Top 15 VPN Companies Log Policies – Are They Safe?
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We weren’t doing anything one day so decided to investigate the privacy reality in today’s leading VPNs. Here’s what we found.
A VPN or virtual private network is advertised as the solution to online privacy concerns but how well does their behavior hold up under the scrutiny of our investigators?
Within this document, the VPN provider must explicitly detail what type of information they will track about their users and how long they will retain such records. Many companies will claim in their marketing material that they have a no-logging policy. In reality, though, this is rarely the case.
What really should matter to you is the type of logs that a VPN host tracks. Some types of logging are required for administrative and troubleshooting purposes, while others will veer into the territory of privacy invasion. Check our privacy tools breakdown.
Using a VPN is often seen as a workaround to avoid being monitored by an internet service provider (ISP), but you should understand a company’s full logging policy before investing in its VPN service.
For the purpose of this article, we will break the concept of logging into three separate areas:
Logs that are captured about problems or issues with the VPN service. These logs may include some personal information, such as username or IP address, but are used exclusively for troubleshooting errors and improving the performance of the VPN.
Some companies enforce restrictions on their service, such as how long a connection can last or how many simultaneous connections are allowed. By tracking connection logs, a company can keep track of each session on their service and manage them appropriately.
VPN servers are responsible for routing all of the traffic that comes through its network, so technically providers have the ability to monitor every web request that is sent or received. This means that a VPN host can track all web activity for each user and even determine what types of files are being downloaded.
A VPN provider may set their logging levels for a variety of reasons. They may simply be interested in limiting their own broadband traffic in order to ensure top performance for all of their users. But of course, there is a chance that your web activity could be at risk of being sold to advertisers or other interested parties. Below you’ll find a helpful guide to many of the leading VPN solutions and how their logging policies stack up to one another.
- Servers for Anonymizer are hosted in United States. The US has a set of internet security agreement with other countries, including Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. This means there is a chance your data could be requested or shared as part of a national security investigation.