People who use cryptocurrency value their privacy and security. While Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP can’t keep your purchases completely anonymous, they can provide you with a layer of anonymity to keep you safe from hackers and from the prying eyes of the government. If you’re serious about your security, though, you’ll want to use a virtual private network, or VPN, whenever you’re buying or trading crypto.
FYI: A VPN conceals your actual IP address and encrypts all your web activity so you can do your online business in private.
The question is, which VPNs are the absolute best when it comes to cryptocurrency? We put them to the test, and we’ve got all the details below.
What do you want most in a VPN when you’re working with cryptocurrency? Security. What does NordVPN do better than any other VPN? Provide top-notch security. The company has a strict logging policy: It never records IP address, time stamps, or internet activity. It’s based in Panama, outside of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes jurisdictions, so it can’t be forced to turn over customer records. It utilizes multi-hop technology, routing all connections through not one but two or more different servers for maximum safety. The bottom line is you’re probably not going to find a VPN that offers more security features than NordVPN – and certainly not one in NordVPN’s price range.
What We Like
Excellent for buying and trading crypto
Strict logging policy
Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, 14 Eyes non-member
What We Don’t Like
Substandard customer service
Not all servers support torrenting
Only allows for six simultaneous connections
Slow speeds on Windows
Outside Surveillance Organizations
NordVPN is headquartered in Panama. Why does that matter? Because Panama isn’t a member of Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, or 14 Eyes. Nations that are members of these surveillance consortiums can force businesses, including VPN providers, to turn over sensitive customer data, such as IP addresses, time stamps, and browser activity logs. Many of us use cryptocurrency precisely because it isn’t tied to any specific government. We don’t want the U.S., or any other country, to be able to track how we use our money, where it comes from, or what we purchase. Why, then, would we want to allow government agencies to track our online movements, the sites we visit, and who we talk to? NordVPN’s very location ensures they can’t.
The whole point of a VPN is that it routes internet traffic through a secure, encrypted server so no one can track your IP address. What’s more secure than that? NordVPN offers something called multi-hop technology, which routes your internet traffic through two or more secure, encrypted servers. That means your IP addresses are doubly protected, making it virtually impossible for anyone to track what you’re doing. That’s the perfect feature if you’re trying to keep your crypto trading private.
Tons of Servers
NordVPN maintains 5,200 servers in 60 different countries. If you look at our comparison of NordVPN and ExpressVPN, you’ll discover that’s more than twice the number of servers as ExpressVPN. More servers in more locations means it’s always easy to find one nearby, and nearby servers mean a faster connection. All VPNs slow your connection speeds to some extent, so anything that helps to minimize that slowdown is a positive in our book.
One of the hallmarks of ExpressVPN is its secure encryption. The company utilizes the OpenVPN protocol, and provides AES-256 encryption for maximum protection. Just to be absolutely sure you’re safe, though, ExpressVPN maintains a strict logging policy as well. It never records sensitive data like IP addresses or browser activity. With ExpressVPN, then, you can be sure you are private and anonymous when you’re surfing the web.
What We Like
No data retention laws
Strict logging policy
Over 2,000 serves in 160 locations
What We Didn’t Like
No phone support
Slow speeds on Macs
Only five simultaneous connections
Strict Logging Policy
A VPN is only as secure as the encryption it uses to create the tunnel to its servers. ExpressVPN employs AES-256 encryption. That’s the same level of encryption used by the U.S. military and government agencies. The way we see it, if it’s safe enough for the military, it’s safe enough for us.
In addition to employing AES-256 encryption, ExpressVPN uses the OpenVPN protocol. Protocols serve as the instructions for how connections are routed to a server, and detail which kinds of encryption are used for each part of the process. OpenVPN is the gold standard when it comes to protocols. That’s because it is open-source software and has been tested and modified by hundreds, if not thousands, of technology experts. When that many people are checking it out, you can bet it’s as secure as it can possibly be.
Paying With Crypto
ExpressVPN’s price for a single month is $12.95 but if you sign up for a full year, that price falls to just $8.32 a month. Either way, one advantage of signing up for ExpressVPN is that you can pay using cryptocurrency. For now, the company only accepts Bitcoin, but when you pay this way, ExpressVPN won’t have any identifying records about you. You can’t get much more private than that.
Private Internet Access, or PIA, is a well-known VPN provider with over 10 years of experience under its belt. As a VPN, it protects your network connection while you trade cryptos, but it can do much more than that. From letting you purchase subscriptions using cryptos to giving you access to online tools that can safeguard your crypto wallet, there’s a lot to like about Private Internet Access.
