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Dark Web VPN: Best VPN for Dark & Deep Web

The dark web is a place where you wouldn’t want to venture without a secure VPN provider. That’s because there, countless cybercriminals lurk in wait for victims.

Moreover, it’s illegal to browse many darknet sites in a lot of counties. Hence, you’ll need a VPN to hide your IP address to prevent the local authorities from discovering what you are doing and your whereabouts.

In this guide, I’ll discuss all the reasons to use a dark web VPN. On top of that, I’m also going to teach you how to use a dark web VPN service. However, before anything else, I would like to have an in-depth discussion about three providers that are great choices for the dark web.


What Are The Best VPNs For The Dark Web In 2022?

1. ExpressVPN



Privacy & Security: The privacy and safety of its users are ExpressVPN’s foremost priority.

This is evident in the fact that it maintains a zero-logs policy alongside a RAM-based network made up of more than 3000 servers. Besides that, the VPN also has itself independently audited on an annual basis to prove its trustworthiness.

ExpressVPN encrypts all of your web traffic using AES-256 technology, which is the same tech used by many of the world’s militaries and financial institutions.

In addition, it supports a plethora of VPN protocols. The most interesting among these protocols is Lightway - a secure WireGuard alternative that was developed by ExpressVPN.

Another thing going for ExpressVPN is its applications. You see, they’re incredibly easy to use and configure thanks to their wonderfully-crafted interfaces. Also, every one of them is a breeze to download and install.

Sadly, the people behind ExpressVPN haven’t done much to equip their VPN with lots of unique features. Aside from Lightway, the provider doesn’t have anything else to offer. None of its apps are equipped with an ad & malware blocker. The VPN’s app for iOS is not built with a kill switch.

Unblocking & Speed Capabilities: You shall have no problem getting into otherwise restricted darknet websites using ExpressVPN. That’s because its servers are great at hiding your IP address. In fact, during testing, the provider never failed to mask my real IP address.

With ExpressVPN, you’ll even get to access the dark web in places where it’s nearly impossible to do so. Through testing, we have confirmed that the provider can circumvent China's Great Firewall. As such, there are zero reasons to believe that it can’t get around similar systems.

Speed is easily one of ExpressVPN’s primary strengths. It’s so fast that many experts claim that it is the world’s quickest VPN solution. Although we don’t believe this is true, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to smoothly navigate the dark web while connected to the provider’s servers.

Because they’re so fast, the servers of ExpressVPN are able to facilitate streaming and online gaming sessions that are free of buffering or lag.

Also, the provider can allow you to finish downloading all kinds of content in no time, which is great news for frequent torrenters.

One more thing that’s worth mentioning is that ExpressVPN sometimes manages to escape the bandwidth allocation limits that your ISP might have imposed. I say sometimes because there’s  no guarantee that the provider will make your internet faster.

Pricing: It’s no secret that ExpressVPN is more expensive than many of its competitors. Be that as it may, we assure you that you’ll be getting your full money’s worth after buying the provider.

A 1-month ExpressVPN subscription costs $12.95. You can make payments using a variety of means, including Bitcoin. Last but not least, all transactions with ExpressVPN come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, making getting a refund super easy.


2. NordVPN

NordVPN screenshot


Privacy & Security: NordVPN is a superb VPN for the dark web because it’s very secure.

The provider has the largest RAM-based server network of any VPN. Alongside that, it boasts a concrete no-logs policy and is based in Panama, which is a VPN-friendly country. There, it can operate without the threat of interference from any of the world’s major surveillance alliances.

Given that it’s a premium VPN, it shouldn’t surprise you that NordVPN uses AES-256 encryption and supports many protocols. It even has a proprietary protocol called NordLynx. This VPN protocol is based upon WireGuard, and therefore, is very fast as well as secure.

NordVPN has applications for all leading operating systems. For that reason, you may use the provider to access the dark web safely on a wide range of devices.

Each one of NordVPN’s apps is so user-friendly that anyone can appreciate them. Even older folks and children are sure to not have any issues with mastering them.

