Using a VPN can help you stay safe online by masking your IP address and encrypting your internet traffic. Many VPN providers give their customers a variety of payment methods for their subscription packages, including anonymous ones like gift cards or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Hence, if you want to buy a VPN anonymously by using Bitcoin or any other method, consider the following:
- Buy your crypto anonymously, by using a P2P exchange, Bitcoin ATM, or one-on-one trading.
- Use a free VPN or the Tor browser to anonymously get your VPN subscription.
- Sing up with an anonymous email address, by using ProtonMail, for example.
If you want to use a gift card, make sure you buy it from a reputable store. You could get it at a local mall, for instance, or through your App Store account.
Of course, you’ll also have to choose a VPN that accepts anonymous payment methods, such as crypto and gift cards. One such provider, which we greatly recommend thanks to its incredible privacy measures, is NordVPN.
VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are pieces of software that can help you navigate the web anonymously, by rerouting your connection and as such changing your IP. This helps you hide your location and online identity.
Even so, you might want to take your privacy to the next level. If you want to be completely hidden online, you’ll also need to get your anonymity tool, i.e. your VPN, anonymously.
This article will explain how to buy a VPN anonymously, using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or through the use of gift cards. We’ll also discuss the best VPN services that allow for anonymous payments.
Why Should You Buy a VPN Anonymously?
There are several reasons someone might want to get their VPN anonymously, such as:
- To protect their online privacy.
- To publish online materials anonymously if they are a journalist in a dictatorship or live in a country with strict regimes and censorship regulations.
- To engage in activities not permitted in their country (such as watching porn or participating in acts of activism).
Whatever your reasons for buying a VPN anonymously, as long as they aren’t immoral, we can’t blame you. In fact, you could even argue it’s pretty naive not to get your VPN anonymously if we just consider how much of your data might remain hidden when using a VPN:
- Your IP address
- The timestamp of your purchase
- Your name (although many providers don’t ask for this information, it could be implied from your email address)
- Your email address
- Payment details
This is the information that you willingly share if you get a VPN without taking any privacy measures. So, you should buy a VPN anonymously to ensure the information we mentioned above remains confidential.
However, there are some drawbacks when purchasing a VPN anonymously as well. We’ll discuss these in the section below.
The downsides of buying VPNs anonymously
If your government is not intrusive or doesn’t have strict censorship laws like China, for example, and you are not being aggressively pursued online by any organization, you might want to think again before using an anonymous method to buy a VPN. This is mainly because:
- The process can be somewhat daunting and quite tedious.
- It’s often difficult or impossible to get a refund if you buy a VPN anonymously.
- In contrast to anonymous payment methods, banks frequently offer ways to get your money back if a service isn’t what you expected.
Buying a VPN anonymously can be tedious
The process of acquiring a VPN by using an anonymous payment method is not as simple as toggling a “privacy” switch and adding a subscription to your cart.
You first need to ensure you’re anonymous when you start the buying process. So find a good BTC wallet where you can buy Bitcoin safely, and use that when you make your VPN purchase.
You must do the above before you set up an anonymous email address and buy a prepaid SIM card to use on your phone for any two-step authentication needed. Once you are set you can then weigh your VPN options and find the one that suits you best.
Alternatively, if you want to use a gift card, you might have to look around at several physical stores.
Getting a refund will be difficult or impossible
It’s not as easy to get a refund when you buy a VPN with a gift card or with Bitcoin. There’s no payment information in-store, so if you don’t like the product you get, it’s either tough luck or you risk exposing your personal information if you want a refund.
No option to have your bank transfer your money back
Banks and online payment processors have a lot of failsafe mechanisms in place in case buyers are unhappy with a transaction. For example, if the product you got isn’t quite what you were promised, you can ask for a card chargeback from your bank.
Since crypto transactions cannot be reversed, that’s not possible when you buy a VPN completely anonymously. The same usually goes when using a gift card.
Who Should Pay for VPNs Anonymously?
Considering the hassle that comes with buying a VPN anonymously, is it worth it at all? Yes, for some people, it definitely is. Without a doubt, the users who benefit most from getting their VPN anonymously, are those whose safety and well-being depend on their privacy.
The group mentioned above includes people who want to voice their opinion on an oppressive regime they live under, for instance. These people could be journalists or others that simply feel the need to speak up.
This category also includes whistleblowers, who want to make sure the company or institution they’re denouncing doesn’t find out their identity.
The Safest Ways to Buy a VPN Anonymously
Whenever you purchase something online using conventional payment methods, there will be a “money trace.” Even if the merchants you buy from use a secure payment processing company, there is a ledger out there with your name and card details on it.
However, there are a few ways to get around this when buying a VPN: using a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or using a gift card or anonymous credit card. We’ll discuss each of these payment methods below.
