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Is there any advantage to not using Paypal (and instead Bitcoin), if connecting to AirVPN directly?

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I've seen a lot of threads here and elsewhere about how Paypal is not private and people should pay with Bitcoin to maintain anonymity when using AirVPN.

 

But if one is connecting directly to AirVPN is there really any advantage? My ISP (and by extension anyone with a warrant) could see that I'm connecting to the AirVPN servers and easily surmise that I'm an AirVPN user. So what does it matter if I paid anonymously using Bitcoin and Bitcoin mixers, etc.?

 

I saw one person at the Wilders Security Forums say that if AirVPN got raided, authorites would potentially then have a list of AirVPN users, from the record of Paypal payments. So even if one was not a target, one could get caught up on some watch list that way. Is that really a concern? Does AirVPN keep records on its servers of how people paid, once the payment has been accepted? (And couldn't authorities get a list of AirVPN users that paid with Paypal directly from Paypal anyway?)

 

I guess I still don't totally understand the advantages (if any) of Bitcoin, when connecting directly to AirVPN servers. (I do understand that full anonymity can be achieved by using Tor with AirVPN or multiple VPNs, etc.)

 

In addition, what's the value of knowing simply that someone is an AirVPN users, if it's not possible to find out anything else about one's internet surfing once it has been anonymized through AirVPN?

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I've seen a lot of threads here and elsewhere about how Paypal is not private and people should pay with Bitcoin to maintain anonymity when using AirVPN.

 

But if one is connecting directly to AirVPN is there really any advantage? My ISP (and by extension anyone with a warrant) could see that I'm connecting to the AirVPN servers and easily surmise that I'm an AirVPN user. So what does it matter if I paid anonymously using Bitcoin and Bitcoin mixers, etc.?

 

Hello!

 

Bitcoin is important for a variety of reasons. First, as you correctly note, to add an important anonymity layer, provided that the Bitcoin payment is supported by connections to the VPN servers performed over OpenVPN over a proxy or over TOR etc (and the Bitcoin transaction itself is performed behind TOR).

 

Second, Bitcoin provides a really global transaction exchange system for anyone with Internet access: there are several countries from which it is very hard, and sometimes impossible, to deliver a payment abroad in foreign currency via credit cards, bank transfers or any payment processor (including PayPal). There are also countries where it is almost impossible to have one of the credit cards commonly accepted in western countries.

 

Last but not least, there may be cases in some countries when, even if you are theoretically free to do so, and where privacy is recognized as a fundamental right, you don't want anyway to let anybody know that you purchase a foreign service aimed to privacy enhancement.

 

 

I saw one person at the Wilders Security Forums say that if AirVPN got raided, authorites would potentially then have a list of AirVPN users, from the record of Paypal payments. So even if one was not a target, one could get caught up on some watch list that way. Is that really a concern? Does AirVPN keep records on its servers of how people paid, once the payment has been accepted? (And couldn't authorities get a list of AirVPN users that paid with Paypal directly from Paypal anyway?)

 

Yes, we do, otherwise we could not grant any refund (but these data are not kept neither in VPN servers, nor in the web site servers, this is important). Our "no questions asked" refund policy has been with us since AirVPN birth and will not go away.

 

Anyway, remember that transactions data remain (and are not deletable) both on your and our PP accounts, just like for any transaction performed through a bank or financial institution, so you're just right, the list could be obtained simply through a proper request to PP.

 

 

In addition, what's the value of knowing simply that someone is an AirVPN users, if it's not possible to find out anything else about one's internet surfing once it has been anonymized through AirVPN?

 

No value at all in a perfect world, you are right, since using a VPN service is perfectly legal (exception: in Iran only authorized and registered VPN services are legal), but we don't live in a perfect world, even if we did not consider the aforementioned exceptions.

 

Kind regards

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Thanks for the extended response.

 

I understand that Bitcoin can be useful to people who don't have access to credit cards, as well as people in particularly oppressive countries who do not want a record of their having purchased a VPN service.

 

But I'm not sure you answered my basic question. That question is, if a person is connecting to AirVPN directly, it is plainly obvious to that person's ISP that they are using AirVPN's servers. So what good does it do to anonymize the purchase of the service, through Bitcoin, when the ISP can clearly see the connection to AirVPN? In addition, the ISP will keep a record of it in most countries and that information seems to be relatively freely available to security services.

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Thanks for the extended response.

 

I understand that Bitcoin can be useful to people who don't have access to credit cards, as well as people in particularly oppressive countries who do not want a record of their having purchased a VPN service.