Free one-year Boxcryptor subscription
Accepts cryptocurrencies as payments
Dedicated IP addresses are available
Based in the U.S. (under Five Eyes jurisdiction)
Apps could use design improvements
Not the best VPN speeds we’ve seen
Hit-or-miss customer support experience
Anonymous Payment Methods
After signing up, we were surprised to find out that our subscription included a one-year Boxcryptor account for free. In case you’re not aware, Boxcryptor is an encryption service that provides end-to-end encryption to your cloud backup accounts. Now, since many cryptocurrency owners like to keep a backup of their digital wallets in cloud storages, the Boxcryptor subscription can come in handy. While cloud backups provide some level of security, they aren’t a hundred percent hacking-proof. So before uploading your digital wallet to the cloud, you can encrypt it with Boxcryptor first to keep it safe.
Crypto traders know the importance of being decisive and quick-to-act, but you can’t be either of those if your VPN is slow to react. Fortunately, PIA connects quickly. In our experience, it takes the app about 5 seconds on average to establish a VPN connection. So if you need to make quick trades in the middle of getting coffee, PIA won’t let you down.
What we like most about Ivacy VPN are the little extras it offers. Of course, Ivacy kept our data safe and secure. In addition, though, it offers split tunneling, which helped us save bandwidth. We could access Netflix with ease, and when we needed more content, we could even switch to torrenting. All this comes for a great price, and we were even able to pay for our subscription using cryptocurrency.
What We Like
Strict logging policy
What We Didn’t Like
Slow download speeds
Located in Singapore, a Five Eyes partner
Poor Mac app
No kill switch for Android devices
Ivacy’s affordability is one of its most important selling points. The company offers a one-year subscription for just $3.50 a month and a two-year subscription for just $2.25 a month. Think that’s impressive? If you’re willing to commit to a five-year plan, you can get Ivacy for only $.99 a month. You won’t find a lower price anywhere. In fact, even if you’re looking for a month-by-month plan, which won’t require you to make a long-term commitment, Ivacy is still among the lowest-priced options on the market at $9.95 a month.
Price for a single month
Price per month with a one-year subscription
Price per month with a two-year subscription
Price per month with a five-year subscription
Paying With Cryptocurrency
The thing about Ivacy VPN is that it doesn’t just keep you safe when you’re trading cryptocurrency. It also lets you pay for your subscription using cryptocurrency. That helps reduce even further the amount of data the company keeps about you. If you pay with Bitcoin, Ether, Nano, or some other crypto, you don’t have to provide credit card information, and that means you don’t have to type in your email or physical addresses. For all practical purposes, Ivacy won’t have any personal information about you.
Ivacy offers split tunneling, a feature that allows you to use a normal Wi-Fi connection at the same time you’re using a VPN. We work remotely, and our favorite spot for getting things done is the corner coffee shop. With split tunneling, we were able to pull up our streaming music service on the shop’s public Wi-Fi, but could still send all of our sensitive work files through our VPN. We had the best of both worlds, which saved on bandwidth.
With CyberGhost, we knew we had the privacy and security to trade cryptocurrency securely. We also had the option to pay with Bitcoin, so we didn’t have to turn over our bank account information. What we loved most about CyberGhost, though, were the little extras like easy access to Netflix and responsive customer service. Best of all, CyberGhost’s price tag didn’t damage our wallets.
What We Like
Strong customer support
Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, 14 Eyes non-member
Logs IP addresses
Static IP addresses
Split tunneling only available for Android
Slow speeds on Windows
We know VPNs slow down connections to some extent. All that encryption uses up computing resources. CyberGhost minimized the lag, though, especially on our Macs. In our ping tests, our devices were only two milliseconds slower running the VPN than they were without it. We got similarly fast results when we tested upload and download speeds.
Sure CyberGhost is great for cryptocurrency, but we have other uses for our VPN as well. We watch a lot of Netflix, for instance, and we’re always looking for new content. It turns out, Netflix offers different shows and movies in different countries. With the best Netflix VPNs, like CyberGhost, we aren’t limited to just what’s available here in the U.S. We can watch U.K. content, Canadian content, even French content. Might as well put all those college French classes to use, right?
Customer service is sometimes hit or miss when it comes to VPNs. We get it: Privacy and anonymity are essential parts of a VPN service, so maybe companies don’t want to chat with us over the phone. Still, when we have a problem, we want to know we can get help right away. That wasn’t a problem with CyberGhost. The company offers online resources such as a thorough FAQ and a regularly updated blog. However, when we had questions about split tunneling, we got answers instantaneously from a helpful service tech through CyberGhost’s 24/7 live online chat feature.
We get asked all the time how we come up with lists such as this one. The simple answer is hard work. The more complicated answer is that we put every VPN through rigorous testing and look at absolutely every feature in minute detail. Only after this extensive process do we feel confident in ranking them.
Here’s a quick look at what we consider.
