If you’re looking to upgrade your privacy and use the internet anonymously, a VPN is the way to go. That said, you can’t be truly anonymous if the VPN provider you pick knows too much about you.
But, you’d be surprised how many people sign up for a VPN using a credit card or PayPal, leaving a glaring paper trail and revealing all kinds of personal information in the process.
Rightfully so, those of us concerned about online privacy prefer to buy a VPN with Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. It’s still not a perfect method, but infinitely better than using a credit card. And, as we’ll see shortly, the process is just as easy as using any other payment method.
Because not all VPNs accept cryptocurrencies, I have also compiled a list of the best ones that do. In case you don’t yet have a specific provider in mind or your VPN of choice balks at Bitcoin, you’ll find that list a little further down the article.
How to buy a VPN with Bitcoin?
There are two things you need to make an anonymous VPN purchase with Bitcoin: a wallet and an email address.
If you don’t already have one, choosing a Bitcoin wallet and setting it up is easy. My suggestion is to go with a mobile wallet – they tend to offer the best balance of convenience and anonymity.
Most VPN providers also ask for an email address when signing up. If you’re okay with leaving a small trail, you can use your own. I prefer to use an anonymous email service, with ProtonMail being my weapon of choice (though there are many other options too).
And if you want to keep things even more anonymous, you’ll also want to complete your VPN signup from an IP address that can’t be tied to you. Ideally, use the Tor Network. But, any public Wi-Fi hotspot should do nicely too.
With the above items sorted, here are the steps for buying a VPN with Bitcoin.
- Pick a VPN service that allows payment with cryptocurrencies. CyberGhost is who I use these days, but any of the best VPNs listed further down will also work very well (remember that many of them offer discounts too).
- On your chosen VPN’s website, start the signup process by picking a subscription plan. When you get to the payment section, look for, and pick the Bitcoin or cryptocurrency payment option. Here is what that looks like for CyberGhost.
- Enter your email address (which is almost always needed for VPN account activation) and continue. In the case of CyberGhost, you’ll be taken to the BitPay portal. Other providers may use other crypto payment companies, but the process is very similar.
- You may be asked to pick which wallet you use and, depending on your wallet, which cryptocurrency you would like to go with. Being as popular as it is, Bitcoin payments should always be an option.
- Next, you’ll be shown a QR code or payment URL. Pick whichever method works best for you (if you’re using a mobile wallet, all you need to do is scan the QR code) and confirm the transaction in your wallet. You may then have to wait a few minutes for the transaction to process.
- Once the transaction completes, you are all signed up. Download and install the VPN app to your device and enjoy your new-found online privacy and freedom.
As I’ve mentioned, not all VPNs accept cryptocurrencies, including several big-name providers. For example, even though you used to be able to, you can no longer pay IPVanish with Bitcoin.
That said, there are still plenty of excellent options out there. If you’re open to suggestions, check out five of my favorites below.
The Best VPNs That Accept Bitcoin
To make my list of the best VPNs you can buy with Bitcoin, first and foremost, a provider needs to accept Bitcoin (of course). Beyond that, the VPN needs to:
- Have a strict no-logs policy
- Use strong encryption standards and have robust leak protection features
- Use shared dynamic server IP addresses to maximize anonymity
- Have excellent and consistent performance
Now, without further ado, here are my top five choices.
Payment service provider: BitPay
A big reason why CyberGhost ended up at the top of this list is because of how easy it is to use. Even those of us with zero VPN experience can get up and running in no time.
Easy of use is, of course, not the only reason. CyberGhost also features a huge, geographically diverse VPN server network with an eye-popping 10297 servers in 100 countries.
P2P is supported, and there are even servers dedicated to streaming specific services (the BBC iPlayer or US Netflix, for example). That way, you never have to guess where to connect for the best experience.
There’s a lot to like about CyberGhost, but don’t take just my word for it. With a best-in-business 45-day money-back guarantee, you’ll have plenty of time to try out this excellent VPN service for yourself.
- Zero logging for maximum privacy
- Excellent server distribution with nearly 10300 servers in 100 countries
- Very fast connection speeds
- Works with US Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Allows P2P torrenting
- Long 45-day money-back guarantee
- Parent company with a questionable reputation
- Convoluted manual OpenVPN setup
- Doesn't work from China
Payment service provider: BitPay
PIA was one of the first VPN services to accept Bitcoin and indeed does so to this day. With a server list that includes 129 locations, Private Internet Access combines ease of use with high-end features for one excellent all-around VPN solution.
They have a strict no-logging policy (and are the only top-tier VPN service to prove that in court), top-of-the-line-encryption, and speeds that let you do even the most bandwidth-intensive of online activities.
And if it’s ultimate payment anonymity you’re looking for – even beyond what cryptocurrencies can give – PIA is one of the very few VPNs that accept store-bought gift cards that you can pay for with cash.
Private Internet Access has an unconditional, 30-day money-back guarantee. And you can get a refund even if you canceled before, assuming at least three months have passed since. Give PIA a try and, if you’re not quite happy, you can wait three months and try again. There’s nothing to lose.
- Proven no logs provider
- Top-notch encryption and security
- Very affordable
- Good server speeds
- Excellent newly redesigned apps
- Allows torrenting and P2P
- Located in the US - not ideal for privacy
- Poor Netflix and BBC iPlayer support
Payment system: CoinPayments
As, arguably, the best-known name in the world of VPNs, it shouldn’t be a surprise that NordVPN made this list.
