Most people assume that their online activities are private but this simply isn’t the case. In fact, your Internet Service Provider (ISP), hackers, your employer, and in some countries, the government can see what you do on the internet. However, when you connect to a VPN, your traffic is encrypted, and as such, unreadable by any third-party observer. This is especially useful if you tend to use PayPal while connected to a public wifi network, where hackers are known to lie in wait to steal information.
VPNs come with one other major benefit: they allow you to spoof your location and access geo-restricted services from anywhere in the world. This includes access to PayPal in countries where it’s blocked. Additionally, like many online services, PayPal limits access to accounts when the user logs in from a different country than usual. By connecting to a server in your home country beforehand, you trick PayPal into thinking you’re still at home and drastically reduce the likelihood of being locked out of your account.
We’ll cover each of our recommended VPNs in more detail later, but in the meantime, you’ll find a short description of each below:
- NordVPN Our top choice for PayPal. A high-speed, budget-friendly service with plenty of advanced security features. Includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark Best budget option. Boasts numerous security features, no connection limit, and excellent unblocking capabilities.
- ExpressVPN A fast, secure, and privacy-focused VPN capable of unblocking a wide range of geo-blocked platforms abroad. Allows payment with PayPal.
- CyberGhost Fast and user-friendly, with excellent unblocking ability.
- IPVanish Lightweight, with high speeds, strong security, and multi-platform support.
- PrivateVPN A versatile, no-logs VPN with faster speeds than most and great unblocking ability.
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How to use PayPal safely with a VPN
With the right VPN, it’s very simple to access PayPal abroad. Just follow the steps below:
- Begin by signing up for one of the VPNs listed below (we recommend NordVPN).
- Download and install the app, making sure to get the right version for your device.
- Connect to one of your VPN’s servers in your home country.
- Log in to PayPal. You should now be able to use the service as normal. If not, try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies, then reload the page.
Choosing the best VPNs for using PayPal
With so many VPNs to choose from, it’s often difficult to find the best ones for any given task. For this reason, when finding the best VPNs for using PayPal, we decided to only consider services with all of the following characteristics:
- Offers consistent, high-speed connections
- Has a wide-reaching server network
- Does not log any information which could identify you
- Uses effectively uncrackable encryption and includes additional security features
- Provides apps for the most popular operating systems and devices
Best VPNs for PayPal
Below, you’ll find our list of the best VPNs for PayPal:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN has a very large network, with more than 5,000 servers in 60 countries. This all but guarantees you access to a reliable, high-speed connection, which is particularly useful if you use services like Skype for business. NordVPN can easily unblock stubborn platforms such as Hulu and Disney+, so PayPal won’t present a problem.
This VPN uses 256-bit encryption, an app-specific kill switch, and protection against DNS, IPv6, port forwarding, and WebRTC leaks to keep your traffic private. That’s just scratching the surface, though: there’s also an ad-blocker and malware-scanner, as well as dual VPN and Tor over VPN functionality. NordVPN logs no data whatsoever and allows you to sign up anonymously using Bitcoin. Customer support is available via live chat, 24/7.
NordVPN apps are available for Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android. It works on select network routers but must be installed manually. NordVPN works in China, the UAE and other countries that restrict VPN use.
Note that while this VPN will work with PayPal you can’t sign up for NordVPN and pay using PayPal.
- Very high speeds
- Fantastic unblocking ability
- Numerous security options
- No-logging policy
- Can’t pay for NordVPN with PayPal
BEST VPN FOR PAYPAL:NordVPN is our #1 pick,. Boasts customizable security, fast speeds, and strong unblocking ability at a very reasonable price. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you can try it completely risk-free.
Read our full NordVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark operates over 3,200 servers in 60+ countries. It’s more than fast enough for PayPal; in fact, you’ll even be able to stream live HD video without any noticeable lag or buffering. This is particularly good news, since Surfshark also works with platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and BBC iPlayer without any problems. This service has no connection limit, meaning one account lets you secure every device you own.
This is one service that takes your security seriously. It offers 256-bit encryption, WebRTC, DNS, and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch, plus automatic ad-blocking and malware-scanning. If you’d like, you can use the split tunneling functionality to bypass the VPN with certain apps> Surfshark doesn’t log any information that could identify you but if you’re worried about privacy, feel free to pay in cryptocurrency. 24/7 support is on-hand over live chat in case you have any problems.
Surfshark apps are available for MacOS, iOS, Android, Windows, and Linux. This service can be manually configured for use with select network routers.
- Good speeds and unblocking ability
- Strong security credentials
- Doesn’t keep any logs
- Solid unblocking capabilities
- Connect as many devices as you like
- Settings menu feels a little disorganized
Read our full review of Surfshark here.