Features aren’t something that NordVPN lacks. All of its applications have a built-in kill switch and ad & malware blocker. More importantly, they’ve got Onion Over VPN - a feature that optimizes NordVPN for the Tor Browser, which is the go-to browser for the dark web.

Unblocking & Speed Capabilities: Gaining access to darknet websites is easy with the help of NordVPN. Why? Its servers excel at hiding your IP address and tricking censorship systems. It’s well-known that they’re even capable of circumventing the Great Firewall, which isn’t something that many VPN servers can do.

And if you’re wondering, NordVPN has always worked flawlessly with us. It never failed to hide my IP address, which is something that can’t be said for many of the provider’s competitors.

NordVPN’s servers are also blazingly-fast. My internet speeds always remained decent and steady during my time with them. On a few occasions, my connection even improved as NordVPN was successfully able to get me off ISP-imposed bandwidth throttling.

Thanks to its stellar speed capabilities, NordVPN does not bog down your dark web browsing experience. When using it, it’s almost sure that you won’t be stuck on pages stuck loading or suffering from perpetually-long downloading times.

Pricing: NordVPN is a premium VPN that doesn’t have premium rates. It will only run you back a mere $11.95. Furthermore, it’s even possible to get an even lower price by using a coupon.

Payments to NordVPN can be made using credit cards, debit cards, and cryptocurrencies. No matter what method you utilize, you’ll still be entitled to a refund after your purchase. That’s because of NordVPN’s current 30-day money-back guarantee policy for all purchases.


3. Surfshark

Surfshark screenshot


Privacy & Security: Your safety and anonymity on the dark web are certain with Surfshark.

It’s one of the latest VPNs to adopt RAM-based servers for its entire network. Moreover, it’s also among the few providers to have a zero-logging policy that’s independently audited on a regular basis. For that reason, there’s no reason to doubt that your data will remain safe with Surfshark.

Surfshark uses AES-256 encryption. Aside from that, it supports every VPN protocol that you’d want to use. However, unlike ExpressVPN and NordVPN, Surfshark has not yet developed any proprietary protocols. Due to that, your best VPN protocol option for the provider is WireGuard.

Among Surfshark’s greatest strengths are its applications. Each one of them is surprisingly very aesthetically-pleasing and easy to get around.

Surfshark has a lot of security features. With all subscriptions, you’ll be getting your standard kill switch and ad & malware blocker. You may pay an additional add-on fee if you wish to utilize the provider’s special offerings, which include a search engine and hacking alert system.

It would be wrong to talk about Surfshark’s security and not mention that it supports unlimited simultaneous device connections. That’s right. With one account, you may safeguard all your devices and those of your loved ones too.

Unblocking & Speed Capabilities: You can access practically any darknet website using the network of Surfshark. It’s even possible to bypass the Great Firewall of China and other censorship systems with the provider. That means it’s a great option for travelers.

Another great thing about Surfshark is that it’s one of the fastest VPNs around. Whenever we used it, our connection remained quick and steady. As a result, we were able to surf the dark web smoothly. In addition, it was also possible for us to stream media and download torrents without any hiccups whatsoever.

Surfshark can escape the bandwidth throttling that was established by your ISP to prevent network overloading. Needless to say, it can’t do this with certainty like other VPNs.

Pricing: Value for money is something that you’ll definitely be getting with Surfshark.

After all, it allows for unlimited simultaneous connections and has so much more to offer besides that. For a basic 1-month subscription to the provider, all you’ll need to spend is $12.95.

Surfshark allows you to make payments using a myriad of methods. This includes crypto, which is great as you may buy the provider anonymously. Finally, one last thing to know about the provider is that it too maintains a concrete 30-day money-back guarantee policy.


What Is The Dark & Deep Web?


The dark web and deep web are synonymous terms that refer to the parts of the internet that exist on darknets.

Darknets are overlay networks that you can’t access without special software, configurations, or authorizations. Via the dark web/net, computer networks can communicate and do business anonymously which is why it's frequently used for crime.

