Finding what VPNs will keep track of your time spent online isn’t an easy thing to do. Many of them take part in some form of logging, and the term is heavily used in the industry as a keyword to drive traffic to VPN websites. Just because a company claims to be a no-logging VPN doesn’t guarantee that such a declaration is true. Paid VPN services are highly competitive and the market is flooded with assertions that are borderline misleading or entirely false.
Because of this, consumers should have firsthand knowledge of the VPNs that do attempt a true to word zero-logging policy. Below are the ten best VPNs that don’t log, platforms harboring provably honest user agreements that don’t overstep what’s written in the fine print. When you’re done with the listing, head over to the Buyer’s Guide for answers to all there is to know about VPNs and logging. Let’s begin!
How do VPNs Work?
VPNs are a remarkable piece of web technology that essentially make the data sent and received by users over a public network private. It might sound complicated on paper but the action is quite simple. Instead of what you do being potentially read by others on the sites (or your ISP) that you visit, the traffic is directed to the VPN’s servers first. And since the server that you’re directed to has a different IP address than what’s associated with your ISP, incoming and outgoing traffic to your destination will appear to be sent from the VPN. As a result, you’ll be able to access content that would normally be blocked by either your ISP or the web server.
This means that you will have access to content that was unavailable, such as foreign content from streaming websites, to torrent access with your favorite client. VPN capabilities are taken even further with the inclusion of various protocols that house military-grade encryption. With this, all of the data that exchanges hands between servers are locked behind a cipher, or your password. There’s no way for anyone, including the VPN, to see what’s being uploaded and downloaded when this feature is available. Fortunately, many paid VPNs contain end-to-end encryption, including all of those shown further in the reviews.
What is Logging?
Collecting user data is done by many websites on the net. For the most part, logging is harmless and serves to allow companies a better understanding of how their site or applications work. Logging may also determine what needs to be fixed or undergo troubleshooting.
When this is the case, there’s little to worry about. Captured information under these conditions generally takes the form of networks collecting data such as sign-in times, the number of devices in use per account, and the number of users that are logged into a particular server on the program. Such activities are also referred to as generic logging. But there’s also a different form of logging that scrutinizes users with a greater focus on obtaining their personal information, sometimes through misleading claims or without their consent. This is usually the case with free VPNs. However, finding a paid service that does that same isn’t hard to do at all. Users must be careful to always read the terms and conditions of the VPN they’re interested in.
Before you pick one of the VPNs listed further down, it’s strongly recommended that you take a glance at the fine print to see if there’s anything you disagree with or question the honesty of. Online applications, VPNs included, may routinely update their terms at a moment’s notice. What could be an honest zero-logging policy today could change into an agreement with heavy stipulations a month from now. Always know what data is collected by the VPN that interests you.
How They Compare
- ExpressVPN: Traffic Logging: No; Number of Servers: 3000; Number of Devices: 3
- NordVPN: Traffic Logging: No; Number of Servers: 5100; Number of Devices: 6
- VyprVPN: Traffic Logging: No; Number of Servers: 700; Number of Devices: 7
- Private Access: Traffic Logging: No; Number of Servers: 3300; Number of Devices: 10
- Perfect Privacy: Traffic Logging: No; Number of Servers: 55; Number of Devices 10:
- IPVanish: Traffic Logging: No; Number of Servers: 1300; Number of Devices: 10
- CyberGhost: Traffic Logging: No; Number of Servers: 3800; Number of Devices: 7
- PrivateVPN: Traffic Logging: No; Number of Servers: 150; Number of Devices: 6
- StrongVPN: Traffic Logging: No; Number of Servers: 950; Number of Devices: 12
- TunnelBear: Traffic Logging: No; Number of Servers: 1700; Number of Devices: 5
Top 10 Best No Log VPNs
If you want a VPN that’s dependable but non-intrusive when it comes to logging your data, then ExpressVPN is the eway to go. There are plenty of other reasons to try out the VPN as well. You’ll have a hard time finding any server that won’t work of sites like Netflix or Spotify, and torrenting is fully supported. If that isn’t enough, ExpressVPN supports the latest protocols for users to try out, most of them featuring the latest in terms of encryption technologies (256-AES).
