Choose the Best Free VPN Service for Dark Web
Customer’s Choice: the Best Rated Free VPN Services for Dark Web
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First of all, let’s define the terms in this article so that you do not waste time reading what does not meet your expectations, and so that we do not deceive each other and ourselves.
So, you need a tool that will not just hide the traces of your Internet surfing from a jealous spouse, help you watch channels blocked in your region, play a game whose content or name is not liked by some politician, or download torrents bypassing copyright defenders.
I hope you clearly realize that going to the vastness of the Dark Internet, even as an idle observer, you automatically arouse the interest of governmental services that hunt not harmless gamers and pornography watchers but terrorists and state criminals. No, I do not mean at all that you are one of them. But you are interested in accessing the environment in which such individuals often rotate. This means that you automatically find yourself in the field of vision and in the sphere of interests of those whose duty is to chase such persons.
Let’s make things clear
Do I understand everything right? On the one hand, you want to satisfy your curiosity or to get some exact results due to the specific capabilities of the DarkNet, and, on the other hand, you look for an instrument that could protect you from unpleasant, far-reaching consequences? And in order to feel protected, are you ready to trust a free application with a closed (and therefore inaccessible to independent examination for exploits and backdoors) source code, which compensates for its “charity” by displaying advertisements and selling your personal data? Are you serious?
Well, you are adults, and you know what you need. Let’s figure it out then – so that we both – you and I – put the same meaning in the same words: what do we mean when we talk about free VPN programs for safe surfing on the Dark Internet.
You need some kind of filter or browser that will allow you, firstly, to enter the territory of the Dark Internet, and, secondly, to maintain your anonymity as much as the fact of your visit. Until now, have I understood your aspirations correctly?
If so far everything is correct, let’s define what we call “Free VPN software for accessing the Dark Internet”. Is it some kind of application that promises you complete anonymity and at the same time feeds you gigabytes of advertising and, most likely, sells your personal data on the same Darknet? Hope you are looking for something different. In this case, you have two options. The first: you may use trial versions of well-known and respected programs and put up with restrictions on features, traffic volume, and speed. The second: put $15 on a non-collectible deposit and join the 30-day money-back program that is offered by the leaders of the VPN market.
With the first point, everything is clear without explanation. We will definitely talk about such programs in this review. The essence of the second is as follows. The best VPN apps that consistently lead the authoritative ratings, as a rule, do not have a trial period. Instead of the free trial, they offer users to buy a monthly subscription (as a rule, this amount is from $12 to $15) under the condition that if within 30 days you find that this program is not exactly what you would like to buy, your money will be returned. Thus, you can use the best-of-breed VPN solutions endlessly while enjoying guaranteed security and anonymity.
The main thing with this approach is to carefully monitor the calendar and not miss the deadline when you are supposed to declare the termination of the automatic renewal of your subscription.
Now we have put everything on the shelves, it’s time to start reviewing the programs themselves. And it’s up to you to decide which of the proposed options looks more preferable for you.
Before proceeding directly to the recommendations, I consider it necessary to outline the range of parameters that are ultimately important for ensuring user security on the Dark Internet. The programs we are analyzing in this review have many functions designed for a wide variety of tasks. However, in the context of talking about safe surfing in the DarkNet, we are primarily interested in:
- The speed of downloading and uploading files.
- Fast connection to the required servers and reliable connection.
- Traffic encryption methods.
- The presence of Tor and the possibility of its parallel use with VPN.
- Additional security options.
- Trial constraints.
- Subscription price.
Here is a brief description of the programs, the advantages, and the lacks of which we plan to consider below.
- Windscribe VPN. An excellent VPN application that is known for its reliability and plenty of useful options, such as obfuscation, for example. The free version allows users to run all the features, but limits the traffic to two gigabytes per month. However, if you specify a valid e-mail address during registration and confirm it, the monthly quota will increase to 10 GB. This program has one of the highest monthly payments in this roundup. At the same time, Windscribe provides the largest amount of free traffic of all of the programs represented here.
- TunnelBear VPN. The program provides reliable protection but allows you to use only 500 Mb per month. Your monthly traffic can be increased if you tweet a comment about TunnelBear VPN. However, one and a half gigabytes per month will unlikely let you enjoy all the features to the fullest.
- ProtonVPN. An excellent software solution from Switzerland, which also includes an encrypted postal service. Literally created to work in the DarkNet, however, the option to enable Tor, which is required to access the Dark Internet, is available only in the paid version.
- hide.me. The program allows you to choose one of five countries where you are supposedly located. However, 2 GB of traffic per month accessible for you in a free mode could be applicable just for an occasional browsing of sites with no pictures.
- NordVPN. One of the most famous and popular VPN apps. It has an impressive set of features, including Onion Over VPN, a technology that runs onion routing over a secure virtual channel. A feature is invaluable for safe working on the DarkNet. The program does not have a trial period, but on a monthly subscription basis with a 30-day refund guarantee, you can use all of its premium features.
