Many readers keep asking us whether it makes sense to pay for the VPN service anonymously. The idea behind this is that the anonymity should be improved. We think, however, that there are no sufficient reasons for the assumption. In the following we explain what speaks for and also against it.
An anonymous payment of VPN services speaks for itself:
In countries where the use of a VPN service could attract the attention of the government or where it is even prohibited by law, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain or China, the surveillance of payment service providers can lead to the authorities’ cross-hairs for citizens living there. This concerns however purely inhabitants of these states also your credit cards or bank connections within these countries have! A foreigner normally makes his payments through foreign banks and these should remain secret.
An anonymous payment of a VPN service speaks against it:
The own internet provider can, if he does this specifically, find out in any case that the user connects via a VPN provider. The technical data relates to the destination of the VPN connections and thus theoretically also indicates the VPN provider. It is therefore impossible to keep these VPN connections secret in every case. It follows from this that it therefore makes no significant difference whether credit card companies also learn this through payments made.
If the VPN services are used correctly, it is still technically impossible to record or monitor the activities of the users.
What are secure payment methods?
This question is not easy to answer. In view of the fact that payments are made via PayPal, credit cards or bank transfers, the sender and recipient data are made known to the providers. Secret services as well as government surveillance can register this and trace every purchase.
Money recovery or conflict resolution
On the other hand, non-anonymous payment services are particularly protected from being able to retrieve the money sent in the event of irregularities or money-back guarantees. As PayPal’s buyer protection and the associated conflit solution option clearly show. With anonymous payment services, these possibilities are actually completely omitted. Anyone who has once paid a Bitcoin payment or with an anonymous prepaid card cannot object to these payments and can only hope for a voluntary repayment by the recipient of the payments.
We don’t want to present PayPal as the best payment service provider, because we don’t like the company policy of data storage and monitoring by US authorities. However, this is of course an advantage that must also be mentioned.
Bitcoin is a way to achieve anonymity in payments, but there are a few things to keep in mind, because all payments made by every Bitcoin user are completely transparent and open to everyone! It is therefore very easy to find out how many Bitcoins the user of a Bitcoin address has and which payments he makes when and to whom. Anonymity is therefore only achieved if payments are always made with different IP addresses and one-time Bitcoin addresses and if you actively disguise yourself. Of course, this is associated with increased effort.
The PaySafe Card, popular in Germany, has been more and more regulated in recent years, today anonymous payments are only possible to a limited extent and at the same time it has become almost impossible to pay VPN service providers. The company was simply advised by the government to discontinue connections to VPN services, so there are only a few exceptions still offering PaySafe payments.
Another interesting possibility is to use the Starbucks Card as a PrePaid payment method, you can buy it in any Starbucks branch and load it with up to 100 USD. Some VPN services also accept them for payment.
With some providers, it is possible to pay for the services with cash. In any case, this is of course the most anonymous form of payment. These providers provide postal addresses to which the banknotes are sent in an envelope with the access code of the service. This of course takes a few days and of course you have to trust the provider. We have tested them with Perfect-Privacy and sent an amount of money to their money receiving address. It took 7 days until the money was received. But it was very anonymous, because it could not be reproduced digitally.
When transferring money via your own account, you save the provider a lot of fees incurred by many payment service providers. Of course your own account details will also be known, reclaims are normally not possible through the bank. But for persons which have no other payment possibilities, this is quite interesting.
However, it is important never to agree to bank collection agreements (as with SpyOff VPN) because bank details are stored directly with the providers and they can debit any amount directly from their own account and without further consent. This carries the risk of irregularities and long disputes. We and serious payment providers reject this completely!
Serious VPN providers use external payment service providers and do not store user payment data.
VPn services usually use external payment service providers who handle payments for a small fee, which the VPN provider pays. The advantage for the VPN providers is that they can offer a larger number of payment methods without having to agree individual agreements with each payment provider directly. The advantage for the user is that the personal data that may be associated with the payment does not go directly to the VPN provider. This is also an advantage for the providers, who want to guarantee a high anonymity and privacy of the users, as they are not obliged to pay attention to the personal data of the users themselves. What you don’t have, you can’t pass on to the authorities.