Home » Jolly Roger’s Security Guide for Beginners » COMBINING TOR WITH A VPN
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Welcome back readers!

Today I want to talk about a greatly debated topic.

Should I use a VPN with TOR?
Should I use TOR to connect to a VPN, or use a VPN to connect to TOR?

>>>Be sure to use a VPN with Tor. Click here for the best VPN’s<<<

Let me say first of all, that when you are browsing the internet without TOR, you should probably be using a VPN regardless of whether or not you are using TOR. And make sure that the VPN uses some form of encryption as well. For those of you who are very beginner, think about when you connect to a public wifi network at a coffee shop, or an airport and you get all these warnings that your requests sent over this network are vulernable.

All networks, but especially public wifi networks are vulnerable to traffic analysis. Put this together with the fact that some internet service providers monitor your activity to some level, and you can see why it might be a good idea to always use an encrypted method of using the internet. At the very least to protect your personal information when you are entering credit cards, usernames and passwords, as well as other personal data online. Again, especially if you are using a public wifi network.

Choosing a VPN that uses at least 128 bit encryption like TOR is good practice, and will stop the majority of eavesdroppers. But if you can get 256 bit encryption, you are even safer. Before we get into whether or not we should be using a VPN together with TOR, I want to give you a few warnings regarding how you should be using a VPN.

If you are going to be using a VPN for any type of freedom fighting, make damn sure that your VPN does not keep logs. This is actually a lot harder than you might think. Many VPN providers will claim to not keep logs of your activity in order to gain you as a customer, because they have to compete with the other providers out there. Customers are going to trend towards providers who offer no identifying data retention. Unfortunately, this claim of theirs is not always the real case and I will give you an example.

There is a well known VPN provider named HideMyAss that previously claimed not to keep logs of its users. Unfortunately, when met with a court order from their government in the UK, they handed over evidence of a suspected hacker from an internet group LulzSec which helped lead to his arrest. The story can be found below.


One of the take home quotes from this article is the following.


We are not intimidated by the US government as some are claiming, we are simply complying with our countries legal system to avoid being potentially shut down and prosecuted ourselves.

A very smart man that goes by the online handle The Grugq, said when doing your freedom fighting online that nobody is going to go to jail for you, and he is 100% correct. When it comes down to it, no VPN provider is going to risk jail to protect a $20 a month subscriber. No matter how tough they sound, no matter how much they claim to care about protecting their customers, when faced with a choice to give you up or go to jail, they will always choose freedom.

Another thing to consider however, is using a VPN does hide your internet activity from your internet service provider. It can also hide the fact that you are using TOR, which may flag some suspicion when the feds start asking ISPs to provide data about their users. This may or may not be relevant, since many people use TOR and you can argue there are many legitimate reasons to use TOR and nothing suspicious about TOR. But it is just another factor to arouse suspicion that may or may not come into play and should be considered.

If you choose to use TOR over a VPN, the benefits are that you would be again, hiding from your ISP the fact that you are using TOR. Also, your VPN would only be able to see that you are connecting to TOR nodes and that you are sending encrypted data. The VPN would not be able to see what data you are sending over TOR unless they decrypted it, because remember, all information relayed over TOR is encrypted.

The downsides of course, as mentioned are that VPN providers may or may not log everything that you do in the form of meta data or even content if they have the storage capacity, and keep those logs on hand for a long time. In this case, it is no better than connecting to TOR through an ISP. Another thing to mention to those who will use VPNs when not using TOR, but also use VPNs when using TOR is remember when you are, and are not connected to your VPN. Sometimes VPNs can unexpectedly drop connections and you may not even be aware of it. If the reason you are using a VPN is to hide TOR activity from your ISP, then if your VPN drops, your ISP will start seeing your TOR traffic instead.

Or, maybe you forget that you are connected to your VPN and end up punching in your address on Google Maps to find directions somewhere. Well guess what Google does with all data entered into their system? They keep it. And they likely keep it indefinitely. So if one day the NSA identifies you on the TOR network by occupying a large number of nodes and using traffic analysis to identify you based on statistical analysis, it will link them to your VPN IP address.

At this point, they will likely ask the VPN to turn over data on their users, but if the VPN refuses to comply because they are not subject to US law, or the laws of other countries, they may check some of the big surveillance websites out there to see if you slipped up and used that IP address for anything else online. They will check logs from Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix and other big data collection companies to see who has been using that IP address to connect to their servers.

If you accidentally punched in your address on Google when connected to that VPN, you are now a suspect. So always keep things like this in mind. Just because you are covered behind a VPN does not mean you are not traceable by human error. The benefits of TOR, are that you get a new identity every time you connect. This may or may not be the case with your VPN, so please check and make sure.

Next post we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of using TOR to connect to a VPN.


  1. The order in which you start Tor and a VPN does not really matter. You will always wind up using Tor over VPN unless you are using a VPN that supports connection by the proper SOCKS proxy. Tor over VPN does conceal your Tor usage from your ISP however.

    If you want to use a VPN over Tor to hide your IP from the VPN you need to use a VPN like AirVPN which provides the option from user control panel to connect to the VPN by SOCKS proxy.