A robust global network of nearly 6000 servers in 60 countries gives you plenty of connection options. And because the service relies on unbreakable AES-256 encryption, they’re an excellent choice for security too.
NordVPN offers plenty of features. From double VPN configurations and kill switches to TOR over VPN and SmartPlay DNS for no-hassle international streaming access, it’s all there. In other words, there’s nothing NordVPN won’t let you do.
With the longest list of accepted cryptocurrencies of all providers on this list, excellent customer support, and a long 30-day money-back guarantee, this is a VPN anyone will be happy with.
- Excellent download and upload speeds
- Large ever-expanding server network
- Great privacy with independently verified no logging policy
- Specialty servers (including double VPN, obfuscated, and Tor over VPN)
- Clean, easy to use client
- Works with Netflix and other streaming services
- Allows torrenting and P2P
- Offers dedicated IP addresses
- No split tunneling feature
- A bit pricey on shorter-term plans
Payment service provider: CoinGate, CoinPayments
A relative newcomer, Surfshark has very quickly become one of the best VPN providers. Despite being a young company, you’re getting just as much – if not more – than with the established competition. Take their impressively fast and large server network that spans no less than 99 countries, for example.
Surfshark is also the only VPN service that doesn’t have simultaneous connection limits – you can use it on as many devices as you want all at once. And every device will benefit from secure 256-bit encryption, a zero-logging policy, and one of the best streaming and torrenting experience around.
Whether you pay with Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple, you can get a refund for up to 30 days. And did I mention Surfshark is the least expensive VPN on this list? No other provider gives you this much for so little.
- Excellent privacy and security with no logging
- Great server performance
- Unblocks Netflix, BBC, and many others
- Easy to use client
- Unlimited simultaneous connections
- Torrenting support network-wide
- Very inexpensive
- Inconsistent speeds at a few locations
- Fairly slow customer support
Payment processor: BitPay
Last, but by no means least, is ExpressVPN. With a network boasting 3000+ servers in a whopping 163 locations spread throughout 106 countries, there’s almost no corner of the globe that ExpressVPN doesn’t reach. Their servers are known for excellent speeds too.
ExpressVPN features a no-logging policy, supports torrenting, and offers a kill switch and DNS leak protection in all versions of their brilliant app. Their custom DNS servers make it easy to stream your favorite services on a connected TV or set-top box without annoying regional restrictions.
One drawback is that ExpressVPN accepts only Bitcoin payments (on top of traditional methods, of course). It’s not a huge deal considering Bitcoin’s popularity, but still, other crypto options would be nice.
But even taking that into account, considering how good ExpressVPN’s service is, their outstanding customer support, and a no questions asked 30-day money-back guarantee, they’re more than worthy of a spot on this best VPN list.
- A feature-rich and intuitive client
- Strong back-end technology
- Plenty of servers and server locations
- Fast and consistent connection speeds
- Works with US Netflix
- Top-notch customer support
- Some aggregated logging
- Not the cheapest
Why buy a VPN with cryptocurrencies
The biggest reason for making a VPN crypto purchase is improved anonymity compared to most other forms of payment. When you pay with Bitcoin or any of its brethren, there is no personally identifiable information passed around.
While that doesn’t guarantee complete anonymity, it’s better than blindly trusting a company you ultimately know very little about with your credit card and personal information.
At the very least, Bitcoin payments offer an extra layer of security that makes it much harder for anyone to connect you with your VPN account and, by extension, much, much harder to connect you to any online activity.
Are cryptocurrencies completely anonymous?
The short answer is no, cryptocurrencies are not fully anonymous. Exchanges are much more under the microscope than they used to be. To continue operating, most have to collect and report different types of information about their users (primarily for tax enforcement purposes).
Many global spy and law enforcement agencies, including the NSA, also like to keep tabs on exchanges and what they’re used for.
That said, even though someone is potentially always watching, unless you’re into international money laundering or other similarly sketchy activities, you have nothing to worry about.
Ultimately, using Bitcoin as a payment method for your VPN subscription gives an excellent extra layer of privacy and anonymity. No, it’s not perfect but, in my option, still well worth it.
Should you pay for a VPN with cryptocurrencies?
Having said all that, should you buy VPN with Bitcoin? It depends on what you do and how worried you are about your privacy.
For the average person, those of who use a VPN to prevent ISP download throttling or to stream geo-blocked content, the answer’s probably no. Even if you use BitTorrent, as long as you’re using a proven no-log VPN, the answer is still probably no.
But, if you already have a Bitcoin wallet and some coin handy, there’s no downside to using it to pay for a VPN. I would also consider it if you’re dead set on not sharing your personal details with anyone who doesn’t really need them.
So, the bottom line for most of us is this – use cryptocurrencies if it’s convenient, but don’t sweat it too much if you don’t.
While it’s not the bulletproof anonymity option many of us think it is, when you buy a VPN with Bitcoins, you get a strong extra layer of privacy protection you won’t get otherwise. But, an absolute must, it is not.
Getting a VPN service period, however, is well worth it. With the oh so many benefits that come with using one, Bitcoin payment or not, you’ll be glad you did.