If you care about your internet privacy, then you almost certainly know about the value of both VPNs and cryptocurrency. For the most secure internet experience, it’s a good idea to always use a VPN to protect your data and to pay for as many goods as possible with cryptocurrency to anonymise your spending. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the reasons that you might want to use a VPN when working with cryptocurrency or visiting cryptocurrency exchanges, then we’ll recommend the best VPNs to unblock crypto exchanges. Each of the VPNs that we recommend can be paid for with cryptocurrency for the highest possible level of security.
Are Cryptocurrency Transactions Fully Anonymous?
When it comes to Bitcoin, or other altcoins like Ethereum, many people are under the impression that cryptocurrencies are totally anonymous. Indeed, that is the very reason that many people want to use cryptocurrencies – so that they can protect their privacy by making their transactions private from their real identities. The transactions themselves can be seen by anyone on the network, as per the way that blockchain works, but the relationship between a cryptocurrency account and a real person’s identity should be private.
However, this isn’t actually always the case. When you make a transaction with Bitcoin or another altcoin, the transaction is not anonymous: you are in fact using a pseudonym. The trail of transactions being public is what allows the blockchain to function. This means that if any one of your cryptocurrency transactions is linked to your real identity, others will be able to work out any of the other transactions that you have made. You have to be careful to protect your identity even if you use Bitcoin.
One issue is when you use your Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency to pay for goods or services, you may be linking your Bitcoin address to your physical address. If you order items to be delivered to your house, this creates a link between your Bitcoin address and your personal identity. Another issue is when you visit a cryptocurrency exchange like Coinbase or Coinsquare, transactions are usually carried out over unencrypted connections. This means that it is theoretically possible for hackers or government snoops to defeat the security of these sites and observe your transactions.
Use A VPN To Stay Safe
While it is unlikely that you will experience a security problem when using a cryptocurrency exchange, especially if you use a well-established and trusted exchange, it’s still advisable to be careful. If you are exchanging large amounts of money and you are serious about online security, then using exchanges over an unsecured internet connection is a risk.
For this reason, many security conscious cryptocurrency users choose to use a VPN when making transactions or visiting cryptocurrency exchanges. A VPN protects you by encrypting all of the data which your device sends over the internet, making it virtually impossible for any person or organisation to track or observe your internet activity. Using a VPN in conjunction with cryptocurrencies makes you safer by making it significantly more difficult for any outside agents – whether they are hackers, government snoops, or other cryptocurrency users – to observe the data that you are sending over the internet. It is good security practise to always use a VPN when browsing the internet, but it’s especially valuable to security aware people who want to use cryptocurrency exchanges.
How To Choose A Secure VPN
When it comes to choosing a VPN to protect you when you make cryptocurrency transactions, you’ll find that there are hundreds of options to choose from. We’ve compiled a list of the most important features a VPN needs to have in order to be a good choice for a cryptocurrency user:
- Accept payment in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency. If you’re serious about your privacy, then the last thing you want is a direct link between your personal details and your complete internet history. Most people pay for their VPN service with their credit card, but this creates a direct link between your name and address and your internet activity. You want a VPN that you can pay for safely using cryptocurrency.
- Good security. The whole purpose of a VPN is to keep you safe, so you want crucial security features like strong 256-bit encryption to protect your data and a no logging policy so you can be sure that no records are kept of your internet use. The no logging policy is important because it means that even if your VPN provider is forced to hand over their user data, there are no actual records of your internet use for them to share.
- Fast connections. Slow internet is a nightmare to deal with, so you don’t want a VPN provider which only has slow connections. You want one with connections that are so fast that you won’t even notice that you’re using a VPN.
- A large server network. For the best flexibility when using your VPN, you want a provider with plenty of servers available in many different countries so that you can get around any regional restrictions and always find a server that meets your needs.
- Software support for a variety of platforms. If you’re going to pay for a VPN then you want one that will protect all of your devices, like your PC, laptop, phone, and tablet. Make sure to find a VPN that offers software for a big range of platforms so that you can install it on all of your devices.