    • Jeff

      I was testing out using a vpn with tor and when I connected to certain deep web sites , my vpn repeated disconnected me , only from certain sites , I tested it out several times , and each time I hit those sites , the vpn disconnected . Something funny is going on .

      • Jeffery

        That is rather disturbing! Which VPN service are you using? I’m sure other readers will be grateful to know!

      • Gomera

        Is it possible that you are getting connected to malicious exit nodes that are trying to get your real identity? have you tried – airvpn or bolehvpn ?

    • VT

      Isn’t SOCKS just a handshaking protocol though that exchanges certificates between the two connections to validate the connection? I’m still a noob, but that’s my understanding of it. I was using SOCKS until I learned about IP binding. That way if your connection from that IP drops there is no IP leak

  2. bobby christmas

    Your ISP will only see you are connected to the VPN, the VPN will only see you are connected to Tor Network; this is good if you would like to hide the use of Tor from your ISP.

    I would suggest using VPN to connect to Tor browser bundle, the browser bundle includes NoScript and HTTPS-Everywhere extension.

    However as this article states don’t incriminate yourselves by inputting any data that could reveal personal information or data about yourself.

    Always use fictitious names as identities and never use a username twice.

    • James Madison

      you say don’t username twice …. do have to re register everytime to visit a feq visited site ? don’t really understand. thank you

      • No, what he meant was never to register with the same username in two different services because if you did something really terrible/stupid (like doxing an undercover fed), then feds could potentially link two accounts by username and IP address.

        • Mike

          I will use my password manager to generate and save both, password and password-username. Both are arbitrary and just a long string to uniquely identify a user. If i have to use a password manager anyway, why not randomize usernames, too?

          Username: Jid-9HX_iS
          Password: _C3fHx62-Z

          • Jid-9HX_iS

            Good idea actually!

            Do you use password manager with Tor Browser?
            Do you have a fake instance of your password manager account (Just for fake identity)?

            • Networks

              Go by u a cell phone with cash that has hot spot capabilities pre paid a solar powered charger and external batteries purchase a good vpn that encrypts WiFi for the phone then stash that phone off your property where ever your Neighbors tree roof a top of some building anywhere but your own property then go buy you a cheap laptop with a good Wi-Fi and if the Wi-Fi won’t reach where you hid the phone then go purchase a cheap Wi-Fi satellite place the VPN and tor browser on your laptop connect to the prepaid phone that you bought with cash untraceable have your Wi-Fi Internet service encrypted before you receive itAnd as it exits your computer have your computer set up with a nuke that if the wrong password is entered so many times it wipes your computer now you don’t have to worry about isp if they get suspicious so what they have to locate the phone that’s completely severed from your social life that’s down the street somewhere bought buy cash you lose your connection your alerted burn the lap top clean house rule 1 never connect your true Identity to any device that is used
              Rule two Disable any camera or or built-in microphone on any device intended for use
              Rule 3 every electronic must be purchased with cash preferably by someone else brand new never opened And when Opened never connect it to any isp source that is connected directly to you Or loved one friend family or associates OLNY CONNECT IT TO THE ENCRYPED SORCE THAT IS PAID BY CASH AS EXPLAINED ABOVE security costs more why take a chance of a vpn dropping and your true identity Revealed why not take a little time and create and buy your own identity if the vpn fails so what they have to find the phone first if they find the phone then they have to crack the phone to find a encrypted WiFi to crack to find a server in Amsterdam that’s ended by a tor node as long as you don’t shit where u lay your head meaning use the address where your lap top is I’ll bet my left nut that they will be stonewalled at the phone a iPhone is best for this because you can set them up to wipe after three failed log in attempts and please make shut u leave no fingerprints on the phone or vacuum seal you used to make your phone waterproof with the solar panels covering phone connected or external batteries as long as your phone don’t consume more juice that your external batteries put out and your solar panels charge your external batteries faster than your phone consumes power you should never have to worry about a reset in less the sun gets blocked for days on end this set up is by no way perfect but it’s a dam shur safer way than a isp plan connected to your whole existence I found that the solar powered method can be tricky to get to work right always test it before stashing your hotspot but as for people with apartments this setup works perfect with connected attic space you just go as far as possible away from your attic and hot wire the phone charger into some random guys power and stash it in the insulation whatever y’all get the drift by now be safe and to all the naysayers they are the one who want you slip by not implementing extra security

        • joey98

          Random username will actually make you more identifiable. You will be less identifiable by using common usernames with a number at the end, like joey98.

  3. How do I confirm my data data passes through VPN first before it enters the first Tor entry server?

    While using VPN alone, I can go to a webstie to display my IP, so that I know when I have switched VPN of or not. I can even watch switching between my real IP and the VPN IP back and forth.

    The same is with Tor alone, opening the IP reporting webpage within Tor reveals a Tor exit node IP, ipening it within a browser outside the Tor browser, I see my real ISP IP.

