If I pay for a VPN using my credit card, can I still be anonymous with the VPN?

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by DesuMaiden, Jan 9, 2014.

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  1. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    Sorry for this stupid question, but I need to use a VPN for some torrenting. I just want to make sure if I can still be anonymous if I torrent with a VPN that was paid with my real credit card.

    Or do I need to pay for the VPN with Bitcoins in order to be anonymous? Also how do I pay for a VPN with cash? Can anyone help me out with these questions? How do I use a VPN and be anonymous with it, so that nobody can subpoena me for it?
     
  2. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    Aside from your decision on the payment, you might want to consider connecting at a "coffee shop" for grabbing such files. I don't know the size of the files in question, but that completely eliminates your actual IP and ISP from the mix. Just a thought.

    I would say why chance it? If your VPN accepts Bitcoin that is an easy way to go in some parts of the world. In others its not. Around here I simply drive to a "depot/pay station" and change cash into Bitcoins. Before I get back to my computer the Bitcoins are in my account and I then pay my VPN. All anonymous and then I destroy the wallet forever. Read around on blockchain, but there are many good ways to go. Its fast and easy if you are close to a depot/money gram, etc. Obviously you want to follow secure procedures while connected there - VPN/TOR and use of anonymous one time use email acct for communication. My goal is no trail and all accounts used are deleted afterward.

    http://blockchain.info/wallet

    note: I cannot imagine a VPN that doesn't take Bitcoins!
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  3. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    Thanks for the advice. If I have any more questions, I should ask them correct?
     
  4. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    No, please don't listen to the other guy..... I hate people who go over the top. Get one of these "iVPN/BolehVPN/Mullvad/SecurityKiSS/AirVPN" whichever looks best to you they are all fine, and sure go ahead and buy with a credit card or PayPal, despite what others say it does not matter much. If your using it for torrents, just torrent from home. Its not Spying or Genocide, its torrent so nobody really cares. You are 99.99% safe torrent from home with a good VPN "Above". Why put in the effort to go to a library or coffee shop, that's stupid and your more likely to get caught being suspicious in a public place then in your private home....
    I am sorry, I can't deal with people who are over the top anymore.
     
  5. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    I only plan on torrenting with the VPN, so paying for the VPN with a credit card is safe, am I correct?
     
  6. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    I buy all my VPN's through PayPal. Credit card is totally fine too.

    I have been using VPN's for 6 years, and have used many different company's and have used Bittorrent for over 1000 files from my own private home and have had no problems. In-fact I have never had any online security breaches ever. Its not even hard, and don't buy into the Bitcoin hype, its not all that.

    Feel free to buy your VPN via credit card, its totally fine. My last post has my recommended list, all VPN's I have used before.
     
  7. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    But if you plan on doing something illegal with a VPN, then buying a VPN with a credit card is probably not a good idea. Ok, technically torrenting might be "illegal" but I doubt I'll get investigated for it.
     
  8. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    You would have to be doing something pretty bad to get enough attention for it to be relevant and even then they most probably still would not be able to track you. You said you were going to use torrents? Nobody really cares about torrents, the only people who care about them are the music and movie industry which don't have power or the resources of the NSA to track you, NSA does not care. Music/Movie industry are only out for a quick buck from people who don't know better, they won't push the point if you make it even a little hard for them.

    * 1. Bear Principle
    The bear principle is the theoretical idea that you don't need to be able to outrun an angry bear to escape; you only have to outrun the guy next to you.

    Can be used as a metaphor for almost anything where the "bear" is some type of authority and you are the one trying to not get eaten. Evading police, cheating, internet piracy, drug dealing, etc.
    When it comes to internet piracy, the bear principle states that while it is difficult or impossible to be completely anonymous when torrenting, IP blockers like PeerBlock will focus the attention of the "bear" on those that take no precautions at all. Anti-piracy types are not likely to go through the extra effort needed to track you when there are plenty of people who can be tracked effortlessly.*
     
  9. dogbite

    dogbite Registered Member

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    Provided that the VPN does not log, I also do not see any problem in paying with paypal or cc.
     
  10. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    Ok I'm going to pay for it using cash. Thanks for the advice.
     
  11. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    I hesitated before posting again on this thread. I do in fact respect EVERY post on this thread. I just happen to differ in opinion with some. Look at the recent EarthVPN user. Busted. Now I realize that this VPN provider is not on the "universal good guy list" but it does support a point to be made. The greatest VPN providers in the world still need datacenters/ISP's to support their machines. A VPN provider can have a solid reputation and reputable intent, but the datacenter could in fact be logging connection activity and those logs would be unknown to the VPN provider. This is fact and not fiction. For me, a 5 minute process is worth it to anonymize my payment transaction. If I am wasting my time being "over the top", well its my time and I'll gladly do it to sleep better. The "low hanging fruit" principle is always at play as mentioned above using a different metaphor. I fully agree that it is unlikely some "music merchant" is going to jump through hoops to find a VPN torrent user when masses of raw IP connections are sitting there for the taking. There may come a time when low hanging fruit is picked and now they start picking medium level fruit. I'ld like to be high hard to reach fruit and get picked last. Just my thinking.
     
