Choosing the Best VPN for Secure Dark Web Access

Vonn Consul - VPN Expert Reviewer

For this review, we will dive into the world of the best VPN for the dark web, as a multitude of options are available, each promising various levels of security, privacy, and performance. It’s worth noting that not all VPNs are created equal. Different providers offer distinct features such as varying server locations, encryption standards, privacy policies, and more, which ultimately influence your experience on the dark web.

The best VPN for dark web that tops our list is ExpressVPN. This VPN service can help you break free from geo-blocks and watch your favorite fighters anywhere you are. 

If you’re interested, we also have an in-depth ExpressVPN review and other top VPN recommendations for MacWindowsAndroid, and iOS.

1. ExpressVPN – Overall Best VPN for Dark Web 

best dark web vpn in 2023 - expressvpn

ExpressVPN consistently earns top marks as one of the premier VPN solutions available, with a large user community and accolades for its unparalleled speed and robust security.

Our extensive testing affirms that ExpressVPN provides extraordinary latency and ping control, a result of its diverse range of protocols, among which the exceptional Lightway Protocol shines.

The Lightway Protocol not only ensures impressive speeds but also enhances the efficiency of their extensive server network. With an array of over 3,000 servers across 94 countries, you can conveniently select the optimal location for your specific requirements, regardless of your geographical location.

Also, ExpressVPN places a high emphasis on security and includes comprehensive privacy features, such as state-of-the-art AES-256 encryption, trusted globally for its superior protection capabilities.

Click here to read our full ExpressVPN review.

In addition, ExpressVPN deploys encrypted DNS on all its servers, ensuring both swift and secure connections. In essence, it is a highly dependable VPN service that offers premium features at a reasonable cost.

Please refer to the following section for detailed pricing information:

1 month

$ 12.95 Monthly

6 months

$ 9.99 Monthly


$ 6.67 Monthly + 3 months FREE

Note: There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee should you choose to cancel your subscription for any reason which makes these deals much more worth a try!

2. Surfshark – Affordable VPN for Accessing Dark Web

best dark web vpn in 2023 - surfshark

Surfshark serves as an exceptional alternative to ExpressVPN, offering comparable features at a substantially lower cost. This VPN is a top contender in terms of quality and functionality, catering to all your VPN requirements.

Despite its affordability, SurfShark doesn’t skimp on performance, security, or accessibility. It allows an unlimited number of device connections simultaneously without sacrificing speed or protection.

Moreover, SurfShark is compatible with a variety of operating systems including Windows, Mac, iOS, Chrome, Android, and Linux, providing users with a multitude of options.

For Tor users specifically, SurfShark delivers critical VPN features such as a strict no-logs policy, ensuring your online activities remain private and untraceable, thereby protecting you from monitoring or tracking.

Additionally, SurfShark includes a kill switch feature, which immediately cuts off your internet connection if the VPN becomes inactive, safeguarding your security at all times.

Furthermore, SurfShark’s unique feature, Camouflage Mode, sets it apart from most VPNs. This mode guarantees complete privacy by preventing your internet service provider from recognizing that you are using a VPN, which is particularly useful for anonymous internet browsing and maintaining absolute privacy.

To sum up, SurfShark is an economical VPN server solution that offers an extensive set of features and exceptional performance. Whether you’re concerned about privacy, security, or accessing geo-restricted content, SurfShark is a reliable option.

Click here to read our full Surfshark review.

3. NordVPN – User-friendly VPN for Dark Web

best dark web vpn in 2023 - nordvpn

NordVPN is a value-oriented choice for those seeking a more budget-friendly option when SurfShark or ExpressVPN aren’t suitable. NordVPN’s unique selling proposition is its dedication to delivering robust features without compromise.

To elaborate, NordVPN offers an extensive range of choices, particularly considering its affordable price, with a broad network of over 5,000 servers in more than 60 countries.

Moreover, NordVPN provides the capability to block ads and safeguard against harmful malware, ensuring a seamless private browsing experience. With its use of formidable AES-256 encryption, NordVPN emerges as one of the most secure VPN services available, highly resistant to unauthorized access.