    But if I combine VPN + Tor, then only what I can do is to confirm my Tor exit node IP address with the IP reporting page within Tor, or the VPN IP address, if the IP reporting page is called from another browther outside Tor. But how do I know, that the first Tor entry node does see my VPN IP and not my real IP address? Is there a function in Tor to let the first Tor node report me back what IP of myself it sees?

  4. Well in case you want to confirm that data is going through vpn don’t connect to tor. Do a test run, see what’s your ip and that’s it.
    After that connect to tor and do another run, you should now have another ip different from the one you had with vpn.

  5. I don’t know if it is or is not possible, but when i read all the different articles i would prefer the following:

    You -> VPN (startNode) -> Tor -> VPN (exitNode) -> Internet

    Will this work, and if, how?

  6. I prefer to keep a browser open on just the vpn that can be used to run web apps then using the tor browser seperately but simultaneously. All of your tor communications will be wrapped in an encrypted vpn out of the country (korea in the current instance) then through the tor network which plops my location right around cordinates 0,0. This is nice because the little korean network enthusiast who set up a freevpn to grab personal information only sees encrypted tor traffic (and unencrypted fettish porn :), my service provider only has the encrypted vpn traffic and I can constatly monitor both connections. I am still vulnerable to the exit node but if that is cracked it still tracks back to korea.

  7. oh and mike your idea on entering the tor network from a far off location will work just fine. All you need to do is get a shell on the machine that you want to run from then control it remotely, lol

  8. freemindfreeworld

    “The VPN would not be able to see what data you are sending over TOR unless they decrypted it, because remember, all information relayed over TOR is encrypted.”
    This is not entirely correct because the exit node can see plain text data: invisibler.com/tor-faq

    • He configured the VPN to run over Tor (User – VPN – Tor – Web) so the VPN is connected to the entry node.

      • goober

        a lot of curious and great comments in this thread . I would like to know the best way to connect / use the net ( tor network ) and also how i would configure it to do so . I am also curious on thought’s of torguard.net VPN service , is this a good company ? is it compatible with TOR network? the agent didn’t give a definite answer and also .. curious if anyone knows if they truly do not keep logs or not .. some say they don’t but then when the big guys come knocking .. here you go sir . Thanks everyone , little bit behind here .. trying to learn every day any chance i get and keep up! freedom supporter and anon supporter here !

      • goober

        Will someone please make this simple? provide straight to the point , easy to follow information? if you have links as well , throw it up . I will just go ahead and assume VPN + TOR is much better than one alone ( 2 heads are better than 1 ) only contradict me with genuine motive and not just because you love debating . Now .. in august / sept 2015 depending when you see this post .. what is the best VPN service to use with TOR regardless of the cost .. if you need that much privacy you shouldn’t question the price . Also .. what is the best way to use TOR + VPN .. if any configs need to be done , explain . What else will us noobs need .. tails seems good .. boot into tails , connect to VPN then TOR or whatever the instructions are LET US KNOW . If there is anything else you want to clear up like VMs / virtual machines .. some opsec failures or anything for being anonymous when the big guys / feds come knocking .. include . Thank you for your time in advance ! people forget alot of us reading havent mastered and do not understand all this when they start typing . We can not boost our community without making it simple and straight forward for our users to be safe and secure thus being on the network long term and helping us all , giving motive to donate etc. thank you.

        • Great post. You have the same questions a lot of us moons have.

        • Mike Jones

          Thank you! Finally. We’re all not mad hatters some of us are new to the game or simply just don’t like the man lol watching our every move. I believe if you know how to do something and you believe nobody should be monitored help us not be monitored by simple instructions. I’m not being cocky I’m sincerely asking for help.

        • Justin

          Fantastic post brother thank you!
          Another example is that very often, users will type something like “connect to tor over a VPN (or vice versa).”

          I personally don’t know what that means exactly, and I’m sure that many other noobs dont – or worse – incorrectly believe they do.

          – I dont think this is the case, but “connect tor over a vpn” might easily be misconstrued as suggesting the user “connects to tor PREFERENTIALLY/ INSTEAD OF a VPN.”
          Similarly to how one might say “If you weigh the options and decide that you prefer traveling using your own car over the train…”
          In that case, the train is not involved at all. Again I doubt people will think that, but I’m just seeking clarity.

          Further, what does it mean: “tor over VPN?”

          Does it mean simply that you boot up your computer, log into your VPN provider (does this now cover ALL traffic via all browsers etc going through that machine?) AND THEN log into the tor network?
          Or vice versa (log into tor, and then into your VPN?), or something completely different?

          If we’re using tails, how should a VPN be incorporated?
          If tails is on a thumb drive, I would imagine that the VPN will need to be kept in persistent storage, correct?

          When the vpn is activated, how does it involve itself with an already running tails?
          Also: tails can run without connecting to the tor network, SHOULD the VPN be activated first or after tor connection?

