Best VPN for Online Banking

VPN for Banking

Just about everyone does their banking online these days, whether through your bank's website or a dedicated app. There are even quite a few new challenger bank offers that only have an online presence.

But while online banking gives customers much more convenience and functionality when managing their money, it also creates a lot more risk.

There are far more cybercriminals out there looking to steal your bank details and drain your accounts than there are bank robbers with stripy jumpers, face masks, and swag bags.

They can use any tools at their disposal, from fake banking sites, unsecured WiFi, malicious software, or entire phishing scams. That's why online security is essential when doing safe online banking through your banking app.

There are various tools that you will need but at the heart of your security suite should be the best online banking VPNs (virtual private network).

These encrypt your data using military-grade encryption and security protocols and help hide your location to ensure private and secure online banking activity, even when using a public Wi-Fi network.

Need a fast answer?

We found ExpressVPN far surpassed the competition for added online security and privacy.

In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about using a VPN to keep your online bank account safe, starting with a rundown of the best VPN providers for the job.

Top 7 VPNs for Online Banking

1. ExpressVPN

Mock up of ExpressVPN on different devices

Pros
  • Strong 256-bit encryption
  • Kill Switch
  • Audited no log policy
  • Apps for every device
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Registered off-shore
  • Excellent speeds
Cons
  • Owns VPN ‘review' sites
  • Paying month by month expensive

The first best VPN for online banking is ExpressVPN, which offers some of the most robust security and privacy protections of any VPN service.

It comes with 256-bit AES encryption as standard. That's ‘military grade' and essentially unbreakable.

This comes alongside all the essential security features, including a kill switch, DNS leak protection, a strict zero-logs policy, split tunneling, live chat support, unlimited bandwidth, and more.

ExpressVPN has one of the best security protocols, OpenVPN, across all its apps and while it doesn't offer WireGuard, its own Lightway protocol offer similar lightweight, high-security protection for your internet traffic, too.

It is based in the British Virgin Islands, which means it can offer excellent privacy protections and its no user logs guarantee has been independently verified and is rock solid.

ExpressVPN has a wide range of apps for almost every device you can think of. That means no matter what device you do your online banking sessions on, you will always be protected.

It also allows up to five simultaneous connections, so you can use it on multiple devices at the same time.

There is an extensive server network with multiple servers in the UK, US, Europe, and a total of 94 countries catered for. As the name suggests, connection speeds are consistently among the best around too.

It is not the cheapest VPN on the market, but ExpressVPN does have a 30-day money-back guarantee and the old adage that you get what you pay for certainly applies here.

Our #1 Recommended best VPN for Online Banking

30-day money back guarantee

2. NordVPN

NordVPN Deal

Pros
  • Secure encryption
  • Supports Wireguard
  • Kill Switch
  • Registered off-shore
  • Easy to use apps
Cons
  • No Paypal payments
  • Not the fastest

If you are looking for a cheaper but still one of the best banking VPNs to protect your internet traffic and personal data, NordVPN is well worth considering. It has a 30-day money-back guarantee and some of the lowest prices around, especially if you sign up for longer.

Despite the affordable price point, NordVPN still delivers robust security and privacy protections. It also has 256-bit AES encryption and a huge selection of security features, including a kill switch, double-hop VPN servers, and VPN over Tor connections.

WireGuard is available across all NordVPN apps alongside OpenVPN and being based in Panama means that privacy protections are also as good as it gets. NordVPN has also had its no user logs guarantee independently verified and approved.

There is an excellent selection of apps for almost every device and you can connect up to six of them simultaneously with every subscription. These apps are user-friendly and packed with features.

NordVPN has a sizeable server network and recent infrastructure updates mean they offer consistently fast and secure connections across all of it.

This is a great, cost-effective VPN ideal for mobile banking apps.

3. VPN.ac

VPN.ac Website Jan 17

Pros
  • Very strong encryption
  • Supports Wireguard & OpenVPN
  • Apps for major devices
  • Very fast speeds
  • Run by security professionals
Cons
  • Fewer server locations
  • Keep minor logs

VPN.ac is a bit of a left-field VPN software choice but it is third on our list for a reason. When it comes to keeping your internet connection secure for your bank account, VPN.ac is one of the best around.

It uses 256-bit AES encryption as standard but this works alongside a 4096-bit RSA key which is used for handshaking and is as secure as it gets.

VPN.ac also offers OpenVPN and the new WireGuard protocol to all subscribers. It has a no user logs guarantee too and while this isn't independently verified, it does look robust.

VPN.ac does admit to collecting some connection logs, but they are deleted after just 24 hours.

Security often comes at the expense of speed, but not with VPN.ac, which offers some of the fastest and most consistent connection speeds of any VPN we have tested.

Being a smaller provider, the server network is more modest with just 150 servers located in 20 locations. But there is a good range of apps for most of the popular desktop and mobile devices plus Amazon and Linux too.

You also get up to six simultaneous connections with every account.

With a 7-day money-back guarantee and competitive prices too, VPN.ac is another provider well worth considering.

