There’s nothing like eBay for online shopping, but it isn’t a totally secure platform unless you use a VPN. So equipped, you can handle all your transactions over an Internet connection protected by military-grade encryption. You can even guarantee access to eBay even if you travel to a country where the site is geoblocked. We show you how below.
eBay was one of the early success stories of the modern internet. The service brings auctions to the online world, allowing anyone to sell items to the highest bidder, no matter where they live. Around the world, people use eBay to get rid of old stuff, sell unique goods, or even make a living as an online auctions entrepreneur. And if you’ve ever wanted to get your hands on a rare item, eBay is certainly the first place you turn.
The worldwide nature of eBay makes it an incredibly useful service, but it also brings a few dangers. Cyber criminals know that people utilizing eBay as both buyers and sellers will be sending payment information over the internet. By taking advantage of vulnerable users, it’s easy to scoop up credit card numbers or PayPal information, especially if you’re using eBay from a public Wi-Fi hotspot.
The best way to protect yourself from these kinds of dangers is to use a virtual private network. By running a VPN each time you connect to eBay, you can keep your data and your identity safe. Below we discuss the best VPNs for eBay that will help secure your online shopping in no time.
Bid in safety with the right VPN
How many VPNs are on the market today? Hundreds, if not thousands. Finding the best one to use with eBay can be a challenge, especially if you’re new to the online privacy scene. There’s a lot of information to research and digest, everything from speed scores to encryption practices to privacy policies. How can you sort through the noise to find the best VPN for eBay? By checking out our suggestions below.
We prioritized VPN features by importance and used them to test some of the biggest and most trustworthy VPN services on the market. Our search criteria are listed below, followed by a series of recommendations that can help keep you safe and secure when logging onto eBay.
- Device compatibility – You can use eBay from smartphones, tablets, and PCs alike. If you want to stay safe, your VPN needs to support those same platforms.
- Fast speeds – VPNs are usually slower than an unencrypted internet connection. To maintain good speeds, find a service that doesn’t lag behind.
- Server distribution – The more servers a VPN operates, the better your chances of finding a fast connection.
- Traffic restrictions – Some VPNs block P2P networks and torrent traffic or restrict how much you can download.
- Zero-logging policy – If a VPN doesn’t have a zero-logging policy, it’s potentially harmful to your privacy.
Most secure VPNs for private eBay transactions
We tested out the market to bring you our list of the most secure VPNs for safer shopping on eBay:
ExpressVPN is one of the fastest and easiest to use VPNs on the market. You’ll get top speeds from nearly all of the company’s 3,000+ servers spread across 94 countries, including dozens of locations throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas. All of these are accessible from an intuitive one-click software interface that runs on mobile, PC, and tons of other devices. To secure your connection with a fast, reliable, low-lag server, all you need to do is sign in and click to begin. And if you ever do run into some lag, ExpressVPN lets you run speed tests from within the app to help you find a less congested server for faster connections.
All data that passes through the ExpressVPN service is protected with 256-bit AES encryption and backed by a zero-logging policy on traffic, DNS requests, and IP addresses. There’s also both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch to create a reliable safety net in case of an accidental disconnect, not to mention unlimited bandwidth and easy and unlimited server switching for all users.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
- SPECIAL OFFER: 3 months free (49% off - link below)
- 94 countries, 3,000+ servers
- Very simple and easy to use
- Strict no-logs policy
- 24/7 Customer Service.
- Slightly more expensive than some other options.
NordVPN operates one of the largest server networks on the market. The list is constantly changing as the company adds new nodes, but right now users have access to over 5,500 servers in 59 countries. You’ll always be able to connect to a fast server with NordVPN, no matter where you live. There are also several unique services only offered by NordVPN, including protection against DDoS attacks, double encryption, and onion over VPN routing for added security.
NordVPN provides a thorough zero-logging policy that covers everything from bandwidth to time stamps, traffic to IP addresses. Your activity is never recorded or shared with third parties, which helps keep your privacy intact, even in restrictive, surveillance-heavy countries that block eBay and other sites. Backing these features is 256-bit AES encryption on all data, an automatic kill switch, DNS leak protection, and a host of customizable encryption features.
