Top 5 Best VPNs for Buying Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies in 2019

Top10.com StaffByTop10.com StaffOct. 07, 2019
VPN for Bitcoin
Bit by bit, bitcoin is gaining acceptance as an online payment option. While many people regard Bitcoin as an investment akin to stocks or bonds, the reality is Bitcoin is a currency that can be used to buy goods and services. There are numerous advantages to using Bitcoin to buy things, but buyer beware: always take security precautions.

What is Bitcoin and How Does it Work?

Bitcoin is the world’s best-known cryptocurrency. A cryptocurrency (or “crypto” for short) is a digital currency that uses cryptography to secure transactions. Bitcoin and many other cryptos are based on blockchain technology, a distributed ledger spread across disparate computers with no centralized data storage.

Cryptos like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple not regulated by any central bank or government. This distinguishes them from Fiat money like dollars, euros, and pounds, which are deemed money by government regulation.

Bitcoin is a highly speculative currency prone to massive fluctuations. On Dec 17, 2017, it hit an all-time high of one bitcoin to $19,783. In the 12 months to September 2019, the Bitcoin price fluctuated between $3,195 and $12,575

What Can You Do with Bitcoin?

Like US dollars and other types of Fiat money, Bitcoin can be exchanged for other currencies or used to purchase goods and services. Unlike Fiat money, Bitcoin isn’t printed as hard cash and cannot be linked to credit cards. If you own Bitcoin and/or other cryptocurrencies, what you need is a digital wallet that lets you store, buy, sell, receive or use Bitcoin to pay merchants.

Although still in its infancy, Bitcoin is more widely accepted as a payment method than you might think. Monthly payments for goods and services using the world’s most widely recognized cryptocurrency rose from 9.2 million in 2013 to 190.2 million in 2017, according to Master The Crypto. In 2017, the number of bricks and mortar retailers accepting Bitcoin globally rose 30% to 11,291, Visual Capitalist has reported.  

You can find out if a merchant accepts bitcoin by reading their FAQs or looking for the “pay with Bitcoin” button at the checkout. The quickest method of paying with Bitcoin usually involves scanning the product QR code using your digital wallet.

Why It’s Important to Have a VPN When Using Bitcoin

Security is one of Bitcoin’s biggest selling points. Whenever a Bitcoin transaction takes place, it’s logged on a blockchain–countless servers around the world that are all part of a decentralized public ledger. To change or prevent a transaction, attackers would need to control 51% of all the servers or nodes on the blockchain–a virtually impossible feat. Other upsides to Bitcoin are transparency and anonymity. The public can view each transaction but not the people behind them, meaning no one person can cheat the system or find out the personal information of a buyer or seller.

With that said, there are still minor but serious risks to using Bitcoin and other cryptos, namely:

  • MTM attacks. In cryptography, a man-in-the-middle attack (or MTM for short) is an attack where the attacker plants malware to alter the communications between two parties (such as a Bitcoin buyer and seller) who believe they are directly communicating with each other. VPN providers offer security protocols that prevent precisely these types of attacks.
  • Compromised wallets. Having a digital wallet is a necessary step to storing and trading Bitcoin. Like any other software or app, your digital wallet could be vulnerable to certain attacks. A VPN offers an additional layer of protection.
  • Surveillance or snooping. Blockchain technology is designed to protect your personal information, but it can’t stop your internet service provider (or the government authorities, if your ISP shares your information with them) from knowing which websites you use to make Bitcoin purchases. The only way to ensure complete anonymity is with a virtual private network (VPN).

Here are the top 5 VPN providers for using Bitcoin:

1. Hotspot Shield

Prices start from: $2.99 per month

Encryption standard: AES-256

Logging policy: Zero logs

Hotspot Shield is an excellent choice for anyone needing to secure and anonymize their internet activity. This VPN service boasts 2,500+ servers in 26 countries, making it suitable for things like torrenting and unblocking streaming services like Netflix US. With that said, its biggest selling point is security.

If you’re planning on using a VPN exclusively with Bitcoin, Hotspot Shield offers a free service with limited bandwidth but strong malware protection. If you need a VPN for other things and are willing to commit to a long-term subscription, Hotspot offers one of the cheapest 3-year plans in the business. All paid subscription plans include full malware protection, 256-bit AES data encryption, and a kill switch that shuts down your internet connection if you are compromised.

