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How to access to Tor network using Proton VPN

Proton VPN offers a Tor over VPN feature that lets you connect to the Tor anonymity network, including .onion websites (the “darkweb”) in your regular browser without the need to download or install additional software (such as Tor Browser). 

Learn more about why use Tor over VPN

Tor over VPN is a premium feature available to everyone on a paid Proton VPN plan. If you are on a free plan and would like to access this feature, you can upgrade.

[Get Proton VPN Plus]

In this article, we explain how to connect to the Tor network with Proton VPN using our Tor over VPN feature on all supported platforms. 

In general, however, the instructions are very simple:

1. Connect to one of our Tor servers

2. And you’re done! Your internet traffic will now be automatically routed through the Tor network and you can connect to .onion sites using your regular browser.

Note: Tor only supports TCP traffic. UDP traffic cannot be routed through Tor nodes. This does not affect OpenVPN UDP and WireGuard UDP conections, as its only the contents of the VPN tunnel that are routed throught the Tor network (not the VPN tunnel itself). 

Additionally, ICMP traffic like ping, is also not routed through Tor. However, ICMP traffic does pass through the VPN server, which prevents it from revealing your true IP address.


By default, Firefox on most platforms blocks onion connections. However, on desktop versions of Firefox (Windows, macOS, and Linux), it’s easy to change this setting:

  1. In the Firefox address bar, type about:config and press <enter>
  2. Click Accept the Risk and Continue
  3. Type network.dns.blockDotOnion in the search bar
  4. Click the Toggle icon to change the value to false
How to enable Tor onion sites on Firefox

This also works on Firefox Beta for testers on Android, as it allows you to configure the browser using about:config. However, it is not available on the release version of Firefox for Android.

Firefox on iOS and iPadOS connects to onion sites with no issue and without the need for any additional configuration. 

Proton VPN’s Tor servers 

Proton VPN runs a network of Tor servers in many countries around the world. These route connections from the VPN server to the Tor network, and can be easily identified in two ways:

  1. Tor server names have the suffix -TOR. For Example, FR#13-TOR in France, and HK#27-TOR in Hong Kong.
  2. Tor servers are marked with an onion icon in all our apps except the Linux CLI. (Tor was originally an acronym for The Onion Router, an allusion to its multiple layers of encryption). 

To make it easier to find Tor servers, every country that offers one or more Tor servers is also marked with an onion icon. 

How to identify Tor servers in Proton VPN apps

Please be aware that using the Tor network is very slow compared to using a regular VPN server. This is because the Tor network is able to afford the security and anonymity it does by routing connections through at least three random volunteer-run “nodes” that can each be located anywhere in the world.At each node, your connection is re-encrypted.

You should therefore only connect to a Tor server if you require a very high level of anonymity or you wish to connect to an onion site.

How to connect to onion websites

Onion websites are also known as Tor websites or, more properly, as Tor Onion Services. They are also often referred to as “the dark web” (there are other dark webs, but onion sites make up the vast majority of dark web websites).   

Onion websites are simply websites that can only be accessed when you’re connected to the Tor network. Instead of the more familiar top-level domains (TLD), such as .com, .org, or country-specific TLDs (like or .fr), Tor websites use the special .onion TLD. 

For example, the Proton Tor website has the URL: https://protonmailrmez3lotccipshtkleegetolb73fuirgj7r4o4vfu7ozyd.onion.

To connect to an onion website using ProtonVPN, connect to a Tor server using our app, then simply visit the .onion URL in your regular browser. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our list of best onion sites on the dark web.

How to connect to Tor using Proton VPN


1. Open the Proton VPN app and connect to one of our Tor servers.

Connect to Tor servers on Windows

2. You are now connected to the Tor network. To test this, open your browser and visit any onion website (if using Firefox, please enable access to onion sites). 

Visiting an onion site in your browser on Edge in Windows


There is an issue on macOS (and iOS/iPadOS) that prevents connections to onion sites unless the kill switch is enabled.

1. . Open the Proton VPN app and go to Kill switch tabKill switch On.

Enable the kill switch on macOS

2. Switch back to the Countries tab and connect to one of our Tor servers.

Connect to Tor servers on macOS

3. You are now connected to the Tor network. To test this, open your browser and visit any onion website (if using Firefox, please enable access to onion sites).

