One major reason you might want to buy a VPN is because you want to protect your privacy. After all, a VPN is a powerful software networking tool that connects your internet connection through a virtual tunnel to a remote server. The process changes and encrypts your IP, but it’s reasonable to consider what is happening with this traffic, and who might be logging information received from servers.
You might assume that all VPN companies have your privacy in mind, but remember–VPN companies are often businesses with strict policies that won’t always align with your own. In this article we are going to dive into the world of VPN logs, what they mean, and how you can avoid logs with 5 VPNs that don’t keep logs.
What are VPN logs?
VPN logs consist of data that is collected when you use a VPN. A VPN provider will store this information from your usage, often claiming that it is mandatory for them to ensure quality service, speeds, reliability, or performance.
Logs come in two forms:
Connection logs are relatively harmless. These logs are mainly data records of incoming/outgoing connections for a select VPN server. Connection logs could include:
- Your own IP address
- The IP Address assigned by the server
- Start/end of your VPN session
- Amount of data transferred
VPN providers use this information for troubleshooting technical issues like connection problems. However, while connection logs aren’t too much of an issue for many users, some VPNs just do away with these logs altogether. In the United States, it’s not mandatory for VPN providers to adhere to data retention logs. If your VPN is hosted in a country that requires data retention, they have to collect connection logs no matter what.
VPN Usage Logs
VPN usage logs are where things start getting bad. These logs could include any of the following:
- Websites visited
- Files downloaded
- Applications used (BitTorrent, Netflix, etc.)
A majority of decent VPNs do not collect VPN usage logs, but a lot of free VPNs that want to advertise or sell your data do.
How long are logs kept?
VPN providers that do keep records do so for varying amount of times. Some VPN providers log usage up to 6 months while some log only a week at a time.
Which are the best VPNs that don’t keep logs?
We’ve picked 5 of the best VPNs that don’t keep ANY logs. These VPNs are also ideal for torrenting.
Price Per Month
TorGuard VPN is a standout VPN provider that is very concerned with user privacy. They don’t keep any user logs which makes them one of the best VPNs for torrenting as well. TorGuard VPN is a steal at $9.99 since it comes with free Stealth VPN if you’re in a censored country as well as a free Stealth Proxy feature. High speeds, and tight security, as well as particular attention to Netflix (they give out free shared dedicated IP addresses so you can have access to Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, or even HBO Go), have made TorGuard VPN continually better since our review.
256-bit AES encryption
Stealth VPN + Stealth Proxy is free
Works great with Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, HBO Go
Amazing live chat
Private Internet Access is an affordable VPN ($5.95); that doesn’t keep any logs. They also have bundled a hefty amount of security features in their minimalist PC client including IP leak protection features as well as the ability to enable kill switches. PIA doesn’t work quite as well with streaming
Client works very well
Reliable security features inside client
Doesn’t work well with streaming media services
Refund policy is bad
Website can be hard to find useful information
IPVanish VPN is based in the US and does not collect any logs at all. It’s a all-around great VPN with solid encryption, high speeds, and robust clients that have several neat features. The mobile application is particularly stable, and their ticket response time is impressive.
Clients have cool features and design
Needs a kill switch still for Windows app
ExpressVPN might be a bit pricey at $12.95, but their great modern design, impressive speeds, and numerous servers around the globe make it a great no-log VPN for any user that wants to forego complexity for simple usability and function. Solid live chat, as well as a mobile application with a pleasant interface, are worth complements to their VPN PC platform. ExpressVPN also has an amazingly simple first-time setup.
Easy to set up
Fantastic speeds and servers
Clean user interfaces everywhere
Bit pricier than most
Open source design and transparent nature
Dedicated to privacy and no logs
Client works reliably
Feels a bit dated
No mobile app
Website is clunky
That’s it! Thanks for reading our guide on VPNs that don’t keep logs. If you need help choosing a VPN, or just have questions about VPNs, come on over to our forums.