Read our full NordVPN review.
- Servers optimized for unblocking Netflix
- Over 5,400 servers in 61 countries
- 256-bit AES encryption with perfect forward secrecy
- Retains no metadata of your browsing
- Customer Service (24/7 Chat).
- Some servers can have average d/l speeds
- Apps can be a bit cumbersome to use.
CyberGhost is one of the easiest to use VPNs on the market, offering up the perfect mix of speed, security, and location variability in a single package. Users enjoy smart software that runs on Mac, PC, Windows, iOS, Android, and plenty of other devices, allowing for quick connections and incredibly detailed configurations without over-complicating things. CyberGhost runs a network of over 5,900 servers in 90 countries as well, making it one of the fastest and most reliable VPNs on the market.
Strong privacy forms the foundation of CyberGhost’s VPN service, keeping you secure with 256-bit AES encryption on all data, a zero-logging policy on traffic, time stamps, and IP address, and both DNS leak protection and an automatic kill switch. With CyberGhost on your device, you can use the internet safely and securely from any country in the world, and shop on eBay with complete confidence.
Read our full CyberGhost review.
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- 3,600+ servers in 55+ countries
- Located in Romania (out of 14 eyes)
- No logs policy
- Live chat support (24/7).
- Some streaming sites cannot be unblocked.
PrivateVPN is a strong and balanced service that lets you stay secure anywhere in the world, no matter if you’re streaming, surfing, shopping, or buying and selling on eBay. PrivateVPN creates this secure environment without sacrificing speed or ease of use, either, making it one of the best VPNs for everyday use. What’s more, the software works perfectly on smartphones, desktop PCs, and Fire TV, too, all thanks to a lightweight and intuitive interface.
PrivateVPN runs a network of over 150 servers in 60+ countries, delivering all the speed, security, and location variety you need to stay safe and anonymous online. The service locks down data with 256-bit AES encryption, keeps your connection safe with an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection, and features a zero logging policy on all traffic, as well. Need to lock down your identity while using eBay? PrivateVPN is a great way to do it.
PureVPN gives users instant access to an incredible array of VPN privacy and security features. It also delivers anti-virus protection, malware shields, app blocking features, and DNS website filtering, all wrapped into one convenient package. This helps you stay safe from all sorts of online dangers, making PureVPN an ideal choice for pairing with eBay. All you have to do is download the app, choose the extra protections you’d like, and you’re good to go.
PureVPN keeps you safe with a variety of encryption and privacy features, as well. It starts with a zero-logging policy on traffic, an automatic kill switch, solid 256-bit AES encryption on all data, and DNS leak protection. These work alongside the company’s self-owned private network of over 2,000 servers in 140 different countries, providing a ton of options for fast, safe, and secure connections.
Read our full PureVPN review.
Why do you need a VPN for eBay?
From cyber criminals harvesting data to fake Wi-Fi signals in public cafes, there’s always someone out there who wants to steal your information. Since using eBay requires submitting personal financial details, you should take every precaution you can to stay safe while buying and selling.
Fight fake hotspots
One of the first things all of us do when we step into a cafe, library, hotel, or bus station is pull out our phones to see if there’s an open Wi-Fi hotspot in the area. This simple connection to the online world can be extraordinarily convenient, especially if we’ve got a little time on our hands. Unfortunately, cyber criminals know these patterns, too, and they often set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots to harvest information from unsuspecting users. If you access eBay while connected to one of these networks, your financial information could be stolen.
FULL GUIDE: What to do if you’re a victim of identity theft
It can be extremely difficult to spot fake hotspots on your own. They usually masquerade as legitimate networks, often even labeled and password protected. If you walk into the Amazing Cafe, see the Amazing Cafe Wi-Fi hotspot, and connect using the password listed on the counter, you might think everything is ok. Sadly, you don’t know who’s really running that hotspot, or what has been done to alter the connection. A data sniffing program could be installed without your knowledge.
Instead of being paranoid about connecting to these open hotspots, your best bet is to employ a decent virtual private network. VPN apps encrypt data leaving your device, meaning that even if you were connected to a bad Wi-Fi network, the thieves wouldn’t get any of your information, just garbled code. You can shop on eBay, check your e-mail, or browse social media all you like, safe and secure behind your wall of VPN encryption.