  12. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    He was busted because of his VPN provider not checking the server farms policy on keeping their own logs, his credit card or payment information was never even needed to provide proof, even if he used bitcoins it would still would have come back to his IP and with a warrent his computer which would have had EarthVPN installed, and or his ISP which logs traffic which would prove he was connecting to the server at the time of the bomb threat. Bitcoins redundant.
     
  13. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    I am well aware of that. In this particular case no payment issues caused this. Someday that could be different. The NSA has users second guessing lots of internet activities. It would be easy for them to run a query to acquire credit card accounts used to by a VPN service. Boom, they would come up. Agreed, use of a VPN is not illegal in the USA but I don't want to be on a "why buy a foreign vpn service" list! As I type this post I am 4 hopping so I don't fret this scenario. Your contributions and postings here show great knowledge. This forum is full of users that pay in Bitcoins, and it is full of users that pay with traceable currency. Each will have to decide for themselves. The point in the post above is that the datacenters around the globe also have access to connection activity. The best VPN policies and reputations cannot change that. No VPN provider can rely upon a server farm's "policies" in my opinion. Users need to sort of assume they are being logged and respond accordingly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  14. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Getting back to OP's question, we can never be anonymous with VPN services that we connect to directly. And, with the EarthVPN case in mind, we can never be anonymous with providers that host the VPN service's servers. They know our IP addresses, and our ISPs know who we are.

    There's a key exception, however. If we always connect to the VPN service via anonymous public WiFi, we could remain anonymous. So in that case, paying via cash by mail or highly anonymized Bitcoins would be essential.

    Otherwise, paying via credit card isn't fatal. Paying anonymously does increase anonymity, but only against casual scanning.

    Also, using the same anonymous Bitcoin wallet to fund both a direct-connect VPN and another VPN to use through the first, or through Tor, is a very bad practice. Doing that links the second VPN to the first, and so to our true identities.
     
  15. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    If you are just downloading some music or some movies I wouldn't worry about the credit card if you are using a service like Mullvad or others that are in another country. They aren't going to go through all of those legal hoops just to see who downloaded a CD or a movie. I use file sharing services 99% of the time. If you have airVPN they have a lot of exit nodes so you can just keep changing exit nodes to use them for free. That's what I do, anyway.
     
  16. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    From someone who is incredibly curious I can tell you that you are still on the list. NSA/GCHQ both keep logs of VPN/Anonymity service providers current server farms and IP addresses. Pay anonymously all you wish, you connect to a VPN they see the IP from your ISP and it will be on the list, you try and be smart and use Tor at the beginning or end of the chain its on the list. Using anonymous currency is a waste of time. I understand why some users here do use it, but in reality it makes little difference which is why my adoption of the simplest mile the lowest threat method of doing the least required to gain the most benefit separates me from suspicious that buying anonymous currency has in the first place, what do you buy bitcoins with cash? even so, why bother. Simple is always best.

    (VPN) -> (Torx1x2x3) -> (Internet) (You can use this and unless you really make a mistake nothing to my knowledge has the capability to find you) "Nothing Known or will be for quite a time"
     
  17. Palancar

    Palancar Registered Member

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    quote:

    (VPN) -> (Torx1x2x3) -> (Internet) (You can use this and unless you really make a mistake nothing to my knowledge has the capability to find you).

    We agree. Lets stop here. LOL!!
     
  18. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    Okie Dokie, I am compute. :thumb:
     
  19. Paranoid Eye

    Paranoid Eye Registered Member

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    Was kind of suggesting this in another post, the VPN still gets your real isp ip at the end of the day, I think if you can use a pre paid cc with anonymous or burner email or bitcoins/cash if possible... guess it to is a tad pointless still but still I do it. I also pay for it over free VPN service.

    And then id bet most connect to the VPN via the real ISP IP :D

    I think it all boils down to if your VPN provider really supports privacy.
     
  20. luciddream

    luciddream Registered Member

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    I've considered this as well, and have never seen anyone else bring it up until now. I'd think that the Bitcoin process would attract more attention to you in the first place. And as has been stated any VPN you connect directly to can see everything they need to hang you with anyway. Payment process with a single VPN seems moot. Either you always log in using public wifi, or far more practical, use more than 1 VPN, and make sure the second one has a truly anonymous payment method, like Mullvad. This way your activity is hidden, even from your primary VPN that could otherwise expose you. And maybe even go the extra mile by running a proxy through them so that the one you paid for anonymously (in this case Mullvad) also can't see your activity. This is as close as you're going to get to obtaining true anonymity.

    If you really wanna be ninja, do the above + use public wifi. If you live within range of some public wifi that makes this practical.
     
  21. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    I look forward to more replies to this thread.
     
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