One good thing about their logging policy is that it doesn’t deviate randomly, meaning that the ToS does not update frequently. What you read in it is here to stay, which includes ExpressVPN’s promise to never collect anything that would be controversial. Although some info such as emails and on-site analytics is gathered, users can remain private by using a proxy over the site and purchasing a subscription with Bitcoin. ExpressVPN is a good choice for all VPN users and a solid option for people that put no logging first in their criteria for choosing.
- Their logging policy doesn’t change at a moment’s notice
- Every server is fast enough to handle streaming content of all types
- Quick server connection time
- No faulty or dishonest advertising
- Although user traffic in servers is ignored, sign in sessions could be logged
- Subscription prices are high, especially the per-month option
NordVPN has lots of things for users to be excited about. The main one is probably the fact that they’re located in a place that isn’t anywhere close to nations that partake in widespread and covert surveillance. Panama houses various VPNs and is where Nord calls home. There are well over 3000 servers hosted by the platform, and all of them will allow you to stream content.
Even if you weren’t going to pick a server that’s fist from the list that’s shown on the application, speed would still be consistent. Plans are good but quite expensive, but Nord does deliver on providing customers an outstanding service that’s almost unmatched. Generic logging does occur, but it won’t be enough for anyone to find out who you are. However, since Nord is based in such a great location, data mining isn’t something that users should worry about in the first place.
- Of the thousands of servers featured on the platform, users would likely never find one that runs slow
- Lots of plans available, including those specifically for smartphones
- Has one of the strong DNS and IP leak protection on the market
- Has undergone auditing from outside platforms to back up their no-logging policy
- Heavy use of generic logging (email, last sign-in attempt, and customer service inquiries are logged)
VypryVPN is the VPN for people that like to keep things simple. The same can be said about their user agreement. It’s easy to read and not too wordy, having no jargon that could go against the promises made by the platform. Servers are outstandingly fast and reliable. Additionally, torrenting is fully supported by the VPN. If you’re looking for one for this reason alone, VyprVPN would probably be your best option. Another plus is the fact that the company actually listens to its user base, never ignoring their concerns.
Updates are frequent, and improvements are regularly made to areas that become known to the VPN by people that use the site. The biggest let down to all the great things about VyprVPN is the site’s lack of a way to purchase with the use of cryptocurrencies. So if you’re okay with giving out your payment information by other means (with could entail them knowing who you are), then give the service a trial run.
- Good, easy to read user agreement/ToS
- Dependable servers that are well-equipped to handle torrenting and downloading large files
- Goes out of their way to listen and improve services for their subscribers
- No way for users to keep themselves anonymous during checkout (doesn’t support any cryptocurrencies)
4. Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is a VPN that’s recommended for users that like to stream content. But if the actions of doing so, you’ll feel relieved that the service will never scan your online presence when you’re connected to a server. There are loads of good featured including here, with the most useful being the DNS and IP leak protection.
When you’re on the internet through one of PIA’s servers, your connection will never see your real location information. Even if your internet were to randomly go off, you’ll remain protected by the VPN’s ability to block all incoming and outgoing web traffic to your computer. This essentially makes the platform indispensable to people that want a VPN, but rely on an ISP that strict about using torrent sites. The company and its servers are located within the United States, however. If you don’t mind that, then Private Internet Access is should be given a well-deserved look.
- Netflix works well on all servers tested
- Doesn’t accidentally leak IP or DNS information
- Easy to switch back and forth between servers
- Headquarters is within the jurisdiction of a Five Eyes nation (the United States)
5. Perfect Privacy
Perfect Privacy is a good alternative VPN that has gained lots of traction in recent years. And for good reason; the VPN has great, dependable servers that are fast any all hours of the day and night. Their logging policy is also great. The company takes pride in never deviating from the stipulations that are set out to customers that use the platform. And for those with large families, this VPN will allow an unlimited amount of devices on a single account. This doesn’t include the use of a router hooker, either. Torrents and Netflix supported in full, and quality ranges high when using the server on a speedy internet connection. Some servers might see a random drop in speed from time to time, but it’s not enough to knock the VPN of anyone’s recommended list.