Let’s take a closer look
By registering by mail (you don’t need to provide your real details at all), you get 10 GB of free traffic per month. This is the most generous offer of any shareware VPN.
- Windscribe has a strict no-logs policy. No data about your Internet activity is stored in the program or on its servers.
- The program supports an unlimited number of connections, so you can install it on all your mobile and old devices at the same time without having to log out on one of them in order to use it on the other. The main thing with this approach is not to use all the free traffic in one go.
- WindscribeVPN supports obfuscation (also available in the free version), which allows you to hide the fact that you are using a VPN. This is relevant not only for deceiving officials in those countries where the use of VPN is prohibited but also in case of reaching sites that block users who surf, being protected with a virtual private network. The Stealth and WStunnel protocols are responsible for the implementation of this technology in WindscribeVPN.
- Instead of must-have a kill-switch function that immediately disconnects the Internet connection in the event of a VPN loss, Windscribe uses a firewall. According to the developers, this is a more reliable and flexible approach. When using a firewall, Windscribe interrupts only those connections that went through the VPN, all other programs running on the open Internet continue to work as before.
- WindscribeVPN works on all operating systems.
- WindscribeVPN’s speed is hardly high. This is understandable if we take into account that the program has only 110 servers located in 60 countries. When connected via WindscribeVPN, the speed drops to 39 percent. However, even high-ranked programs with a much more extensive server network often show similar results during tests.
- Static IP addresses are only available in the paid version.
- WindscribeVPN is registered in Canada. This country is part of the so-called “Five Eyes Alliance”. This fact leaves cause for concern regarding your surfing data if the special services of the states belonging to the alliance show interest in your person.
- Extremely high price. If you subscribe for 12 months, you will have to pay $4.08 monthly.
Simple, intuitive interface.
- The free version of TunnelBear VPN includes kill switch (in this program it is called VigilantBear) and obfuscation (here it is named GhostBear).
- The program does not keep any logs.
- The main disadvantage of TunnelBear VPN is the scanty traffic volume in the free version. This fact cannot but make this program an outsider in our review of free VPN solutions.
All software from the developers of ProtonVPN is open source, which allows any independent expert to check it for reliability and backdoors.
- The program is registered in Switzerland – a country with such strict legislation regarding the protection of other people’s secrets that hackers themselves use applications developed there.
- If you are already registered with the secure mail service ProtonMail, you just need to log into the VPN with your mail account to access the free version of the virtual personal network.
- The free version of ProtonVPN has no bandwidth limits and does not show ads.
- Although ProtonVPN has a Tor over VPN option, it is not available in the free version. This makes it pointless to use ProtonVPN (at least until you pay for a subscription) on the Dark Internet, since the entire network is based on the Tor protocols.
hide.me guarantees fast performance and the same high resiliency.
- In addition to the mandatory kill switch feature for programs of this kind, hide.me has a very interesting privacy check option that allows you to check how you appear to an outside observer when protected by hide.me VPN.</li
- hide.me guarantees a 30-day refund. This means that although the tiny traffic available in the free version makes it completely pointless to use, you can enjoy all the premium features of the program if allow it to use your money in the amount of $12.95 during a month.
- Ridiculous traffic volume in the free version.
- The vast majority of truly effective features are available only for subscribers.
NordVPN has a huge server network (5,255 servers, 59 countries) and has remained one of the fastest VPN apps on the market for the last few years.
- NordVPN provides users with a static IP at no additional cost.
- Filtration of malware and unwanted ads. The basic configuration of this feature is based on updating black and white lists. The user can make changes to them both manually and automatically.
- Onion over VPN
- The split tunneling option allows you to use the program protecting only certain applications and operations on the user’s computer. At the same time, applications that do not need such protection can work in parallel with NordVPN on the open Internet without speed limits.
- NordVPN is a multi-platform program and supports all operating systems with no exception.
- The monthly subscription is $11.76 per month. If you subscribe for three years, the monthly payment is reduced to $2.99. You can receive a full refund if you declare your intention before the 30-day deadline.
- NordVPN charges extra fees for using Static IP.
- The split tunneling function is available only in Android.
- Subscription cost after applying the discount could be more affordable.
In order to decide which of the two options suggested at the beginning of this article is more preferable for you, it is worth answering a couple of questions yourself.
- Why (or, rather, what for) are you going to the Dark Internet?
- How much time are you going to spend there and how regular will these visits be?
- What exactly are you going to do there?
- Is the cost of a preferential subscription or a non-combustible deposit (if you choose to use the full version of the program with a mandatory 30-day refund) comparable to your need for a VPN specifically for visits to the Dark Web?
Forewarned is forearmed
Keep in mind that the situation with the Dark Internet is more than ambiguous. On the one hand, just the fact of your excursion tour there cannot be considered a crime or even an offense by any legislation.
On the other hand, as mentioned above, the Dark Web, precisely because of its marginality, is indeed a kind of beneficial environment for illegal (and often outright criminal) activities. It is no coincidence that literally on the start page of any search engine in this network, you will see offers to buy drugs, weapons, child pornography.
