Whether your requirements are safe surfing, you are a tireless torrent trooper or simply seeking absolute anonymity while online the way to achieve this by subscribing to a VPN no logs provider.
By this, you are looking for providers that keep the absolute minimum of personal subscriber details and do not log or keep details of your online activity. This is what you must look for and what the best VPN for privacy must offer.
I have listed 5 recommended providers below that give such assurances but let’s get into something that is more difficult to address.
What exactly is a no logging policy?
There is not a straightforward answer, but I shall try and break it down into manageable bits for you to digest.
Before starting, I would state that with very few exceptions it is highly unlikely you will find a free VPN no logs provider that actually sticks to its claims. More on why later.
Trust is something you need to rely on if you are to gain the benefits of using a VPN no logs provider. A provider that really does honor their part of the bargain.
In terms of what information can be gathered and logged you should view your VPN provider as a replacement to your ISP.
In this sense, it is important to understand that all reputable VPN providers, and certainly the best VPN for privacy providers will do far much more to protect your privacy than an ISP ever will.
The difference between usage logs and connection logs:
This is one area where confusion reigns when it comes to providers claiming to offer VPN no logs subscriptions.
- Usage logs: These logs provide details of your online activity such as the websites you visit.
- Connection logs: These are technically known as meta-data logs. The full set of connection logs include important information about you and include timestamps of your log-in/log-out activity to any given VPN server, the IP address of the device (and therefore location) you use to log in, your given username and bandwidth usage
It is important to understand that unless you pay anonymously for a VPN service (anybody regularly mixing Bitcoins out there?) that your username and/or IP address will generally be associated with your payment details. I.E. bank account or PayPal address details.
Connection logs make life easier for VPN providers:
Before we get into the recommended best VPN no logs providers it is important to understand that extensive connection logs are often kept by providers. Sometimes this is due to the laws of the country they are registered in, but it is also a fact that such logs make it far easier for a VPN provider to run their service offering.
Those VPN providers who keep extensive connection logs are many, and you can be assured that almost all companies offering free VPN no logs services will be amongst these.
Make sure that if the thought of companies storing excessive personal details about you and your online activity is a bugbear that you major on the best VPN no logs providers that the service in question is referring to connection logs.
The reason for saying this is that many providers, particularly those claiming to offer free VPN no logs services are simply referring to the fact that they keep no usage logs.
The fact is that no VPN provider out there keeps usage logs, but many do keep connection logs.
Highlights of the best 5 VPN for no logs providers:
After extensive research and testing as well as going through privacy policies in place here is my pick of the best VPN for privacy service in terms of no logging policies.
These providers have built their reputation on reliability, robustness of service and clear indications that they are the pick of the bunch when it comes to the best VPN no logs providers because of their adherence to this principle.
NordVPN – Brilliant Encryption Plus The Security You Need
With a name in the highest echelons of best VPN for privacy providers. Here’s the ‘at a glance’ reasons for using NordVPN:
- Where: Being Panama-based means NordVPN do not have to comply with any Data Storage or Reporting Laws
- Encryption: OpenVPN with perfected forward secrecy
- Killswitch: A kill switch is employed to prevent accidental IP leakage
- Security: Secured to the hilt. P2P along with streaming features
- No log commitment: Fully committed to a VPN no logs subscription through their policy not to monitor, keep or share any user logs or data.
- Countries and locations: They have servers in 47 countries and in excess of 62 locations
- Servers: 4,500
- IP addresses: 3,500
- Allowed simultaneous connections: 6
- Connection speeds: Average connection speeds in excess of 56 Mbits
- Guarantee: 30-day, no quibble, money-back guarantee
- Payment options: Although the company clearly states it keeps user account and payment details they also state that this should not present a risk to your privacy. Those in need of further assurances should be aware that subscription payment can be made anonymously using cryptocurrency.
ExpressVPN – Lightening Fast, Attractive Security Features
- Jurisdiction: British Virgin Isles
- Encryption: 256-bit encryption makes the service super-secure
- Kill switch: A kill switch is employed as are other features such as split tunneling, DNS leak protection and much more
- Security: See ‘encryption’ above. P2P and sublime streaming features
- No log commitment: Fully committed to a VPN no logs subscription. Minimal anonymous usage stats kept but this does not include timestamps or IP addresses
- Countries and locations: a gob-smacking 94 countries and 148 locations (the deployment of stealth servers in Hong Kong for those Chinese connections and the newly introduced Smart Domain Name System that allows a very smooth media streaming experience (Think Netflix et al!) greatly add to the appeal of this best VPN no logs provider
- Servers: In excess of 2,000
- IP addresses: 30,000!
