Proton VPN is integrated with the Tor network, and Tor over VPN provides users a simple way to route their Internet traffic through the Tor network with a single click.
In this article, we explain how to connect to the Tor network with Proton VPN using our Tor over VPN feature. We also describe how you can access hidden services, like .onion sites, using your regular web browser. While Proton VPN is a free VPN service, Tor over VPN is a feature reserved for our paying subscribers. For more details on the advantages and features of our paid subscriptions, check out our different VPN plans.
It is a very simple process:
- Connect to a Tor VPN server available in designated countries (more details below)
- And you are done! Your Internet traffic will now be routed through the Tor network automatically. (Note: Tor only supports TCP traffic. UDP traffic cannot be routed through Tor nodes. Additionally, ICMP traffic, like Ping, is not routed through Tor either. ICMP traffic does pass through the VPN server, which prevents it from revealing your true IP address.)
Connecting to the Tor network
The Proton VPN server network includes nodes which are set up to reroute your Internet traffic through the Tor network. You can find these servers by looking for “TOR” in their server names, such as US-GA#29-TOR, HK#5-TOR, and DE#7-TOR. In the country list, an onion symbol designates that the country contains a Tor-connected server. See here for a complete list of servers.
To use Tor over VPN, you just need to connect to one of these servers on your preferred device. To set up our app on your device of choice, see our step-by-step guides for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, or iOS.
Once the Proton VPN app is ready, connect to one of the Tor servers as you would any other server. In any of the native Proton VPN clients, search the country list on the left until you find a country with a Tor server (a country with the onion symbol). Open that country, find a server with “TOR” in its name, and click connect. Once the connection is established, you’re all set.
Accessing hidden services with your regular browser
Now that you’re connected to one of our Tor-enabled servers, your Internet traffic will be automatically routed through the Tor network. If you want to access hidden services, such as Proton Mail’s onion site at https://protonmailrmez3lotccipshtkleegetolb73fuirgj7r4o4vfu7ozyd.onion/, using your regular browser, you will likely need to configure it to resolve .onion domains.
To allow .onion domains in Firefox
1. Open a new tab, go to about:config and confirm the security reminder.
2. Search for network.dns.blockDotOnion and double click the entry to set the Value to false (default true). This will allow Firefox to resolve .onion addresses.
3. DONE – now you can enter your desired .onion site where you normally enter your clear net URL and browse like usual.
- Note for Firefox + NoScript users: Some users report that the Proton onion service does not load properly with NoScript installed, even if scripts are allowed for the domain. This may be caused by a feature called ABE (Application Boundary Enforcer). Consider disabling this feature for the duration of your visit or adding an exception for the Proton Mail hidden service.
Chrome / Internet Explorer 11 / Microsoft Edge
As of this writing, .onion domains resolve automatically for the following browser versions
- Microsoft Edge 38
- Internet Explorer 11
- Google Chrome 59
How Proton VPN connects you to the Tor network
Proton VPN Tor nodes connect to the Tor network by establishing a new route each time a user opens a new VPN session. This means that none of the Tor nodes along the way receive information about the originating client and thus, even in the case of a malicious Tor node, your personal data stay hidden.
NetShield Ad-blocker and Tor over VPN
When using Tor over VPN, DNS queries are handled by whatever DNS services the individual Tor nodes use, not by Proton. This means NetShield Ad-blocker does not work when using Tor over VPN.