Visiting an onion site in Safari on macOS

Android and Chromebook

1. Open the Proton VPN app and connect to one of our Tor servers.

Connect to Tor servers on Android

2. You are now connected to the Tor network. To test this, open your browser and visit any onion website. Please note that Firefox for Android doesn’t resolve onion links correctly, so use another browser, such as Chrome, Brave, or Edge.

Visiting an onion site in Chrome on Android

iOS and iPadOS

There is an issue on iOS and iPadOS (and also macOS) that prevents connections to onion sites unless the kill switch is enabled.

1. Open the Proton VPN app, go to Settings and toggle the Kill switch button on.

Enable the kill switch on iOS

2. Switch back to the Countries tab and connect to one of our Tor servers.

Connect to Tor servers on iOS

3. You are now connected to the Tor network. To test this, open your browser and visit any onion website. 

Visiting an onion site in Safari on iOS


1. Open the Proton VPN app and connect to one of our Tor servers.

Connect to Tor servers on Linux

2. You are now connected to the Tor network. To test this, open your browser and visit any onion website  (if using Firefox, please enable access to onion sites). 

Visiting an onion site in Firefox on Linux

Linux CLI

1. Open a terminal window and run protonvpn-cli c.

2. Select a Tor server → OK (you can connect using UDP or TCP, although in most cases we recommend using the faster UDP).

Connect to Tor servers using the Linux CLI

3. You are now connected to the Tor network. To test this, open your browser and visit any onion website.

Visiting an onion site in Firefox on Linux

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  1. Eve Hunt

    I really appreciate this post. I¡¦ve been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again

  2. jane

    so when I am connected to a tor server, onion urls still fail to load, even after following the above instructions,
    not even the duckduckgo onion will load, and ive never seen that down

  3. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Jane. Please contact our customer support team about this issue since we need more details and information.

  4. Hi

    In firefox, should network.http.referer.hideOnionSource also be set to true?

  5. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello. No it should not be changed and left on false.

  6. taylor

    Can you describe what the connection would look like when connected to a Tor VPN and also using the Tor browser? I’m trying to figure out if there might be advantages / disadvantages in terms of speed / anonymity or if it’s effectively the same.

  7. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Taylor. Its pretty simple, our TOR over VPN would go trough VPN server first and then 3 random TOR nodes. Using TOR browser on top of that, you would go trough 6 random tor nodes, that would leave you like ultimately anonymous but the speeds would decrease drastically.

  8. Atom

    Hi, if I use your free VPN and Tor browser installed on my PC, do I get same result as described in this post? And if I first start Tor and then/ VPN, what is the difference, I don’t understand this? Also, I belive I will upgrade to paid verision in the near future. Thanks for your service.

  9. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Atom, Yes, you do get the same results, since you are using the TOR network on top of the VPN connection. (no matter if you turn on the vpn later on) You achieve the same results as with the Tor over VPN server, you get your whole network under VPN and then the browser goes trough tor network. (in this case, only the browser goes trough it, but with our servers over TOR, all pc traffic would go trough it)

  10. George

    Isnt Secure Core or multi-hop the same as TOR over VPN?

  11. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello. No its not the same to be short. Secure core connects you trough two VPN servers and then reaches the internet. Tor over VPN will connect you to the vpn server first and then a random TOR node to reach the internet.

  12. Nagendranath

    I went to the website of Macy’s store using the Swiss connection and they showed all the prices in CH currency. Does this mean they see only your server ISP ?

  13. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello. That means your location is determined by your IP if there are no location services on, so that being you connected to the Swiss server will result in Swiss prices on the websites, because they only see your IP.

  14. KT

    Hi. When using a Tor Proton VPN connection, I encounter sites like that block all Tor traffic. Is Proton VPN working on a solution like vpn to tor to vpn to help address this problem? From what i have read a couple of other vpn providers have solutions like this since they not only increase anonymity but also address the blocking of Tor traffic. Thanks.

  15. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello, Currently we do not have any plans for triple connection methods as vpn over TOR is already really slow and adding another layer of VPN will make the connection crawl if not load pages at all, especially when visiting onion websites. So for now, we do not have a solution for that, terribly sorry about it.

