVPN – Our #1-Rated VPN for the Dark Web
- NordVPN – Best VPN for the Dark Web with Extra-Strong Security
- CyberGhost VPN – Secure Dark Web VPN with Specialized Servers
- Private Internet Access – Top VPN with a Massive Server Network
- Surfshark – Beginner-Friendly VPN for Protection on the Dark Web
How to Access the Dark Web with a VPN Safely
To access the Dark Web with a VPN safely, you first need to find a suitable VPN provider that has powerful security features able to shield your identity and protect you online. Here’s everything you’ll need to do:
- Subscribe to a VPN that works with the Dark Web (we recommend ExpressVPN).
- Download and install the VPN app on the device(s) you’ll use for the Dark Web.
- Open the VPN app and sign in to your account to activate the subscription.
- Connect to an obfuscated VPN server in a location near you.
- Check for DNS or IP leaks.
- That’s it! Now you can safely access the Dark Web via Tor or other similar browsers.
To make sure that you have everything in order and that you’re fully protected before venturing into the Dark Web, you can read our detailed guide on how to access Dark Web content.
The Best VPNs for the Dark Web in 2023
To find the best VPN for the Dark Web, you’ll need to look for a provider that offers robust security features, including a no-logs policy, AES 256-bit encryption, data leak protection, and secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, and other proprietary protocols). The VPN you choose should also come with a wide server network covering many different countries so that you ensure consistent performance and high speeds.
In addition, your Dark Web VPN should offer obfuscated servers, a kill switch mechanism, and split tunneling. Lastly, find a VPN that comes with a money-back guarantee, accepts anonymous payment methods, and provides reliable 24/7 customer support.
Based on the criteria mentioned above, these are the 5 best VPNs for the Dark Web in 2023:
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ExpressVPN is the best VPN for the Dark Web because it comes with an air-tight no-logs policy, thanks to which the provider never stores any of your data on its servers. It also comes with best-in-class encryption (the one that the US government uses). In addition, DNS leak protection will keep your data from being exposed. You can choose from highly-secure VPN protocols, including OpenVPN, Lightway, and WireGuard.
The provider has more than 3,000 servers in 94 countries, allowing you to bounce from location to location and conceal your real whereabouts. ExpressVPN also comes with obfuscated servers in some regions, which will hide the fact that you’re using a VPN. Moreover, you’ll get a capable kill switch and access to split tunneling, via which you can choose the traffic you’ll route through the VPN.
With ExpressVPN, you’ll also get some unique features that will make your Dark Web browsing even safer, including the provider’s TrustedServer technology and Threat Manager. This is the fastest provider on the market, offering blazing-fast Internet connection speeds and reliable performance for a smooth Dark Web browsing experience.
Lastly, ExpressVPN lets you pay for your subscription anonymously and try out its services risk-free thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. You’ll also get access to 24/7 customer support via live chat.
- Ability to pay with Bitcoin
- Military-grade encryption
- Independently-audited no-logs policy
- Excellent security and privacy
- Obfuscated servers
- Not all servers have obfuscation
NordVPN is another excellent Dark Web VPN that comes with robust privacy and security features. It offers a no-logs policy, ensuring that none of your data is tracked or retained. Also, it has the best encryption available: AES 256-bit. You’ll also get strong DNS and IPv6 leak protection to secure your data even further. As far as protocols, NordVPN has its own called NordLynx and supports OpenVPN, too.
The provider also has a capable kill switch mechanism that will shut down your Internet connection if you disconnect from your VPN. In addition, NordVPN has split tunneling and obfuscated servers that hide the fact that you’re using a VPN.
NordVPN has some unique features that set it apart from the competition when it comes to Dark Web protection. Its Dark Web Monitor scans websites to see if your credentials have been leaked. There is also an Onion Over VPN feature that ensures your safety even when the Tor network is compromised and Threat Protection, which comes with an ad-blocker, a tracker blocker, and malware protection.
This provider offers more than 5,600 servers in 60 countries. It’s not as fast as ExpressVPN but still offers medium-fast Internet connection speeds and reliable performance. NordVPN also has a double VPN feature on some servers that will route your connection through 2 VPN servers instead of 1 for extra privacy.
With NordVPN, you’ll get reliable 24/7 customer support via live chat and a 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans. Lastly, the provider allows you to pay with anonymous payment methods like Bitcoin, Ether, and Ripple.
- Top-tier security and privacy
- Double VPN on some servers
- Dark Web Monitor feature
- 24/7 customer support
- Secure VPN protocols
- Ability to pay anonymously
- Slower on more remote servers
CyberGhost is a Dark Web VPN that will make sure you’re safe with a strict no-logs policy to ensure none of your data is tracked, stored, or sold to anyone else. Also, the provider uses AES 256-bit encryption, the best on the market, and is compatible with secure VPN protocols such as WireGuard and OpenVPN. In addition, this VPN has DNS leak protection that you can activate through the app.
With CyberGhost, you’ll also get an automatic kill switch that will immediately shut down your Internet connection if you disconnect from your VPN. It also comes with a basic split tunneling feature available on Windows and macOS. Unfortunately, though, CyberGhost doesn’t have obfuscation on any of its servers.
CyberGhost comes with average Internet connection speeds and reliable performance, so it’s suitable for smooth Dark Web browsing. Also, it has a network of 9,000+ servers in 91 countries worldwide.
This provider offers a generous money-back guarantee: 45 days on its longer-term subscriptions and 14 days on its monthly plans. And like most premium VPNs, CyberGhost also offers 24/7 customer support via live chat. Lastly, the provider accepts payment through anonymous payment methods like Bitcoin via BitPay.
