As you probably already know, VPNs will keep you protected online in a number of different situations, shopping being just one of them.
With a VPN running on your device(s), you not only get to protect the communication between the online store and your computer, phone or tablet — but could also potentially benefit from some location-specific deals.
You’ve probably seen ads promising special offers for users in some areas. Well, with a VPN – you get to choose your virtual area and get the best possible deal. Simply connect to a VPN server in the area where such a deal is available and visit that site (again). Now, you will be able to benefit from lower prices and other goodies that are not available across the board.
This, however, is just one piece of the puzzle as a good VPN has much more to offer. Its primary function is to help you be (more) anonymous online so that the likes of Google, Facebook and various government agencies can’t easily track you down.
That being said, here are the best VPNs that will also protect you while shopping online:
- 5,000+ servers in the network
- Easy to use - install it and forget it
- One license is good for up to 6 devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Chrome extension is just a proxy
- You can't pay with PayPal
Its network includes more than 5,000 servers spread across 60 countries, which directly translates into faster speeds. NordVPN is also very secure, relying on the strong 256-bit encryption combined with secure VPN protocols (OpenVPN, WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec). But as a user, you get a seamless experience with all this technology "doing its thing" in the background.
NordVPN is well suited to pretty much every task you throw at it — whether it's accessing a banned site from some country that filters out the internet, torrenting, accessing streaming services, or just wanting to keep a low profile on the web. It also doesn't keep any logs.
We highly recommend NordVPN to anyone looking for reliable service.
- Feature-rich yet easy to use
- One of the best VPNs around
- Strong no-logging policy
- Reliable support you can reach 24/7
- Limited number of servers in Africa and the Middle East
- Kinda pricey
ExpressVPN has great desktop apps for Windows and Mac, mobile apps and browser extensions. Also, it is well suited for video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others.
However, what makes it stand out is its ease of use. We can't emphasize this enough. One could tell a lot of time has been spent making sure even the advanced features are easily accessible. And we love it for that. Plus, let's not forget ExpressVPN's speed which tends to leave other services in the dust.
- It's super fast!
- Works with Netflix, BBC and others
- Easy to use apps, browser extensions
- You can try it for free!
- Some advanced features are not configurable
- Not the best for high-censorship countries
Furthermore, thanks to the availability of browser extensions - Hotspot Shield is also one of our top choices for Chrome and Firefox VPNs.
Your privacy is equally well protected, with the software only collecting some anonymized that help continually improve its service.
There is one caveat though - it won't work in high-censorship countries like China. If you don't need that in the first place, we highly recommend Hotspot Shield.
As that's typically the case with most VPN services out there, the longer you commit - the better deal you get. However, what makes Hotspot Shield even better is the fact that it offers a 7-day free trial of its service. A few other top VPN providers do the same. Plus, its money-back guarantee lasts for 45 days, making for a risk-free purchase. Cause, you can always get your money back. Sweet and just the way we like it.
- One the best VPNs for torrenting
- Works well with Netflix
- Simple setup on all popular devices
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Doesn't work with BBC iPlayer
- Doesn't work in China
Its desktop apps are not among the prettiest ones, but they get the job done. The important thing is that installation is easy and straightforward, and that no logs are kept by the company.
When it comes to pricing, IPVanish is somewhere in the middle — it's not the most affordable option but also not the most expensive one. As noted, it will be most appreciated by heavy BitTorrent users, and — related — Kodi fans.
- Reliable download and upload speeds
- Works with Netflix and BBC iPlayer
- Strict zero-logs policy
- Lets you use it on unlimited number of devices
- Low number of servers in Africa and Australia
You can rely on it for streaming and torrenting, with included extra features like CleanWeb and MultiHop, delivering a that much better — and more secure — experience.
Surfshark, the company, is based in the British Virgin Islands and with its zero-logs policy makes for a powerful combo to anyone looking to keep its web whereabouts under the radar.
The service is easy to use and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Why should you use a VPN for online shopping?
There are a few reason why we think online shoppers should use a VPN when buying stuff on the Internet:
1. Get better deals
Without a VPN, an online store can know exactly where you are connecting from and as a result, not show you the deals that may be reserved for users in specific areas.
On the other hand, with a VPN – you get to choose your virtual location and get the best deal the site has to offer. This may not work with physical goods though, as at the end of the process – you will have to enter your shipping details. But as far as virtual stuff is concerned, you’re good to go.
Another good use case is for air travel where a VPN could help you get the upper hand. You see, airlines use so-called “dynamic pricing” that forms the price based on a number of criteria, such as your perceived interest in purchasing a ticket (among other factors).
If you have already searched for some flight, the software running on the airline’s website will know that, and will serve you the higher price next time you search for the same flight. In many cases, this price increase is artificial as it is checking to see how much you’re willing to spend — all while enticing you to buy in ASAP.
Again, with a VPN, you can connect to a different server throughout the day to always get the best price, which tends to be reserved for new customers.
2. Bypass dynamic and personalized pricing
Related to the previous point, online stores can show a different price to different users based on any number of factors. For instance, west coast users tend to spend more than those living in the midwest, thus they may see higher prices.
Here too a VPN could help as you can connect to a VPN server in a different city and avoid this dynamic price.
What’s even scarier is that with the help of Google and Facebook, an online store can know a lot about (people like) you – and use that information to show you a higher or lower price. Except, that is, if you’re using a VPN – when you can appear to that store as a brand-new customer without a digital profile created. And again, these sorts of (new) customers tend to get the best deals.
3. Don’t let advertisers use your data against you
Even if you’re a new customer, that one interaction with an online store will add a record to your digital profile savvy advertisers will use against you. How, you may wonder? Well, after that initial purchase of some item, you can expect to see similar or related items being pushed to you across the web. Yes, they can track you down.
But not if you’re using a VPN and connect to a different server after you’ve made your purchase. Then, as far as those advertisers’ software is concerned, you’ve never made that purchase and — therefore — they can’t show you “relevant ads” (as they like to put it).
As long as it’s legal, what you’re doing online shouldn’t be anyone’s business.
4. Make it impossible for scammers to find and steal your identity
Using a VPN is especially important when you want/need to shop online and you’re not in your home, office or connected to some other network you trust. This is because the same network could be used by a savvy hacker who in turn may be able to intercept the data as it travels in the same network and potentially get hold of your personal information, including your credit card details.
If you haven’t heard, the number of these so-called “man in the middle” attacks has been growing in recent years, but luckily – so has the use of VPNs.
In this scenario, a VPN will protect you by encrypting all data traveling between your device and the rest of the Internet. So, even if a hacker manages to get some of the data, he/she won’t be able to do anything with it. All they’ll end up is encrypted text they can do little about.
You need a VPN for online shopping
And not just any VPN, you should get the best VPN money could buy. And this same VPN will serve all other needs you may have. Or may have in the future. For instance, a good VPN will let you:
- Protect your privacy from the government and big corporations
- Bypass restrictions imposed by the government or various organizations
- Change your IP address so you get unrestricted access to Netflix, Disney+, iPlayer, HULU, and other video streaming services
- Encrypt and protect private data from cybercriminals
The top contenders that check all these boxes include the following: