Unlike other, more traditional crypto exchanges (like Binance or Coinbase), Bisq acts as software that lets you trade directly with others, using a peer-to-peer (P2P) model. That means you're fully in control of how you manage your funds, which was the whole point of crypto: decentralization. Of course, that also means you're the only one responsible for the security of your funds. And the road to great cybersecurity starts with a well-rated VPN for Bisq.
Based on dozens of hours of testing all the various providers out there, here are the five best VPNs for Bisq in 2021.
1. ExpressVPN - Best All-round VPN for Bisq
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ExpressVPN comes equipped with a wide-reaching, lightning-fast server network spanning 94 countries across the globe. Their newly-implemented Lightway protocol also offers military-grade encryption while cutting down on loading times. Your P2P transactions over Bisq will stay secure and, thankfully, won't be bogged down.
The provider also offers a no-nonsense no-logs policy to ensure that none of your browsing activity or online transactions are stored anywhere. Not only that, but their servers are RAM-based, meaning that any data passing through is automatically wiped when the servers are reset. Highly useful, seeing as VPN servers can be seized by restrictive governments at any moment.
A VPN kill switch is also available for Bisq users on Windows, Linux, or Mac. The feature automatically "kills" your Internet connection when the VPN disconnects to prevent any data leaks to your ISP or other eavesdroppers. Pretty much essential in case you're trading on hotel Wi-Fi or hotspots in other unsecured public spaces.
Naturally, this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of ExpressVPN's capabilities. We encourage you to read our complete ExpressVPN review to see why it deserves the #1 spot.
2. NordVPN - Fastest Bisq VPN on the Market
One of the two industry-leading VPN providers wins in the speed category, as confirmed by the AV-test speed test results. Their speedy hardware coupled with the new NordLynx protocol puts them squarely at #1 in that respect. No need to add unnecessary loading times on top of the already slow crypto transactions, right?
Other than that, NordVPN also provides industry-standard security features, such as bank-grade encryption, RAM-based servers, a kill switch, and more. Need some extra anonymity and don't mind losing some speed? Use their double VPN option to cover your digital tracks through double encryption and routing your traffic through two different servers.
Speaking of doubles, their no-logs policy has passed two security audits with flying colors. Rest assured that NordVPN never stores any of your data on their servers. Finally, one optional (but definitely welcome) feature is CyberSec. Not only does it block annoying ads online, but it also prevents malware and phishing domains from loading.
For more info about why NordVPN is one of the best VPNs for Bisq, check out our in-depth review.
3. Private Internet Access (PIA) - Huge, Secure Server Network
While PIA's no-logs claims haven't been audited, they have been verified in court on two separate occasions. You can't get a better stamp of approval than the FBI, after all. Shame they couldn't find anything on the criminals they were after, but that also means they can't spy on regular transactions either.
As expected, PIA secures your online activity with strong encryption (powered by Wireguard), offers watertight leak protection, and a kill switch. PIA MACE is also a neat addition. A built-in ad-blocker that filters malware and phishing domains, much like CyberSec does for NordVPN.
Now, Bisq doesn't have any automated security systems that trigger sudden IP changes. However, we still recommend trying out PIA's dedicated IPs if you regularly trade on other platforms. Coinbase and Binance, in particular, could freeze your account if you use a server that's been flagged for "suspicious activity." Luckily, PIA's blazing fast server network numbers over 35,000 units, so that's less likely to happen.
For more details on PIA's security options (as well as other perks of using their service), check out our review.
4. CyberGhost VPN - Always-on Killswitch for Max Privacy
Bisq strives for full-on anonymity and transparency with the open-source nature of its project. Not to mention the fact that you don't need to share any personal documents or register anywhere to use their software. To keep that up, you'll need to use a kill switch to prevent any unwanted leaks to your ISP. And thankfully, you can't turn off CyberGhost VPN's kill switch. No risk of forgetting to turn it on by accident.
Securing your transactions are powerful encryption, leak protection, a robust no-logs policy (complete with quarterly transparency reports), and RAM-based servers. CyberGhost VPN also owns a large portion of its hardware. That means they don't have to rely on third-party data centers for upgrades or security checks.
Similar to PIA, you can benefit from a static, dedicated IP in case you want to trade crypto on other exchanges. And as always, you can rely on their built-in phishing and malware filter to secure your browsing experience.
See more about CyberGhost VPN's practices and security features in our review.
5. Surfshark - Great Value VPN for Bisq
Surfshark has climbed up the ranks pretty fast since its inception (2018). Now it sits at the top with all the other high-ranking providers for all the same reasons. Impenetrable security, excellent privacy, and many useful features for trading on Bisq and other crypto exchanges.
Among those is their double VPN option in case you need to maximize privacy in an area that heavily regulates crypto trading. Speaking of which, you'll want to use Camouflage Mode (obfuscation) in countries that frown upon VPN usage. Say, China or Russia. Their CleanWeb feature also - well, cleans up your browsing experience by removing intrusive ads and blocking known malicious domains.
The best part about Surfshark is that they let you use your VPN account on unlimited devices. If you're the kind of person that has a lot of gadgets laying around, or have friends you want to get into crypto, then Surfshark is an excellent option to chip in for. Our full Surfshark review goes into every detail we haven't covered here. Go take a look!