If you’re looking for a way to have more anonymity online, a Virtual Private Network or VPN is a good place to start. There are many providers out there that claim to make users anonymous online, such as AnonymousVPN, a small and relatively unknown provider.
However, it’s incredibly difficult for a VPN to give people complete anonymity on the web. This is because some factors can reveal your identity. For a start, your VPN provider will always be able to detect your real IP address, although if they have a no-logs policy, this information won’t be stored.
Moreover, while VPNs encrypt your internet data and hide it from others who may want to see it, such as your Internet Service Provider (ISP), hackers, or government agencies, websites can still see your movements.
So, while it is impossible to get a completely anonymous VPN service, VPNs do a good job of giving you online privacy. Your real IP address is hidden under the protection of a VPN and ensures that no third parties can see your internet traffic. VPNs also provide more online freedom, enabling users to access geo-restricted content from around the world.
An anonymous VPN (not to be confused with the provider AnonymousVPN) is essentially a VPN that provides solid encryption and doesn’t store any data logs. By not storing its customers’ browsing data, your online activity remains private from the prying eyes of hackers, your ISP, and the government.
Anonymous VPNs should provide DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection so that your real IP address is never leaked. Other features such as a kill switch are essential since this will ensure that should your VPN connection go down, your browsing data and IP address won’t leak.
A good Anonymous VPN may also offer a Tor over VPN option. Connecting to the Tor network is the only real way to get complete anonymity online. However, using a VPN is a good enough way to gain a good amount of online privacy.
So, by using a VPN, do you render yourself completely untraceable online? Technically, no. Although a VPN service hides your actions from the third parties mentioned above, it can only go so far in keeping your online movements untraceable. Assuming your VPN provider has a no-logs policy and doesn’t store your data records, there are still ways in which your movements can be tracked online.
There are other ways in which you can be traced online despite using a VPN. VPNs can’t hide your online activity from websites that collect cookies on your online movements. Moreover, Google can track user movement via all of their many apps, including Gmail. A VPN cannot stop Google from watching your every move online and even tracking your location.
Social media is also something that a VPN cannot help protect you from since platforms such as Instagram and Facebook collect massive amounts of data on users. Moreover, while some VPNs have in-built malware protection, there is still the possibility with a VPN that you could download a virus that tracks you and makes you traceable.
With all of the above being said, it is still worthwhile to use a VPN. VPNs keep your data private on public wi-fi networks, protecting you from the prying eyes of spies. Moreover, if you don’t want the government or your ISP to collect your internet data, then an anonymous VPN service is the best way to prevent this from occurring.
Depending on the provider you choose to go with, you can purchase your VPN subscription anonymously. Many VPN providers have started to offer cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as a payment option.
It’s a good idea to purchase a VPN with Bitcoin if you want more anonymity since providers can often store sign-up details including payment details and an email address. Bitcoin payments are tracked on the public list blockchain, but only account numbers are listed, making it the most anonymous form of payment.
What’s more, you use crypto keys to buy a VPN with cryptocurrency, which gives you an extra layer of protection, and more importantly, privacy when you are making a purchase. Bitcoin payments also don’t require any personal details such as your name, which would be needed if making a purchase via PayPal or with your credit card.
Now you know that it is impossible to be 100% anonymous online with a VPN, there are still ways to ensure you get the highest form of privacy possible online. When searching for an anonymous VPN service, look for the following features.
Military-grade encryption ensures that your data is private and secure, hidden from ISPs, hackers, and governments that may want to see what you’re doing online.
Shared IP addresses are the best way to ensure you get as close to online anonymity as possible while surfing the web. Connecting to VPN servers that offer shared IPs means that no activity can be directly linked back to you as other users will be surfing the web using the same IP address.
As mentioned earlier, cryptocurrency is one of the best payment methods to make your VPN usage as private as possible.
Since VPNs need to store account details, including sign-up information like email addresses, it makes sense to use a burner email address that doesn’t reveal your true identity.
Finally, many VPN providers have started to offer multi-hop features to give users a more anonymous VPN experience. This is when your connection is routed through two or more VPN servers, making it harder to trace you and masking your real IP address with more layers.
We have reviewed countless VPN providers and know which are the best if you are looking for the most anonymous VPN experience possible. We’ve judged each VPN service provider based on the criteria in the previous section.
ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands, so it enjoys great data privacy laws, unlike the US. ExpressVPN has a strict zero-logs policy and only stores payment details and your email at sign up; however, if you want to pay by cryptocurrency, you can, since ExpressVPN accepts Bitcoin amongst other payment types.
Thanks to ExpressVPN’s TrustedServer technology, your browsing data is super secure. ExpressVPN’s servers operate solely on RAM, which means all data stored on them is wiped when they are switched off. This guarantees that the data of every VPN user is never logged.
In terms of encryption, ExpressVPN employs the highest level. Moreover, it uses super secure tunneling protocols, including its very own Lightway protocol. Express also employs Perfect Forward Secrecy, which means encryption keys are changed at each new VPN session.
There is private DNS on every server and IPv6 leak protection. We ran DNS leak tests and can safely say that Express is fully leakproof. The Network Lock is also enabled upon download on apps for Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, and routers.