- 45-day money-back guarantee
- Accepts Bitcoin payments
- Military-grade encryption
- DNS leak protection
- Highly secure VPN protocols
- 24/7 customer support
- Split tunneling on limited devices
Private Internet Access (PIA) is a well-known VPN provider that promises not to collect any of your data with its no-logs policy. You can choose between 128-bit and 256-bit AES encryption, with the better option being the latter one, and you’ll also get DNS and IP leak protection. Additionally, the provider offers secure VPN protocols, including OpenVPN and WireGuard.
PIA has the largest server network on the VPN market, consisting of thousands of servers in 84 different countries worldwide. It comes with medium-fast Internet connection speeds and reliable performance suitable for the Dark Web. However, you can optimize your connection speed a bit by tweaking your protocol settings. That said, you’ll have to lower your security settings to do so, which is not recommended when using a VPN to access the Dark Web.
With PIA, you’ll get access to obfuscation by enabling the provider’s Multi-Hop feature. This will reroute your Internet traffic through a VPN server and a Shadowsocks or SOCKS5 proxy, adding an extra layer of encryption to your connection. The provider also offers a capable kill switch and split tunneling.
PIA has a 30-day money-back guarantee on all its plans, along with 24/7 customer support via live chat. Lastly, the provider accepts anonymous payment methods like gift cards and different cryptocurrencies.
- Massive server network
- Reliable performance
- Excellent security and privacy
- A Multi-hop feature
- Many customization options
- Not ideal for beginners
Surfshark is a top-tier VPN that doesn’t keep track of what you do online and offers a strict no-logs policy. In addition, the provider has military-grade encryption and supports highly-secure VPN protocols, including OpenVPN and WireGuard. This VPN also has strong IPv6 and DNS leak protection and offers a feature called Surfshark Alert, via which you can check if your data has been breached.
The provider offers 3,200+ servers in 100 countries worldwide and is among the fastest VPNs on the market. You’ll get high Internet connection speeds and reliable performance, ideal for high-speed browsing, streaming, gaming, torrenting, etc. It’s certainly more than enough for Dark Web browsing.
Surfshark also allows you to use obfuscated servers through its Camouflage Mode, which is available on certain servers. In addition, you’ll get a capable kill switch that will protect you when you experience an abrupt VPN disconnection, as well as split tunneling on Windows and Android. This provider also has a Multihop feature that will route your traffic through 2 different VPN servers to increase your security.
Also, Surfshark comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and reliable 24/7 customer support via live chat. You can purchase your subscription with multiple anonymous payment methods, including Bitcoin via CoinGate and CoinPayments, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies.
- Fast Internet connection speeds
- Excellent encryption and protection
- Multihop feature
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Easy-to-use apps
- Windows/Android-only split tunneling
Why Do You Need a VPN for the Dark Web?
You need a VPN for the Dark Web to protect yourself from hackers and data thieves who dwell there. Other reasons why you need a VPN for the Dark Web include the following:
- Use the Tor Browser – Some countries block browsers like Tor that are used to access the Deep Web and Dark Web. In order to use such browsers in restricted locations, you need a VPN for the Dark Web to bypass the geo-blocks.
- Hide Your Online Activity – With a powerful Dark Web VPN, not only will you be able to hide your online activity from hackers and trackers, but you’ll also be able to hide it from your ISP. The VPN will encrypt your traffic, and since no one will have the key to decrypt it, they won’t be able to access it. That way, your ISP won’t even see that you’re using the Dark Web.
- Protect Your Privacy – As we mentioned, the Dark Web shouldn’t be accessed without proper precautions. Some people even think that accessing the Dark Web is illegal, but that’s not the case at all. The space is simply filled with both regular users and criminals, which is why the need for added protection arises. A VPN can shield you while using the Darknet by providing you with a different IP address, spoofed virtual location, multi-server routing, and obfuscated servers.
The Dark Web is a vast space filled with all kinds of content and users. Some are regular users, while others are there to steal people’s information or worse. If you want to access the Dark Web without worrying about your personal information leaking, you’ll need a suitable VPN.
We recommend ExpressVPN as the best VPN for the Dark Web because it comes with military-grade encryption, an air-tight no-logs policy, and superb data leak protection. This VPN will keep you safe on the Dark Web and ensure that no one gets their hands on your data.
What Is the Best VPN to Access the Dark Web?
The best VPN to access the Dark Web is ExpressVPN. You’ll be protected while browsing the Dark Web with state-of-the-art privacy features and security measures like AES 256-bit encryption, obfuscation, a kill switch, data leak protection, and much more.
Is ExpressVPN Good for the Dark Web?
Yes, ExpressVPN is good for the Dark Web. It’s actually highly recommended for utilizing the Tor browser to access the Dark Web, as it will give you crucial layers of extra protection.
What Is the Dark Web Monitor on NordVPN?
The Dark Web Monitor is a feature that runs in the background while you’re browsing the Dark Web with NordVPN. It scans Dark Web websites for your credentials and alerts you if they’ve been used somewhere.
What Happens If You Go on the Dark Web without a VPN?
If you go on the Dark Web without a VPN, you’ll trigger Tor’s public nodes, raising red flags to your ISP. Then they will know that you’re using the Dark Web and might suspect that you’re doing so to engage in criminal activities.
Furthermore, without a VPN, your personal information will be much more vulnerable to data thieves and hackers on the Dark Web.
Can You Use a Free VPN for the Dark Web?
Yes, you can use a free VPN for the Dark Web, but we don’t recommend that at all. Free VPNs are unreliable and won’t protect your data on the Dark Web. Most of them don’t come with essential security features like strong encryption or data leak protection.
That’s all for our guide on choosing a VPN for the Dark Web. If you have any additional comments or remarks, feel free to share them via the comments section below. Thanks for reading!