How to pay for a VPN anonymously?

Julie Cole
Julie Cole | Contributing Writer
Last updated: January 6, 2021
How to pay for VPN anonymously

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While there are free VPN options around, they tend to lack features, speed, and security compared to the best premium VPN alternatives, so it makes sense to sacrifice a few dollars a month for your privacy. Yet sometimes secrecy is also important, and the truth is many don’t know how to pay for a VPN anonymously.

Well, not to worry – as we’ll show in this article, the process isn’t so difficult.

The pros of buying a VPN anonymously

Before discussing how to pay for a VPN anonymously, it’s useful to run through some reasons why you would want to avoid credit card or PayPal payments.

Most importantly, paying for a VPN anonymously helps you keep your personal data safe. While VPN servers and tunnels are protected by sophisticated encryption, buying a VPN using your credit card leaves a record you may not want to exist. And when it comes to transferring the payment to the VPN company, payment providers demand authentication that often includes personally identifiable information.

This extends to online wallets like PayPal as well. When you use PayPal to purchase a VPN subscription, there’s a good chance that the company will store the email address linked to the PayPal account, and that address often can identify the user.

By paying anonymously, you cut the last link that ties you to the VPN purchase

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 country where internet freedom is being abused, anonymizing payments is a no-brainer – and thankfully, it’s not that hard to achieve.

The cons of paying for a VPN anonymously

If you’re still thinking about the need to hide your identity when paying for a VPN, there are some potential downsides to consider before going ahead.

Payments are the Achille’s Heel of the VPN process

For instance, you’ll find it 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. For the same reasons, refunds are usually a no-go as well.

Also, you might not be familiar with the payment method that your chosen VPN offers. Getting into cryptocurrency mining and trade might be not your cup of tea, after all.

But most importantly, not all VPNs accept all anonymous payments. In fact, some don’t accept anonymous payments at all. That’s why below you will find the list of the best VPN services that can be bought anonymously.

How to pay for a VPN anonymously?

Before you buy a VPN of your choice, there’s this thing to remember:

When you buy a VPN anonymously, it’s essential to hide your IP address

To hide your IP address when purchasing a VPN anonymously, you can:

  • Pay on a public wifi network
  • Access payment sites via Tor
  • Use a VPN or proxy server

Tor is secure, if a little slow, while public wifi is probably the easiest option. Most VPNs won’t allow you to pay if you’re using a proxy or another VPN at the moment.

4 ways to buy a VPN anonymously

Here are some of the primary ways to buy a VPN anonymously:

  1. Cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and the like)
  2. Gift cards (Walmart, Target, Yankee Candle, and the like)
  3. Prepaid debit cards (OneVanilla)
  4. Virtual and masked cards

All methods have their advantages and disadvantages, and we’ll consider them in turn, to help find the one that works for you.

1. Cryptocurrencies

Buy VPN with Bitcoin

If you want to pay for a VPN in private, cryptocurrencies are a great option as most major VPNs accept Bitcoin and other cryptos. But you should be aware that not all cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin included, are fully anonymous. Most popular cryptocurrencies are sold on exchanges like Coinbase, Changelly or Gemini that require private information.

Also, the blockchain contains every Bitcoin transaction, and these can theoretically be traced back to you. Therefore, one should switch Bitcoin wallets. Alternatively, you can use cryptocurrencies that have advanced security features, such as Zcash or Monero.

Apart from the learning curve tied to buying and paying with bitcoin, the last disadvantage is that some VPNs don’t offer crypto-refunds.

The biggest pro of using cryptocurrencies is their low transaction costs and relative anonymity. Also, the value of Bitcoin is still growing, so having this cryptocurrency in your wallet helps you to save for future purchases.

Buying a VPN with Bitcoin

To pay for a VPN with Bitcoin, you need to follow these four steps:

  1. Set up a Bitcoin Wallet that’s compatible with BitPay
  2. Buy the amount of Bitcoin that you need from an exchange
  3. Go to the website of your VPN and choose to pay in Bitcoin
  4. Buy the VPN by copying the BTC address into your Bitcoin wallet

Coinbase, Changelly, and Gemini are the exchanges that can create a wallet for you, which should prove helpful for newbies. However, for maximum privacy, you should choose an anonymity-focused Bitcoin wallet, such as Samourai Wallet or Rahakott Wallet.

