The primary reason for setting up a VPN is to ensure your online privacy and security. There is, however, another aspect of your online activity that you need to consider carefully when using VPN services, and that is anonymity. Another effective measure you can take to further protect yourself online is paying for your VPN services anonymously.
If you’re among the users who prefer to maintain their anonymity, you can use alternative payment methods which, albeit more daunting, ensure that your identity remains safe. In this article, we take a look at some of these methods.
The importance of making anonymous payments for your VPN
Payments made through payment services such as credit cards, debit cards and PayPal require users to give up some information to confirm their identity. The information includes such details as your billing addresses, which can be easily used to determine your unique identity. Payment services need to do this to prevent fraud.
The details you give up when using payment services are recorded by the payment processing company. They could be traced back to your bank account if need be. This also applies to PayPal. It is for this reason that using a VPN that has a strict no-logging policy is important. It ensures that there’s no connection between your personal account information and your VPN activity.
Unfortunately, not all VPNs can be completely relied upon not to keep any logs of your online activity. Some keep a small amount of your metadata to facilitate billing. With the right technology, this information can be used to determine your identity. Depending on how sensitive your online activities are, you may want to remain completely anonymous. People who find value in complete anonymity include journalists, whistleblowers, and activists.
Another additional benefit of paying anonymously is that it prevents a VPN provider from automatically billing your account. This is important if you’re using one of the services that make it difficult for their users to cancel their subscription.
Methods for making anonymous payments for your VPN services
This is by far the most popular means of making anonymous payments for your VPN services. It can, however, seem quite overwhelming if you’re new to it. But after taking a bit of time to learn how cryptocurrencies work, you shouldn’t have a problem. Examples of widely-used digital currencies in the market include Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Altcoin. The most popular is Bitcoin and most leading VPN providers accept it.
Advantages of paying using Bitcoin:
- Most effective method for ensuring anonymity
- Typically easier to use than payment services such as credit cards or PayPal
- Favorable exchange rates
- Low transaction costs
- The value of the currency continues to grow
- Not all VPNs accept it
- You need to take time to learn to use it
- Some providers offer no refunds for Bitcoin payments
- Digitally generated debit cards
On privacy.com, you can link your bank account with a digital debit card. You can generate multiple digital debit cards (as many as you want), use each one of them to make payments online, and discard it at will. All online stores accept these cards. Like Bitcoin, these cards can be used to prevent automatic billing because you can easily cancel the card.
Advantages of paying using generated debit cards:
- Hides your identity
- Encrypts your information using 256-bit AES encryption
- No fraud alerts
- Easy to use
- Accepted by all VPN providers
- Still relatively new, so not many people are talking about it on forums (in case you need troubleshooting advice)
- Store gift cards
VPN services can be paid for using gift cards bought at stores. It’s virtually impossible to trace a gift card back to the person who used it to make a purchase of any item or service online. This makes it perfect for ensuring anonymity when paying your VPN subscription fee. This form of payment is akin to paying your provider cash for the service.
Advantages of paying using store-bought gift cards
- Easy to use
- Gift cards can be bought with cash
- Effectively hides your identity
- Might attract a premium rate from the provider
- Few providers accept it (including PrivateInternetAccess and TorGuard)
Paying for your VPN services using Bitcoin
The first step to making payments for VPN services using Bitcoin is getting some Bitcoin and putting it in a Bitcoin wallet. Here’s the process. One of the best places to get started is Coinbase. The process for purchasing a TorGuard subscription using Bitcoin is here. In short, it’s as follows:
- Click “Buy Now”
- Select Bitcoin as the payment option
- Select “Subscribe with Bitcoin” or “Pay with Bitcoin”
- Copy and paste the BTC address into your Bitcoin wallet or scan the QR for the payment to be processed
Upon successful completion of the above steps, you’ll receive a payment confirmation on the website and in your email.
>Paying for your VPN services using digitally generated debit cards
This is the newest among the three methods of anonymous payment, yet it’s the easiest and universally accepted not only for VPN services but also other online products. To guarantee maximum security, privacy.com employs 256-bit AES encryption.
The process is as follows:
- Visit com
- Set up an account and generate a debit card number by clicking “Create your card”
- Copy and paste the card information where you normally enter the card details when checking out of the VPN payment page
Paying for your VPN services using digitally generated debit cards
Providers that accept this form of payment are few. Here, we’ll use PrivateInternetAccess (PIA) for illustration.
The process is as follows:
- Go to the payments page of PIA
- Scroll down till you see ‘Get VPN Access” inside the frame “pay anonymously with gift cards”… click it
- Select your gift card from the numerous options available
- If you don’t have a gift card, you can instantly buy one and it’ll be sent to your email
- Enter the gift card, check balance, and click “pay”
- A confirmation email will be sent shortly afterward
Hiding your IP address while purchasing a VPN
We typically advise our readers against using public Wi-Fi without a VPN. However, proxies and VPNs are not allowed by most providers when making payments. This is where a public IP becomes useful. When using a public Wi-Fi, your device is assigned a public IP which masks your actual IP. Use it when paying for your VPN. Thereafter, you can browse on public Wi-Fi under the protection of a VPN.
A final word from VPN Base
Paying anonymously for VPN services need not be a difficult task. In brief, the methods available include paying via Bitcoin, digitally generated debit cards, or store-bought gift cards. Just be sure to use a valid email address to receive our login credentials. And remember, hiding your IP using a proxy or VPN while making payments for VPN services won’t work.