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5 Best VPNs for Bitcoin Payments in 2017 – Pay For Your VPN With Cryptocurrency

Stephen Cooper

Stephen Cooper

September 13, 2017

The cryptocurrency Bitcoin is a great way to keep your identity private. There are many reasons why people use Bitcoin, but one of the greatest is anonymity. You may wonder why being private is important. The ability to trace your identity through your financial transactions gives governments, blackmailers, stalkers, and thieves opportunities to steal from you or control your behavior. For example, if a country wants to block you from accessing overseas political associations, they can look for subscription payments going out of your bank account to that organization.

Quick Links to our 5 best VPNs for Bitcoin Payments

  1. ExpressVPN Special Deal: Save 49% Today!
  2. IPVanish
  3. VPNArea
  4. AirVPN
  5. IronSocket

If you set up a website or run a campaign that criticizes the government or police, you’re inviting trouble. In these circumstances, remaining anonymous is important. Yet whatever you do, you’ll always need to buy in supplies and services. When you pay for them from your bank account, you create a trail that leads straight to your door.

Bitcoin allows you to store your money outside the banking system. You don’t need to attach any personal details to the “wallet” that stores your money. Instead, a code identifies your value store. However, you can easily destroy that anonymity if you create a trail into and out of your wallet.

For example, if you make a payment over the internet out of your wallet, snoopers can connect that wallet code with your IP address. Once they’ve logged that cross-reference, every connection made from your IP address will give away your movements. From then on, you’ve compromised the anonymity of that wallet. You might as well put your name and address on it.

Receiving payments into your wallet can also give away your identity. However, if you can’t make or receive payments without giving away your identity, what good is Bitcoin?

How Can I Keep My Bitcoin Wallet Anonymous?

You can keep your Bitcoin wallet anonymous with a little planning. Firstly, you need to create a pseudonym by which you can be recognized without giving your identity away. You create lots of pseudonyms in your life on the internet without any difficulty. The usernames that you select when signing up for services or social media platforms are essentially pseudonyms. However, these usernames are usually linked to some real-world form of identification.

You can create webmail accounts without giving any personal details. You can then use those relatively anonymous email addresses to access services. The next step is to prevent anyone tracing your Bitcoin payments through your IP address. This can be achieved using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). When you connect to websites through a VPN, your transactions are identified by the VPN server’s IP address, not yours. VPN companies own thousands of IP addresses. They cycle through them regularly. Most successful VPNs also have millions of customers. That makes it very difficult to trace your activities.

One weak point in the privacy that VPN services offer is that the VPN company itself can keep track of your activities. It can identify you through its cross-reference between your allocated IP address and your real IP address. If your VPN keeps that information on file, a court order can force it to hand it over to the authorities. The simple solution to this is to pick a VPN service that keeps no logs.

You can read more tips on how to mask your identity when using Bitcoin further on in this article. However, first take a look at the five best VPNs for Bitcoin payments. For any VPN to qualify for this list, it has to keep no records of customers’ activities, provide unbreakable encryption, and accept anonymous Bitcoin payments.

Best VPNs for Bitcoin Payments: Summary

BestVPN Editor's Choice Award
ExpressVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Special Deal: Save 49% Today!
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in 94 countries
  • No logs
  • Can be installed on routers
  • Customer support via live chat 24/7
CONS:
  • Quite expensive

ExpressVPN offers fast connections and a wide server network, with a presence in 94 countries. Server locations are important if you want to get into streaming services that run regional restrictions. These services block access from locations overseas. However, when you access them through the VPN, you'll appear to be in the country of the VPN server.

You can install the ExpressVPN app on Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, and Kindle devices. You can also install the system manually on Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and CentOS Linux and a range of set-top boxes. An ExpressVPN browser extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari enables you to protect just the traffic that our browser generates. Another option with this VPN service is to install it on your home router to cover all of the devices in your house. You can install the VPN on Sabai, DD-WRT, Tomato, and Asus routers.

Security measures include a private Domain Name System (DNS), a kill switch to prevent unprotected internet connections, and automatic WiFi protection. The company is based in the British Virgin Islands and does not keep activity logs.

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Visit ExpressVPN »30-day money-back guarantee

#2 Best VPN for Bitcoin Payments: IPVanish

IPVanish Homepage
PROS:
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in 60 countries
  • No activity logs
  • Kill switch
  • Private DNS servers
CONS:
  • Customer support is slow

IPVanish has a no logs policy. It manages all of its own infrastructure, so there's no danger of third party companies holding data on your activities. One drawback with this company is that it is based in the US, which worries privacy experts. That's because the staff and owners of any company in the US risk jail if they don't comply with court orders, so the authorities and lawyers have leverage when they want to apply pressure to get information. However, IPVanish swears that it doesn't keep activity records, so there is no way that it can be forced to hand over information that it hasn't got.

Privacy features include a kill switch to prevent apps from connecting to the internet without the VPN engaged. Automatic WiFi protection will help keep you anonymous when you are out and about.