We took all of these requirements in mind, and found recommendations for top VPNs for cryptocurrency users:
ExpressVPN is on of the best known and most respected VPN providers due to its fast speeds, good security, and large server network. The security features include strong 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy, plus features in the software like a kill switch which can automatically disconnect you from the internet when your VPN server goes down, to ensure that you never accidentally send data over an unsecured internet connection.
The server network boasts more than 1000 servers in 90 different countries, so it is one of the most flexible VPN providers and it will enable you to access content from anywhere in the world. The connections are also super fast, so you can use them for anything from streaming high definition video to loading extremely large web pages with no slow down.
The ExpressVPN software is available for a big variety of platforms, including many versions of Windows, plus Mac OS, Linux, iOS, and Android. There are also browser extensions available for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, for super quick and easy connection to a server. Finally, you can purchase a subscription to ExpressVPN using Bitcoin, in order to preserve your anonymity.
If you want a VPN that is known for its security above all else, then you should try NordVPN. It offers the essential strong 256-bit encryption and no logging policy, plus a unique feature of a special double encryption procedure. In this double encryption, your data is encrypted and then sent to a first server, where it is encrypted again and sent to a second server for decryption for maximum security. This means that the connections speeds are not as fast as ExpressVPN, but they’re still plenty fast enough to use comfortably. There are also extra features like a CyberSec option to get rid of annoying adverts and to protect you from malware, and there is DNS leak protection and an option to use Onion Over VPN. The server network covers more than 1000 servers in over 60 different countries so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
You can install the NordVPN software on a variety of devices including iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac OS, and there are also Chrome and Firefox browser extensions available. The software is also available for lesser used platforms like Raspberry Pi, Windows Phone, Chrome OS, and a number of smart TVs and routers. Best of all, you can pay for your NordVPN subscription using Bitcoin through the BitPay system, in order to keep your details private.
PureVPN is a good choice for those who are looking for an all in one security solution. It has the strong VPN security features you would expect, like strong 256-bit encryption and a no logging policy. But it has lots of extra features too, which can enhance your browsing safety. These features include anti virus and anti malware protection, plus an anti spam filter to keep your email inbox free of unwanted clutter. The app filtering option is perfect for those who want to have different security permissions for different software, as it allows you to choose which apps pass their data through the VPN and which do not. There’s a similar split tunnelling option to pass some data through your VPN and some through your regular ISP, and there are even more features like DDoS protection, a kill switch, the option for a dedicated IP, and a NAT firewall.
The network of servers includes more than 750 servers in 140 different countries, and the software can be installed on Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and Android TV devices. There are also browser extensions available for the Chrome and Firefox browsers. You can pay for your PureVPN subscription using the CoinPayments system which lets you use not only Bitcoin but also altcoins like Ether, Litecoin, BitBean, CloakCoin, Dash, LeoCoin, and many more.
StrongVPN is ideal for those who are concerned about hacking or government observation, as it has the option for up to 2048 bit encryption. This incredible high level of encryption makes it some of the strongest that is available on the market. Naturally, there is also a zero logs policy so you can be sure that no records of your internet use will be kept or saved. The server network is smaller than other providers, with servers available in 46 cities in 26 countries. This means that the VPN is less flexible than others for those who want to access region locked content, however, this is arguable made up for by the incredibly strong encryption available.
The connections are fast and reliable and there are no speed limits or charges for going over a certain amount of bandwidth. This means that you can use the VPN as much as you wish without worrying about incurring extra charges or facing throttling. The software can be installed using the automatic setup applications which are available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. Most importantly, you can pay for your StrongVPN subscription using Bitcoin in order to protect and preserve your anonymity.
For those who are serious about security, it’s a good idea to give yourself maximum protection when taking part in cryptocurrency transactions by using a VPN. By encrypting all of the data that you send over the internet, you’ll give yourself a higher level of security and privacy. This is particularly important when transferring large amounts of cryptocurrency or using exchanges like Coinbase.
We’ve recommended four VPNs for you that will not only keep you safe when browsing or when making cryptocurrency transactions, but which you can also pay for using Bitcoin or other altcoins. This ensures that there will be separation between your personal identity and your VPN account, which keeps you as safe as possible.
If you are a cryptocurrency user, do you use a VPN when making transactions? Which VPN have you found to be most secure? Let us know what you think in the comments below.