How to Buy a VPN With Bitcoin or Another Cryptocurrency
Using Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency is a great way of paying anonymously for a VPN and saving on subscription fees. That’s because most VPN providers accept various cryptos. Most cryptos offer much more privacy than conventional payment options, such as a credit card payment.
However, please be aware cryptocurrencies aren’t some magic data eraser. The fact is that most cryptocurrencies will only make you pseudo-anonymous. After all, you still have a crypto wallet address that’s unique to you and your transactions will still be registered on a public ledger.
Moreover, most crypto exchanges are anything but privacy-oriented these days. In our article about the privacy of crypto, you can read more about why most cryptos aren’t completely private.
However, despite their limitations, cryptocurrencies are still a great way to increase your privacy when buying a VPN. This is especially true if you take the right steps and safety measures, which we delve into below.
1. Use a free VPN or Tor for maximum anonymity
While buying a VPN with Bitcoin, we suggest using a free VPN to enhance your online anonymity before purchasing a premium VPN provider. You can also use Tor, a secure browser that lets you navigate the internet anonymously through triple-layered encryption. It’s the best choice you have if you want to be completely anonymous.
If you don’t want to download Tor, and you don’t trust a free VPN, you can use public Wi-Fi to prevent your home’s Wi-Fi details from being known. However, it’s not necessarily the best choice, since there are other risks involved in using public Wi-Fi with no VPN.
2. Get a secure Bitcoin wallet and buy Bitcoin
After anonymizing your traffic, it’s time to get a secure Bitcoin wallet. You should sort this part out before you even start thinking about buying Bitcoin or making any Bitcoin payments.
A Bitcoin wallet is, as the name suggests, a digital wallet that (securely, if you choose a good one) stores your Bitcoin for later use.
One of the most popular Bitcoin wallets is the one provided by Coinbase. Coinbase is reasonably reliable. However, it will ask for plenty of personal information during the signup process. In short, it’s just adding onto the money trace, instead of actually getting rid of it.
The most secure and privacy-oriented way to store your crypto is by getting a physical, “cold storage“ wallet. This could be the Ledger Nano X, for instance. However, we understand not everyone might be willing to make this investment and commitment.
A more convenient and more affordable option would be to use a service like Samourai Wallet. This wallet, and others of its kind, are much more privacy-oriented than “mainstream wallets” like the one offered by Coinbase.
You won’t have to give up your personal information to use Samourai. Moreover, the service offers some great privacy features. Among these are measures that prevent the leakage of metadata during transactions and stealth wallet addresses that allow you to anonymously receive crypto.
3. Buy Bitcoin (or another cryptocurrency) anonymously through different platforms
Now that you have a wallet, you’ll need to buy some Bitcoin or another crypto. If you want to be completely anonymous, you have three main options to get your crypto:
- Using a Bitcoin ATM
- One-on-one crypto trading
- Using a P2P (peer-to-peer) crypto exchange
We’ll discuss each of these methods briefly.
If done right, buying crypto anonymously with a Bitcoin ATM is probably your best bet. For true anonymity, you’ll have to use a temporary prepaid SIM card. Most Bitcoin ATMs require a phone number to send a verification code to. Using your “real” phone number is obviously terrible for your privacy.
To find out where your nearest Bitcoin ATM is, there are many online maps you can use. One of these tools is Coin ATM Finder. You can generally recognize a Bitcoin ATM by the little BTC sign somewhere on its cover.
Once you’ve found a reliable Bitcoin ATM, keep your Bitcoin wallet ready with a receiving address. Follow the transaction instructions on the ATM’s screen. Most Bitcoin ATMs will guide you smoothly through the whole process.
Do you want to buy a crypto that isn’t Bitcoin? Don’t worry. Many Bitcoin ATMs also offer various altcoins, such as Ether and Litecoin.
One-on-one crypto trading
Crypto trading involves collaborating with a third party that will sell your crypto for you. This method can be useful if you trust the person that acts as the middleman for you to trade your crypto. However, at the same time, it’s quite unlikely that you just happen to find someone who wants to sell exactly the amount of crypto you’re looking to buy.
Moreover, there is a high probability of getting scammed if you use this method with someone you don’t know too well. That’s why, although they’re a great idea in theory, we generally recommend staying away from in-person crypto trading events.
It’s a shame this method is so risky because, in theory, it’s one of the most anonymous ways of acquiring crypto. In fact, it’s often even more anonymous than using a Bitcoin ATM.
P2P crypto exchanges
A safer alternative to one-on-one trading can be found in using a P2P crypto exchange. These exchanges allow you to buy Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies directly from another trader.
They are much more anonymous than conventional crypto exchanges because they don’t require you to hand over your personal information and verify your identity.