          Lastly, I personally use nordvpn. It offers it’s own option for “tor over VPN,”Double vpn” “Bridges” “Obsfcation” etc…

          Any chance that anyone has answers to even just any given question? I apologize for the lengthy post. But I recall there existing a little rhyme about 10 years ago. I dont recall which was which, nor the rhyming words, but it was SOMETHING like this:
          “Tor over VPN? > You’ll be alright my friend! But a VPN over Tor? > Bring police to your door”

          Then again, it could have just as easily been: “VPN over Tor? > Now you’ll worry no more! But Tor over VPN? > Sends a man to the ‘PEN'[itentiary]”

          Obviously that’s assuming you’re doing something illegal. But the point was (and I dont know if this was true) that one of them was basically useless. And… OF COURSE… I don’t have a clue which was which lol.

  9. Write about necessity of encrypting traffic…
    …on a site that completely blows up when entered via https.

  10. OpenVPN doesn’t give – I can’t find- any data on it’s several software packages such as Red Hat, Fedora, and so on. How do I know which to download; what is the function of each of them?

    • RedHat and Fedora are linux distributions, they are the names of different operating systems (like Windows 10, or OS X for MAC users).

      If you are on android you can download OpenVPN from either the play store or F-droid (the free open source software version of the playstore).

      If you are on Linux (for example Ubuntu) – choose the package for your distribution (e.g OpenVPN Ubuntu)

  11. If I am constantly connected to a vpn+ tor, how come I don’t receive alerts that some in, say, Holland is on my Facebook or in my email? Aren’t sites like gmail supposed to alert you if you are supposedly accessing it from a different location?

    • sebastian

      using google and Tor together completely eliminates the point of Tor.

      • Phoenix

        What browser should I use with Tor instead of google? Also, if I’m understanding this, I don’t need a VPN with Tor on my Mac?

        • Geff

          Tor is a browser and it is the browser to use to be anonymous

        • You are correct, you don’t need a VPN with Tor. Tor provides good anonymity on it’s own. In fact, if you are using Tor through VPN:
          PC -> VPN -> Tor -> VPN -> Internet
          then you are showing your VPN all your network traffic. Do you trust your VPN provider?

          If you wanted better anonymity you may consider PC -> Tor -> VPN however this may require you to buy more hardware (such as a raspberry pi or router).

          What would SIGNIFICANTLY improve your anonymity is to change your browsing habits:
          1. Use the Tor browser, download here: https://www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html#downloads

          2. Use encrypted email (protonmail or tutanota)

          3. Ensure you always use a non-tracking search engine (e.g duckduckgo.com)

  12. So do you guys think i can work around some of these issues if i use tails system on top of all this. Or does it only help me on my own computer? Really hope for a reply

  13. @Yea:
    Keeping multiple browsers open while using Tor is one of the things you really do NOT want to do. You even should stay away from multiple Tabs if you really want to be as safe as possible.

    Concerning this whole topic:
    I don’t know if that’s the more “secure” way to go, but my setup looks like this: I’m running Backtrack/Win7/Linux in a VM and have therefore multiple virtual network adapters installed, which share the connection with the host system. The first thing after booting my OS is auto-connect to a VPN, and then I’m running TOR inside the guest machine.

    One last important thing to do is to setup a fake mac adress and change this from time to time.


  14. oneuglymotherfucker

    Hello guys,

    First thx for all this tutorials about tor security and stuff.
    You don’t imagine all information we have to search and learn for us(noobs :)” This is why this site is cool.Lot of documentation is available with few work of search.And is really a gain of time.

    “Keeping multiple browsers open while using Tor is one of the things you really do NOT want to do. You even should stay away from multiple Tabs if you really want to be as safe as possible.”

    For how reason keep some other browser open while im on tor brother can be not good??Is a problem about anonimity or other else?

    • I just had TorB and Chrome browsers open at same time. NoScript alerted me that Chrome tried to intercept a search I did through TorB!

      • You’re using a google browser. What do you expect. I know Crome is trendy atm but seriously at least use Chromium (The fully open source browser Google uses as a base to add all its tracking shit too).

  15. merci mon ami

  16. I would like to know what the BEST paid or FREE it doesn’t matter VPN software for OSX that I can run the VPN and then run the T.O.R browser bundle and be as anymous as possible. I have done hours of research and it seems everyone had their own opinion. I am a senior network engineer for a large company and it is my job to find a solution that integrates T.O.R with a rock solid VPN. Not that anything is for illegal reasons, but I need something so secure that anything illegal would not be detected nor logged, Any assistance will result in $10.00 in Bitcoin as that is what I an authorized to pay for advice. Please email me as i do not have time to check forums, Thank you.

    • Doe

      AirVPN is probably one of the best VPNs around as it allows for Tor usage over VPN as well as SSH/SSL tunneling, although it’s slightly more expensive than other VPN services.

