Best VPN for Browsing Dark Web Safely in 2021
The dark web is one of the most “hidden” areas of the Internet. For the average person, they know the Internet as a single entity. People jump on Facebook, go on Reddit and visit their favorite websites while not realizing that the dark web is also running parallel.
Browsing this part of the Internet can be dangerous, but why? It’s because most of it is hidden from your average person because they’re not indexed on Bing or Google – you know, the easiest way to find sites.
And you can’t just go into your normal browser (well, at least most of them) to browse the dark web.
When you access the dark web, you might find yourself on pages that are:
- Promoting illegal activity
- Selling guns and drugs
- Containing other illegal content
And while there are hackers selling people’s stolen data, drug sales and even darker content, there’s also a lot of content that is perfectly legal. Uncensored news, libraries, forums and many other forms of content are also available.
Accessing this content safely can be difficult, but it’s possible if you know how to protect yourself.
VPNs Add Security When Using the Dark Web
The dark web often leads you down a rabbit hole of online content that can be nefarious, or it can be perfectly legal to explore. But when you’re using the dark web, your ISP is still tracking you.
If you land on a page selling drugs or guns, the ISP doesn’t care that you honestly didn’t know where the link would lead.
A VPN adds an extra layer of security to ensure that when you browse a page, you’re not being tracked. If you remember the days of AOL and chatrooms where you would click on a download and it would be something completely random and not related to what the person said it was, this is the kind of activity that could get you in trouble today.
Using a VPN will help to protect you in numerous ways:
- Security: A VPN masks your identity because you’ll be connecting to a remote server that is related to you or your IP address. Since your IP is masked, you can safely visit some of the dark web sites without worrying about being tracked or a hacker blackmailing you because you visited one of the darkest places online.
- Encryption: Data sent and received through the VPN will be encrypted, so you never need to worry about your data being intercepted by a third-party. The additional layer of security offered by the VPN also ensures that your ISP can’t track or trace what you’re doing online.
- Access: Using the dark web often requires you to use Tor, which is highly secure in itself. But due to the security of the Tor browser, there are a lot of countries that have blocked the browser’s usage. You can overcome these restrictions using a VPN from another location from around the world.
A VPN helps you:
- Cover your tracks online
- Overcome censorship
- Access the dark web safely
Tips for Using the Dark Web Safely
You can, and should, use a VPN to add security to your dark web browsing activities. But there are additional steps that you can take to properly use the dark web without opening yourself up to massive risks in the process.
While you’re on the deep web and trying to avoid ending up in the pits of the dark web, you should take additional methods to protect yourself, including but not limited to:
- Installing and keeping your antivirus program up-to-date
- Keeping your operating system updated
- Keeping Tor and your VPN updated
- Don’t download anything unless you know what you’re downloading
- Don’t purchase anything illicit
If you have to provide your email address, phone number or credit card details for anything, be very careful about the information you provide. It’s better to use a non-identifying email address to keep your dark web and regular web activities separate.
You can also purchase gift cards instead of using your credit card for purchases on the dark web.
It’s pertinent that you keep your personal details 100% off of the dark web, even if you’re not doing anything illegal.
What the Best VPN for Browsing the Dark Web Safely?
You can choose from a wide range of VPNs to use to browse the dark web, but some are more secure than others. The goal is to choose a VPN that doesn’t hold logs, offers encryption (most do) and has decent speeds.
You probably don’t have to be as concerned about the total number of servers or countries that the VPN is located in because your sole purpose is using the dark web.
The leading VPNs that we recommend for use on the dark web are:
ExpressVPN has top-tier compatibility, security, speed and performance. The VPN has 3,000 servers in some 94 countries, the app is super easy to use, and there’s also top-notch DNS leak protection for added security.
With the best security protocols available, ExpressVPN is one of the best VPNs for use when using the dark web.
Click here to read our full review of ExpressVPN.
PIA doesn’t log your information or activity. They have over 35,000 servers, and you can use 10 connections at one time. Speeds seem to be so-so, with most users losing about 50% of their normal speeds when using PIA, but aside from this complaint and a lack of a free trial, it’s a good choice for using the deep web.
Click here to read our full review of Private Internet Access.
NordVPN is in our top 5 best VPNs, with over 5,000 servers and the option to use a double VPN for added security. The one downside is that the servers are often overloaded, so they may be slower than you would expect from a top-tier VPN.
But with one of the best encryption options and a great user interface, NordVPN is a service to consider for using the dark web.
Click here to read out full review of NordVPN.
The dark web has a lot of great content, and even if you’re just curious and want to check out what all the hype is about, we recommend using a VPN for added safety.
Want to find the best VPN for the dark web?
Click here to see our list of the best VPNs for the dark web.