Best VPNs for Online Banking in 2021 (and Why You Need One)
In most cases, financial data is usually the most important data in one’s life. It is why you need to protect it by all means necessary. Like everything connected to the internet, when you connect to your bank online, you are susceptible to attacks from bad actors looking to steal your data or money. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) can protect you against such attacks.
A VPN provides an encrypted tunnel through which it routes your data, making it impossible for hackers and unwanted third parties to access it. Furthermore, premium VPNs are fitted with state-of-the-art security features that guarantee a secure online banking experience.
This article dives into VPN services that you can use to protect yourself while banking online.
Recommended VPNs for Online Banking
While there are several VPN services out there, you only need the best of the best to protect your financial information. Let’s look at some of them below.
- Number of servers: More than 3,000
- Speeds: Unlimited
- Server locations: 160 in 94 countries
- Maximum devices supported: 5
- 24 live chat: Yes
- 30 day money back guarantee: Yes
- Fastest VPN out there
- Strict no logs policy
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Few discounts
With over 3000 servers spread across 94 countries, ExpressVPN gives you many options to reach your local online banking application securely, no matter where you are. It has zero restrictions on speed and bandwidth, reducing the occurrence of failed transactions due to poor networks.
ExpressVPN operates using a strict No-Log Policy. Unlike most VPN services, it has proven to follow this policy by undergoing an audit by the auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). In addition, operating from the British Virgin Islands prevents any government from accessing your connection logs about your banking activities. It also uses several security layers to ensure the utmost protection when you’re accessing your bank account.
AES-256 encryption, secure VPN protocols, and perfect forward secrecy keeps malicious entities far away from your banking details. The encryption cipher is the same top-tier government intelligence agencies use, and perfect forward secrecy keeps your encryption keys dynamic to give you an added security layer. Other security features include a kill switch, Tor over VPN, Split Tunneling, and leak protection.
With custom applications and manual instruction guides, ExpressVPN caters to a wide range of devices. The slight drawback is that it’s not a cheap premium VPN, but protecting your online banking details should not come cheap. However, you can get discounts if you buy its yearly or six-month plan. It has a 30-day cash-back guarantee, and you have up to five concurrent connections per user.
- Cryptocurrency accepted? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: 6
- Dedicated IP-addresses? Yes
- Servers: 5342 in 58 countries
- Lots of pricing options
- Netflix support kept up to date
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Slow app
NordVPN’s over 5400 servers can cater to your online banking needs. In fact, with its presence in 59 countries, it covers almost every region of the world. As one of the fastest VPN services, NordVPN is a brilliant choice for anyone looking to make transactions online. It will effectively mask your IP address while delivering fast connections.
It made a wise choice to have its operational headquarters in Panama, away from the member countries of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. This means that your online banking history will not end up in the hands of any surveillance-sharing government. NordVPN trumps most VPN service providers when it comes to privacy, as it has engaged the services of PwC more than once to verify the authenticity of its No-Log Policy.
With several robust security features, NordVPN protects your online banking details with ferocity. 256-bit encryption, perfect forward secrecy, leak protection, Double VPN, Split Tunneling, and Tor over VPN are faithful soldiers in NordVPN’s war against malicious entities. It also has a CyberSec feature that protects against ads and malware-infected websites.
Compatible with various operating systems, it has applications for some and manual setup materials to guide you in installing on others. With NordVPN, you have access to three subscription plans. Extended plans are cheaper with discounts available. You can use it risk-free for 30 days with a refund policy and can only have six parallel connections using an account.
- Free trial? Yes
- Simultaneous connections: Unlimited
- Ad blocking? Yes
- Servers: 1000+ in 61 countries
- No footprints
- Allows torrenting
- 256-bit AES encryption
- Not the fastest
With a high-standard unblocking prowess, Surfshark’s more than 3000 servers resident in 65 countries allows you to bypass geo-restrictions in several areas. Despite having less than five years of experience in the VPN industry, Surfshark has risen to be one of the fastest VPNs worldwide. This VPN service provider is what you need to make secure transactions with ease.
Surfshark’s headquarters in the British Virgin Islands keeps your online banking data away from prying eyes. Its strict No-Log is not under any legal threats from any government. It also permits payment in cryptocurrencies to keep you anonymous. Surfshark has a warrant canary that informs users of any news regarding their data, especially if a government agency requests it.
In terms of security, Surfshark has a CleanWeb feature that protects you from phishing attacks so that you do not divulge your banking details to unwanted parties. CleanWeb blocks ads and sites with a history of entertaining malware. It also uses industry-standard 256-bit encryption, along with Multihop, HackLock, Tor over VPN, and leak protection. You have the option of using either IKEv2/IPSec or OpenVPN as your VPN protocol.
Surfshark is compatible with iOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, Android, Chrome, Firefox, Fire TV, and many other devices. Its 2-year plan costs $2.49 per month, but its monthly plan costs $12.95. Overall, it’s cheaper than most VPNs and has no limit on the number of simultaneous connections.
- Connected devices at once: 7
- Automatic kill switch? Yes
- One click connect: Yes
- Servers: 5900 worldwide
- No logs policy
- 24/7 live chat
- Apps for mobile devices and routers
- No free option
CyberGhost is another budget-friendly VPN service provider that delivers on all fronts. Its server network has more than 6800 servers spanning 91 countries. That accounts for almost every region in the world, allowing you to access your bank account even if you’re far away from home.
Like most premium VPNs, CyberGhost is registered in a country that encourages privacy–Romania. This takes care of any interference from member countries of the 5/9/14 Eyes Alliance. Besides, CyberGhost’s tight No-Log Policy prevents the storage of connection logs and internet history. It protects you from hackers or anyone looking to gain access to your bank account with top-tier security features.
