Every iCryptoNode comes pre-configured to use anonymous VPN, if you want to use it. Using a VPN is optional but recommended if you have high operational security (OpSec) requirements or simply enjoy your privacy.
iCryptoNode uses Private Internet Access (PIA) as our officially supported anonymous VPN provider. We do not run our own VPN service. If you want to use the VPN feature, you must have an account with PIA.
The reason to run a blockchain node with an anonymous VPN is that other nodes listening on the network see IP addresses of nodes broadcasting transactions, just like with any other peer-to-peer network. This can de-anonymize you and allow an attacker to tie individual transactions together, even if the blockchain itself is anonymous (Monero) or pseudo-anonymous (Bitcoin).
Additionally, VPN's prevent your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or other agency from analyzing your traffic and determining that you are running a blockchain node. This can prevent aggressive actions to monitor and limit your ability to participate in the decentralized internet.
What is a VPN?
VPN (Virtual Private Network) is a protocol for encrypting all data between your devices and a trusted server. With an anonymous VPN like Private Internet Access, when you communicate in any way over the internet, they think you are someone else.
Why Private Internet Access (PIA)?
Private Internet Access is the leader in anonymous VPN service. PIA does not track your browsing history, keep any logs, and encrypts all data passing over the internet from your devices.
PIA has a history of being aggressively pro-privacy in the public eye. At $40 USD per year, accepting gift cards and cryptocurrencies as payment, plus their status as industry leader and the number of years operating, makes them our preferred VPN provider.
iCryptoNode does not operate a VPN service. Our business is building extremely secure and stable blockchain and cryptocurrency nodes. PIA is the trusted leader in anonymous VPN service, which is why we have chosen their service to integrate with.
Please browse the Private Internet Access website, read their documentation, and contact PIA directly for any questions about their service.
iCryptoNode does not currently support any other VPN provider, although we may in the future.