A majority of users choose to pay for a VPN service with a debit card, credit card, or PayPal. However, by doing so, you just left behind an online footprint. Your preferred VPN provider now has access to your billing information, and your payment processor is aware that you recently subscribed to a VPN.
Luckily, there’s a way around this and you can take your efforts to stay anonymous to the next level.
If you’re after maximum privacy, you’d find that there are ways to purchase a VPN totally anonymously. Here’s everything you need to know:
Why Would You Want To Buy a VPN Anonymously?
While it may not sound obvious, payments are one of the biggest security risks in VPN privacy.
When you buy a service with a credit card, it means you’re also giving away your personal information such as your name, billing address, and phone number.
While this data is only collected for fraud prevention by the payment processing company, you’re still disclosing a lot about yourself. Additionally, VPN service providers don’t necessarily need to store your payment details. The only time they have to is when you allow automatic re-billing once your subscription expires.
It’s not any different when you try to pay for services with PayPal. You still have to provide your information but now you also have to include your PayPal email address.
Whenever you’d use a credit card, debit card, or PayPal account to purchase a VPN, there’s always more than enough information to identify who you are.
Buy A VPN Anonymously Using Cryptocurrency
Use a payment method that cannot be tracked if you want to pay for your VPN subscription anonymously. With this, there’ll be no link between you and the payment method you choose.
One of the most popular ways of paying anonymously is through the use of cryptocurrency. You can pay with digital currencies such as Ethereum, Litecoin, and the most popular one of them all, Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is the most commonly accepted anonymous payment method. It’s also accepted by most VPN service providers due to exchange rates (cash ➜ Bitcoin & Bitcoin ➜ cash) being close to the exact value.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to buy a VPN anonymously using cryptocurrency.
Pros and cons of buying a VPN with cryptocurrency
As the digital market gets more advanced, cryptocurrencies are also skyrocketing in popularity. With this, a lot of VPN providers started accepting them as payment methods. Not only are they a convenient way of paying, but the exchange rates are also close to the exact value. You’d find that minimal fees for exchange rates are less than 1%.
However, while cryptocurrencies are great and all, there is a steep learning curve. You have to learn how everything works such as learning how to trade and learning how to cash out. Diving blindly into this digital market will make you lose money and is just a recipe for disaster.
What VPNs can I buy with cryptocurrency?
A lot of VPN service providers have numerous payment methods. While credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal are the universal options, you find that most of them also accept cryptocurrencies as their payment method.
Below is a list of popular VPN service providers that accept cryptocurrencies:
NordVPN accept numerous cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. You’d find that they have advanced features such as Threat Protection, Kill Switch, and Dark Web Monitor.
ExpressVPN is one of the most popular VPN service providers that accept Bitcoin as a payment method. They offer a variety of features such as Split Tunneling, VPN encryption, Kill Switch, and much more.
Another great VPN service that accepts cryptocurrencies. VyprVPN is a great option for both speed and security.
Learn more about the best VPNs that accept cryptocurrency.
Buy a VPN Using Gift Cards
When buying a VPN service, gift cards are a simple and effective option to help keep you anonymous. You can go to your local store, buy your gift card with cash, then digitally transfer the balance inside the gift card to purchase your VPN service.
They’re as close as you can get to paying anonymously with cash.
You’d also find that VPN services have a fixed exchange rate (Gift card $ ➜ VPN Service $) when accepting gift cards. The exchange value of gift cards will be about 20-25% less than the actual value transferred in the gift card.
The reason why you get less than the actual amount is that VPN providers can’t spend the gift card. They have to convert the gift card into cash which also means they have to sell it at a discount.
Converting the gift card adds time, difficulty, and effort on their end so it’s only fair that they receive extra compensation.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to buy a VPN anonymously using gift cards.
- Go to your local store and buy a gift card.
- Start the signup process with a VPN that takes them.
- At checkout, select gift card as your method of payment.
- Select the retailer whose card you’re using.
- Enter the gift card ID number printed on the back.
Pros and cons of buying a VPN with gift cards
Gift cards are an excellent option for keeping yourself anonymous. Since you only need to input the details of the gift card, you don’t have to disclose any of your personal information when redeeming them.
Not only do they give you amazing anonymity, but they’re also very convenient and easy to get. You can easily buy them from popular retailers such as Walmart and Target, which are found almost everywhere in the US.
Additionally, unlike Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, you don’t need any technical expertise to use one. All you have to do is redeem it by inputting a few details, and you’re good to go.
However, despite all these benefits, only a few VPN service providers accept gift cards such as NordVPN and ProtonVPN. As we mentioned earlier, converting gift cards is a hassle and some of these VPN providers just don’t want to go through all that effort.
Another downside to gift cards is the exchange rate. Unlike cryptocurrencies, they’re not close to the actual value. You have to pay 20-25% more as a compensation fee for VPN service providers to convert the gift card. This can be a hassle especially if you’re on a tight budget.
The Downsides Of Buying VPNs Anonymously
Paying anonymously is great but anonymous payment methods have their drawbacks:
- Whenever your subscription expires, you have to manually renew it as there’s no way to set up recurring payments.
- It’s difficult to get refunds for anonymous payments.
- Some VPN providers still prefer the traditional forms of payment which makes your options limited.
- Paying anonymously isn’t as fast and convenient as simply providing your personal information for traditional forms of payment.
- For anonymous payments, VPN discounts are not always available, and you could occasionally have to pay a surcharge.
- You might occasionally have to pay a surcharge and VPN discounts aren’t always available for anonymous payments.
Do I Need To Pay For A VPN Anonymously?
In most cases – you’re probably not gonna need to pay anonymously. Unless a government agency is chasing you, it’s unlikely anyone is going to check your VPN payment history.
The odds of them getting your information is as slim as none.
Additionally, when using no-log VPNs – which we highly suggest you do – there won’t be any record or link between your personal VPN account and your VPN activity.
What this means is that even if they identify who you are through your VPN account, they won’t find out what you’ve been doing with the VPN.
This is assuming that your VPN provider is being completely honest about their no-log policy. If they are secretly logging your activity, which is highly unlikely, then your VPN history could be traced.
With all that said, if you still prefer to do anonymous payments, there’s little harm in doing so. Just make sure to consider the drawbacks we mentioned above.
Who should pay anonymously?
If your happiness or personal security/safety depends on you being totally anonymous, then you should use anonymous payment methods. The following are examples of those people:
- If you’re writing or commenting about ‘controversial’ issues such as LGBTQ rights or politics in a place where there are strict consequences for this.
- If you reveal information about illegal activity within a private or public organization. These people are also known as whistleblowers.
- If you’re a journalist that speaks out against a dangerous government.
Now You Can Keep Yourself Anonymous
VPNs are a great tool to keep yourself anonymous. Paying for one anonymously can bring you to the next level.
With anonymous payment methods, you don’t have to disclose any of your personal information. This is great especially if you don’t want people to find out who you are.
However, there are downsides to them and not everyone really needs to pay anonymously. Even then, if you still prefer to do them, there’s little to no harm in doing so.