  17. I’d probably look at something like IP Vanish if you want to run third party VPN software on OSX: ipvanish.com/software/

  18. it is now quite easy to get tor-integrated VPN with services like Privatoria privatoria.net/blog/tor-through-vpn/

  19. reading this i still dont understand, should i use both a vpn and tor when on the deep web or should i use only tor

  20. i do not see my comments posting ? so ill re do this Will someone please make this simple? provide straight to the point , easy to follow information? if you have links as well , throw it up . I will just go ahead and assume VPN + TOR is much better than one alone ( 2 heads are better than 1 ) only contradict me with genuine motive and not just because you love debating . Now .. in august / sept 2015 depending when you see this post .. what is the best VPN service to use with TOR regardless of the cost .. if you need that much privacy you shouldn’t question the price . Also .. what is the best way to use TOR + VPN .. if any configs need to be done , explain . What else will us noobs need .. tails seems good .. boot into tails , connect to VPN then TOR or whatever the instructions are LET US KNOW . If there is anything else you want to clear up like VMs / virtual machines .. some opsec failures or anything for being anonymous when the big guys / feds come knocking .. include . Thank you for your time in advance ! people forget alot of us reading havent mastered and do not understand all this when they start typing . We can not boost our community without making it simple and straight forward for our users to be safe and secure thus being on the network long term and helping us all , giving motive to donate etc. thank you.


      i tell you
      1 buy a good vpn service that you trust and dont keep logs
      2 boot in tails
      3 configure vpn
      4 use tor
      p.s. a small story after 11/9 the intelegent services had to take all internet under control and prevent terrors before only in first level of preparation in the time that someone search the info how to create a terror a bomb are something else .
      due to a huge traffic it was impossible to analyze all that in right time so tools like tails was created that they have straight the right interested i mean info.
      coming direct from tails are other simulare os.

  21. @GOOBER Monetary incentive is something I take seriously. I can teach you if you are willing, still looking and want the help of a qualified, certified, educated and working in the field of Security dealing with issues like this are second hand nature to me.

    When we are done you shall have your answers.,You shall run an hardened SElinux distro that is removable and quickly destroyed. You will know how to manage persona and what that means in the Markets context. Further it will be fun, user friendly and I am a phenomenal teacher so no issues there. Reply and let me know. Then we go from there.

  22. In my opinion using TOR together with VPN is dangerous, since as article mentions, VPN provider can store all traffic, then if someone would really need then can put a lot of effort to decrypt the conten later on. So by hiding from ISP that we are using TOR by using VPN we kinda save our traffic on the VPN side. But if we would use only TOR and showing to our ISP we are uing TOR, our traffic would disappear on majority of nodes (only some goverment nodes could save pratial data, yet it is not sure)

  23. First of all don’t use Chrome Browser !!! Use some striped down browser that don’t leak ID from/to and the best way would be 3 way tunel VPN with country selection TOR routed trough and inside TOR another VPN through which then routed browser or vice versa !!! You can even use some proxy on top of your browser too !!! And for god sake don’t use MS OS for that purpose !!! The best way to stay Anonymous is not to use internet at all !!!

  24. Your ISP lead to you. Your VPN either lead to you or does not. VPN is chance to be run by people you don’t want to be looking at your connection. More added, more problem.

    Tor + other browser bad. Flash + plugins easy way to hack you. This why tor does not allow. Don’t stupid add flash plugin or search.

    Like me hack this shit

  25. Need To Understand more!

    What I really need, and ideally anyone needs surely is user> VPN> Tor> VPN again> website

    So that is TWO vpns or a VPN you can access twice. So that is 1.) To stop your isp and other undesireables from knowing that you are using tor 2.) To stop anyone at the other end knowing you are using tor. So that is if a website blocks tor exit nodes, or puts those infuriating captcha screens up to block access you can get around that too.

    Both of these needs are essential in this day and age it seems to me so how can this be done. Whats the quickest/easiest/fastest way to specify traffic to go through a vpn after tor for one vpn and before tor for another? Also who the hell wants to be accessing a website through a tor exit node?! Wont the exit node/ip be a massive target for surveillance or hacking?! If you are not connecting through https to your destination site than can’t anyone see everything you are doing at the other end?! Or does using just ONE VPN at the beginning get around this problem because it encrypts all the traffic end to end? OR does that vary on the vpn as to whether it is end to end or not? Is tor end to end encryption or just end to exit node? Ideally I would like to also run through Tor TWICE in series also, maybe through a raspberry pi which is setup to route all ingoing and outgoing traffic through Tor. Then if your computer is hacked and used to try and identify your real ip, it’s actually only identifying another tor ip address! lol – Is it practial or possible to have all that at once?! So that TWO vpns and TWO Tor cycles in one connection!

    And finally I can never actually understand properly how this encryption is any good when someone could easily just intercept the keys along the way. Isn’t it like shouting to the other end over an unencrypted network, “HEY, THIS IS MY PASSOWORD XYZ, NOW LETS TALK ENCRYPTED” – By which point anyone watching or listening then KNOWS the god damn password and can unencrypt the traffic!! lol. How else can it be encrypted in the first place?! – IT seems so stupid! lol. Am I right in thinking in technical terms this would actually be a MITM attack? SO how to we protect against a MITMA? The only extremely reliable solution I’ve ever thought of is to physically send the other end a password beforehand either in person or the mail. But that is often impractical. These seem like basic flaws with these systems to me, yet I hardly ever see anyone break it down in to laymens terms like I have just there and explain it properly. I cannot understand why more people don’t bring up that issue. Clarity and advice Appreciated on all or any that! Thanks

  26. I think I just ended my VPN/TOR options before they began.

    While reading this site, I made the error of logging into a forum that I’ve used in the past (before I had TOR and VPN). So, technically, someone could connect those dots, yes?