This particular list is all about cryptocurrency. As a result, our most important consideration was just how well each VPN did at protecting our online activities. For example, we looked for companies that use AES-256 encryption, the industry standard, and open-sourced protocols such as OpenVPN. In addition, we checked every VPN for WebRTC and DNS leaks to make sure our data wasn’t slipping out somewhere it shouldn’t. Finally, we gave bonus points to any VPN that featured multi-hop technology. This is because routing our connection through two or more separate servers provides an additional layer of protection.
The More You Know: A WebRTC leak allows hackers to see your actual IP address, even when you’re logged on to a VPN server.
In addition to security, we want our VPNs to give us complete anonymity when we’re online. This starts with checking all of their privacy policies to find out just what information they’re collecting about us and what they do with that information once they have it. VPNs almost always collect at least some personal data. They need this data to keep the service up and running. However, we want to know that they aren’t keeping track of our IP addresses, when we log on and off, or what sites we visited while we were online.
The other key component to privacy is who a VPN works with. We make sure the VPNs at the top of our lists don’t give or sell any of our data to corporate partners. In addition, we like companies based in countries outside the Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes surveillance consortiums. VPNs in these places can’t be forced by government agencies to turn over customer data.
Knowledge Base: Five Eyes, Nine Eyes, and 14 Eyes countries have agreed to share citizen internet data with one another in the name of national security.
It bears repeating that all VPNs slow devices down to a certain extent. It’s unavoidable. The question is: How much does a particular VPN slow things down? We run each VPN through speed tests developed by Ookla, looking specifically at Ping rates, download speeds, and upload speeds. We run tests on both Windows and Mac devices, looking to see how fast a device works with the VPN running and how fast it works without it. Then we figure the exact percentage difference between those two numbers. That percentage allows us to compare one VPN directly with others.
The way we see it, the more features a VPN offers the better. For instance, we especially like VPNs that allow us to access Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and other streaming services. We’re partial to VPNs that provide torrenting tools. Finally, we are always on the lookout for VPNs that feature split tunneling. With split tunneling, we can use our VPN and still access the regular internet, saving us bandwidth.
In Case You’re Wondering: Split tunneling is a service some VPNs offer that allows users to log on to the regular internet at the same time they are using the VPN.
Want more great VPN options when it comes to streaming services? Check out our lists of:
Few VPNs offer phone support, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be responsive to our questions and problems in other ways. We like when companies offer extensive knowledge bases and blogs. Our absolute favorite, though, is when a VPN provides a 24/7 online chat service so we can get professional help the moment we need it.
Last, but certainly not least, we examine each VPN’s pricing structure carefully. Obviously, we care about the bottom line. For instance, we prefer VPNs with a maximum cost of $12 a month. However, we’re also interested in pricing options. We like knowing we can sign up for a single month of a service if we want to, but we also get excited when companies offer deep discounts for longer subscriptions. Of course, in the end, we’re more interested in value than price. Even a free VPN isn’t a bargain if it doesn’t actually provide things like privacy and security.
Want to be an expert on VPNs yourself? Check out our complete VPN guide to find out what to look for when you’re comparison shopping.
We wouldn’t do what we do if we weren’t big believers in security and privacy. That’s one reason we like cryptocurrency. It gives us the freedom to make purchases without handing over all our personal information to vendors. There’s no point in using cryptocurrency, though, if we’re just going to give out our IP addresses. We need a VPN too. Only when our crypto transactions happen with complete anonymity can we feel completely secure.
Still have a few lingering questions about the best VPNs for cryptocurrency? We’ve taken the time to answer the ones we tend to hear the most often.
NordVPN is the best VPN for cryptocurrency. NordVPN combines the safety and security of AES-256 encryption and multi-hop technology with features like 5,200 global servers and
split tunneling. Plus, the company actually accepts many kinds of cryptocurrency as payment. Other good VPNs that deal with cryptocurrency include ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, Ivacy VPN, and CyberGhost.
Yes, VPNs are useful for dealing with cryptocurrency. First, by assigning you an anonymous IP address and routing your internet connection through an encrypted tunnel, a VPN makes your cryptocurrency transactions more secure. In addition, a VPN adds an extra layer of privacy to your cryptocurrency transactions. If your purchases take place via a secure VPN, they are that much harder to trace.
It is not illegal to use a VPN for buying and trading cryptocurrency in countries where VPNs and cryptocurrency are both legal. That is, assuming your country has not outlawed these activities, you are perfectly within your rights to use them together. There are, of course, countries that have banned cryptocurrencies, including China and Russia. Likewise, there are a few countries where VPN usage is forbidden, including China, Russia, North Korea, the UAE, Turkey, and Iraq. Outside of these places, however, you are free to trade cryptocurrency via a VPN to your heart’s content.