- Allowed simultaneous connections: 3
- Connection speeds: Connection speeds are excellent and hover around 57.5 Mbits. This makes them the fastest VPN service tested
- Guarantee: 30-day, no quibble, money-back guarantee, and excellent 24/7 customer support
- Payment options: Anonymous cryptocurrency payment accepted
Private Internet Access (PIA) – As cheap as they come!
PIA VPN certainly ‘does what it says on the tin!’ Their strict, tried and tested no logging policy sees to that. Their low pricing policy allows them to hover just above those rare exceptions claiming to offer the best free VPN no logs service. What is more, the service offered for such low prices is certainly to be recommended.
- Jurisdiction: USA – While this may worry some, PIA have proved time and again that they respect user privacy by being unable to assist authorities
- Encryption: Highly secure with a choice of options
- Killswitch: A kill switch is employed as are other technical features such as multiple VPN gateways, SOCKS5 Proxy, and Port Forwarding
- Security: See ‘encryption’ above. P2P and admired torrenting features are all part of the package from one of the best VPN no logs providers around
- No log commitment: Fully committed to a VPN no logs subscription. Two relatively recent high profile instances have seen to that. They rebuffed an FBI subpoena stating that no user data held, and closed down their Russian server base due to the introduction of new invasive laws
- Countries and locations: PIA has a presence in 28 countries
- Servers: 3,200+
- IP addresses: No accurate data given
- Allowed simultaneous connections: 5
- Connection speeds: Connection speeds do not match those at the top table of best VPN no logs providers
- Guarantee: 7-day money-back guarantee. Customer support patchy although PIA states they are taking steps to up this
- Payment options: Without a shred of a doubt one of the cheapest VPN no logs providers out there. PIA accepts Zcash, Bitcoin cash, payment through numerous ‘gift cards’
CyberGhost – Ideal For VPN Novices
CyberGhost is perfect for those just setting out on the VPN trail, but already know that a VPN no logs policy is what they are after.
- Jurisdiction: Romania – One of the 1st countries to reject the EU Data Retention Laws back in 2012
- Encryption: OpenVPN based means strong encryption is yours
- Killswitch: A kill switch, IP leak, and DNS leak protection are employed. Note: The kill switch option will not survive a software crash
- Security: The company places a strong emphasis on personal security
- No log commitment: Minimal logging and a firm commitment to keep it that way
- Countries and locations: Servers in 61 countries
- Servers: 2,200+
- IP addresses: 3,500+
- Allowed simultaneous connections: 7
- Connection speeds: While some server connections offer top speeds, middle of the road is where I would base averages
- Guarantee: 30-day money-back guarantee. Customer support good for general questions. Customer support currently being beefed up
- Payment options: Third-party providers are used for payment and include PayPal option. If you want total anonymity then Bitcoin via VPN is the way to go
ProtonVPN – Absolute MINIMUM Logs
ProtonVPN can be squarely placed in three categories! The best VPN no logs surely takes pride of place because the only details kept on record are a login timestamp. Better still, this is overwritten with each successful new login.
Add to this fact that their parent company is ProtonMail, the world’s largest encrypted email service and ProtonVPN must surely also deserve a place in the best VPN for privacy category.
The final category I would place them in is most certainly an exception to my rule. They offer a free VPN no logs package, but as you will see in the payment section, limitations abound.
- Jurisdiction: Switzerland – A country which is outside of the fierce USA and European legislation.
- Encryption: A major plus due to the importance and emphasis the parent company places on encryption
- Kill-switch: A kill switch and DNS leak protection is in use
- Security: As mentioned, its parent company is renowned for the focus placed on privacy and encryption. Secure core network
- No log commitment: You will go a long way to find any better!
- Countries and locations: Servers in 14 countries
- Servers: Well in excess of 200 and it should also be noted that they run and house their own network and server locations
- IP addresses: No accurate data given
- Allowed simultaneous connections: 5
- Connection speeds: Inter-European speeds are wickedly fast. Their Secure Core (double VPN) speeds are also a treat, and need we say it? Very secure
- Guarantee: Very generous 60-day money back guarantee. Customer support for general questions acceptable. Technical queries take a little longer
- Payment options: As mentioned during the introduction of ProtonVPN they really are an exception to my rule in terms of free VPN no logs. The company does actually offer a free service, however, this is limited to 3 servers and connections are often slow. Their paid-for subscriptions are not the most straightforward and while they do offer cryptocurrency payments this can be a drawn-out affair. One nice addition, they do accept cash!
Don’t treat minimal logging policies as an optional feature:
I strongly believe that a robust, clearly-defined no logging policy should be a must-have. This makes the use of a reliable and respected VPN no logs policy a must have!
I hope the above has helped with your choice. Please keep an eye out, there’s lots more to come on articles that will make you safe, secure and enhance that online experience