- Has a true-to-word no-logging policy with no misleading claims or contradictions
- Sets no limits on the number of devices that can be connected over the VPN (without a router)
- Downloading torrents is fast, including when waiting for metadata to come in over magnet links
- At times, connections to servers may slow down and take several seconds to finish the handshake
IPVanish is a popular VPN choice for users all over the world. They’re often seen in the news for positive coverage, although the company has undergone some serious accusations in the past that involved handing over data to the U.S. government (involving one person). Yet since the platform has changed companies, they have undergone a complete overhaul and stayed true to their promise of providing a solid VPN that doesn’t log the internet traffic of their subscribers.
Generic logging does remain but the lack of metadata collected by the VPN makes it unlikely that any personal info would be known by IPVanish, to begin with. And for those that might be worried about the pricing personal details during checkout, don’t be. The VPN supports Bitcoins payments, so go that route if you don’t want the platform to know who you are at the payment level.
- All downloads, including those done over web browsers, are very quick
- While generic logging of metadata does occur, web traffic cannot be read
- Has standard encryption capabilities on most featured protocols
- Although the VPN has been taken over, has had a shady history of assisting government bureaucracies in the past
CyberGhost has speeds that are consistently ranked as some of the fastest in the world of VPNs. That’s no easy feat, but not thing greatest featured that’s provided here. The best would likely be the price of plans, which are significantly lower than the competition. Controls while using the application are also nice, a good and intuitive menu that can easily be read by beginner VPN users.
There are no third parties attached to CyberGhost, and web traffic logging doesn’t even occur when users are hooked up to a server. Sensitive information such as your IP address and DNS will never be known to the VPN, so try it out if you need one that makes good on their promises but stays easy on the wallet. Some servers may not work for Netflix. You’ll find yourself searching for one at times with CyberGhost. But if this isn’t required for you, then the platform should do well for everything else.
- Plans are within the range of shoppers that seek VPNs on a budget
- Intuitive controls on the application for every supported operating system
- No third parties are involved with the platform, including server hosts
- Doesn’t collect user’s IP addresses on the application
- Not all servers may work with Netflix
PrivateVPN is another alternative to the big-name VPN brads but is equally recommended. Prices are great and subscription plans abundant. Most of them also include the ability to hook up multiple devices to just one account. The VPN itself is a competitive brand, churning out updates and improvements to the server on the regular. Steaming is the selling point for PrivateVPN, and all servers work with amazing speed over Netflix. Installation and setup are also well taken, having an easy to understand application menu that doesn’t rely on the users doing too many changes for themselves to get things running. The VPN may log your IP address, which means that they’ll know where you’re located if you use it. Unless you absolutely cannot have your IP address known by the VPN, then PrivateVPN is a solid choice for anyone.
- Pricing options are highly competitive and great for beginners moving from free VPNs
- No confusing installation; doesn’t take a long time to get started
- All streaming (music and video) sites work like a charm on every server tested
- May log cookies and the IP addresses of users of the application
Continuing with great alternative VPNs, StrongVPN is outstanding at what it does. Having a good platform and great customer service are attributes that are often needed by rarely implemented correctly. With this VPN, getting in touch with someone is easy, and reps may even contact you just to see how things are holding up on your end. It’s a small but appreciated gesture and does lots to show that the company cares about their customers.
Logging is kept to the bare minimum here, and your IP address and activities were undertaken during server time will be kept to yourself. Torrent websites and applications are supported, so download as much as you want with StrongVPN. Updates, while not very frequent, do occur but often won’t feature any major changes to the VPN. But for some people, this could be a good thing.
- Getting in touch with a customer representative is easy and quick
- Only basic information that won’t compromise a user’s anonymity is collected
- All torrent websites and applications will work over the VPN’s servers
- Interaction with the application could be improved (doesn’t update often enough)
TunnelBear is an outstanding VPN that has been around for several years. They have a free and paid version for you to try out, although you’ll probably find better comfort in the paid subscription. Yet across the board, the VPN never collects or retains anything that one would consider to be too private. There’s also a powerful feature known as the kill switch. Although other VPNs also contain a similar feature, the one included with TunnelBear works exceptionally well.