#3 Best VPN for Bitcoin Payments: VPNArea

VPNArea Homepage
PROS:
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • No logs
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • Allowance of six simultaneous connections
  • Option of OpenVPN or SSH tunnel
CONS:
  • Live chat support not available 24/7

VPNArea is headquartered in Switzerland. This location outside the EU is good for privacy, because the country is not subject to the EU data retention directive. Even though this directive was nullified by the European Courts of Justice in 2017, the EU Commission is already working on a new version of the law, which will make privacy difficult to achieve in Europe. In addition to its location, VPNArea's no logs policy will help preserve your anonymity.

This VPN has very strong security measures and you can switch between the high security OpenVPN protocol and the secretive Secure Shell (SSH) tunnel method. You get an allowance of six simultaneous connections to this service, which enables you to cut the cost of running a VPN by sharing an account with friends.

#4 Best VPN for Bitcoin Payments: AirVPN

AirVPN Homepage
PROS:
  • Seven-day refund guarantee
  • Cheap three-day trial account
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • No logs
  • Uses OpenVPN multi-lingual interface
CONS:
  • Difficult to set up

AirVPN provides strong security and almost total anonymity. This service includes encrypted DNS resolution, so your Internet Service Provider (ISP) won't be involved in the process of translating a web address to an internet address. Other privacy features include a kill switch, which prevents apps on your device from connecting to the internet if the link to the VPN server gets interrupted. The strength of AirVPN's privacy features is proven by its ability to dodge controls imposed by the Chinese government.

You have to set up an account before you can pay for the service. This step requires a username and a valid email address. You can set up a burner email account with a webmail service for this necessity - you don't need to give your real name.

#5 Best VPN for Bitcoin Payments: IronSocket

IronSocket Homepage
PROS:
  • Seven-day money-back guarantee
  • Servers in 40 countries
  • Option to pay with Bitcoin or gift cards for anonymity
  • No activity logs
  • Customer support 24/7
CONS:
  • Difficult to set up

Ironsocket has a lot of useful security features, including the option to use OpenVPN with 256-bit AES encryption - the industry's strongest security. Not only can you preserve your anonymity with Bitcoin, but you also have the option to pay with gift cards, which will make your account completely anonymous. The connection uses a private DNS server, so your ISP will be cut out of the loop when your browser looks up the IP address for a site that you want to visit. The company keeps no activity logs and is based in Hong Kong - two factors that will make it almost impossible for US copyright lawyers to trace your true identity.

VPN for Bitcoin Payments: Considerations

Remember to create a pseudonym to use with your Bitcoin account. Also, don’t forget that you have to protect your identity when collecting payments as well as when paying out of your wallet. You probably don’t need full anonymity in your day-to-day life. As such, why not run your regular finances through a standard bank account? You can then reserve your Bitcoin transactions for activities that you want to remain private. Avoid contact between your Bitcoin account and your bank account(s) to avoid links between you and your Bitcoin wallet.

The Problem with Paying for Digital Services in the EU…

Paying for digital services when you’re in Europe can present a problem. EU requirements specify that all charges for online services have to include Value Added Tax (VAT). VAT is levied at the rate of the European country in which the customer is making the purchase. It is not levied at the rate of the service provider’s location.

The VAT rule applies to companies that are based outside of the EU as well. That means that if you subscribe to a VPN service that is based in the US, such as IPVanish, that company has to identify your location and apply the VAT rate for the EU country that you’re in at the moment you pay. Vendors are required to seek two forms of location confirmation. Just about all of these include factors that will identify you. These can include the address of your bank account or your home address.

These requirements make matters complicated if you’re travelling within Europe and not in your home country. That’s because online service companies have to provide the address of your bank account. This applies even if the payment is processed by a third party company. Thus having a PayPal account, or paying through Bitcoin, doesn’t protect you. The Bitcoin payment processor has to return details of your address to the service provider along with confirmation of payment. If the two identifying pieces of information don’t match the location of your IP address, the service cannot be provided.

…and the Solution

A simple solution to this problem is to make sure that you don’t appear to be in an EU country when you sign up for a VPN (or other service). That way, all of the location identification requirements disappear. You can perform this trick when signing up for a VPN by employing another VPN at the point of paying. This sounds a bit mad, but some free VPNs can help you out with that. AirVPN offers a three-day trial subscription for €1. You can take out that subscription using your real bank account, then turn the VPN on with a non-EU server location engaged. You can then sign up for another VPN service, such as IPVanish, or ExpressVPN. As a non-EU customer, the VPN company will not have collect your location details. You can thus proceed with the purchase via Bitcoin anonymously.

So long as the VPN you use during your purchase doesn’t keep logs, there will be no way for anyone to connect you to the VPN account you set up with a Bitcoin payment.

Best VPNs for Bitcoin Payments: Conclusion

Rules and regulations are making it increasingly difficult to create online anonymity. However, with a combination of VPNs and a Bitcoin account, you can defeat even the most dogged detection traces. Remember that every transaction that you complete with your Bitcoin wallet leaves a potential trail that can lead back to you through you IP address. Make sure that you don’t use Bitcoin for any payments that involve products that can be traced back to you. An example of the kind of transaction that can blow your cover would be buying goods for delivery to your home address. Just one traceable payment will link the Bitcoin account to you. You will then have compromised your privacy.

Enforcing your privacy requires planning and discipline. Use a VPN for your Bitcoin payments to keep everything you do online a private matter.

Best VPNs That Accept Bitcoins: Side-by-Side Comparison

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