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ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a standout VPN when it comes to performance, reliability, and speeds. The VPN is registered in the British Virgin Islands, where the laws there mean it’s easy to implement a zero log policy. ExpressVPN also takes security seriously, and they use AES-256-bit encryption.

The VPN has a remarkable server network of 2,000+ servers distributed across 148 VPN locations in 94 countries. It is complemented with features such as an automatic kill switch, split tunneling, zero-knowledge DNS, torrent support, stealth technology, and DNS/ IPv6 leak protection.

ExpressVPN may be priced higher than most VPNs, but the service you get is worth every cent. Furthermore, all plans have a 30-day money-back guarantee to let you test the service.

Read ExpressVPN review »

NordVPN

NordVPN is a top VPN service, known for its excellent security and privacy. The VPN is registered in Panama, a country that has very friendly laws regarding digital privacy. This helps NordVPN in effectively implementing their zero logs policy and promoting anonymity measures.

This VPN has the best security that you can get in the market. This is because of their AES-256-bit encryption, which can be doubled through double-hop technology. This is a feature only found in a few VPNs, and it lets users route their traffic through 2 VPN servers in different locations instead of one.

NordVPN also has one of the largest server networks of any VPN, with 5000+ servers in 62 countries. Other features of the VPN include a process-specific kill switch, special servers (e.g., onion over VPN, anti-DDoS servers, P2P etc.), CyberSec Adblocker and SmartPlay technology.

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IPVanish

IPVanish is another top-grade VPN service provider. In fact, it’s usually referred to as a Tier 1 VPN provider, one of only about 3. This is because the VPN completely owns and controls its entire server network. This is a big plus for the VPN as they can offer a higher level of reliability, performance, and privacy that most VPNs.

The IPVanish server network comprises of 1000+ super-fast servers located in 60+ countries. This network shares over 40,000+ IP addresses, something that is quite commendable for a VPN that owns its whole architecture.

IPVanish also promises to keep zero logs and offers military-grade security with AES-256 encryption. The VPN has other features like a killswitch, obfuscation technology, P2P support, IP rotator, SOCKS5 proxy server, IPv6 & DNS leak protection.

The VPN also offers a 7-day hassle-free money-back guarantee.

Read IPVanish review »

CyberGhost

CyberGhost is another one of the top anonymous VPNs you can use. The VPN service is based in Romania, a country that has a history of revoking laws that were infringing on their citizens’ online privacy. CyberGhost was therefore registered there to make sure that they can offer users a strict zero logs policy.

The VPNs boasts a remarkable server network of 2950+ servers in 60+ countries. What is even more impressive is that the VPN has been greatly improving especially after being acquired by an Israeli company. The VPN also has dedicated modes for tasks like unblocking websites, streaming, and more.

CyberGhost offers good security with AES-256 encryption and other features such as P2P servers, split tunneling, ad-blocker, automatic kill switch, and DNS & IP leak protection.

CyberGhost users can try out the software stress-free since they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Read CyberGhost review »

Stay anonymous with a VPN

Internet privacy is slowly becoming a thing of the past. More than ever, governments are drafting invasive privacy laws with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) being required to record and keep data that the government may request at any point in time in the future. With ISPs knowing the websites you visit, your frequency on these sites and virtually anything you do on the internet,  this leaves any privacy-conscious internet users with no alternative but to look for a solid anonymous VPN.

What is anonymous browsing?

A VPN acts as an IP changer hiding your IP address which would otherwise be traceable by your ISP and thus government. Whenever you connect to a VPN server all your traffic is encrypted. The VPN server then plays the IP changer role by masking your IP address and giving you a new IP. Once it gets masked, you are anonymous. You can check your new IP address by typing “my IP” on Google to confirm that you successfully managed to hide your IP with VPN. It is worth mentioning the net neutrality rules in the US make web anonymity scarce.

A VPN will furthermore encrypt your traffic so that nobody along the VPN tunnel can intercept, monitor, or alter your communications, making your browsing activities anonymous. This is possible because your traffic is sent on a secure tunnel making it hard for any cyber spies or prying eyes to get to your information.

What to consider with an anonymous VPN?

The following are some further considerations to ensure you choose a VPN that can guarantee online anonymity.

Shared IPs

Shared IPs provide an extra level of anonymity in that you share the same online identity with hundreds of other users. This means that it’s much harder to profile you or track you down because nobody knows who did what using that IP.