4. Surfshark

Surfshark Website screengrab

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Apps for most devices
  • Supports Wireguard
  • 65 countries covered
  • 30-day money back guarantee
Cons
  • Unaudited no log policy
  • Registered in the EU

Surfshark has made a big splash since it arrived a couple of years back and gets a place on this list on merit.

It has strong security protections, including OpenVPN and WireGuard protocols as well as 256-bit AES encryption as standard. There are plenty of extra security features available too, as well as the new WireGuard protocol.

The no user logs guarantee offered by Surfshark is sound, but for privacy conscious users, the amount of connection data they collect is a cause of concern. It also hasn't been audited.

For a young provider, Surfshark offers a sizeable server network with more than 3,200 servers in 65 different locations around the world. Connections speeds across this network are pretty impressive too.

Subscribers also have access to a wide range of apps with unlimited simultaneous connections allowed, there is no excuse for not keeping yourself and your user data protected from third parties on all your devices.

Prices are again very competitive and there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. Another good option for online bank account users that will keep you safe while you complete transactions.

5. CyberGhost VPN

Cyberghost Website

Pros
  • 45-day money back guarantee
  • Offers Wireguard & OpenVPN
  • 90 countries covered
  • Accepts Bitcoin
Cons
  • Unaudited no log policy
  • Owns VPN ‘review' sites

If you haven't used a VPN before, then CyberGhost may well be the provider for you. It has some of the most user-friendly mobile apps of any VPN and if you want to use it for online banking, the one click connection that establishes the most secure settings is a great option.

CyberGhost still comes with everything you need from a VPN too. It has 256-bit AES encryption and both the WireGuard and OpenVPN protocols. It also uses a 4096-bit RSA key for handshakes which is as good as it gets.

There is a reputable no user logs guarantee although it does collect some data for trend monitoring, but this shouldn't affect online bank account users too much.

Connections speeds are impressive and there are VPN servers located in more than 90 countries available too. You also get up to seven simultaneous connections.

With a long 45-day money-back guarantee and some really low prices, CyberGhost VPN is another excellent bet for online banking users.

6. PrivateInternetAccess

PrivateInternetAccess Website

Pros
  • Time proven service
  • More servers than most
  • Offers Wireguard
  • 10 concurrent connections
Cons
  • No log policy unaudited
  • Registered in the US
  • Owns VPN ‘review' sites

Private Internet Access is a long-standing VPN provider that offers solid if unspectacular security protections. There is the new WireGuard protocol, 256-bit AES encryption that can fully encrypt data on computer and mobile apps, and plenty of customisable features too.

When it comes to online privacy, things are fairly robust too.

There is a no user logs policy that hasn't been independently verified but has been tested in court in the US and not found wanting. That US location may make some users nervous but to date, it hasn't proved an issue.

PIA offers up to ten simultaneous connections and some good apps, although you will need to be quite tech savvy to get the most out of them.

Connection speeds are decent and there is also a decent server network spread across 78 different countries. Prices are middle of the road, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee so you have plenty of time to try before you buy.

7. VyprVPN

VyprVPN

Pros
  • Beginner-friendly
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Audited no-log policy
  • Supports Wireguard
Cons
  • Not the fastest
  • No Crypto payments

Another of the VPN companies that have been around a while and built up a loyal following is VyprVPN and it offers another compelling option for protecting your financial data and online banking transactions.

VyprVPN offers 256-bit AES encryption with most protocols. There is WireGuard and OpenVPN available across their system, although one or two other aspects of their security are starting to lag a little behind industry leaders.

When it comes to online privacy, VyprVPN were among the first providers to get their no user logs guarantee independently verified and its all-round privacy offering is right up there with the best.

Connection speeds are more modest and while the VyprVPN apps are serviceable, there are both better looking and more user-friendly ones out there.

There is a sizeable global server network available to all subscribers. In addition to a 30-day money-back guarantee, VyprVPN also offers some very competitive prices, especially if you sign up for longer.

How to choose a VPN for Online Banking

We have detailed the top 7 VPNs for online banking.

However, you might be wondering how we have gone about whittling down such a huge market to these seven providers and what features you should be looking for from a VPN to keep your online banking activity secure.

So, here they are.

1. Strong Security

The security provisions offered by your VPN are fundamental and the main reason why you are using VPN service providers in the first place.

The main feature that a VPN can offer is encryption.

The chances are that your banking website or app already uses HTTPS security. This is great but a VPN offers a robust extra layer of encryption that encrypts your data every step of the way from your device to the website and back again.

While you don't technically need that added layer of encryption, it causes no harm and whoever thought more was less?

Statistics

According to UK Finance, Unauthorised financial fraud losses across payment cards, remote banking and cheques totalled £783.8 million in 2020 in the UK alone (source).

Look for 256-bit AES encryption as your minimum. This is what most decent VPNs offer as standard these days. It is considered to be ‘military-grade' and technically unbreakable, which is exactly what you need.