    Does that mean I’m basically SOL on using these setups until I move to a new ISP?

  27. Many, many people would love to be online anonymously. However for the most of them it’s just to difficult to realize a full proof implementation. So what we really need is a (cheap)easy all-in one-stop-shop solution.


      No. “All-in-one” is a cop-out for lazy people who don’t want to take the time to learn. Security, ease-of-use and configurability exist as opposite points on a compass. When you move toward any of these points, you’re moving away from the others. Security is tedious to set up, and requires ongoing maintenance. Furthermore, it requires you to re-learn browsing habits. Paying a stranger to give you the easy answers without understanding the why’s and how’s of what you are doing basically negates the whole point of encryption and isolation in the first place. Read about various popular encryption algorithms (RSA, SHA, etc0. Read about local proxies like Tor, Freenet, Gnunet, i2p and JonDoNym. ABANDON WINDOWS! Yes, Linux is more challenging, but the move to a *nix OS is worth it – not only in terms of security, but stability and configurability as well.

  28. A lot of good comments concerning the use of TOR with a VPN. Having said that I think that there is way too much paranoia and conspiracy fears surrounding this issue. I see a lot of people concerned about their ISP’s detecting TOR usage, but as of this writing TOR is still not illegal to use. If you think every underpaid government user is using TOR to view the latest Obama speech, you’re mistaken. They are looking at their catfish sex fetish sites in the privacy of their dark cubicle. I’m not downplaying the importance of safe browsing, but don’t become a tin hat-wearing, underwear-clad basement dwelling equivalent of Dale Gribble. Just keep using the best-in-class of anonymity programs like TOR, I2P, TAILS, VPN etc. to wipe out your footprints and you should be fine. Cops still prefer the low-hanging fruit of clearnet – it’s easier.

  29. My PC always has a bunch of services running in the background/system tray like OneDrive, Mega, Carbonite etc. Do those pose any risks leaving them running while using VPN and/or TOR?

  30. Can someone recommend a VPN provider for using Tor?

  31. I have a VPN… I use TOR… I read almost all of the comments… MY HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE!!!!

  32. I have a VPN… I use TOR… I read almost all of the comments… MY HEAD IS GOING TO EXPLODE!!!!

    The VPN I use is from Giganews.com called VyprVPN. You can choose from 4 protocols to use…

    1. Chameleon Technology (TM) – 256 bit encryption which uses unmodified OpenVPN 256 to mask VPN traffic so it cannot be identified as a VPN connection so it won’t be blocked. Uses a specific port. It says it great for people getting blocked in countries like China.

    2. OpenVPN 256 or 160 bit encryption. Uses a specific port (Best for performance)

    3. L2TP/IPsec – 256 bit encryption (Better than PPTP but slower because of 256 bit encryption)

    4. PPTP 128 bit encryption – Supplies basic security and is faster because of it being only 128 bit.

    They have their own DNS servers (VyperDNS) and they say they DO NOT keep logs. They use DNS Leak Prevention to prevent windows from leaking your IP address by using another DNS server, such as your ISP’s DNS server, when connected to VyprVPN.

    So, is there any conclusion as to if it’s better to use TOR over VPN, VPN over TOR, or should I just shoot myself in the head… :) If one way is better, could anyone give me an idea as to how I would configure it..?

    Thanks for all the good information.. I’m a bit new to TOR and VPN’s so be gentle.. :)

    • GunSlinger

      If you want to hide your Tor use from your ISP then use a VPN. OpenVPN256 would be most secure by most accounts.

      If you want to hide your VPN use from your ISP (With Tor inside it) Use the Chameleon Tech.

      VPN inside Tor would have very specific applications.

      Typically people Hide Tor within a VPN Tunnel because ISPs (like Comcast/TimeWarner/AT&T) dont like it and it can be used to identify you using traffic correlation depending on circumstances. An example would be the Harvard kid that used Tor to send in a Bomb threat to the school. Problem was, he was the only house in the state at the time using the Tor network.

      • Hi Gunslinger… Do you know how they saw his Internet traffic to begin with..?? I’m referring to your example in your reply to my question..

        You said.. “An example would be the Harvard kid that used Tor to send in a Bomb threat to the school. Problem was, he was the only house in the state at the time using the Tor network.”

        How could anyone tell that he was the only one in the state using the Tor network.. I thought that Tor makes a path before actually making an Internet connection, so nobody can tell where the connection is actually originating..?

        Thanks for any information that you can give me. I’m just trying to understand how they could connect him to the only connection in the state using the Tor network..

        • he should’ve used a bridge.

        • Anonymous

          “I’m just trying to understand how they could connect him to the only connection in the state using the Tor network..”

