5 Best VPNs for Bitcoin Payments in 2019

A number of VPN providers now accept payment via Bitcoin, but which is the best one?

In certain circumstances, remaining anonymous is important. When you pay for services 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.

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?

Top VPNs for Bitcoin Payments

1. NordVPN

NordVPN is undoubtedly a very fully-featured service. The fact that it is based in Panama and keeps no logs at all is also a big draw for those who care about privacy. Its software looks good, and works well. Speed performance is now very impressive.

And a three-day free trial, plus a 30-day money-back guarantee give you plenty of opportunity to ensure that everything works for you as it should.

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN offers fast connections and a wide server network. 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.

3. CyberGhost

CyberGhost‘s software is easy-to-use while also being very fully featured. It uses very strong encryption, and 5 simultaneous connections is generous. Being based in Romania and keeping no meaningful logs is also a big draw, and compliments the fact that it accepts payment in Bitcoin.

CyberGhost’s excellent logging policy, fantastic speeds, and fully featured software are a winning combination. And with a 30-day no-quibble money back guarantee, there is zero reason not to give it a whirl.

4. IPVanish

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. 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.

5. AirVPN

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.

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.

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.

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IMAGE CREDITS: Write Studio/Shutterstock.com

Written by: Stephen Cooper

Stephen Cooper is a techy geek with a social edge. Downshifting from a successful IT career in Europe, Cooper moved to the Caribbean and now keeps up to speed with Internet technology poolside.

3 Comments

  1. Bitedge

    on April 18, 2018
    Reply

    IP Vanish no longer accept Bitcoin :(

    1. Douglas Crawford replied to Bitedge

      on April 19, 2018
      Reply

      Hi Bitedge, Thanks for letting us know. I've checked with Ray, who has just finished writing a new IPVanish Review and he confirms this is correct. We will update the article soon, but in the meantime have asked IPVanish to comment on why this is the case.

  2. wilder

    on January 5, 2018
    Reply

    ipvanish doesn't accep btc anymore

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