 

But I'm not sure you answered my basic question. That question is, if a person is connecting to AirVPN directly, it is plainly obvious to that person's ISP that they are using AirVPN's servers. So what good does it do to anonymize the purchase of the service, through Bitcoin, when the ISP can clearly see the connection to AirVPN? In addition, the ISP will keep a record of it in most countries and that information seems to be relatively freely available to security services.

 

You are not concealing the fact you connect to a VPN. You are right that any ISP or monitoring agent can see destination/origination packets from your IP address, but what you are concealing is what content you are browsing/downloading once connected to the VPN.  The traffic between airVPN and your IP address is encrypted (hopefully using strong techniques that aren't being circumvented), so as long as 1 or more others are also connected to the same airVPN server, then it is more difficult to tie traffic back to your IP address. The keywords being "more difficult", becuase it is not impossible. Also AIRVPN does not keep logs, so veiwing exactly what you are doing in real time would require even more resources to monitor.

 

If you want to be completely anonymous that you are connecting and purchasing airVPN, then do not connect directly to AirVPN from your main IP. Connect over TOR, or through another or several VPN proxies. If you connected through proxies or TOR before purchasing AirVPN using bitcoin, then it would be even "more difficult" to tie payment, in addition the packets back to your IP address. Accepting Bitcoin is just another way to add a layer of complexity to payment back-tracing, and it's up to you to determine how complex you'd like that to be. It is also very convenient if you already have Bitcoin.

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Thanks for the extended response.

 

I understand that Bitcoin can be useful to people who don't have access to credit cards, as well as people in particularly oppressive countries who do not want a record of their having purchased a VPN service.

 

But I'm not sure you answered my basic question. That question is, if a person is connecting to AirVPN directly, it is plainly obvious to that person's ISP that they are using AirVPN's servers. So what good does it do to anonymize the purchase of the service, through Bitcoin, when the ISP can clearly see the connection to AirVPN? In addition, the ISP will keep a record of it in most countries and that information seems to be relatively freely available to security services.

 

You are not concealing the fact you connect to a VPN. You are right that any ISP or monitoring agent can see destination/origination packets from your IP address, but what you are concealing is what content you are browsing/downloading once connected to the VPN.  The traffic between airVPN and your IP address is encrypted (hopefully using strong techniques that aren't being circumvented), so as long as 1 or more others are also connected to the same airVPN server, then it is more difficult to tie traffic back to your IP address. The keywords being "more difficult", becuase it is not impossible. Also AIRVPN does not keep logs, so veiwing exactly what you are doing in real time would require even more resources to monitor.

 

If you want to be completely anonymous that you are connecting and purchasing airVPN, then do not connect directly to AirVPN from your main IP. Connect over TOR, or through another or several VPN proxies. If you connected through proxies or TOR before purchasing AirVPN using bitcoin, then it would be even "more difficult" to tie payment, in addition the packets back to your IP address. Accepting Bitcoin is just another way to add a layer of complexity to payment back-tracing, and it's up to you to determine how complex you'd like that to be. It is also very convenient if you already have Bitcoin.

But if you buy bitcoin from site like mtgox.com or similar, then they have your ID. Am I wrong?

 

ex:     

 

1) MyBank (clear ip) > $ > MTGOX (got my ip and my ID) > $ > Mr. White

2) Mr. White > bitcoin > MTGOX (Ewallet)

3) MTGOX (MyEwallet) > bitcoin > one of my bitcoin wallet (useless cover with false IP/ID because of the bitcoin origin)

4) From my bitcoin wallet > bitcoin > to bitcoincode > to airvpn (with TOR or trial VPN +TOR or just trial VPN to avoid TOR exit node)

 

Maybe to add some layer of protection, after point 3 you could trasfer bitcoin to service like blockchain or similar and then transfer to other ewallet {over blockchain (different ID/IP)} and finaly transfer to a new bitcoin wallet created just for the airvpn transaction. But you have to trust the service.

 

Probably to have 100% privacy you might need a direct exchange with other people or sell stuff.

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But I'm not sure you answered my basic question. That question is, if a person is connecting to AirVPN directly, it is plainly obvious to that person's ISP that they are using AirVPN's servers. So what good does it do to anonymize the purchase of the service, through Bitcoin, when the ISP can clearly see the connection to AirVPN? In addition, the ISP will keep a record of it in most countries and that information seems to be relatively freely available to security services.

Paying with Bitcoin is less useful in that case, yes.

