Things are rapidly changing in the VPN market and online privacy world. Indeed, it’s more than ordinary to hear nowadays that some security exploit has used some VPN service to maintain some privacy. If you’ve been reading the news about privacy, you will notice that those hackers commonly use words like VPN, proxies.
VPN providers = bad guys?
In fact, the VPN industry itself is suffering from those “bad advertisement” since most people now associate VPN providers with the “bad guys.” So, as a simple VPN user, you may also be assimilated to a hacker. Indeed, even though you are only using a VPN solution to overcome some geo-location limitation, you may still be at risk of being considered as a “hacker.” You know, like the lambda user who wants to view Hulu or BBC iPlayer from their computer even though he is not located in an approved country.
If we look at it, to keep their business rolling, we can think that those VPN services must have some “secret weapon” that will allow them to seen as a “clean” player in this field – especially from anti-piracy entities. That may be one of the reasons why very few VPN providers dare mention that they don’t store any logs of what their VPN clients are doing over this connection that they are establishing. But, that’s still fine if your only use for VPN service is for overcoming geographical limitations.
Is still PayPal a good option?
But things are getting more “limiting” for VPN providers. Indeed, not so long ago, Paypal – one of the most used online payment processor/gateway have refused the use of their payment system to BtGuard. BtGuard is a VPN service which is known for providing a VPN service that is BitTorrent compliant.
BitTorrent is another system that is commonly assimilated to file sharing. And unfortunately for them, whenever people think of file sharing, they directly think of illegal file sharing. Although BitTorrent is also used for legally sharing files between peers – a lot of software vendors make their latest version available for download via Torrent.
Recommended reading: 12 Tips on How to Torrent Safely
So what’s the point here? It seems clear that to fight against piracy and hackers, most government entities, as well as big players, have decided to cut it from the roots: at the payment processing level. Indeed, Paypal is not the only payment processor that exists nowadays (PerfectMoney is somehow similar). But, since it’s one of the major player – whatever decision it takes against VPN providers will be a strong signal to the market.
What about Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies?
Have you been able to set up your Bitcoin wallet, buy Bitcoins and use them for VPN payment? From my personal experience, it is not as easy as it sounds and not easy to understand. But, it may worth the pain as it is probably the most anonymous payment option available at this time. Also, Ripple VPN payments are possible.
Some VPN services like ibVPN, PureVPN or Private Internet Access use the CoinPayments payment processors that accept more than 500 different coins. Thus, you may get a VPN account with virtually any (popular) cryptocurrency.
Can you use gift cards to pay for a VPN?
As oddly as it may sound, yes. At least one VPN service (Private Internet Access) allows you to pay anonymously with many major brand gift cards like Starbucks, Best Buy, or Best Buy.
How do you pay for your VPN account?
So this brings me back to my initial question at the title of this article: what is your preferred payment processor when buying a VPN package? As for me, having a Paypal option as the payment processor gave more trust to me into the provider (well, that’s not the only argument I’m looking for, but I do admit I scarcely go for a VPN provider that do not have Paypal payment facilities).
How do you make your VPN payment? Do you think this is one argument that will influence your VPN buying decision? Or do you think that it doesn’t matter not having PayPal option so long as you can pay via other alternatives (Alertpay, Plimus, Moneybookers, bitcoin, …)