How seriously committed a VPN service provider is towards privacy and security is important – and a ‘zero logging’ policy is a big part of that. When you go online with a VPN you are entrusting your information to the provider, with an expectation of privacy.
This is why transparency when it comes to logging is vital. VPN service may or may not key various types of logs. The important part is whether they have your consent or not. If they say zero, it should mean zero.
Known to be among the most progressive and forward-looking in technology of all VPN providers, NordVPN guarantees a strict zero-logs policy. They do not keep traffic logs, IP address logs and even connection logs.
This has been confirmed by independent audits carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The inspection is carried out periodically to ensure strict, ongoing standards are kept. Do note though that your email address and your payment information is kept.
If you want to remain totally anonymous, sign up using a burner email account and pay with cryptocurrency.
As of last count, NordVPN has a massive network of more than 5,400 servers in 59 countries. Many of those are in the US, offering great connectivity for Netflix lovers. These servers are secured with top-notch encryption as well.
As one of the top VPN brands, NordVPN has gone to extreme lengths to secure the privacy of its customers. This includes a move to RAM-only servers that wipe all data on them with each reboot. No persistent data, no problems.
NordVPN also offers DNS and IPv6 leak protection. The offered Double VPN function adds another layer of security but may considerably slow down your connection. There is also a built-in Onion over VPN functionality for Tor compatibility.
This very versatile VPN offers fantastic value for money. Given how the number of connected devices is increasing, many of us today have literally dozens of connections at the same time. With Surfshark you can protect all of them simultaneously – there’s no limit.
Surfshark has expanded its server network to number over 1,700 servers in 63 countries. This gives you a lot of choice in server location and most of them work well to unblock geo-locked content, especially media streaming sites.
If you’re going with this choice, do note though that some users have discovered a few advertising identifiers. This anonymized information is typically used for marketing purposes but if you’re not happy about it, you can opt out.
Surfshark has many additional security features that help improve your privacy and anonymity; CleanWeb blocks malware, trackers, Ads and phishing attempts. The MultiHop feature, a Double VPN function, provides that extra protection layer which is great for torrenting.
There’s also an automatic kill switch, DNS and IP leak protection and military-grade 256-bit AES encryption to secure your data. Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), where there is no legal requirement for businesses to store data.
Noted as the best private VPN with a no logging policy, ExpressVPN is deemed as a watertight option. This is attested to by independent audits carried out by both Cure53 and PwC. The service as a whole boasts top security standards, including 256-bit AES encryption.
Although they do not keep any traffic logs or monitor user activities, they do keep connection logs that contain the connection date (but not time) and amount of data transferred per user.
With a total of over 3,000 servers located in 160 locations, 94 countries, you can expect a point of connection almost anywhere you may need it. All these servers offer high speeds, great reliability, and unlimited bandwidth.
One impressive feature that should be noted is ExpressVPN’s use of RAM-only servers. This means that all data is wiped out with every reboot – removing all traces of your presence if you’ve ever used it.
ExpressVPN regularly refreshes its IP addresses which helps prevent detection by streaming services like Netflix. There is also an automatic kill switch plus DNS and IPv6 leak protection included as well.
Based in the privacy-friendly BVI, it is reassuring to note that this keeps it out of the purview of surveillance alliance countries. Although they do not keep any traffic logs or monitor user activities, they do keep connection logs that contain the connection date, not the time, the server used and amount of data transferred per user.
CyberGhost is known to be best suited for beginners as it comes with an exceptionally powerful Windows client; feature-packed yet user-friendly. It’s extremely easy to use and no change in settings or extra configuration is required. Install, log in and connect. It is that simple.
Having more than 6,600 servers in 100 locations across 89 countries it is one of the largest consumer VPN networks in the market.
Cyberghost claims that they do not keep any traffic logs or connection logs that can be linked to individual users. What they do track is connection attempts – as in whether they were successful or not, but as mentioned, none of this is user-specific.
The company has another distinguishing feature which is their transparency about requests for information. If any agency asks them for information, they will publicly post that request and state what actions they have taken regarding the issue.
As an advanced user, you’ll find that you can configure customized security rules, choose your own protocols and many more. Thus, Cyberghost suits both newbies as well as advanced users.
There’s also an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection, and your data is secured with 256-bit AES encryption. Based in Romania, you won’t have to be concerned about government agencies getting access to any of your data.
Known for its excellence in bypassing censorship, VyprVPN is a solid all-round VPN good for use with many streaming platforms. Its proprietary Chameleon protocol helps a lot with this since it was designed specifically to bypass VPN detectors.
Although they stored connection logs, including the users’ source IPs and VyprVPN IPs, this was in the past. As of November 2018, VyprVPN became a truly zero log VPN service and they no longer recorded such information or any other information. This was further confirmed by an audit done by Leviathan Security Group.
Their global servers have been upgraded to provide fast and reliable VPN connections for browsing, streaming and downloading content from anywhere in the world. Owning more than 200,000 IPs, they have presence in 70 countries around the globe.
Utilizing top-notch AES 256-bit encryption and equipped with an automatic kill switch, VyprVPN can also help block malware, hackers and botnets from your device. Based in privacy-friendly Switzerland, you’ll rest easy using this capable VPN service that has nifty privacy features.
What is a VPN No Logging Policy?
A no logging policy assures users that a VPN provider won’t collect, store, track, or share information such as your IPs, the websites you access, amount of time you spent on a website, downloads, or such similar data.
Today, most top VPN providers take no logging policies so seriously that they engage third-party organisations to independently audit them.
How it Protects You
Although a VPN protects you from unwanted prying eyes, bear in mind that your VPN is still privy to everything you’re doing. After all, they own the servers and those are notorious for keeping and tracking all sorts of information.
In some cases, government agencies may make demands for that information. By ensuring logging is not carried out, those requests will not be of any use at all. Simply put, there’s nothing to hand over.
There are many types of logs which VPN providers can actually record if they want to. To give you an idea of this, they include;
- Connection logs
- IP Address logs
- Data traffic logs
Simply put, privacy-conscious users may want to avoid using VPN providers based in any of these countries.
When it comes to logging policies, there can be many variations. While most VPN providers claim zero-log policies, this can sometimes be difficult to verify. All it takes is a single service provider to be overly slack in this area and many customers might face problems.
The responsibility of actually keeping the VPN service log-free is on the VPN provider. All you can do is to look out for that zero-logging clause and pray they stay true to the matter. Of course, going for an audited choice is a great idea as well.