Moreover, Express has a network of 3000 servers in 94 countries, providing users with internet freedom. Express can unblock all of the major streaming services, including Netflix, and allows P2P networking on its servers for users who want to torrent with more anonymity.
There is a 30-day money-back guarantee, and customers can protect 5 devices at once. Prices start from $8.32 per month, which is expensive but reflects the high level of privacy and security that this ‘anonymous’ VPN provides.
Another one of the most anonymous VPN services is NordVPN. This VPN provider offers a heap of privacy and security features to gives users more anonymity online.
NordVPN employs AES-256 bit encryption and offers private DNS on every server. Its server network operates on RAM, meaning that your information is wiped with every reboot. The Double VPN feature routes your connection through two VPN servers, making your data more secure, meaning it is harder for spies to track your online activity.
There is a kill switch available on Nord’s dedicated apps, ensuring your browsing activity is safe should your VPN server connection go down. You can choose from many shared IP addresses thanks to the network’s 5500+ servers in 59 countries, and there is even the possibility to choose Onion over VPN and route your traffic through the Onion network instead.
Additional bonuses include unlimited bandwidth and ultra-fast speeds thanks to the NordLynx protocol. NordVPN can also unblock many sites such as foreign Netflix and Hulu libraries, and its fast speeds ensure that you don’t experience any buffering.
Users get 6 simultaneous connections with one subscription and access to fantastic customer support, including a 24/7 live chat option. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee that acts as a free trial, and prices start from just $3.71 per month, which is incredible value for money given the excellent privacy features NordVPN provides its customers.
CyberGhost is a super user-friendly VPN that provides a good level of anonymity online for its customers.
Like the other providers on this list, CyberGhost employs advanced encryption and has a kill switch to protect your browsing data whenever you’re online, great for subscribers who often connect to public wi-fi networks.
CyberGhost has a large server network with 6700 servers worldwide and operates the NoSpy server network. Users can route their data through CyberGhost’s Romanian based network, which is controls end to end. The NoSpy servers are based in Romania and provide users with more security and higher privacy levels.
With CyberGhost, there is built-in malware protection and tracker blocking, which is reassuring for users as no one wants to accidentally install software that could jeopardize their privacy. If you want anonymity when torrenting, you can connect to one of CyberGhost’s dedicated P2P servers.
If you want to use a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions and view censored sites, you can do so with CyberGhost. It can get past VPN blocks set up by popular streaming services, and its expansive server network allows you to browse websites that are only available in other countries.
CyberGhost provides a great overall user experience, with easy to navigate apps for the most popular operating systems. Moreover, it offers great customer support, with users able to get in touch with the team through a live chat service or even via social media.
There is a 45-day money-back guarantee, which far exceeds the industry standard, and users get 7 simultaneous connections on one subscription plan. Prices start from $2.25 per month, which is great value for a secure VPN service.
If you want an anonymous VPN for your entire family, Surfshark is the best choice, thanks to its unlimited simultaneous connections.
Surfshark provides users with a secure internet connection thanks to its first-rate privacy and security features. Firstly it offers AES-256 bit encryption and has private DNS on every server. It doesn’t log its users’ data, and its headquarters are based in the British Virgin Islands, which means it enjoys great data retention laws.
Firstly, the MultiHop feature routes users’ data through several server locations, masking your real IP address and adding extra layers of protection. It also has a CleanWeb feature that offers in-built malware protection, blocking ads, malware, and trackers.
In terms of what else Surfshark can do for you, there is a lot. It offers unlimited simultaneous connections, which means there is no cap on the number of devices you can protect. Moreover, it’s a fantastic service for bypassing geo-blocks as it can provide you access to at least 15 Netflix libraries and hide your VPN use from websites with VPN blocks.
There is unlimited bandwidth with Surfshark and decent speeds, making it a viable option for gamers or torrenters. There is a 30-day money-back guarantee, and prices start from just $2.21 per person on the 2-year plan.
Last on our anonymous VPN list is Private Internet Access (PIA), a provider with server coverage worldwide.
PIA has the largest VPN server network on our list, with servers in 77 countries. It is one of the best VPN services if you want more internet freedom, as it can circumvent many geo-restrictions and give users access to sites in many different areas.
In terms of anonymity, this VPN helps subscribers to enjoy as much online anonymity as possible in many different ways. Firstly, it provides a secure internet connection thanks to its strong tunneling protocols and advanced encryption. It also offers DNS and IPv6 leak protection to ensure your IP address is never revealed.
PIA is based in the United States, a country known for not having privacy-friendly laws. However, its zero-logs policy ensures that should the government request any data, it wouldn’t have anything stored on its servers that could be linked to a user.
PIA offers a range of ways customers can pay anonymously, with cryptocurrency, and with gift vouchers. The VPN service is incredibly priced, starting from as low as $2.19 per month on the 3-year plan.
There is a 30-day money-back guarantee and good customer service, including live chat support and a ticketed email system. Customers can enjoy the VPN on 10 devices simultaneously, and PIA has dedicated apps for all of the most popular devices, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android.