With NordVPN, you can rest easy, knowing you are protected against intrusive spyware or malicious hackers trying to exploit your information for illicit purposes. NordVPN’s true excellence, however, lies in its ability to balance speed and security.

While it may not offer the fastest speeds like SurfShark or ExpressVPN, it compensates by providing impressive security measures while still facilitating enjoyable gaming at respectable speeds. Furthermore, NordVPN performs exceptionally well for streaming and other light internet activities.

Click here to read our full NordVPN review.

4. Private Internet Access (PIA)

PIA landing page

Private Internet Access (PIA) has received significant attention and popularity recently, slowly but steadily establishing itself as a leading player in the VPN market. Its stringent no-logs policy competes with the best in the industry, making it a preferred choice.

Moreover, PIA provides seamless compatibility with Tor and even Android devices, ensuring accessibility across all platforms. Like other top-tier VPN services, PIA enables users to enjoy unrestricted access the dark web to blocked content on major streaming services, platforms dark web users and applications while maintaining anonymity.

May we stress once more the strict no-logs policy it adheres to? Besides the already robust security measures in the Tor network, PIA integrates flawlessly with the Tor operating system to ensure your privacy by preventing any potential surveillance.

Additionally, PIA does not retain any internet traffic, or significant data, thereby ensuring that no information is compromised. With this remarkable VPN server, you can comfortably carry out your daily browsing activities without any concerns.

Click here to read our full Private Internet Access review.

5. CyberGhost 

CyberGhost landing page

CyberGhost is a cost-effective and user-friendly option we highly recommend for those seeking a reasonably priced VPN that effectively bypasses geo-restrictions while maintaining fast connection speeds. Also, what sets CyberGhost apart from other providers is its focus on optimizing gaming performance by prioritizing speed.

For gaming activities, it is crucial to minimize latency and pings for a smooth and uninterrupted gameplay experience. Moreover, CyberGhost offers unlimited bandwidth for gaming, ensuring seamless streaming and browsing without buffering or delays.

Click here to read our full CyberGhost review.

Access the Dark Web VPN in 3 Simple Steps

Venturing into the dark web can seem daunting, but using a VPN can simplify the process significantly. Here’s how you can access the dark web safely with a VPN in three simple steps:

  1. Choose a Reliable VPN: After extensive testing, I recommend ExpressVPN for its robust security features and excellent speeds.

  2. Install the VPN: Download and install the VPN softwareon your device. Then connect to one of the VPN servers.

  3. Use Tor: Download and install the Tor browser. Launch Tor while your VPN is running for an additional layer of security. And voila, you’re on the dark web!

How to Choose the Best VPN for Dark Web

In my experience, choosing a VPN for dark web access requires you to consider a few essential factors. These include a strict no-logs policy, strong encryption, a kill switch feature, and reliable performance. Not to forget, you want a VPN that offers excellent customer support, should you run into any trouble.

With this, choosing a VPN for accessing the dark web isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. You should consider factors like:

  • Security Features: Look for VPNs that use strong encryption, offer a kill switch, and provide DNS leak protection.
  • No-Logs Policy: Ensure that the VPN provider does not store any logs of your online activity.
  • Speed and Performance: A VPN that offers fast connection speeds will ensure a smooth browsing experience.
  • Server Network: A wide server network allows you to choose from various locations, increasing your anonymity.

Now, if you’re wondering if you can use a free VPN to access the dark web safely, the answer is yes. However, free VPNs often fall short for dark web users in terms of security, speed, and data allowance. They may also log and sell your data, which defeats the purpose of maintaining anonymity on the dark web.

Benefits of Using a VPN for Dark Web

The dark web isn’t entirely ominous, but it’s the potential risks that call for precautions. In my encounters, I’ve found that a VPN serves as an indispensable tool for safe navigation. A VPN creates an encrypted tunnel for your data, making it unreadable to any would-be snoopers. It also hides your real IP address, making your online actions difficult to track or link to your identity. It’s a necessary layer of protection that shields you from potential threats.

Moreover, a VPN safeguards your anonymity by masking your real IP address and replacing it with one from their server. This means that even if a cybercriminal intercepts your data, they won’t be able to trace it back to you. Furthermore, most top-tier VPNs have a ‘no logs policy’, meaning they don’t store any identifiable information about your online activity.