 

But if one wanted to be really paranoid: at least where I live, ISPs are required to keep records for some minimum amount of time, counted in months - not forever. It is probably safe to assume that PayPal will store some record of all transactions ever, or hand them over to someone who does.

 

Being the number one means of sending money around on the Internet they will almost certainly be very interesting for those who would like to prevent money laundering, terrorism financing and that sort of stuff, in a way that an ISP or VPN provider won't. (That's my assumption anyway.)

 

So there's that. But on the first hand again, just purchasing a VPN service really shouldn't be a big deal. Personally, I just don't want to have to deal with PayPal unless I have to.

 

Probably to have 100% privacy you might need a direct exchange with other people or sell stuff.

I just wish there was some easy way to get Bitcoin around here. Seems to have been taken over by the financial types, rather than getting adopted as a method of payment..

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But I'm not sure you answered my basic question. That question is, if a person is connecting to AirVPN directly, it is plainly obvious to that person's ISP that they are using AirVPN's servers. So what good does it do to anonymize the purchase of the service, through Bitcoin, when the ISP can clearly see the connection to AirVPN? In addition, the ISP will keep a record of it in most countries and that information seems to be relatively freely available to security services.

Paying with Bitcoin is less useful in that case, yes.

 

But if one wanted to be really paranoid: at least where I live, ISPs are required to keep records for some minimum amount of time, counted in months - not forever. It is probably safe to assume that PayPal will store some record of all transactions ever, or hand them over to someone who does.

 

Being the number one means of sending money around on the Internet they will almost certainly be very interesting for those who would like to prevent money laundering, terrorism financing and that sort of stuff, in a way that an ISP or VPN provider won't. (That's my assumption anyway.)

 

So there's that. But on the first hand again, just purchasing a VPN service really shouldn't be a big deal. Personally, I just don't want to have to deal with PayPal unless I have to.

 

>Probably to have 100% privacy you might need a direct exchange with other people or sell stuff.

I just wish there was some easy way to get Bitcoin around here. Seems to have been taken over by the financial types, rather than getting adopted as a method of payment..

 

Except for salary, you still have direct exchange, selling stuff and get donation. If the bitcoin system will survive, with a rising adoption rate, its going to be easier to get bitcoin and also increase the security.

 

Paying with Bitcoin is less useful in that case, yes.

 

Maybe, I mean it depands on where you live and what you want to do with this vpn. You can get a lot of privacy if you buy bitcoin in the right way and also if you use a combination of vpn or vpn\tor.

 

If you buy from a financial system with your bank account, then probably you add just a thin layer of protection. I mean with paypal if some US agencies (or similar) ask your data, they are going to open the door in one second, but if you get bitcoin in australia or europe, they might need more permission and lose more time to track you down.

 

I am not 100% sure, correct me If I am wrong.

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To have 100% privacy you need to use a coin mixer.

Send Shared (CloudFlare hosted)
https://blockchain.info/wallet/send-shared

Bitcoin Fog
http://www.bitcoinfog.com/

BitLaundry (clearnet hosted in Germany)
http://bitlaundry.appspot.com/

OnionBC
http://6fgd4togcynxyclb.onion/


Beware of scammers. OnionWallet was reported as a scam on Onionforum 3.0. EasyCoin was reported as a scam on Bitcoin Forum and Reddit.

Blockchain and Bitcoin Fog seem to be the most popular and can be trusted.

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Thanks for the extended response.

 

I understand that Bitcoin can be useful to people who don't have access to credit cards, as well as people in particularly oppressive countries who do not want a record of their having purchased a VPN service.

 

But I'm not sure you answered my basic question. That question is, if a person is connecting to AirVPN directly, it is plainly obvious to that person's ISP that they are using AirVPN's servers. So what good does it do to anonymize the purchase of the service, through Bitcoin, when the ISP can clearly see the connection to AirVPN? In addition, the ISP will keep a record of it in most countries and that information seems to be relatively freely available to security services.

 

You are not concealing the fact you connect to a VPN. You are right that any ISP or monitoring agent can see destination/origination packets from your IP address, but what you are concealing is what content you are browsing/downloading once connected to the VPN.  The traffic between airVPN and your IP address is encrypted (hopefully using strong techniques that aren't being circumvented), so as long as 1 or more others are also connected to the same airVPN server, then it is more difficult to tie traffic back to your IP address. The keywords being "more difficult", becuase it is not impossible. Also AIRVPN does not keep logs, so veiwing exactly what you are doing in real time would require even more resources to monitor.