  16. Joey

    I have the firefox quantum and I changed the browser like the instructions stated and changed the VPN to a tor server but it still does not let me access .onion sites. Also on a related subject what is more private using secure core w tor browser or using a tor server w tor browser?

  17. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Joy, first you need to make sure that the onion site that you are trying to reach is active via that link as links change. Second, its up to you to decide. Secure core with tor browser would bounce through 2 VPN servers and then exit trough random node. As in Tor server + tor browser, you would bounce through 1 vpn server then two Tor nodes. So which one you feel is more comforting, ether more tor nodes or more vpn servers, its for you to decide.

  18. Joey

    Thanks for the response but the new Quantum Firefox does not access .onion sites. I have formatted it like the instructions on this site state and I have checked several .onion sites on tor so I know they are active and I even checked proton’s .onion site and no go for the firefox quantum browser. Any thoughts?

  19. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Joey, sadly for now we cannot provide any deep insights in to this issue what could be causing it, but most of the times its a browser limitation, if it works with one, for example chrome, then it has to work with other browsers too, but if it doesnt, then its a browser limitation.

  20. blue

    I have a question using the ProtonVPN app for Android in conjunction with TOR. As I understand from the above information, the ProtonVPN utilizes TOR natively by default as all traffic is sent from the VPN servers to TOR then back out, is this true in the Android client as well? I’m curious because I cannot find an option to connect to TOR services in the Android app through the below instructions which I think only pertain to the PC or MAC client.

    The ProtonVPN server network include nodes which are set up to reroute entire connections through the Tor network. These servers are designated with a “TOR” in their server names, examples include US#12-TOR, HK#5-TOR and CH#9-TOR. See here for a complete list of servers.

    Users simply need to connect to one of these servers on their preferred devices. To get started and set up on your device of choice, see our step-by-step guides for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, or iOS.

    Once set up, users simply connect to one of the Tor servers as usual. For example in the native ProtonVPN clients, in the country list on the left, simply go to the country with a Tor server and click connect, wait for it to connect and you’re done.

  21. ProtonVPN Team

    The asnwer is Yes, android users can connect to TOR servers too. When you have opened the app in front of you with the server list, scroll down and search for the country that has Onion logo near it , that means it has TOR server in it. Then expand the list of the servers in the coutry and connect to the one that has that logo again.

  22. Pierre

    1- On my laptop with a protonVPN Plus connection and network.dns.blockDotOnion being set to false in Firefox, I can’t access https://protonirockerxow.onion Why? Is it still the right url?
    2- Is the connection always linked to the Tor server? I use and on my mobile phone, Secure core ON, I do not see a Tor server for Canada via Switzerland.

  23. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Pierre.
    1 – We do not yet have .onion link for Proton services.
    2 – Tor servers cannot be used with Secure core servers as both serve different purpose. Turn off secure core option to see Tor servers.
    If you have any further questions please direct them to our support team and we will happily answer them.

  24. Interesting

    Can you provide a bit more information. What is not clear to me is if accessing a clearnet link or exiting an onion server to a clearnet site, would my traffic still be anonymized? In other words is a TOR server the same as your VPN servers but with just the added ability to “onramp” onto onion sites?

  25. ProtonVPN Team

    Our Tor servers work like this : When connecting to it you firstly connect to the VPN server and then afterwards you exit through Tor node to reach the internet. So it works the same as Tor with extra layer of protection being the VPN server. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact our support team and we will happily assist you. :)

  26. Adrian

    So, the ISP will see I’m connecting to the VPN, but ultimately won’t know you are routing the traffic through TOR?

  27. ProtonVPN Team

    That is correct, since the first connection node will be our VPN server.

  28. sweeps

    While I appreciate the description of how to use your firefox browser to access Tor, I wonder how discernible this browser would be from say OrFox or the Tor Browser. I love this function of protonvpn’s servers (encrypting my traffic to the vpn server and then passing it off to Tor) however in terms of practical anonymous browsing…….I am unsure of just changing the config in Mozilla Firefox.

  29. ProtonVPN Team

    Hey, it really comes down to personal preference. There are no issues using a VPN along with a Tor browser.

  30. dan

    how do you use the proton VPN + protonmail.onion with the Tor Browser adding Tails in live usb mode ?

  31. ProtonVPN Team

    Hello Dan,
    Please contact our support team and we will help as much as we can.

Comments are closed.

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