You may find almost anything on the dark web. Nowadays though, community forums, social media platforms, illegal marketplaces, and porn sites are the most common types of content you’ll find on it.

Unlike the clearnet, the dark web is not as heavily policed. Due to that, it has become a place wherein cybercriminals thrive. As a matter of fact, it has become so dangerous experts say it should not be accessed without protection under any circumstance.


Why Use A VPN For The Dark Web?

  • Fortify Your Digital Security

The primary reason why you’d want to use a VPN for the dark web is to stay safe. As mentioned earlier, the dark web is a very dangerous place because it’s a hotbed for cybercriminals. There, you can get scammed, hacked, spied upon, or even targeted for a real-world heinous crime.

Another thing to know is that it’s illegal to access much of the dark web’s contents in many of the world’s jurisdictions. Hence, when accessing it, you will need to use a VPN to anonymize you and stop government monitors from finding out that you are browsing prohibited content.

  • Unblock Restricted Content

Nearly all of the dark web’s content is restricted.

To access some of it, you can use a VPN that will change your IP address and fool censorship systems. With that being said, not all providers can successfully overcome geo-restrictions with consistency. As such, it’s very important to read the reviews of the VPN that you plan on getting.

  • Increase Web Connection Speeds

The Tor Browser is the most common browser used to access the dark web. It works in such a way that it protects you but also badly slows down your internet connection. Because of that, accessing the dark web always calls for you to have decent web connection speeds.

Unfortunately, VPN providers are notorious for slowing down the base internet speeds of their users. However, unbeknownst to many, a handful of providers can actually import web connection speeds by escaping your ISP’s secret bandwidth allocation limits.


How To Use A VPN For The Dark Web

Follow the steps mentioned below to use your dark web VPN:

  • Get Yourself A VPN

The first thing you should do is get a VPN.

Since you’ll be using it to access the dark web, it’s imperative that you get a capable VPN. Stay away from ultra budget-friendly or free options because they’re unlikely to meet your needs.

For your guaranteed safety, we highly recommend that you settle on any of the three VPNs that we talked about earlier. It is sure that none of them will let you down since they’ve all got excellent unblocking, speed, and security capabilities.

  • Install It

After getting a VPN for the dark web, you should install its application. Doing this is very easy and it takes less than five minutes tops. The only thing you shall need to do is download your VPN’s app and then initiate the installation procedure that will from thereon go forward 100% automatically.

  • Pair With A Server

Open your provider’s app and then pair with a server.

If you don’t know what server to pick, go with the one that’s suggested by your VPN. It will likely be the nearest major available server relative to your location, making it the best choice for both speed and security.

  • Activate Your VPN’s Kill Switch

Don’t head over to the dark web just yet. Before doing so, you’ll need to activate your VPN’s kill switch feature. Never forget to do this as it’s essential to your online privacy and security.

A kill switch is an essential VPN security feature. To put it simply, it acts as a safety net that prevents accidental online exposure. The feature works by eliminating your device’s web connection in the event that its connection to your VPN’s server becomes compromised.

  • Start Browsing The Dark Web

Upon finishing all the aforementioned steps, you’ll finally be ready to start browsing the dark web. To do this, simply open the Tor Browser then paste your .onion link to the search bar.

Remain connected to your VPN at all times while accessing the dark web. That way, you may guarantee your privacy and security at all times. There’ll be no avenue for malicious parties to exploit in order to harass you.


How We Ranked These VPNs For The Dark Web

Ranking the best VPNs for the dark web wasn’t an easy task.

For starters, we had to do a lot of research to narrow down our options. Once we had our solid candidates, a myriad of tests was performed to gauge their performance. After that, we compared their prices to determine which VPN provided the best monetary value.

By: Erwin Caniba
Eric is the co-founder of VPNOnline. He has been an avid user of VPNs since 2012. He has tested all of the major VPN providers and shares his findings on this website. Follow Eric on Facebook.