HodlHodl, one of the most popular P2P exchanges, for instance, only requires an email address (which can be temporary) and a password.
These exchanges tend to be much safer than self-organized one-on-one trading. That’s because they have measures in place to make sure both parties hold up their end of the bargain.
Top VPNs You Can Buy With Cryptocurrency
Now that we’ve told you how to go about buying crypto anonymously, it’s time for the final step. We’re talking, of course, about anonymously buying a VPN with crypto. That’s why below, we’ll discuss the five best VPNs crypto can buy.
1. NordVPN: Get the best VPN anonymously
- NordVPN accepts the following cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Ripple (XRP).
- The provider has a strict no-logs policy to ensure high levels of privacy.
- NordVPN offers obfuscated servers to hide your VPN use in countries that punish VPN users.
NordVPN is a great and very privacy-oriented VPN that you can get anonymously. The provider accepts various cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin.
Privacy aficionados will be happy to know the VPN has a strict no-logs policy. In fact, this has been verified thrice during three separate privacy audits.
NordVPN also has very solid encryption protocols, to make sure your data is yours and yours alone. It also offers some great measures that provide you with even more anonymity and allow you to bypass censorship, such as its double VPN connections and obfuscated servers. Through double VPN connections, your traffic is routed through two servers, thereby your data is encrypted two times. Obfuscated servers will hide your data and also conceal the fact that you are using a VPN.
Last but not least, NordVPN’s subscriptions come at a very reasonable price and the provider also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Fast and large worldwide network of VPN servers
- Perfect for privacy and streaming
- Trusted by many, with over 14 million users
2. Surfshark: Secure doesn’t have to mean slow and impractical
- Surfshark accepts the following cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Ripple (XRP).
- This privacy solution doesn’t get in the way of daily tasks thanks to the incredible speeds of its servers.
- Surfshark has a solid no-logs policy.
Surfshark is a great option for those who want privacy, but also convenience. That’s because this provider, despite its strong encryption and privacy measures, offers blazing speeds. That way, you’ll be able to browse, stream, download, and game with security and without interruptions.
Surfshark accepts several cryptos, and Bitcoin is one of them. That way, you can purchase your subscription with a high degree of anonymity. What’s more, you’ll enjoy the same level of privacy while using Surfshark. This is thanks to its strict no-logs policy and strong 256-bit encryption.
You’ll also be happy to know that Surfshark is one of the most affordable premium VPNs. Furthermore, the provider offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and allows you to use its software on as many devices as you want!
3. ExpressVPN: Get the privacy pioneer with Bitcoin
- ExpressVPN accepts Bitcoin (BTC).
- The provider has a robust no-logs policy.
- ExpressVPN has strong encryption protocols to protect your data, among which are OpenVPN and Lightway.
It can’t really be a surprise to find ExpressVPN on a list of the best privacy tools. This provider was one of the first commercial VPNs and as such is a real privacy pioneer. The VPN, which has been known for its reliability for almost 15 years, can be acquired using Bitcoin.
Just like the other VPNs on this list, ExpressVPN has a strict no-logs policy. The provider is able to guarantee your data’s safety thanks to its headquarters located in the British Virgin Islands. That region has privacy laws that greatly protect consumers.
ExpressVPN comes at a higher price point than some other premium VPNs. However, their great, privacy-oriented service is definitely worth it. The provider also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
4. CyberGhost: One of the cheapest VPNs Bitcoin can buy
- CyberGhost accepts Bitcoin (BTC).
- This provider has a no-logs policy.
- CyberGhost is one of the cheapest premium VPNs you can buy anonymously.
CyberGhost is a great option if you’re looking for a VPN you can buy anonymously. This provider is actually one of the most affordable premium VPNs out there, meaning it won’t put a big dent in your Bitcoin wallet.
Don’t mistake CyberGhost’s affordability for a reflection of a low-tier service, however. This VPN allows you to protect up to seven devices with high-level encryption and several privacy measures. CyberGhost also has a no-logs policy.
What if, despite the VPN’s affordability and great service, you’re still not satisfied? Although this is hard to imagine, it’s no issue at all. After all, CyberGhost offers a very generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
5. Mullvad: A VPN provider that doesn’t even require your email
- Mullvad accepts the following cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Monero (XMR).
- Signing up for a Mullvad account is as anonymous as it gets: not even an email address is required.
- Mullvad has a firm no-logs policy.
At VPNOverview, we like to start and finish strong. That’s why we saved this privacy powerhouse for last. Mullvad offers a truly anonymous sign-up process that doesn’t even require an email address. Instead, you’ll get assigned a random number.
This provider accepts several cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Monero. Monero is one of the most anonymous cryptos out there. The fact Mullvad accepts this coin just shows how dedicated they are to protect their users’ privacy.