Cyberghost has several basic and advanced security features to protect your connection to your bank. They include AES-256 encryption, Double VPN, Split Tunneling, Tor over VPN, an automatic kill switch, leak protection, and secure VPN protocols (WireGuard, IKEv2, and OpenVPN). It also has a unique feature you can set to alert you anytime you connect to an unfamiliar network.
It has native applications for Windows, iOS, macOS, and Android, while others have manual installation guides on its website. Unlike most VPNs, CyberGhost has a 45-day money-back guarantee on all plans except its monthly one (14-day), and you can protect up to seven devices per user account.
- P2P support? Yes
- 30-day money-back guarantee? Yes
- Country of origin? Switzerland
- Servers: 600+ in over 40 countries
- Simultaneous devices: 5
- Professional support
- Modern interface and apps
- AES-256 encryption
- Lesser known provider
The same group that created ProtonMail owns ProtonVPN. Its over 1200 servers are located in 54 countries worldwide. Its association with ProtonMail is vital in convincing online banking users of its security and privacy capabilities. While it is not as fast as some VPNs, it makes up for that in its reliability. This is one VPN service you can bank on.
With ProtonVPN having its headquarters in Switzerland, it is extremely difficult not to trust this VPN service provider with your data. Switzerland is like heaven to people looking for all forms of privacy. Its location allows it to adhere strictly to a transparent No-Log Policy on all servers without any fear of the government interfering.
Security-wise, HMA protects your banking details with AES-256 encryption. It also uses perfect forward secrecy to make it extra challenging for anyone to access your data. NetShield, an adblocker, protects you from malware, ads, and website trackers. ProtonVPN only supports IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN, ensuring it uses no outdated VPN protocols. Other features include leak protection, Secure Core servers, and a kill switch.
All ProtonVPN’s applications are open-source, and SEC Consult has vetted them to be safe and secure. It is also compatible with a wide range of devices. Offering a free plan alongside three paid plans, ProtonVPN shows that it’s a VPN for everyone. There is a 30-day cash-back policy on all paid plans.
- IP cloaking? Yes
- Access to US domains? Yes
- Devices supported: Over 30 (including iOS and Android)
- Firewalls? Yes
- Servers: 3000+ in over 25 countries
- Military grade encryption
- Completely private browsing
- Lesser known provider
PIA has an extensive server fleet spread across 77 countries. With more than 25000 servers (physical and virtual), you have virtual access to countries beyond your current location. This means that fewer servers will be congested, giving room for faster connections and transactions. It also means that no matter where you are, accessing your bank account online will be easy, provided you use PIA’s servers in your country.
Despite having its headquarters in the USA, PIA maintains its users’ privacy by abiding by its strict No-Log Policy. In fact, PIA had proven it stands by its No-Log Policy in the past when government agencies requested user data and found nothing. This is why it also releases a transparency report periodically to keep users in the loop if anything like that happens. In addition to all these, you can also pay in cryptocurrency.
Security-wise, PIA gives you flexibility for more control over your security structure. We recommend using AES-256, RSA-4096, and SHA256 for encryption, key exchange, and authentication, respectively while banking online. There is also a MACE feature that protects against malware-infected websites and phishing attacks. PIA also supports WireGuard, OpenVPN, IKEv2/IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, and Shadowsocks.
PIA’s software application is open-source and is compatible with several operating systems and platforms. With affordable pricing plans, you can save money using this VPN service provider. You can use PIA simultaneously on ten devices, and it has a 30-day refund policy.
- Number of servers: 1800+
- Server locations: 72 locations
- Maximum devices supported: 10
- 24 live chat: Yes
- 30 day money back guarantee: Yes
- Has free option
- No log policy
- Secure connection
- Not very cheap
Hide.me has almost 2000 servers resident in 75 nations. Known for its speed and security, Hide.me is a good choice if you’re looking for a swift connection to make transactions online. It is also a member of the i2Coalition (a group of service providers that want to improve digital safety). You can trust this VPN service to be transparent with what it does with your data.
With Hide.me, you have a pool of VPN protocols to choose from, including OpenVPN, IKEv2, WireGuard, SSTP, and Softether. Industry-standard AES-256 makes it impossible to spy on data that passes through the VPN tunnel. It also has other features such as Double VPN, Split Tunneling, a Kill Switch, and Stealth Guard.
Hide.me is compatible with Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, Routers, and browsers (Firefox and Chrome). Other devices have manual guides for installation. Like ProtonVPN, it has four plans, including a free one. It also has a 30-day refund policy on its paid plans.
What to Consider Before Selecting a VPN for Online Banking
In accessing your bank online, you need to ensure that the VPN service you use is adequate to keep you safe from online attacks. Let’s take a look at some things to consider before you pick a VPN to use for online banking.
Your bank account contains sensitive financial information and should be well protected. Ensure the VPN service you select uses AES-256 encryption with secure VPN protocols like OpenVPN, WireGuard, and IKEv2/IPSec. This is to prevent anyone from eavesdropping on the connection to your bank.
Hackers and malicious entities use phishing scams to make people give them access credentials to their bank accounts. So the VPN service you use must have anti-phishing security features. VPNs that have ad and malware blockers have some protection against phishing schemes. Also, VPNs with leak protection features ensure that you don’t make the mistake of leaving your connection to your bank unprotected.
The location of a VPN service provider can be crucial. VPNs in privacy-friendly areas are safe from invasive data retention laws and the government requesting data. Those in other regions are subject to laws that encourage government spying or requesting data legally. It is better to use a VPN service that guarantees to protect your privacy.
To prevent bad actors from having a field day with your financial data, you need a VPN service that protects you from these bad actors with the right tools. We hope that this article has been able to help you decide which VPN service to use to protect your online banking information.