When you set up a commercially available Virtual Private Network (VPN), you’ll almost certainly have to pay a fee to access the service’s servers. While there are free VPN options around, they tend to lack features, speed, and security compared to the best paid VPN alternatives, so it makes sense to sacrifice a few dollars a month.
The thing is, using a VPN is all about security, but what’s the use of it if people can tell who is subscribing to it through their payment details? That’s why it makes sense to buy VPN anonymously, instead of leaving your information vulnerable to criminals, corporations or state agencies. We will explain how to pay for VPN anonymously so that everyone could use online security tools safely.
Why should I pay for VPN anonymously?
Before we move onto discussing ways to sign up for VPN anonymously, it’s probably useful to run through some reasons why you would want to avoid standard card or Paypal payments.
Payments are the Achilles Heel of the VPN process. While servers and tunnels are protected by sophisticated encryption, you still have to prove your identity and move money to VPN companies before they can be accessed. And payment providers also tend to demand authentication information as well – another potential vulnerability.
This extends to online wallets like Paypal as well. When you use Paypal to purchase a Virtual Private Network subscription, there’s a good chance that the company will store the email address linked to the Paypal account, and that address can often identify users fairly easily.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to pay anonymously. Most of the time, surveillance agencies or corporate investigators won’t have any interest in whether you use a VPN. But if you do have concerns or live in a more repressive country, anonymizing payments is a no-brainer – and thankfully it’s not that hard to achieve.
The Cons of paying for VPN anonymously
If you’re still thinking about the need to hide your identity when paying for a Virtual Private Network, there are some things to consider before going ahead.
We’ve already talked about the security advantages of anonymity. But there are some potential downsides. For instance, when you hide your identity during the payment process, you’ll find it hard or impossible to make recurring payments. This makes using VPNs more cumbersome for heavy users and can lead to billing problems when you forget that payments are due.
Then again, paying anonymously can actually lead you to ways to save money. Because recurring payments are often off the table, users tend to look to longer contracts, and these deals can come with lower price tags (especially when you use a VPN gift card payment, as we’ll see).
Finally, there’s an important thing to remember: when you buy VPN anonymously, it’s essential to hide your IP address, so you’ll have to find a way to do so. You could pay via a public wi-fi network, use a cell phone Wi-Fi connection, access payment sites via Tor, or use a proxy server. Tor is the most secure, if a little slow, while public Wi-Fi can be risky but is probably the easiest option. It’s a question of balancing security and ease of use.
What are the main ways to pay for a VPN anonymously?
At the moment, there are basically two ways to buy VPN anonymously: cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, and certain gift cards from major stores. Both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and we’ll consider both, in turn, to help find a method which works for you.
How to buy VPN with Bitcoin
If you want to pay in private for a VPN, Bitcoin is the ideal tool, and is steadily becoming the payment method of choice for privacy-conscious internet users.
In fact, over 50 percent of major VPNs now accept the world’s largest cryptocurrency. We’ll run through some leading Bitcoin-friendly companies in a moment, or you can just browse their websites and check their payment methods page.
If you haven’t set up a Bitcoin Wallet and bought some Bitcoin, that’s going to be the first step in the process. You can purchase currency from exchanges like Coinbase, Changelly or Gemini. All of them will create a wallet that can be used on VPN websites to make a payment.
Just choose a payment package which suits your budget and needs, and process the payment as usual. A bespoke Bitcoin wallet for your subscription will be created, which can be added to as new bills come due, and details about how to access it will be sent with your subscription confirmation.
Find a VPN that accepts Bitcoin
As promised, here’s a quick list of the top networks, which should make it easy to find a VPN that accepts Bitcoin transactions:
CyberGhost – One of the world’s top providers period, CyberGhost has long been a VPN that accepts Bitcoin, and with over 2,400 servers around the world, it offers a super-quick, reliable service.
NordVPN – this top-notch security provider is totally geared up to cater for cryptocurrencies – you can buy NordVPN with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple.
ExpressVPN – Another household name among web security users, ExpressVPN is also friendly for Bitcoin users and offers a dizzying range of protocols to keep your browsing ultra-safe.
AirVPN – Less well-known, but just as secure, AirVPN may actually work out cheaper for Bitcoin users, as well as fans of currencies like Litecoin and Ethereum.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg where Bitcoin is concerned. If you want to know more, it’s easy to find communities of security-conscious cryptocurrency users. We like to head to the VPN Bitcoin Reddit forums to contribute to the conversation, but there are plenty of forums to check out.
How to set up a VPN gift card payment
The other main way to buy VPN anonymously is a little more surprising. Gift cards from stores like Walmart, Target, Yankee Candle or Urban Outfitters can now be traded in to access many Virtual Private Networks, offering a highly secure way to protect your internet activity.
Doing so is pretty simple. The only catch is that finding a company to process a VPN gift card payment can be tricky. Don’t worry though, because we’ll list a few reliable options in a second.
- To sign up using a gift card, you’ll obviously have to get hold of an online gift card charged with cash. Now, head to the VPN provider of your choice and head to the payment section.
- Choose a package which works best for you, and proceed to the payment page. There should be a special option for gift card payments. Generally, all you will have to do is enter the gift card code into a numeric field, and money will be transferred as normal.
Before you can complete the transaction, there might be other steps, such as setting up a contact email account. This is routine, and your VPN provider should make it easy to do so without using accounts linked to your identity.
After that, you’re good to go. But what providers are best situated to make a VPN gift card payment?
Private Internet Access – PIA has pioneered gift cards as a payment option and are serious about anonymity, with zero logs or metadata to betray their customers.
TorGuard – Reliable and good value, TorGuard can bundle in a secure, anonymous email service with access to their servers, and cover a wide variety of gift cards.
BlackVPN – Ranking alongside PIA in the popularity stakes, BlackVPN has also added gift cards to their payment options via the Paymentwall system, which included unexpected companies like California Pizza and American Airlines.
All of these companies have strong reputations, large networks of servers, and cater for a variety of gift cards. However, double check whether your card is covered before starting the payment process, as the Gift Card process is still expanding.
Enjoy total security when you sign up for VPN anonymously
Hopefully, you now feel confident enough to anonymize your payments when signing up for a Virtual Private Network. If you have any concerns about privacy, going anonymous is easy these days, whether you buy a VPN with Bitcoin or Gift Card credit. So go ahead and disappear completely. There’s no reason to let the powers know what you do and how you pay.