Think too about the VPN protocol you are using. This ensures your security but also the performance of your VPN and your device when connected.

WireGuard is the latest VPN protocol that offers a fantastic combination of lightweight security and super-fast speeds. ExpressVPN offers its own Lightway protocol, which offers broadly the same thing.

OpenVPN is the best alternative to this. Think too about extra security features.

A kill switch is essential to ensure that if your VPN connection drops out for any reason, your internet connection won't leak your online account details.

Other features like DNS leak protection and double-hop servers are a bonus too.

The reason ExpressVPN is top of our list is because of our view that it offers the strongest online security protections for online banking information, credit card details, and financial transactions.

So, to recap, look out for these primarily:

  • 256-bit encryption
  • WireGuard or OpenVPN support
  • Kill Switch
  • DNS Leak Protection

2. No log policy

A no user logs policy means that your VPN provider is not collecting personal information about what you are doing online.

Most VPNs claim to have one but some are more reliable than others. The devil is often in the detail, which is why it is worth looking for a provider which has had its no user logs guarantee independently verified.

Other things to consider are the country where a VPN is located since some will require providers to log certain details under local laws.

Also, consider connection data logs too. These don't detail the websites you are on but can still include a lot of information and are far from ideal for privacy-conscious users.

3. Apps for your devices

Which devices do you use to do your online banking on? Maybe you just use your desktop or laptop device at home? More likely you use a mobile app to manage your money on the go.

Either way, you need to make sure that your chosen VPN provider offers apps for all of the devices you want to do online banking on.

Some have a much wider range than others and some VPN apps are better designed and more usable than others too.

ExpressVPN's app range

ExpressVPN has apps for all major devices and some obscure ones.

Make sure your VPN offers all the apps you need. All of our recommended VPNs provide apps for all the most popular devices but if you use some more niche ones, you may need to shop around a bit.

4. Proven track record

When it comes to something as important as online banking, you don't want to take any chances, so always look for a well-known provider with a proven track record.

One final piece of advice is not to use a free VPN for your mobile banking app. A Free VPN service is unreliable, often poorly protected, and it might log and sell your information for money since you are not paying for the VPN service yourself.

So, if you need a reliable banking VPN, always go for premium VPN service providers.

Avoid free VPNs, which will often skip important security and privacy steps to save money and stick with providers that offer a truly private connection and strict no-logs policies, such as those on our above list.

5. Money back guarantee

Always choose one with a 30-day money-back guarantee to make sure you have at least a month to try your VPN before you commit any money to it.

Pros and Cons of using a VPN for Online Banking

If you are wondering what the pros and cons of using a VPN service for online banking are, here is a quick rundown:

Pros

1. Add an extra layer of security

Basic online security will protect you up to a point but a VPN adds an extra layer that helps to keep your online banking details, your personal information, and your money safe by letting you make encrypted online banking transactions.

2. Access your accounts overseas

A lot of online banking apps won't work abroad, but with a VPN, you can connect to a VPN server back home and still manage your online transactions and money no matter where you are.

3. Added Scam/Phishing protection

Quite a few premium VPNs offer certain additional features to block malware and dangerous scam websites which can put you at risk of phishing attacks or other scams.

If you are uber-cautious, it is worth looking out for these, but not all do and they don't always come enabled by default, so be sure to check!

NordVPN's Cybersec protection feature.

NordVPN's Cybersec feature blocks potential nasties.

NordVPN claims their ‘Cybersec' feature can;

  • Block dangerous websites
  • Avoid botnet control
  • Skip annoying ads

Cons

1. Banking apps already have strong security

Most banking apps are already secured with some encryption and some form of two-factor authentication.

Some may question whether a VPN is needed, although our view is that you can never have too much security when it comes to online banking.

2. Blocked account access

A secure VPN usually has many users connecting via the same IP Address and this can result in some banks blocking access to logging into bank accounts.

This is not a problem we have come across in the UK but it is not unknown elsewhere.

Summary

Online banking is part of everyday life nowadays. Still, the importance of staying secure and protecting your online transactions cannot be overstated, especially when accessing your accounts on public Wi-Fi networks and mobile devices.

While using antivirus software and creating a strong password with your password manager to protect your banking details and sensitive data is a good start, this can not always stop a seasoned hacker.

That's why the best VPN services are essential to ensure that your bank transactions are secure and your internet connection is encrypted and private.

ExpressVPN is our top recommendation, although we have listed the top seven VPN providers that you can choose from.

We have also outlined the key features that you need to be looking for from an online banking VPN and the pros and cons of logging on to your bank account through a VPN.

Our view remains that the benefits far outweigh the downsides and we take the opinion of other online security experts who agree that using a VPN when conducting sensitive online activities like banking is essential.

 

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Author: David Spencer

Cyber-security & Technology Reporter, David, monitors everything going on in the privacy world. Fighting for a less restricted internet as a member of the VPNCompare team for over 5 years.

Away from writing, he enjoys reading and politics. He is currently learning Mandarin too... slowly.

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