Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) are more popular among average consumers than ever before. Recent exposes regarding government surveillance, and the number of websites that get blocked, indicate that the internet is not the safe place it was initially intended to be. High profile website hackings in recent times, like the Apple iCloud hack and the Ashley Madison attack, have also shaken the faith consumers normally had regarding traditional internet safeguards. So, there’s no wonder that netizens are increasingly relying on VPN service providers to protect sensitive data from hackers and remain anonymous from government spies.
However, therein lays a fundamental problem. How does the average consumer know the VPN they have purchased is actually secure? All VPN services advertise amazing safeguards like malware protection. However, consumers are unaware that the authorities or hackers can still trace their real IP address through the VPN service itself. Only companies that adhere to a zero log policy can truly assure their customers that the VPN connections are secure from third parties.
What is a Zero Log Policy?
When you connect to the internet, you connect through a server in a remote location. This server normally stores information, such as your real IP address, websites you visit, and the times you come online. If an authority wants to get a certain location of a user, the agency can trace the connection to a server. Then governments can demand or subpoena the owner of the server, the internet service provider, or the VPN company, to hand over all information stored on that particular server. Then the agency can patiently sort through all the data until it finds you.
The only way to truly make your online presence anonymous and untraceable is to delete all your information stored on a server. ISPs normally keep records for up to several years. VPNs, on the other hand, practice a zero log policy. Here, the VPN company deletes all user data and does not store them for long-term use.
Are Zero Log VPNs better than VPNs that Do Store User Data?
Clearly, yes. Consumers do not understand the importance of deleting user logs. You may believe that your personal information is like a needle in a haystack with millions of other users. However, modern technology has made is quite easy for governments to locate your needle in a haystack of even billions of users. For example, if you are a blogger who writes politically dissenting opinions in an authoritarian country, authorities will use any means necessary to trace your blog. Most average users do not face such predicaments. However, every user must have the best protection available when using a VPN.
VPNs with zero log policies are better than those with none at protecting user identity. As explained above, the company will be unable to produce user data even if it wants to when all data is deleted.
What are the Best VPNs with Zero Log Policies?
Not all VPN services operate with a zero log policy. Therefore, consumers must specifically search for VPNs that offer this feature. Here is a list of the best rated VPNs that enforce a zero logging policy for all servers the company owns:
ExpressVPN is marketed as one of the fastest VPNs on the planet. The company’s speedy connections are supported by numerous security protocols, which are complemented by ExpressVPN zero logging policy. ExpressVPN does not log any identifiable user data on any of its 100+ servers. The service does not monitor users’ surfing habits, hold onto IP addresses, trace destination of a request, or log duration of visits. ExpressVPN only keeps three sets of information: the server you choose, the date, and the total amount of data you use per day. This information is necessary for operating the server, but will never identify you personally.
Golden Frog’s VyprVPN is one of the best regarded services available today. The company is committed to user privacy just as to digital freedom. Golden Frog tells customers upfront that it does not guarantee no logging or 100 percent anonymity. The company is transparent and discloses all data that will be kept. Golden Frog keeps records of source IP addresses, the address generated by the VPN, connection start and stop times, and the amount of data used. Such data is used to execute VPN operations smoothly. However, all data is deleted within 30 days, so connections remain untraceable.
IPVanish is another company that has built a good reputation over the years for safeguarding user privacy. IPVanish claims to practice a strict zero login policy. The company’s premise is based on a promise to make users’ real IP addresses vanish so activity is completely untraceable. Therefore, no logging is necessary to make sure users can truly browse the web incognito with IPVanish. The company does not record any browsing activity when using the VPN software on a computer, or when using the IPVanish app on a handheld device. IPVanish is committed to protecting users’ right to privacy.
Make your online presence invisible to hackers, government spies, and identity thieves with PureVPN. This service has over 500 servers located in 141 different countries. All these servers are maintained in-house by the company so no-third parties get access, even accidentally. Additionally, the company does not store user data on these servers in the long-run. This no logging policy, combined with PureVPN’s top-notch encryption, certainly makes this service one of the most secure and anonymous VPNs. In addition to guaranteeing your online privacy, PureVPN also comes with an array of features such as high speeds and smartphone apps.
SaferVPN is designed to keep all user data and indentifying information anonymous and completely untraceable. SaferVPN employs a number of encryption protocols to keep data transmissions secure. Their zero log policy is one of the important aspects of offering users anonymous IP addresses. SaferVPN claims that it conceals each customer’s real IP address when connecting to one of their servers located in over 30 countries. SaferVPN promises that user connections will never be traceable by governments, other organizations, online search engines, website owners, and identity thieves. All of these protections are extended to SaferVPN apps for Android and iOS as well.
Do No Logging VPNs Truly Keep Me Anonymous?
Web users must also understand that a no logging policy alone cannot keep a connection safe and anonymous from governments or hackers. No logging policies only work in combination with other security features. For example, all connections must be encrypted using multiple security protocols to ensure safety. Even if a VPN keeps no user logs, hackers can easily steal your personal identifying information if data is not properly encrypted. Zero log policies can keep your information untraceable, but not impenetrable.
There have been a certain worrying cases where VPNs that do keep user data have handed over the information to the authorities. A hacker in the UK was famously exposed by his own VPN service after the authorities contacted the company. Keep that in mind when you shop around for a VPN service, and choose only a reliable company.
Which No Logging VPN Should I Choose?
Considering the sheer number of VPN services available these days, it can be quite difficult for a non-tech consumer to choose a good service. As explained above, not all VPNs that claim to be secure and anonymous are thus so in reality. However, the VPN services listed above are proven to be highly reliable based on user and professional reviews.
Also, once you have narrowed down your choices to the VPNs with the best zero logging policy, don’t be quick to purchase a package. Check what other features are on offer. Namely, all connections should be offered with top-notch encryption supported by multiple protocols. All of the listed VPNs come with a number of safeguards in addition to no logging features. You can also check the number of devices the VPN software is compatible with, and the number of simultaneous connections. Such features will make browsing much more convenient for you. Consider all these factors, and then make your