 

If you want to be completely anonymous that you are connecting and purchasing airVPN, then do not connect directly to AirVPN from your main IP. Connect over TOR, or through another or several VPN proxies. If you connected through proxies or TOR before purchasing AirVPN using bitcoin, then it would be even "more difficult" to tie payment, in addition the packets back to your IP address. Accepting Bitcoin is just another way to add a layer of complexity to payment back-tracing, and it's up to you to determine how complex you'd like that to be. It is also very convenient if you already have Bitcoin.

But if you buy bitcoin from site like mtgox.com or similar, then they have your ID. Am I wrong?

 

ex:     

 

1) MyBank (clear ip) > $ > MTGOX (got my ip and my ID) > $ > Mr. White

2) Mr. White > bitcoin > MTGOX (Ewallet)

3) MTGOX (MyEwallet) > bitcoin > one of my bitcoin wallet (useless cover with false IP/ID because of the bitcoin origin)

4) From my bitcoin wallet > bitcoin > to bitcoincode > to airvpn (with TOR or trial VPN +TOR or just trial VPN to avoid TOR exit node)

 

Maybe to add some layer of protection, after point 3 you could trasfer bitcoin to service like blockchain or similar and then transfer to other ewallet {over blockchain (different ID/IP)} and finaly transfer to a new bitcoin wallet created just for the airvpn transaction. But you have to trust the service.

 

Probably to have 100% privacy you might need a direct exchange with other people or sell stuff.

 

You don't have to buy bitcoins on an exchange, that is one way of getting them though and in that case there would be ID's tied to your transaction/wallets. There is localbitcoins, or you can sell things for bitcoins, perform services online for bitcoins. If you have somebody pay you in BTC directly to a brand new wallet, and that wallet has never been through some identification process then you would be 100% anonymous to the blockchain. Nobody could tie that wallet to your real identity.

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I am not 100% sure, correct me If I am wrong.

No, I agree. It's just that BC has not grown enough so that it is useful for normal people yet.

 

Then let's become not normal! :D

 

Kind regards

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To have 100% privacy you need to use a coin mixer.

 

Send Shared (CloudFlare hosted)

https://blockchain.info/wallet/send-shared

 

Bitcoin Fog

http://www.bitcoinfog.com/

 

BitLaundry (clearnet hosted in Germany)

http://bitlaundry.appspot.com/

 

OnionBC

http://6fgd4togcynxyclb.onion/

 

 

Beware of scammers. OnionWallet was reported as a scam on Onionforum 3.0. EasyCoin was reported as a scam on Bitcoin Forum and Reddit.

 

Blockchain and Bitcoin Fog seem to be the most popular and can be trusted.

 

Buy bitcoin on Mtgox (with bank transfer / clear ID) > Send to a fake ewallet on blockchain > Send with "Send Shared" to a fake personal wallet > Send to a new fake ewallet on blockchain > Send with "Send Shared" to BitcoinCodes|Airvpn

 

I don"t have to hide national security files or share|buy|see strange stuff, would safe enough I suppose. I can always use airvpn with tor and a free vpn, If I need something a little bit more secure.

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Since AirVPN now forces the user to pay using BTC via one of two American owned and operated BTC transaction houses (that require full personal verification), using BTC is no longer secure and anonymous?

What happened to direct transfer like before? Is this a sign that AirVPN is no longer as anonymous as it promises, if it's now being forced to channel all payments through personally identifiable services?

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Since AirVPN now forces the user to pay using BTC via one of two American owned and operated BTC transaction houses (that require full personal verification), using BTC is no longer secure and anonymous?

What happened to direct transfer like before? Is this a sign that AirVPN is no longer as anonymous as it promises, if it's now being forced to channel all payments through personally identifiable services?

 

Hello!

 

Your premises are false. First of all BitPay and Coinbase do not require any personal identification. Second, independent reseller bitcoincodes.com as usual sells AirVPN coupons as it always did.

 

Kind regards

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Paypal is a thoroughly evil company that should be avoided at all costs. One of their management once bragged about how they love ot help out law enforcement, and they blocked donations to Wikileaks and other groups on behalf of the American government so they are very politically motivated. I have no doubt that they would give up lists of names if they were ever asked. If there was an easy way to buy Bitcoin reliably, I think it would be easy to get rid of Paypal as an option completely.

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Hello,

 

I'm going to try to answer all your questions. First, I'll discuss the privacy information (I just made a post with more details). Then, I'll discuss BitCoin.