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark manages to provide reasonable speeds, strong security, and the ability to unblock platforms like PayPal fat a very reasonable price. Better still, this no-logs VPN even comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN currently has more than 3,000 servers spread over 90 countries. It can unblock PayPal as well as popular streaming platforms like fuboTV and Amazon Prime Video abroad. This service is fast, reliable, and capable of streaming live HD video without any issues, so there’s no need to worry about your connection dropping mid-transaction.
This provider puts major emphasis on your security. 256-bit AES encryption is enabled by default, and there’s IPv6 and DNS leak protection, perfect forward secrecy, and a kill switch (in desktop apps) that stops all traffic should you disconnect unexpectedly. ExpressVPN doesn’t log any personally identifiable information and you can pay with Bitcoin if you’d like another layer of privacy. If you run into any problems, you can contact support 24/7 over live chat.
ExpressVPN has apps for Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, and iOS. It offers custom firmware for routers which simplifies the installation process considerably.
- Excellent unblocking ability
- Prioritizes your security
- Fast connections
- Accepts Bitcoin and PayPal
- Only permits five devices to be connected at once
- Slightly more expensive than other providers in this list
SPEED AND SECURITY:ExpressVPN a great option for using PayPal. It’s secure, privacy-conscious, and has a wide network of high-speed servers to choose from. Additionally, this service includes a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost currently offers access to more than 7,000 servers in 91 countries and puts particular emphasis on ease of use. This service provides consistent, high-speed connections, easily unblocks sites like PayPal, and allows up to seven devices to be connected at once. If you’re looking for a VPN that is super easy to use out of the box, CyberGhost is a strong choice.
One of the best things about this service is that its security features are enabled by default. There’s 256-bit encryption, automatic ad-blocking and malware-scanning, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and an always-on kill switch included in every version of the app. You can pay with Bitcoin if you’d like, but CyberGhost doesn’t log any identifiable information so your privacy is guaranteed either way. Need help? You can reach customer support 24/7 over live chat.
CyberGhost offers Windows, Android, MacOS, Linux and iOS apps. Manual configuration is required for use with select wireless routers.
- Consistently high speeds
- Pre-configured security features
- Allows anonymous registration
- Great at unblocking geo-restricted services from abroad
- Doesn’t work in China or the UAE
- Few advanced configuration options
Read our full CyberGhost review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish has over 1,900 servers across more than 60 countries. With fast, reliable connections, excellent multi-platform support, and decent unblocking capabilities, this provider makes it easy for you to access services like PayPal wherever you are. Further, since any number of simultaneous connections are allowed, you can use IPVanish to protect all of your devices at once.
For a service with such lightweight apps, there are a surprising number of security features built in. IPVanish uses 256-bit encryption, a kill switch (desktop only), and DNS and IPv6 leak protection by default, but you can choose to obfuscate OpenVPN traffic to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN at all. Further, this service doesn’t log any information which could identify you. If you need help, you can reach customer support 24/7 via live chat.
IPVanish provides apps for Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS, and Amazon Fire devices. Manual installation is required for Linux-based platforms and select internet routers.
- Lightweight, with apps for most major platforms
- Fast speeds
- Can’t unblock as many streaming services as some of its rivals
BROWSE SAFELY ANYWHERE:IPVanish is a versatile, high-speed VPN with no connection limit. It comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full IPVanish review.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN has a smaller network than many rivals (with around 200 servers in 60+ countries) but makes up for this by providing better-than-average speeds and exceptional versatility. It has no problems securely accessing platforms like PayPal, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video abroad and allows 10 simultaneous connections, so you can cover all your devices.
This service protects your traffic using 256-bit encryption, IPv6, DNS, and WebRTC leak protection, as well as a kill switch (Windows only). Additionally, it has a strict no-logging policy, so there’s no risk of your activities being traced back to you (although you can sign up with Bitcoin for added anonymity). Live chat is available almost 24/7 (it’s offline from 1-3PM PST) and the staff can even remotely install the software for you, with your permission.
PrivateVPN has MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android apps. It must be manually installed on Linux systems and select routers.
- Very high speeds
- Easily unblocks stubborn services abroad
- Log-free provider
- Fewer servers than most VPNs
- Live chat is not quite 24/7
PRIVACY GUARANTEED:PrivateVPN is a logless, secure, high-speed VPN which lets you use PayPal from anywhere in the world. Better still, its plans all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full PrivateVPN review.
Can I use PayPal safely from abroad with a free VPN?