Protect personal information
When you use an online shopping and auctions site like eBay, you are, by default, sharing a lot of personal information. Shipping origin, payment details, and even your current physical location are all sent through eBay and posted for other users to see. A lot of this helps fight fraud to keep the site as legitimate as possible, but there’s no reason to give up more information than you need.
Using a VPN when you connect to eBay masks your present location from every entity along the chain of data transmission. Your ISP can’t tell where your traffic is coming from, eBay’s servers can’t tell, and any hackers sitting between you and the internet won’t know where your packets of data are originating. Simply put, a VPN gives you back a measure of privacy, even when you’re already sharing a lot of personal information.
Avoid censorship and internet fast lanes
Net neutrality is under threat in many countries. If you’re visiting one of these areas, you may notice your connection throttled, or eBay blocked altogether. This is the result of online censorship implemented by governments and ISPs, and it can be extremely frustrating for travelers and citizens alike.
You can avoid all the net neutrality drama by using a VPN on all of your devices. Encrypting your traffic and anonymizing your identity makes it easy to break through barriers of this nature. If an ISP can’t tell who you are or what data you’re trying to access, it can’t block your connection, it’s that simple.
Other eBay safety tips
VPNs aren’t the only tool you can deploy to keep your privacy and identity locked down online. Use the following tips to ensure you always stay safe when you log on.
- Change your password regularly – Different sources offer different advice on this, but you should change your password on all important sites at least once every few months.
- Install secure browser extensions – Ensure browser security by installing HTTPS Everywhere and Privacy Badger, two extensions that force an encrypted connection and disable tracking scripts respectively. They’re the perfect companions for using eBay on a web browser.
- Keep your eBay details unique – It’s important that you don’t reuse your eBay credentials on another site. Make sure your user ID is exclusive to eBay and isn’t just the first part of your e-mail address, too.
- Never use free VPNs – Free VPN services can destroy your privacy by logging or selling your data. It’s best to stick with a trusted paid VPN provider.
- Run anti-virus and firewall programs – Viruses slip through most VPNs undetected, and key loggers or trojan horses are just as dangerous with a VPN active. Keep your anti-virus and firewall programs active at all times for maximum protection.
- Use a strong password – eBay encourages good password use, but you can always do better. Make sure your password is at least eight characters long and contains a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
Using a VPN with eBay
Using a VPN with eBay lets you stay safe while shopping, bidding, and selling online. It’s incredibly easy to protect your data, too. Once you’ve chosen a service and signed up with a VPN, follow the steps below to lock down your information for good.
- To begin, open a web browser on a PC or laptop and sign into your VPN account. Download the app for your preferred operating system. If you want to use the VPN on a mobile device (iOS, Android), you may be redirected to an apps marketplace to begin the process.
- Install the VPN app on your device, launch the software, and sign in using your account credentials. Most apps will automatically connect to the fastest server as soon as you launch, which should be perfect for most users. You can change the server location if you like, but if it’s speed and privacy you’re after, stick with the default.
- Finally, open a web browser and visit ipleak.net. The page will automatically run an IP address lookup to make sure your VPN connection doesn’t have any leaks. When the scan completes, you will see a box near the top that says Your IP addresses. Just below it should show a country that isn’t the one you’re currently sitting in, meaning the VPN is secure and you’re ready to use eBay in peace.
Fired up and ready to use eBay securely? Running a VPN while accessing online shopping and auction sites is a great way to ensure your data stays safe no matter what. You won’t have to worry about data thieves or snooping ISPs, and government surveillance programs won’t be able to find any information about you or your connection. And best of all, VPNs are extremely easy to use.
What’s the first thing you plan on buying with your new, private connection to eBay? Or are you more interested in securing your eBay shop to protect it from hackers? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
If you need a VPN for a short while when traveling for example, you can get our top ranked VPN free of charge. ExpressVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. You will need to pay for the subscription, that’s a fact, but it allows full access for 30 days and then you cancel for a full refund. Their no-questions-asked cancellation policy lives up to its name.