 

Privacy:

 

An IP address cannot be tied to an actual infringer if you are sharing copyrighted stuff.

This is because of the uncertainty resulting from: Wi-Fi, multiple occupants with access to the computer, public computer usage (library, etc.), even a hacked machine.

Further, although your ISP sees you connected via VPN to Air and sees your total bandwidth usage, they can't see what happens from the Air server to the wider Internet.

 

Connecting using a computer running OpenVPN on an unsecured Wi-Fi router (yours or someone else's) would give plausible deniability if you live in the city near enough to get someone else's Wi-Fi (ie apartments/hotels). You could spoof your MAC address and change your hostname to something random if  you are using someone else's Wi-Fi. You also may want to use a server in another country.

It depends on what you're doing.

Some countries have wiretapped foreign communications such as Sweden and the US. If you're torrenting, Spain allows what is in the US considered copyright infringement.

 

Bitcoin: As others have mentioned, BitCoin is only pseudonymous. That is, you are not completely anonymous, you're under a pseudonym (your Bitcoin address). So try to get your BitCoins you will pay Air with as anonymously as possible (ie send in cash rather than using a credit card). Mixers may be illegal and risky (due to potential of BTC being stolen or hacked), but would add some privacy. PayPal is absolutely 100% traceable, so if you want any privacy in the transaction (though Air doesn't tie payment details to actual usage), you should use Bitcoin.

 

Note: If Air accepted cash, that would be neat!

 

Hope this helps,

 

anonym

 

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Bitcoin: As others have mentioned, BitCoin is only pseudonymous.

 

Hello!

 

Correct. Make it "anonymous" (more properly, put it behind a strong anonymity layer) by connecting the Bitcoin client to the TOR network using dedicated wallets for different purposes.

 

Kind regards

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Paypal has done nasty things against basic freedom of information, just as some other large and mainstream celebrated companies have (like handing over activists information to dictatorial regimes), but I still see them as useful under some circumstances. Buying (service) through them is flagged as an uncommon paypal transaction at banks while buying e.g. bitcoins directly may be a red-flag transaction in some parts of the world.

 

Of course it would be nice to have more ethical options while cutting out the likes of VISA altogether, but for now the ease of use and nominal credibility of Paypal makes them useful in many cases and asome level of ease is required for privacy-centric services to become more widely adopted. Can't believe I just said something positive about Paypal!

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Since AirVPN now forces the user to pay using BTC via one of two American owned and operated BTC transaction houses (that require full personal verification), using BTC is no longer secure and anonymous?

What happened to direct transfer like before? Is this a sign that AirVPN is no longer as anonymous as it promises, if it's now being forced to channel all payments through personally identifiable services?

Hello!

 

Your premises are false. First of all BitPay and Coinbase do not require any personal identification. Second, independent reseller bitcoincodes.com as usual sells AirVPN coupons as it always did.

 

Kind regards

"BitPay and Coinbase do not require any personal identification" Are you kidding? Coinbase required totally private bank information to purchase bitcoins through airvpn/coinbase.

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"BitPay and Coinbase do not require any personal identification" Are you kidding? Coinbase required totally private bank information to purchase bitcoins through airvpn/coinbase.

Hello!

 

Those services are supported by our system as means to perform payments.

 

If you do not have Bitcoins and you want to exchange them with a government currency, that's a totally different subject that has nothing to do with this argument, and we don't see how you can purchase Bitcoins via a bank transfer without using your bank account coordinates.

 

Additionally, as we already wrote, all the older methods to pay with Bitcoin are still available as usual.

 

Kind regards

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Hello!

 

That's quite relevant, Staff. Let's just pin this topic.


Moderators do not speak on behalf of AirVPN. Only the Official Staff account does. Please also do not run Tor Exit Servers behind AirVPN, thank you.
Did you make a guide or how-to for something? Then contact me to get it listed in my new user guide's Guides Section, so that the community can find it more easily.


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Hello!

I was wondering something else: What information is kept when buying a coupon code with PayPal? I wanted to gift my sister a one year subscription, and thought of buying it through PayPal. Is the coupon code in any form linked to my and her account (i mean either the exact code, or information which can be used to trace it back to my account)? In other word: Do coupon codes "behave" like pre-paid credit cards, and so be basically anonymous like cash?

My thought process was that you could buy a coupon code with paypal, register a new account on AirVPN and gift it to yourself. Given that you obfuscate your IP while doing so in your preffered way (tor or vpn throu tor or vpn only), would this be an extra layer of anonymity?

Have a nice day

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