The way a VPN works by cloaking your IP address and hides your true location is what makes you invisible while you surf the internet. Its ability to encrypt all your internet traffic and tunnel it through secure protocols is how it safeguards all your confidential information from different threats larking in the shadows of the internet.
What is a Logless VPN?
By definition, a logless VPN is a provider that does not record your web activities, your IP address or the time you logged in the service. . The providers that keep a logs of such information can hand over all your data to the authorities and can be troublesome for you. Some providers that keep logs save your data for even 6 months at times.
However, when we talk about online security and anonymity, you are still not quite secure. There are numerous VPN services present in the industry that guarantee online security but log all your internet activity. This is not a good sign and here is where you need a logless VPN service.
PureVPN collects the user’s name, email address, and phone number (for certain users from particular countries), which it uses to identify the user at its own end only and is stored in a highly encrypted format. This allows it to help the user by resending login credentials or if they forget their password, to update the user if there is any policy change or provide information about any new offers.
Since the provider is based in Hong Kong, where there are no mandatory data retention laws, it is not legally bound to keep any logs. To give users another edge on anonymity, PureVPN accepts payments through Bitcoins and Gift Cards as well.
It only stores an email address that the user provides on sign up and that is only used to send billing invoices. Ivacy states that it removes any email address from its record after its inactive for 12 months.
Ivacy doesn’t keep any credit card details and when a user gives his credentials for any payment, the data is removed right after the transaction is completed.
Moreover, even if the authorities request any data related to a particular subscriber, the provider can’t offer such information due its zero log policy.
In addition to this, ExpressVPN may store information on the times the user connects to its services, his server location choice and the total number of data transferred per day through its service. The main purpose of storing such data is to improve its services and deliver high quality for its subscribers.
ExpressVPN also uses third party cookies and website analytics tools only to track different promotions and to better understand which pages visitors visit on its website.
Hide My Ass
When the user opts for premium services then the provider collects data as per the user’s chosen payment method but generally includes name, address and credit card information. It also collects geo-IP data to confirm the user’ country origin. It doesn’t store the complete credit card number. Further, it added that it may use the users’ payment information to detect and prevent fraud, and in addition to this, it will keep this information till the user is a customer and two years after that.
Whenever the user connects to HMA’s VPN, it will collect a time stamp and IP address of the user’s when he connects and disconnects, and the amount of data transmitted. It may keep this data for at least 2-3 months or extend the period if required for any legal reasons. That said, it does not stores any data or monitor the websites the user’s visit while using its services.
NordVPN is based in Panama and under Panama’s jurisdictions, it is able to guarantee zero log policy, which states that the provider will not monitor, record, log, store or pass the information to any third party.
It collects the users username, password, and email address in order to communicate with them and inform then about new offers and service updates. For payment methods, NordVPN states that it prefers users pay through crypto-currencies to keep their anonymity intact even from them. In addition to this, it also monitors server loads so that it can recommend the most suitable servers for the users.
Each of these services can be regarded as the best VPNs you can buy as they have wide spread of servers located across the world. This means that you can unblock any website and access web-content from any corner on earth. In addition to being logless VPNs, they will also protect all your confidential data like bank account details, credit / debit card information, contact info, and other similar sensitive data
Types of Logs Recorded by VPN Services
Now that you know some of best logless VPN services, here are few details about the kind of logs that are kept by various VPN providers.
- Activity (Usage) Logs: these are the kind of logs that you need to worry about and stay away from any provider that keeps such logs. The activity logs, also known as usage logs, are the details about your internet activity like the websites you visit, videos you watch, etc.
- Connection Logs: almost all VPN services keep connection logs. These logs pertain to the time duration of your VPN connection, the servers you connected, different IPs you connect to, the switches you made between VPN servers, and other similar information regarding your VPN sessions. These logs are not harmful if used ethically and some of the best VPN services use them to resolve technical issue and improve their overall performance.
Best Logless VPN for P2P/Torrents
Downloading torrents or sharing through P2P is restricted in many countries but users can always choose a VPN to safely and securely download torrents. There are a few VPN providers that offer optimized servers for torrent downloading.
PureVPN, Ivacy, and ExpressVPN offer such optimized servers for torrent downloads but we recommend our users to opt for ExpressVPN if they wish to use VPN only for torrent downloads. ExpressVPN offers stable, high speed and low congestion servers along with a wide range of servers to choose from. Its servers are located in Luxembourg, Sweden, Netherlands, USA and many other countries across the globe.
Avoid Logless VPNs Requiring Mandatory Data Retention
A best VPN service might emphasize ‘Zero Log’ policy but the mandatory data retention laws in the country where they operate, may require them to record your internet activities.
There are various countries like Australia, Brazil, Germany and European Union nations where ISPs and telecommunication companies (including VPN providers) are required by law to keep logs of their customers. The mandatory data retention law forces such companies to store information for particular period of time and include data such as:
- Your name and address
- The websites you visit
- Time duration and date of the communication
- The communication you make with others
- Name of the recipients with whom you communicated
- The method of connection (such as Wi-Fi hotspots)
Recording such information does not provide the online privacy and anonymity that a logless VPN promises. We recommend that you use a VPN service that is not based in anyone of these locations where data retention is mandatory. Countries like Hong Kong have no data retention laws and provide a safe place for your online privacy.
One of the primary functions of a best VPN service is to keep you anonymous over the internet while protecting your privacy. This purpose is compromised if the VPN provider keeps logs of your internet activity.
A logless VPN service is one that has a ‘zero log’ policy and is not required by law to record user information of any sort. Our list above highlights some of the best logless VPN services that will protect your identity, do not keep any usage logs, and operate in countries where there are no mandatory data retention laws.
So if online privacy and anonymity are your concern when selecting a VPN, then it is essential that you choose a logless VPN service.