Free VPNs are often tempting, but they come with several significant disadvantages that paid services don’t. Take their speeds, for instance: free VPNs usually have far more users than their servers can support. This causes network slowdown which manifests as painfully long loading times, random disconnection, and an inability to use services like PayPal effectively. Further, as free VPNs are usually the first to be blacklisted by geo-blocked platforms, there’s no guarantee you’ll even be able to access your chosen service.
Building and maintaining server networks isn’t cheap, and free VPNs have to make money somehow. You’ll often find that they insert large, obnoxious ads into the pages you visit, but some have resorted to even shadier tactics. By storing a tracking cookie on your device, they can monitor your activities and build a detailed consumer profile. Once enough information has been accumulated, your profile can be sold to advertisers, usually without your knowledge. By acting in this way, free VPNs remove any control you have over who can see your data.
These services also pose a real security risk. A 2016 survey of free VPN apps found that over one-third contained malware of some kind. Perhaps more worryingly, 18% were content to let you browse without any encryption and more than 80% leaked personal information over IPv6. Your safety isn’t guaranteed with a well-known service either, as we found out during the Hola botnet scandal.
To stay as safe as possible online, we recommend using a VPN with a proven history of putting its customers’ privacy first.
Methodology: How we chose the best VPNs for PayPal
Whenever you’re dealing with financial services or online banking, security is the number one thing to look for in a VPN. However, it’s not the only requirement; you’ll also need reliable connections, strong privacy features, and decent speeds. Below, you’ll find a list of criteria we used to filter out the best VPNs for PayPal:
- Security toolkit: At a bare minimum, we need our top VPNs to have a kill switch, a no-logs policy, 256-bit encryption, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. Of course, you can never be too careful where digital security is involved, so more advanced tools are always welcome.
- Performance: If your speeds are too slow, you could find that you can’t reliably access your usual services like PayPal. You could even experience sporadic disconnections, which can lead to failed (or repeated) transactions. That’s why we only recommend providers that have performed well in our latest VPN speed tests.
- Server locations: Attempting to log into financial services abroad often leads to a temporary hold being placed on your account for fraud-prevention reasons. However, by using a server located in your home country, the odds of this happening are reduced.
- User-friendliness: Nobody wants to spend their vacation messing around in the settings. The VPNs above all offer beginner-friendly apps, live chat-based customer support, and the ability to unblock PayPal just about anywhere.
- Pricing: We frequently compare VPNs to similarly-priced competitors to make sure that they’re really worth the price. What’s more, if there’s a discount or money-back guarantee available, we’ll always let you know.
This is just the beginning of our VPN selection process! We have a whole post explaining how Comparitech tests VPNs in case you’d like to learn more.
Using PayPal with a VPN: FAQs
Why is PayPal unavailable in some countries?
PayPal is currently available in over 200 regions worldwide, but not quite everywhere. There are several different reasons for this, one being that some locations, like Antarctica and Christmas Island, just don’t have enough permanent residents to make the effort worthwhile. Others, including North Korea, Iran, and Cuba, are sanctioned by the US (where PayPal is based) and as such, monetary transfers to these countries are forbidden.
However, there are a disproportionately high number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa where PayPal isn’t available. In 2004, the company blacklisted several regions entirely after realizing they had particularly high rates of credit card fraud. The e-commerce landscape has changed dramatically since then, however, and as PayPal’s now boasts an estimated 267 million users worldwide. Understandably, previously-blocked countries such as Ghana have expressed interest in making a return to the platform in the near future.
Will a VPN let me use PayPal securely on public wifi networks?
Public wifi networks are convenient, but rarely very secure. This makes them a prime target for hackers who use all manner of tricks including Man-In-The-Middle attacks, packet sniffing, and fake hotspots to intercept your traffic. As a result, we strongly advise against using public networks for PayPal or any kind of online banking.
If you really have to do so, it’s best to connect to a VPN first. This will prevent your activities from being monitored, and ensures your login credentials can’t be stolen. As an added bonus, VPNs allow you to bypass web-filtering and access sites and services that the hotspot owner has blocked.
Can I sign up for PayPal if it’s not available in my country?
PayPal works slightly differently than most geo-blocked services. Usually, if you try to access such a platform from a country outside of its intended area, you’ll be shown an error. In contrast, PayPal allows you to visit any regional version of the site. This will function as normal, except without a payment method linked to a local address, you won’t be able to sign up. This makes signing up from abroad almost impossible without a friend or relative in your desired country.
Disclaimer: we are not legal experts and nothing above should be considered legal advice. Given the complexity of international financial legislation, we strongly encourage you to do your own research (or perhaps consult a professional) before attempting to sign up for PayPal from outside of its intended service area.