Without a VPN, your ISP, government agencies, and cybercriminals can track your online activity, intercept your data, and pose risks like identity theft and harassment, even though the dark web itself isn’t illegal.

Surveillance on the Dark Web

Is the dark web being monitored? The answer is yes. Various government agencies and cybercriminals are known to monitor internet traffic on the dark web. Using a VPN can help hide your activities from such entities. Also, without a VPN, your ISP can see that you’re on tor browser using Tor, tor network which is commonly associated with dark web access. However, a VPN hides this information from your ISP.

Dark Web vs Dark Deep

While the dark web VPNs are for the dark and terms are often used interchangeably, they refer to different parts of the internet. The deep web includes all unindexed web pages that aren’t accessible via regular search engines. The dark web, on the other hand, is a subset of the deep web that can only be accessed using special software like Tor.

Troubleshooting Tor Browser Issues

If Tor doesn’t connect, ensure your VPN is running and connected. Try switching VPN servers or resetting your internet connection. If all else fails, reinstalling Tor may resolve the issue. But do note that free VPNs lack the robust and advanced security features often necessary for dark web browsing. They may also log and sell your data, compromising your privacy. Given the risks associated with the dark web, it’s crucial to use a reliable, paid VPN when using Tor.

Methodology: Selecting the Best Dark Web VPN

The methodology involves considering factors like security features, privacy policies, performance, and user reviews. I personally test several VPNs and compare them based on these parameters to recommend the most suitable ones.


As you venture into the dark web, maintaining your online anonymity and security should be your utmost concern. A reliable VPN provides a protective shield against potential threats, offering peace of mind as you navigate the encrypted depths of the internet. From my experience, ExpressVPN and CyberGhost are excellent choices due to their strong security features and dependable performance.

FAQs about Best VPN for Dark Web

Yes, you can, but it’s not recommended due to potential risks to your privacy and security.

Generally, no. Free VPNs often lack the robust security features and policies that paid VPNs provide. From my experience, I would advise against using a free VPN to access the dark web. The security features are generally not robust enough, and the risk of having your data logged and potentially sold is high.

The risks include potential exposure to illegal activities, malware, cybercriminals, and privacy invasion.

Also, it’s trickier to spot malicious websites on the dark web than on the surface web. However, some red flags include suspicious URLs, lack of security measures, and websites asking for personal information.

No, accessing the dark web itself isn’t illegal, but participating in illegal activities on the dark web is.

While a VPN significantly enhances your online privacy and security, it’s not 100% foolproof. It’s essential to engage in safe browsing practices and refrain from sharing personal information.

Yes, the Android app has a built-in VPN client, but it requires manual setup and doesn’t offer the same level of security, privacy, and convenience as a dedicated VPN app.

Compare Our Top 3 VPNs


ExpressVPN horizontal logo

ExpressVPN offers excellent speeds so you can watch your favorite movies and shows on Netflix US, Hulu, Disney+, and other streaming platforms in HD. It’s currently offering a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can try it risk-free. Plus, it works on all popular operating systems and devices, including gaming consoles and routers. And with its excellent security features, you’ll keep all of your data private and your devices safe.

Money-back Guarantee 30 day
Servers / Countries 160 server locations in 94 countries
Kill Switch Yes
Device / License 5
Mobile iOS, Android



Surfshark keeps all your family’s devices protected with a single subscription. Easy to use and has 24/7 live chat support. Best known for its low prices and specialization in leak detection and private search.

Get access to ad-blocking features to get rid of annoying ads and protect yourself from malware and phishing attacks.

Money-back Guarantee 30 day
Servers / Countries 3200+ server locations in 65 countries
Kill Switch Yes
Device / License Unlimited
Mobile iOS, Android


nordvpn logo

NordVPN encyrpts your data with military-grade AES-256 encryption. It is extremely secure and is used by governments and cybersecurity experts around the world.

NordVPN works with streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, and more. This means you can view content that’s available in another region by simply changing your server location.

Money-back Guarantee 30 day
Servers / Countries 5251 server locations in 60 countries
Kill Switch Yes
Device / License 5
Mobile iOS, Android

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