Mullvad also offers a strict no-logs policy, of course. Despite all of these privacy features, Mullvad isn’t overly expensive. They also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
How to Buy a VPN Anonymously With a Gift Card
Buying a VPN with a gift card can be another anonymous option for your safe browsing needs. The main advantage that gift cards hold over crypto or other online payment methods, is that they can be bought using cash. As far as anonymity goes, nothing beats good old bills and coins.
The above is the exact reason for our recommendation to buy your VPN gift card in a physical store, whenever possible. This means, provided you pay with cash, you don’t leave any money trace.
Below, we will mention two VPN providers that accept gift cards. We’ll also discuss where you can buy these gift cards.
We already mentioned Mullvad is an excellent option if you’re looking for a privacy-oriented VPN. Apart from its great privacy features, this is also shown by the fact it accepts gift cards. Best of all, you can buy Mullvad’s gift cards in physical stores, depending on where you live.
On Mullvad’s website, you can find a useful overview of stores and webshops that sell Mullvad gift cards. Note that these gift cards are anonymous, in that they don’t require registration. You simply choose the amount you want and that’s it.
Proton VPN is another great VPN that focuses a lot on privacy. Since it’s Swiss-based, it’s got a great legal framework to protect its users’ privacy on its side.
Proton VPN sells and accepts $20, $50, and $100 gift cards that you can use to pay for a VPN subscription. Unfortunately, Proton VPN’s gift cards are only available online. This means it’s not possible to buy a gift card without leaving a money trace.
Bonus tip: Buy a VPN with cash at a store
As you’ve probably noticed, there aren’t too many VPNs out there that still accept gift cards. Fortunately, however, there is another way to buy your VPN anonymously that’s not too different from using a gift card: buying a physical copy.
There are still some providers out there that allow you to go to a store like Walmart and buy a physical package that contains an activation code. For instance, at many Walmart stores all throughout the US, you can pick up a physical copy of NordVPN, Avast SecureLine VPN, or AVG Secure VPN.
This is a great way to buy your VPN completely anonymously since you can just use cash.
Buy a VPN Anonymously With a Prepaid Debit Card
Using a prepaid debit card is the final strategy we’ll discuss for buying a VPN anonymously. However, this is not one of the best ways to purchase a VPN if you want your personal details hidden. Yes, this method promises enhanced privacy in theory. After all, there are prepaid debit cards that are non-reloadable. These cards, unlike most cards that you can “top up,” generally don’t require ID verification.
You could think of these cards a little bit like “general gift cards.” They provide you with a fixed amount of credit that you can use at any (online) store that accepts the brand of your card.
Nevertheless, in practice using a prepaid card to pay for your personal VPN account often isn’t your best bet. Prepaid cards tend to get declined more often than debit cards and credit cards.
What’s more, since a subscription consists of recurring payments, it’s probably easiest to use a reloadable card. However, since these generally require ID verification, this is not a good way at all to buy a VPN anonymously.
Final Thoughts: Stay Anonymous When Buying a VPN
A VPN is a wonderful tool to help you stay anonymous on the internet, but if you want to go the extra mile and buy the VPN anonymously, you’ll need to jump through some hoops.
The safest ways to purchase a VPN without disclosing your personal details include using Bitcoin, gift cards, and prepaid debit cards. Buying Bitcoin is the most popular method, but that can come with drawbacks, such as not being able to get your money back if you are unhappy with a VPN provider.
Nevertheless, we’ve seen that for some the extra effort and risk that comes with this is worth it. Are you one of these people who want to be as anonymous as possible online? Then also be sure to check out our other articles on protecting your privacy:
- Browser Fingerprinting: What Is It and How Can You Prevent It?
- How Does Your Browser Know Your Location and How to Hide It
- How to Send Completely Anonymous Emails
If you’ve got a question about this article, you’ll most likely find the answer here. If not, feel free to leave a comment below!
If you want to buy a VPN anonymously, you have a few options:
- Using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies
- Getting a gift card and choosing from one of the few VPNs that accept them
- Going to a physical store to buy a VPN and paying in cash, if possible
- Using a prepaid debit card
Of these options, the first one is likely your best bet, as most popular VPNs accept cryptocurrencies.
People buy VPNs anonymously to make sure that none of their personal information, like their IP address, name, email address, purchase timestamp or payment details get exposed. This can be out of a simple desire to stay anonymous on the internet, or it can be related to perceived or actual danger to the individual.
Buying a VPN anonymously can be pretty time-consuming, it can cost you a bit more, and you probably won’t be able to get a refund as easily. So, if you live under a privacy-friendly government and you value the convenience of buying something through a regular bank account, you might want to think twice before buying a VPN anonymously.