          It’s just process of elimination. Presumably the bomb threat was from someone who didn’t want to take their final or something, therefore they can assume it was coming from nearby. If there was only one nearby TOR connection at the same instant that email was sent, then they can’t see what the TOR connection is up to, but they can pretty much assume that it was the same person who sent the email. Just judging by the timing and proximity. I think there are probably many people using TOR at any given time in a whole state. But the way I heard the story, it was the only TOR connection on the campus internet, so it was already quite narrowed down for them. And they love these dumbass easy catches, because every time they parade the story around as if TOR has no value anymore. Sometimes they even claim to have unmasked someone through TOR when in fact the user just did something stupid and gave themselves away. They do everything they can to make TOR look like it doesn’t work anymore. But still, it’s important to take every precaution you can, because chances are you’re also a dumbass that will slip up on some level of security at some point. We’re all human, we’re all dumbasses.

    • VyprVPN doesn’t allow P2P-trafic (not a problem if not into torrenting) BUT what is very alarming is that they DO save logs for 30 days. Wouldn’t trust too much on them.

  33. Hi
    That’s a very interesting subject. My head is also ready to explode. I am not such a Tor geek.
    To securized a home network, is it not good enough to configure a home router to connect to a VPN ? And then, if you connect to TOR, you get automatically a TOR over VPN connection. In this case, I guess your computer even don’t know your real IP since the VPN connection is done by the router (no risk of IP leaking I guess). I am right ?

    • GunSlinger

      For your described setup you would be effectively hiding your Tor use from your ISP by filtering all traffic connected to that router through the VPN. What you do on Tor would be hidden from your ISP as well as your VPN provider. The VPN provider would however be able to see you are using Tor.

      You would not be totally hidden however if you at any point connect to the internet, and check your gmail for instance, while not connected to the VPN & Tor. Once you do that, your MAC address and home external IP is now logged and connected to something that can be linked to you. When that same mac address is found on Tor, a little old fashioned police work can link that back to you.

      Proper OpSec congruent to your threat model is far more important than whether or not you use 128 or 256bit encryption on your vpn tunnel as some other posts seem concerned with.

  34. vladimir putin fawkes

    I really dont have time to fucking kid with you assholes TOR is using NSA satillites to connect you through a so called anonymous relay now thats fucking fine but ever since HILLARY has shown up you guys are all fucked on TOR the pedo sites have been all taken down there are no more arms trading going on becuase the NSA routing sattilites are ALL BEING TAPPED BY THE NSA ASSHOLES AND HILLARY OWNS THE NSA NOT THE CIA THATS THE KGB AND THEY USE RUSSAIN DECOMMISIONED SOLORIS COMPATIBLE SATTiLITES now if you tor from that then I have put a NASTY MALWARE OUT that frys NSA AIROOTKITS I hate to boohaa the tor but even lucky says it being tracked by HILLARY right now be fucking really careful assholes and see you on NOV 5th when I take out the problem head on not like TRUMPY and his gay bitch play mobile toy soldiers either I have Konstantine and Chen Li in the US right now doing a 20 Million bitcoin bounty job for me I wonder who the unlucky fucker is and shit I hate to be walking around on NOV 5th witha target on my back

  35. I use Nordvpn which has a server option of Tor over VPN. is this safe to use as the tor and vpn are with the same company and if I then use Tor browser would this complicate my data and leave it vulnerable of make it more secure. I’m not that worried because my set up is so that no one else could hack my details when I shop etc and not for any illegal activity.

  36. You seem too sure in your last 2 lines Papa_K. I’d say there is no absolute certainty if you ask me.

  37. From what I’m reading, the cleanest way to set up your Tor usage is to move to a new place, set up your new ISP, and never us it with anything other than a Tor browser, correct?

    Is there a way to have multiple ISPs in one place, so you can have a “normal” internet (for guests and phone) and another ISP solely for Tor?

  38. Does it compromise privacy to have my computer set to send email and calendar reminders while I am connected through a vpn and using the tor browser for other things?

  39. “No matter how tough they sound, no matter how much they claim to care about protecting their customers, when faced with a choice to give you up or go to jail, they will always choose freedom.”

    Their own, I’d like to add.

  40. Is their any kind of “pre-configured” router you can buy to plug ur current router in to manage all this stuff for everyone who diesbt know how to do the tech savvy vpn/Tor/tail etc?

    Would be nice if someone released a black box u could plug into tat covers ur azz no matter wot u do online???

    • kendemned

      Ok aside from
      Tat, just a basic question! If I wanna browse the deep/dark web (just look) is Tor/VPN enough to protect me from invaders hacking or exposing my ip / identity?

      appreciate the feed back as I have spent weeks trying to google info, reading blogs comments etc. I dun wanna buy stuff but curious to look. I just wanna know how to protect myself from being attackef whilst browsing !!

    • Mr.Serious

      All modern routers have VPN settings in their admin panel! And it is easy to set up. Just boy VPN, download openVPN configs and google how to set up your router

  41. Hey friends,

    So, a lot of content to take in on this page, i figured id just ask. If I was curious in making a ‘probable’ one time purchase on Tor, is it really necessary to get a VPN? I live in Canada and i’m quite sure our laws are regulated/monitored quite differently than USA. Isn’t my IP only at ‘risk’ of getting looked into while i’m browsing the ‘isles’ so-to-speak? What are the possible ramifications otherwise? I’m sure this is a vague question and there’s probably lots to say from this post, so shoot away, please. Id like to know. Thanks.
    Peace and love, strangers.

