Since I currently work (and live) in Shanghai I think about VPNs pretty much every day. Without a VPN, life for a foreigner in China would be impossible. If you want to trade crypto and follow any crypto news you have to have a VPN because the government here bans even the mention of crypto currency.
Which is actually funny, because I guarantee you that the leadership of the Communist party in China is heavily invested in Bitcoin, which people here call “bit a bee”. This is actually material for a whole new article, but for now, let’s get back to VPNs.
When it comes to VPNs, I’m all in, with one primary and two others. In case one goes down-which happens occasionally (and temporarilly) , I need backup.
Virtual private networks (VPNS) are essential if you want to access cryptocurrency trading from a restricted country or simply want to keep your online presence more private and secure.
VPNs encrypt your internet connection, protecting your personal information and browsing habits from prying eyes, government or otherwise. They help defeat censorship by giving access to a cryptocurrency exchange or geo-restricted content such as Google, YouTube and Netflix.
They are also useful if you need to connect to notoriously leaky public wi-fi networks at a Starbucks or airport lounge.
So, which VPN is best for you if you want to use it for crypto trading?
Since there are almost as many VPNs as there are altcoins, I cut the list down to the top 3 VPNs with features and benefits to keep your crypto trading private.
Why use a VPN for Cryptocurrency?
The first reason you might want to use a VPN is for encryption. VPNs encrypt your internet traffic, which means that third parties cannot see what you are doing online or what type of activity it is. This is especially useful if you need to complete a transaction on a public or untrusted wi-fi network.
The next reason you might want to use a VPN for cryptocurrency trading is to be able to trade at all, as some countries (China) are prohibited from accessing cryptocurrency exchanges and services due to government regulations.
This means you can use any exchange or service regardless of where you are, which is especially important for those regions that ban crypto. Even if you already have access to these sites, switching to a different local trading platform may result in better prices or lower fees.
Another important reason to use a VPN for cryptocurrency trading and activity is to conceal your IP address. This is because all crypto transactions, even if they do not include your name, are recorded in a public ledger.
Your IP address is also linked to this transaction, which means that anyone, whether the government or a hacker looking to steal your account, can trace where the transaction originated. VPNs conceal your identity by only displaying the VPN server address, allowing you to conduct transactions privately.
Many people, even in freedom loving, liberal countries, use a VPN when trading crypto.
NordVPN: Tops for Crypto Trading
NordVPN is one of the most well-known names in the VPN industry, and here’s why:
- It has a strict no-logs policy and runs RAM-only servers, which means your data logs cannot be copied in any case.
- NordVPN, which is based in Panama and does not store user data, provides top-of-the-line encryption, has 5,000 IP addresses, and over that number of servers to choose from across 62 server locations.
- They provide an automated kill switch, 24 hour customer service, and frequently have great sales on their services.
- The best part for cryptocurrency users is that NordVPN not only offers anonymous sign-up, but they also accept a variety of crypto assets for payment, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, and Tron. NordVPN can be used on up to six devices.
ExpressVPN: Works best in China
ExpressVPN, follows a strict no-logs policy, similar to NordVPN, and employs RAM-only servers. If you live behind the “Great Wall” then Express is a must-even if you aren’t trading crypto.
- ExpressVPN, based in the British Virgin Islands, which, like Panama, has no data retention laws, provides 30,000 IP addresses and more than 3,000 servers spread across 160 locations in 94 countries.
- They provide an automated kill switch but no 24/7 support and are slightly more expensive than NordVPN or our budget option below, but most plans include free months.
- ExpressVPN only accepts Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency payment method.
- ExpressVPN can be used on up to three devices at the same time.
Surfshark: A low cost Crypto VPN
Surfshark, despite its smaller network, is a viable alternative to NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
- Surfshark is the faster option for internet speed, and it, like the other two options, has a no-logs policy and RAM-only servers.
- Surfshark, like ExpressVPN, is based in the British Virgin Islands and has 3,200 servers in 65 countries.
- Surfshark is significantly less expensive than NordVPN and Express VPN if you are willing to commit to a 2-year plan (they also offer a 30-day free trial), but the price is much higher for shorter timeframes.
- Surfshark also accepts cryptocurrency payments such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. Surfshark can be used on as many devices as you want.
What exactly is a VPN?
A commercial virtual private network (VPN) is a technology that allows you to connect to any network privately by establishing an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the internet. VPNs are installed on your smartphone or computer just like any other app or program.
A VPN allows you to defeat censorship (and thwart hackers) in your country, such as restricted access to crypto sites, or access geo-restricted media content from another country, such as another country’s Netflix content, while also preventing your internet service provider from invading your privacy and tracking your web browsing.
How do VPNs work?
VPNs work by making it appear as if you are accessing the internet from a different location than you actually are once connected. What happens to your data is as follows:
- Your device’s VPN software encrypts your data traffic and sends it to the VPN server via a secure connection. The data is also routed through your Internet Service Provider (ISP), but they no longer have access to what you are doing.
- The VPN server decrypts the encrypted data from your computer.
- The VPN server will send your data to the internet and will receive a response that is intended for you, the user.
- The VPN-server then encrypts the traffic again and sends it back to you.
- The VPN-software on your device will decrypt the data on your end, allowing you to browse normally.
- Once connected, all of this happens in the background, but it results in a more private browsing experience, which is important for crypto trading and general web surfing.
Are VPNs secure?
Given that all of your internet activity is routed through the VPN provider, which means they may be able to see everything you do. RAM-only servers and no-log policies, on the other hand, ensure that your VPN provider is not watching or logging your activity.
- Choose a VPN service that has had these claims audited, and stay away from free VPN services, which are notorious for abusing your data and selling it to advertisers.
Are VPNs legal?
Yes, using a VPN is entirely legal (except in countries like China), and many of the world’s most powerful corporations and governments employ a variety of VPNs for their own data. It is, however, illegal to use a VPN for nefarious purposes such as pirating movies or engaging in any other activity that violates local laws.
If you are a foreigner living in a country that places restrictions on content or access you need a VPN just to get through the day-and especially if you want to trade cryptocurrency.
VPNs are also highly useful in adding a layer of anonymity and security to your crypto transactions (and general web searching) even if you live in a country that places no limits on what you can access. VPNs are relatively (and sometimes really) inexpensive, so why not add the peace of mind that comes with secure, anonymous browsing to your crypto trading?
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I write about blockchain, crypto, NFTs and other disruptive technologies and innovations.