Paying with other cryptocurrencies is similar to the steps above – just make sure that a VPN of your choice accepts it and doesn’t penalize it in its Terms of Service.

Top VPNs that accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

Here’s a list of the top VPN providers that accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies:

Surfshark

Accepts: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple

Behind the basic appearance, Surfshark VPN is friendly to Bitcoin users and delivers a full-featured VPN service, offering the perfect balance of price, speed, and privacy.

Surfshark VPN
Surfshark VPN
VPNpro rating: 9.4 / 10

NordVPN

Accepts: Bitcoin, Litecoin, BTT, Dash, Tron, Monero, Zcash, Ethereum, Ripple

This top-notch security provider is totally geared up to cater for multiple cryptocurrencies – you can buy NordVPN with nine different digital currencies.

NordVPN
NordVPN
VPNpro rating: 9.6 / 10

IvacyVPN

Accepts: Bitcoin

Brilliant security, great speeds, no leaks, and an option to pay with the most popular cryptocurrency – that’s more than most top VPN services can offer, and IvacyVPN has it all.

Ivacy VPN
Ivacy VPN
VPNpro rating: 8.5 / 10

PrivateVPN

Accepts: Bitcoin

PrivateVPN is well-known for its low price, good speeds, torrenting, and unblocking capabilities. Guess what? It also accepts Bitcoin.

PrivateVPN
PrivateVPN
VPNpro rating: 9.3 / 10

CyberGhost

Accepts: Bitcoin

One of the world’s top providers period, CyberGhost has long been a VPN that accepts Bitcoin, and with over 5,700 servers around the world, it offers a super-quick, reliable service.

CyberGhost
CyberGhost
VPNpro rating: 8.4 / 10

2. Gift cards

Set Up a VPN Gift Card Payment

Gift cards from stores like Walmart, Target, Yankee Candle, or Urban Outfitters can be traded for VPNs, offering the most secure way to protect your internet activity. There’s virtually no way anyone could trace a gift card, especially because you can pay for it in cash.

Unfortunately, this method is becoming less popular among the VPN providers, so try it while you can. Also, be prepared for a rate premium of up to 25%.

Buying a VPN with a gift card

  1. Choose a VPN that accepts gift cards
  2. Go to the VPN’s website and select the gift card payment option
  3. Choose a gift card brand and check the exchange rate. Usually, it’s best to purchase a $50 gift card from Target or other big stores.
  4. After selecting the card, check the balance. Chances are you’d get a better rate with another card.
  5. When you’ve found the best offer, use the gift card to pay for the VPN

Best VPNs that accept gift cards

Which providers still accept gift cards? Here’s some of them:

TorGuard

Accepts: Paygarden, Paymentwall

Reliable and good value, TorGuard can bundle in a secure, anonymous email service with access to their servers, and accepts over a hundred of different gift cards in the US.

Windscribe

Accepts: Bitcoin, Paymentwall

Rich in features and flexible in prices, bitcoin-friendly Windscribe also takes gift cards as a valid option via Paymentwall. In the US that includes Openbucks payment card system that works with Subway, CVS Pharmacy, Burger King, and Sports Authority, among others.

Windscribe VPN
Windscribe VPN
VPNpro rating: 8.1 / 10

Perfect Privacy

Accepts: Paymentwall

Perfect Privacy is a perfect example of a VPN that delivers security and privacy for an unlimited amount of simultaneous connections. It also offers plenty of payment options, one of which is Paymentwall.

Private Internet Access

Accepts: Paygarden, Private Internet Access gift cards, Paymentwall (in some regions)

Private Internet Access has pioneered gift cards as a payment option while also creating one of its own. This provider is serious about anonymity, with zero logs or metadata to betray their customers.

ibVPN

Accepts: Paymentwall

Excellent security features and minimal logging make ibVPN a great choice for any privacy enthusiast that also wants to keep her payments anonymous. In addition to Paymentwall gift cards, ibVPN also accepts a bunch of cryptocurrencies.

