Most people are happy to use a credit card or their PayPal account to pay for their VPN. However, there are some users who require maximum anonymity. Paying for these types of services with your personal accounts leaves a paper trail. Even no-log VPN providers store payment details, including account numbers and billing addresses.
Do I Need to Buy a VPN Anonymously?
For most people, this extra layer of anonymity is not required. Using a non-logging VPN service is typically all the security you need, as there is no link between your activity and your account anyway. However, if you firmly believe that you would be safer and more secure if you purchased your VPN through an anonymous source, there are a few ways you can do so safely.
Bitcoin is one of the most popular ways to pay for a VPN anonymously, however Bitcoin is not as anonymous as you may think. One of the biggest advantages to this payment method is that the exchange rates are close, so there is very little cost added. When you purchase VPN services using gift cards, however, there is often a markup of around 25 percent charged to you.
There are three basic steps involved to pay with Bitcoin:
- Create a wallet – most VPN providers require you to have a BitPay compatible wallet extension, so keep that in mind when you are looking for wallet software
- Buy Bitcoins in the amount you need
- Transfer them from your wallet to the VPN provider by selecting the Bitcoin payment option
Some wallets also act as exchanges, which can make buying Bitcoin very easy, especially for first-timers. In other cases, you may have to go searching for an exchange. Coinbase and Changelly are two exchanges that are easy for beginners to navigate while also offering access to other types of cryptocurrency.
Using Other Altcoins
While Bitcoin is still the most popular anonymous payment method, some VPN providers are now accepting other altcoins, like Ripple, as well. If you hold cryptocurrency or are involved in the crypto-market, it may be worth investigating which coins are accepted to get the best deal on your subscription.
Using Gift Cards
Some VPNs also accept gift cards as a payment method. If you want to make anonymous payments but are nervous about wading into the world of cryptocurrency, gift cards are a great option. Not all providers accept this type of payment, so be sure you double check before you purchase your card. If they do, making a payment is relatively easy:
- Navigate to the “Buy VPN” portion of the site
- Select a gift card brand to check the exchange rate. Most people find that you get the best value if you purchase a gift card from a major company like Walmart for $50.
- Once you select the card, you can check the balance. If you don’t like the rate, you can return to the previous menu to check another card
- When you find a rate you like, just hit “Pay” and you are all set
About Anonymous Payments
Many VPNs do not let you subscribe to its services while connected to another VPN. If you want maximum anonymity when making your payment, consider doing so from a library or other public WiFi hotspot.
Remember that when you pay for your VPN, or any service, anonymously, you cannot set up recurring payments. This means that you must manually make a payment each time one is due. To avoid service disruption, most people opt to go with the longest subscription length possible. If you don’t have the funds up front, make a note of renewal dates so you don’t forget. Some VPNs do send out reminders, prompting you to log in and renew, so check with your provider to see if that is an option available to you.
While not everyone needs to purchase their VPN anonymously, being able to do so does give you extra security and comfort.