It is only natural that the governmental services in different countries try, as far as possible, to proactively monitor the users of this network. And it doesn’t matter that along with drug dealers and arms traders on the Dark Internet you can find independent journalists, social activists, and nonconformists of all colors and shades. With your frequent visits to the Darknet, you can merely attract the extra attention of people, a closer acquaintance with whom, believe me, will not give you much pleasure.
Since the Dark Internet was initially based on onion routing technology (that is why the addresses there contain the word “onion”), in order, like Alice, to get Through the Looking Glass, you just need to use the Tor browser, which is initially configured for such surfing. You will see what this Dark Realm is like without any VPN tricks.
If you don’t register anywhere, leaving your personal data, if you don’t download any applications to your computer, and if your device has a good antivirus, then the possibility of contracting some infection embodied in a malicious script or becoming a victim of phishing is, in principle, no higher than a chance to get the same result when you carelessly surf on sun-drenched waves of the Global Web.
You might be surprised to find out that the Tor system and the tools that are based on it, in particular the Tor browser, are not nearly as impregnable as people think they are. No, do not think bad, the system itself is just wonderful! However, the most vulnerable place in any digital fortress is its inhabitant itself. For example, did you know that in order to prevent you from being tracked and identified in an indirect way, you should never go through Tor to the same resources that you usually go to without it? That, being protected by Tor, you cannot use Google search and any tools and services of this company (by the way, do you know all of them for sure?)?
I’m not talking about logging into social networks from the Tor browser using the same username that you usually use, without any disguise. I believe you know all this without my reminding.
In short, if you know exactly why you need the Dark Web if you are not going there just for a stroll, then, I’m afraid, just the Tor browser will not be enough for you. In this case, your interest in VPN technologies is definitely justified.
So, take a mental look at the list of tasks that you are going to solve with the little help of your friends from the Dark Side. Think about it, is it possible to do the same on the regular Internet? Just take into consideration that due to the Tor technology, the Darknet has never been known as Speedy Gonzales. Add to this the slowdown due to the enabled VPN, which most likely has the Onion over VPN option on, and you will recall, not once or twice, a turtle or a snail.
Therefore, if, for example, you just want to download something via a torrent client, then most likely you will need a VPN, but all other layers of masking will be not just unnecessary but even hindering. In addition, firstly, not all VPN applications reviewed in this article support the p2p protocol, and secondly, imagine what download speed you will get in the end, even if you are lucky enough to find in the Dark Internet something that is impossible to receive from more familiar places!
The next question is: how often and for how long are you going to disappear, falling into the Dark Internet?
If all you need in the Darknet is to read the news that you cannot find on the Light Side and chat on forums with such nonconformists as you are, you should be satisfied with the shareware version of Windscribe, TunnelBear, or hide.me with their limited traffic. After all, what’s stopping you from registering in each of these programs (including ProtonVPN, which can be used in conjunction with the Tor browser), and switching between them when the monthly limit on the next application runs out?
Well, in the end, the last question: is what you are going to purchase on the Dark Internet (it does not have to be something tangible) worth the cost of acquiring a full-fledged VPN? Let’s be honest: even four dollars a month is not an amount that can be called huge with a clear conscience. Moreover, there are enough applications on the VPN solutions market that offer much more attractive tariff plans. For example, Surfshark VPN.
Try to figure out these questions, download the Tor browser and go to the Darknet from it, look, maybe this forbidden fruit is not at all what was drawn in your imagination? And if you still think that you need a VPN, let’s briefly summarize what we revealed about the programs from this review.
Useful Video: Best and free VPN for TOR Browsing
If you are hard as stone in the decision not to spend a dime, but understand that the amount of secure traffic that TunnelBear, ProtonVPN and hide.me offer is sheer mockery, then the free version of Windscribe would be the most logical choice. Just do not forget to fulfill the necessary condition to get 10 GB per month. At the same time, as I said above, you can easily register with TunnelBear, ProtonVPN, and hide.me services – just to have their aggregate five and a half gigabytes as a reserve.
If you can still pull out $12 from the budget (do not forget, you will get this money back in a month), then I would suggest you subscribe to NordVPN for a month. Run the great program with all its premium features and decide if you need such a tool. Probably, you might like to use this kind of multi-layered protection, and the only thing that gets annoying is the price? Well, everything is as easy as shelling pears: get back the money you paid for a month of working with NordVPN, and immediately subscribe – for two or three years. Look at this pricing once more:
- 36 months – $2.99 per month
- 24 months – $3.92 per month
- 12 months – $6.88 per month
- 1 month – $11.76 per month
Or (personally, I would do just that) take your twelve dollars and try another highly-rated program in the same way.
If you have already decided that you are ready to pay some reasonable amount monthly for reliable protection and all that remains is to choose an exact application, such a scheme will help you to try out everything that is on the market and choose exactly what has been done especially for you.