    • Mr.Serious

      Hello, Chaneor. It’s better for you to use VPN-TOR-VPN with virtualbox. This way will save you from DNS leaks! Also don’t forget to buy VPN only with bitcoins (btc). You can buy it at localbitcoins.com . Then you should mix your bitcoins at mixing service such as btcshade.io in order to hide your purchase by blockchain monitoring. And don’t forget to use IPs of countries that have conflict relations between each other such as Russia(first VPN) and America (second VPN).

      • If I wanna hide myself from the internet, i can do it without tor or vpn. correct me if I’m wrong.
        i almost kill my eyes reading this thread out of curiousity. i never used a vpn or tor, but i downloaded several times then uninstall it because of very slow browsing. i never intend to hide from the shadows of the internet but hey, why dont you opt out from your isp so no eyes are watching your every move and then purchase a prepaid broadband with prepaid simcards. Its available anywhere just search for it. If you really want to be anonymous, opt out from isp, stop using social medias. just use tor alone, create an email via tor, dont mention anything related to the real you. Purchase a separate device that will only be used for tor. i hope u can get what i mean. even kids can think about this. dont make life harder to hide via vpn because if you’re connected to an isp, why trust vpn, they log ur info. to is enough.

  42. Could someone please assist how it is possible to run a specific vpn server as an exit node while having tor over vpn configured?

  43. Do you launch the VPN first or .tor then VPN over .onion tor option in nord?

  44. To use broadband Wouldn’t you just have to get a pre paid smart phone and enable hotspot when you wanted to use tor then connect your PC,laptop, or whatever else to it.

  45. Actually you could run VPN > TOR > VPN and use prepaid broadband.

    Also I feel like if you’re using a VPN anyway you could just go to a Coffee shop, motel, fast food joint, or any other place with open networks and just connect there. Not only will it not be traceable to you through the network but you can also put the VPN to work protecting you from malicious coffee shop data thieves. ;)

  46. I think using TOR by its self is the best option considering that if you used a VPN or Proxy (that 9/10 times will log your data) you would defeat the point of trying to be anon with tor. If all of your data is pretty much put into a nice cute little organized pile just waiting for someone like the government to read through, well lets just say that makes things a lot easier for them and a lot harder for you.

  47. So what would be a good way to use features like google maps for directions while maintaining privacy? While I typically use my phone for directions to keep my computer clear I’m curious if there’s a way to utilize some features that may capture IP data without it being back traced. Like, should I disconnect from my VPN and use the google maps and then log back into my VPN after I clear the page? My VPN allows me to connect to many different servers. Should I use one specific one when I need directional or “location” based information and another for my other internet traffic?

    You mentioned also that even if a company says they don’t keep records they could very well be doing it so how can we find out if the company we’re using keeps any kind of records or logs or tracks us?

    • Okay so I’m trying to figure this all out….
      I just purchased a VPN but have been with my current ISP for years. Obviously I know they can see the fact that I’m using a VPN. I have the VPN on my phone and then on my computers at home.
      Since I did not have a VPN before and I have entered personal information in the past, does my ISP now associate that information with my VPN?
      Also, if I happen to enter personal info while using my VPN, then I can’t use that VPN along with TOR to explore the dark web because I’m at risk? Is this correct???
      Is it possible to purchase 2 different VPN services and use one for normal everyday stuff and then login to another to use TOR and explore the dark web??

  48. Sound like tor and vpn is almost useless today for anonymity :/

  49. All ‘no logs’ VPN providers DO actually keep logs, people involved with Lizard Squad got caught this way. Tor is compromise via correlation attacks + fake hidden services and all VPN providers are honeypots, online and real world anonymity is dead.

  50. How about setting up a WiMax antenna crack the wifi pass and use tor?

  51. It’s so frustrating when you’re trying to find an answer in tech forums. People don’t seem to write bullet points for clarity, eg:

    To use a VPN over Tor, you follow these steps:

    – step one
    – step two
    – step three

    You also have another option:

    – step one
    – step two etc….

    Instead people write roundabout mini-essays with suppositions and off-topic thoughts.

    I just had to write that somewhere …. it’s a constant irritation to have to decode all this nonsensical text uuugh.

  52. Hi All,

    Using TOR Browser within a VPN is probably the best option when you want to hide your TOR use from your provider.
    But.. Never trust a commercial VPN provider! Most are forced by local law (retention laws) to log and keep their logs for some period of time.
    There is NO safer VPN than your OWN VPN! On a managed VPS for example.
    There is a company which allows all protocols on their VPS’s together with 2.5 TB bandwidth, and an OpenVPN configuration script inluded.
    Does $54 a year sounds much for your own unlogged VPN you can run your TOR Browser connection inside?
    Bitcoins are accepted of course.

    Stay safe out there.

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