No Logs

No logs mean that no usage or connection logs are kept. Usage logs include the websites you visited while you are connected to a VPN as well as the amount of time stayed on a particular site. When a VPN says it keeps no logs, it means that none of your user/ usage information is stored for further reference.

Anonymous email addresses

For maintaining the utmost privacy, it’s suggested to sign up for a VPN with an email address that doesn’t have your name in it. Remember: Not all VPNs promise no log policies. Using a “fake” email address ensures there is never a connection between your name and a VPN, and no one can trace is your personal information or trace you in social media. Some VPNs allow you to sign up with temporary email addresses, and that is important, as they can’t be used against you.

Bitcoin payment

Payment is one of the most critical areas concerning privacy and anonymity. Paying for a VPN with a method such as credit card or even PayPal exposes you and your payment details. Thankfully, there are VPNs that allow you to pay anonymously. The best and most common anonymous payment method is Bitcoin. With Bitcoin, your payment can’t be traced back to you.

There are also other anonymous payment methods such as cash by post or store cards purchased anonymously to pay for a VPN subscription. If a VPN offers anonymous payments, it’s an added anonymity bonus that we urge you to consider.

Tor

VPNs can’t promise you 100% anonymity because the VPN servers know your IP address. Rather, they offer you pseudo-anonymity, and that is why you also need Tor. This anonymous system works in a way that prevents your IP address or the website visited from being seen. Your connection gets routed through a series of servers re-encrypting your data in that series. However, that process may lead to your internet speed slowing down a bit.

When you combine a VPN with Tor, you can achieve almost perfect anonymity. Remember, it’s a VPN through Tor, not the other way round. VPN over Tor works in a way to give you full anonymity whenever you connect to a VPN server via Tor; the VPN provider won’t see your IP address rather one of Tors’ exit nodes.

How to Use a VPN for Browsing Anonymously

Signing up to a VPN, downloading the app (Windows, iOS or Android), installing it, and connecting to a VPN server will take you less than 5 minutes. Here’s the entire process:

  • Click the links above on your VPN of choice to sign up.
  • Create an account, giving minimal personal details. Preferably, use an anonymous payment method.
  • Download the VPN app for your specific device(s).
  • Install the VPN app and launch it.
  • Sign in with your account details.
  • Connect to a VPN server of your choice.

After you are connected, your IP location should be the location of the server you’ve chosen, not your actual location. Just like that, you get to hide your IP with VPN.

FAQs: Anonymous VPNs

Does a VPN make me completely anonymous?

A VPN alone will not make you completely anonymous, but it comes close. For complete anonymity, you will need to incorporate with another security feature (such as Tor).

How can I keep my browsing history even more protected?

All you need to do is use Tor alongside your VPN, avoid visiting sites whose security you’re unsure about, and use a private search engine such as DuckDuckGo.com.

What is an example of a use case when anonymity is important?

Generally, anonymity is important when you are sending and receiving sensitive emails, browsing for some personal stuff online, operating your bank stuff through the internet and many other times.

Should I use a free VPN for anonymity?

It goes without a say that you always get what you pay for. If you are looking for privacy, avoid using free virtual private networks. Most of them log your data and can even sell it to third-parties for income. Even if that is not the case with a certain free VPN, a paid VPN will have extra options and greater reliability than a free VPN.

Do all VPNs work with Tor?

Basically, they do work, but there is a catch. If your VPN provider keeps any logs, it’s going to be useless to use the Tor with it. In that case, your VPN provider is going to save metadata of your data (including the data about you using Tor). So, VPNs work with Tor, but you must check that your VPN does not keep any log if you want to use Tor at its best.

Conclusion

The benefits offered by an anonymous VPN are priceless. If you like streaming online, handle sensitive data, use public hotspots, or just don’t want people snooping on you, you need a VPN. It will be the first and most important step toward reclaiming your online privacy and anonymity.

The premium VPNs we have listed above are proven performers, and you won’t go wrong with any of them. A top VPN like ExpressVPN may cost you a few bucks, but the service will be worth every coin. Sign up today stay anonymous!

Written by: Graeme Messina

Graeme is an IT professional with a special interest in computer forensics, security, and software. When not building networks and researching the latest software trends, he enjoys writing technical articles and blog posts.

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