To access the dark web with Surfshark, you’ll need to download and install Tor.
Then connect to a Surfshark server before launching Tor (Tor Over VPN) for additional security.
The dark web is very well hidden and often associated with illegal activities.
Thus, accessing it is enough to arouse suspicion from your ISP and the government.
As such, it’s essential to protect your privacy when using it.
That’s where a high-quality and reliable VPN like Surfshark comes in handy.
If you’re eager to know more, join me as I explain accessing the dark web with Surfshark.
Step-By-Step Guide on How to Get to the Dark Web Over Surfshark
Make yourself comfortable, and let’s learn how to access the dark web with Surfshark safely.
- First, buy a Surfshark plan. Surfshark supports Tor, so you can seamlessly use it to access the dark web.
- Download and Install Surfshark. Although Surfshark supports all the major operating systems, Tor only supports Mac, Android, Linux, and Windows. In this guide, I will use Windows.
- Launch the Surfshark app and log in. You’ll be redirected to the “Surfshark Dashboard.”
- Connect to your preferred server location. To do that, search the server list on the left side of the screen for your preferred server. Surfshark VPN has 3200+ servers in 100 countries, but I recommend closer servers for optimized performance.
- Get Tor Browser. Fortunately, downloading and installing Tor is free. I recommend hiding your Tor download using your Surfshark connection. Thus, connect to Surfshark before accessing the Tor website via your browser’s “incognito/private” mode.
- Everything is set. Open the Tor Browser and get on the Dark Web.
Darknet or dark web sites are known as “Tor hidden services.” You can differentiate them from other sites by their URL extensions. For example, instead of “.org” or “.com,” they have “.onion.”
As you may already know, dark net sites don’t appear in search engine results.
However, there are a couple of darknet search engines that index “.onion” websites.
Reddit is another great source of dark net sites and other related information.
Try these subreddits:
Be careful, however…
The dark web is awash with phishing websites, malware, and scams designed to trick unsuspecting users. Likewise, be very cautious of URLs posted to the normal web as they’re usually malicious.
So, verify the URL’s authenticity if you’re accessing a dark web site from an untrusted recommendation.
Tor Over Surfshark or Surfshark Over Tor?
Now that you know how to access the dark web using Surfshark, it’s important that I explain the two main methods of doing so.
Does it matter which method you use? Yes, it does.
|Tor Over VPN||VPN Over Tor|
|Requests aren’t protected at Tor's exit nodes.||Requests are protected at Tor's exit nodes.|
|Your ISP will see you're using a VPN but can't see you're using a Tor.||Your ISP can see you're using a Tor but can't see that you're using a VPN.|
|Some sites might block you because of the Tor traffic.||You can access sites that block Tor.|
|Can access .onion sites.||Can't access .onion sites.|
|The Tor node host can’t see your real IP address.||Tor node hosts can see your real IP address.|
Tor Over Surfshark Explained
The Tor over VPN method is the safest and most popular way of accessing onion URLs.
You connect to a Surfshark server, which encrypts your connection and hides your real IP address. The request is then sent through a minimum of three relays to reach the destination.
This removes geo-location tags and other elements that your ISP or government might use to spy on/track you.
Surfshark Over Tor Explained
This method involves connecting to the Tor network and then connecting to your VPN (Surfshark, in this case). It isn’t easy to set up and might require your VPN provider to configure the VPN service to work with Tor.
Also, most VPN services that support Tor don’t support this setup.
Although Surfshark won’t know your IP address, it will see your decrypted Tor traffic.
Also, your ISP will know you’re using Tor. The only “good” benefit of VPN over Tor is that websites that block Tor traffic will work, as the VPN will make it seem like ordinary traffic.
Why Use Surfshark to Access the Dark Web?
Surfshark can safeguard your online privacy and data while using the Tor network.
Here are more reasons to use Surfshark to access the dark web:
- Get anonymous and safe access to the Tor network: If you use Tor in combination with Surfshark, you hide your connection to the Tor network from your ISP, government and network snoops.
- Download files safely and anonymously: Third parties can’t determine your identity, see your downloads, or what you’re doing online since your IP address is concealed and your connection is encrypted.
- Bypass government censorship: In countries where the government controls and regulates the internet, such as China, Iran, or Russia, not all websites are available, including Tor. Thankfully, connecting to Surfshark can help you bypass such censorship.
You can access the dark web legally as long as you don’t engage in illegal activities. However, accessing the dark web is completely prohibited in countries with strict censorship (such as China or the UAE). Thus, you may hide your dark web activity with Surfshark VPN or follow local laws to avoid legal ramifications.
Yes, you can access the dark web with Surfshark on mobile phones.
To access the dark web on mobile, install the Surfshark mobile app and a dedicated Tor browser for Android or the Onion browser for iPhone.
Then enter a [dot] onion URL to start browsing.
Ready to Peel Back the Onions With Surfshark?
There you have it!
Using Surfshark to access the dark web is a breeze. Just connect to a VPN server of your choice, launch the Tor browser, and you’ll be all set.
Fortunately, Surfshark offers a high level of security, a good number of servers, and a no-log policy, which are beneficial to secure Tor usage.
Don’t forget to grab our exclusive Surfshark deal to enjoy a massive discount on your subscription.