3. Prepaid debit cards

This form of payment is less popular but still a viable option for getting a VPN anonymously. Prepaid debit cards loaded with different sums of money can be bought in supermarkets. Before purchasing, make sure you’re getting a non-reloadable gift card because reloadable ones require an ID and SSN to sign up.

They work similarly to the credit cards, which means you’ll be able to use them offline as well. And while most prepaid debit cards are similar, we suggest trying a OneVanilla VISA that has a flexible gift-load. But the best thing is that OneVanilla website allows you to assign a zip code to the card and pass most fraud checks.

4. Virtual and masked credit cards

This payment option is relatively new and might look suspicious, but many believe this is the new way of making transactions online. That is because you’re allowed to pay with your credit card without revealing its number. Also, you can create multiple virtual cards and close them anytime.

These cards have another advantage over their real counterparts – it’s impossible to charge them without your approval. At the same time, it’s one of the main drawbacks as you won’t be able to make recurring payments for your VPN subscription.

Another two disadvantages of the virtual and masked cards are that you can’t use them to pay offline and the maximum spending sum is $500. Luckily, that’s not an issue for VPN subscribers.

Top VPN providers
NordVPN
9.6 / 10
30-day money-back guarantee
Military grade encryption
Friendly support
Surfshark VPN
9.4 / 10
Strong encryption
Excellent performance
Unlimited simultaneous connections

Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.

14 comments
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  1. Alisha Ross

    All the VPN services I’ve looked at previously require you to install a client app on your computer or device – will any of these work with, say, the VPN client in a DD-WRT’d router too allow own to pipe his entire LAN over the VPN?


    1. pythereon

      Paying with cryptocurrency does not imply you’re making an anonymous payment. Some VPN services now require you to use a coin payment service which in turn require you to sign up with kyc before you can use their service. I noticed this wasn’t the case in the past.


  2. MyraHall7889

    Sure, I totally agree with you on this. It makes no sense if I am seeking to stay anonymous online yet my VPN payment can be traced to me. Because I needed this knowledge, I give attention to details on how to pay for VPN anonymously


    1. avatar
      Julie Cole Author

      Yup, it’s important to ensure all your touch points are kept as private or anonymous as possible. Thanks for commenting


  3. Jamison L

    Well that’s great to know, it makes sense to be anonymous online with a VPN but if your identity can be found because of how you paid for the VPN, it’s not that great.


    1. avatar
      Julie Cole Author

      Yup, that’s very true. Thanks for commenting!


  4. Finley Moss

    I have thought about making anonymous payment for a VPN. It makes no sense disclosing my identity when I will be using the tool in a restricted geo-location.
    This is so much of importance and assistance to me


    1. avatar
      Julie Cole Author

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!


  5. PaulB

    Paying with bitcoins seems really interesting, if you pay with your credit card you don’t really have privacy and your bank can know what you buy, so it can be interesting. Thanks for the article.


    1. avatar
      Julie Cole Author

      Yup, we believe it’s an important step in helping to keep you safe and private when you’re online.


  6. tylerpeterson

    Paying with Bitcoin seems like the better road to take to me. Getting a one year VPN account will save money and I can also forget about it for a full year. I don’t like having to do things like these each month. Didn’t know about CyberGhost so thanks for mentioning them.


    1. avatar
      Julie Cole Author

      Hey, secrecy is very important even while paying for VPN services, even through people forget it sometimes. Paying by cryptocurrencies or certain gift cards seems as a really good and anonymous option! We are happy you found some new information in our article!


  7. James Willington

    Trying to make sense of all the desire to pay for VPNs anonymously. Now i came to know that what are the benefits of it by reading this article.

    I like the idea of it, but in practice, it doesn’t seem like it makes any difference. I am using PureVPN, paying with ease and didn’t find any problem yet.


    1. avatar
      Julie Cole Author

      Hi there James,

      Ease of payment isn’t the focus here — it’s more about whether anyone can trace your VPN purchase to you. If your goal is to be as safe and private when you’re online, that’s an important factor. Thanks for commenting!

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