Pros

+ Pay for subscription with Bitcoin

+ 73% savings on 3-year plan

+ Free plan option

Cons

- Short-term plans are expensive

Hotspot Shield Hotspot Shield Visit Site

2. UltraVPN

Prices start from: $3.75 per month

Encryption standard: AES-256, OpenVPN

Logging policy: Some logs

UltraVPN is a great all-round provider suitable for anyone looking to stream or torrent multimedia and have the option of making secure crypto transactions. It offers high-speed connections at an attractive price, with no throttling and no bandwidth caps. In terms of security, UltraVPN offers a one-click firewall that easily turns security protocols on and off when making transactions involving Bitcoin or other sensitive data.

While UltraVPN offers an additional layer of security when using Bitcoin, it’s worth noting that it has an ambiguous logging policy. UltraVPN claims to be a zero logs provider–but its Terms of Service fails to provide a detailed explanation of this policy. For that reason, we can’t be sure that UltraVPN has as strict a no-logs policy as, say, Hotspot Shield.

Pros

+ Chrome extension

+ Easy to use

+ Cheap short-term plans


Cons

- No simultaneous connections

- Doesn’t always work in China

UltraVPN UltraVPN Visit Site

3. Norton Secure VPN

Prices start from: $7.99 per month

Encryption standard: AES-256

Logging policy: Zero logs

Norton Secure VPN is a VPN service from Norton, one of the world’s largest antivirus and online security service providers. The great news is you don’t have to be a Norton customer to get your hands on Norton Secure VPN. Existing customers can purchase Norton’s VPN as an add-on and new customers may purchase it separately.

This is one of the best VPN services for security-minded internet users. Norton Secure VPN only offers servers in 29 countries, which isn’t great if you’re looking to unblock content from all around the world. On the other hand, it offers the highest standards of security and anonymity, including a zero-logging guarantee. This makes Norton an excellent option for Bitcoin users.

Pros

+ No logs

+ 60-day money back guarantee

+ Backed by large antivirus provider

Cons

- Limited number of servers

- Costs more to use multiple devices

Norton Secure VPN Norton Secure VPN Visit Site

4. CyberGhost

Prices start from: $2.50 per month

Encryption standard: AES-256, OpenVPN

Logging policy: Zero logs

CyberGhost is a suitable VPN option for anyone looking for a cheap subscription plan with decent security and speeds. Its strength is its customizable one-click settings, which make it easy to turn security protocols and other features on and off with just a click of a mouse or touch of a screen.

Like most other good VPN service providers, CyberGhost doesn’t store any of your information when you use its VPN. Therefore, subscribers can use it to completely anonymize and secure Bitcoin transactions.

Pros

+ Cheap long-term plans

+ Easy to use

+ Customizable, 1-click settings

Cons

- Expensive for short-term use

- Ad-blocker doesn’t block HTTPS sites

CyberGhost CyberGhost Visit Site

5. Surfshark

Prices start from: $1.99 per month

Encryption standard: AES-256, OpenVPN

Logging policy: Zero logging

Surfshark is one of the newer VPN providers on the scene, and it has fast gained a reputation for offering strong security protocols and fast speeds at a decent price. It has apps for just about every operating system and device, making it a good option for people who use Bitcoin on their phone, tablet, and computer.

This provider is serious about security. It promises not to log any information about your internet activity, meaning no one can snoop on you when you use Bitcoin to make purchases.

Pros

+ Unlimited devices

+ Strong privacy and security features

+ Unlimited speed and bandwidth

Cons

- No free trial

- Slow email support

Surfshark Surfshark Visit Site

Stay Safe, Protect Your Money 

Bitcoin and other cryptos are revolutionizing payments, making online transactions cheaper and more secure by cutting out the middleman (i.e. the banks). With that said, Bitcoin, blockchain, and digital wallets are not watertight when it comes to protecting your money. A top VPN provider offers an additional layer of security that makes it virtually impossible for malicious actors to get at your money or private data.

Top10.com StaffByTop10.com StaffJun. 18, 2019
Our editorial staff is comprised of writers who are passionate about the world of online consumer services. We specialize in simplifying the process of choosing the right VPN for your needs.