Never worry about your ISP knowing what torrents you’re downloading on websites visit ever again. TunnelBear also undergoes routine auditing to ensure that servers are safe and traffic logging remains off-limits. You might not be able to get through to many video streaming sites, so find another platform if you’re a Netflix user (or plan to be once a VPN is subscribed to).
- Doesn’t collect any personalized data from their subscriber base
- The kill switch prevents ISPs from knowing what’s visited during times of sudden connection drops
- Has been monitored by monitors to ensure trust
- Many servers won’t be able to pick up video streaming websites
- There’s no way to hook up a router over servers (for a higher device count)
What’s the Difference Between Traffic Logging and Logging done on Applications?
The main difference between traffic logging and that done while on a VPN app is where the logging occurs. When VPN companies claim to not log traffic content, they’re referring to information that passes through their servers. When you sign on to a VPN, you’ll be taken to a window that lets you pick the server and server country. Once you’ve chosen one, you can browse the net as you normally would.
When this happens, a VPN with a good no-logging policy won’t be able to see any of the data that travels to and from your computer, their servers, and the web destination that you wish to visit. Other logging events may happen when you sign in to the app itself, and earlier mentioned. Typically, this is done to keep people from clogging up the site’s and causing slowdowns. Other logging in this category could be to make improvements to the VPN application as a whole, allowing the platform to determine when people use their VPN the most, among other general information.
Does Logging differ between Paid and Free VPNs?
Absolutely. Paid VPNs will not only log your personal details but could jeopardize the safety of your identity. In this sense, what you’re getting isn’t actually “free.” You’re paying for free VPNs by providing the platform with data that are gathered and sold by them to sustain their operation. They must make money some way, with selling off the info you provide them is the most logical means to do so. Where things get shady is the way that many free VPNs market themselves.
They can be quite deceptive, having user agreements that are difficult to understand or even an outright lie. In the online world, and deception is, unfortunately, a tool used for nefarious purposes. It is important that you never settle on a VPN until you read their terms of service, and evaluate their trustworthiness through what others are saying about them. Although some paid VPNs also carry out marketing tactics that can be described as deceptive, it rarely reaches the point of what’s become commonplace among their free counterparts. But as long as you read and understand what you would get from the VPN before you download, chances are high that you won’t be the victim of such schemes.
Is there a such thing as a VPN that doesn’t Log Any Information from Users?
Truthfully, finding a VPN that doesn’t log anything at all isn’t likely to happen. That’s not the way VPN services work and such a platform that attempted it would probably not be the best for consumers. Logging has to occur at some level for various reasons, the most important being to make improvements on services that are offered by the VPN. However, an argument could be made that surveys and user feedback through the use of forums or social media would help providers do away with logging generic data.
In all seriousness, this could be the next big trend with VPNs in the future. Payment information from users must also be kept, particularly if they’re paying with credit or debit cards. But with the rising use of cryptocurrency throughout the world, more services could focus more on coin payments that what’s currently done. Yet there are already a large number of VPN services that offer Bitcoin or other altcoins at a payment option. And the third reason for logging existing is for VPNs to retain the quality that users to depend on, especially when it comes to server quality.
If too many people are attempting to access a VPN’s servers with just a single account, this could make things much slower. Yet again, one could also argue that some VPNs allow an unlimited amount of devices to be plugged up to server all at once, making the accusation nothing more than a good excuse. While this could be the case for deceptive VPNs (oftentimes done to control bandwidth), the same cannot be said for all platforms. Each of them has unique advantages, limitations, and setbacks.
There are so many VPNs today that choosing one can be very overwhelming, particularly for those that have never used free or paid VPNs before. If you enjoyed this article, then it’s suggested for you to seriously consider using a VPN to protect your anonymity online. VPNs aren’t the tried and true remedy to keep your privacy on the net completely safe, but you’ll be much better off with one than without. Plus, you’ll have access to countless web content that may have otherwise been blocked by your government, ISP, or both. Logging is a controversial subject for VPNs, and the action has some benefits but also lots of potential risk for the customer and VPN company doing it. But if you don’t want to sacrifice your personal details to VPNs with widespread logging, settle on the ten shown here. No longer must you put up with tricky user agreements and confusing terms of service wording; take control of what VPN providers can get away with knowing about you!