When the time comes to choose the perfect VPN provider, there’s been a lot of disagreement with the set of qualities consumers need to look out for. Some cybersecurity specialists label a “kill-switch,” as the most vital feature in a VPN, while others prioritize military-grade encryption.
Regardless of the “It” features a VPN provider advertises, there’s a mutual consensus over the importance of a stringent no-log policy. However, finding a VPN that keeps no track of user activity and browsing history is much easier said than done. Currently, the VPN industry is littered with VPNs claiming to be no-log, without having the crucial evidence to back up their claims.
Examples of such “no-log” VPNs collecting and sharing highly sensitive user information have been brought into light through publicized incidents of popular VPNs (PureVPN, IPVanish) collecting logs and sharing them with governmental agencies, such as the FBI.
In the ever-evolving threat landscape of today, users need to exercise caution while selecting a VPN provider, since the slightest glitch could result in their information being shared with a third-party without their consent. Even more alarming is the fact that this invasion happens under the guise of security, which allows users to let down their guard.
Fortunately, however, there are still a couple of VPN providers left in the market that have proven the legitimacy of their no-logs policies, under several different circumstances. To ease the tedious task of selecting a VPN with a robust no-log policy, we’ve compiled an article that dives into the various providers, along with the specificities of their no-logs policies.
Starting off our list is the Panama-based NordVPN, which offers users a wide range of applications to users at a moderate price. In our NordVPN review of the popular VPN, we concluded that the VPN service performed well in all categories, including encryption and IP leak tests.
When it comes to stringent no-log policies, this VPN provider has proven the authenticity of its claims by walking the extra mile and turning to one of the ‘Big Four’ auditing firms for a security audit of their no-log claims.
In a blog post made in November 2018, NordVPN provided an overview of the findings made by the security audit team from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and convinced customers that the claims made in regards to their no-logs policy were a hundred percent accurate.
Owing to the terms and conditions laid out by PwC, the full extent of the findings is not available to the general public; however, NordVPN’s customers and the press can access it. Some significant points from the report include the following:
- NordVPN provided the security audit team from PwC complete access to its servers and employees, along with the liberty to examine any relevant databases and configurations.
- Over the course of a month, the security audit team from PwC confirmed that NordVPN was compliant with the terms listed in their privacy and no-logs policy.
- With that said, however, NordVPN does have a mechanism in place which has enabled the Panama-based VPN provider to verify the customer’s identity, along with ensuring that the device limit is not being crossed.
Along with the favourable browsing speeds, a jurisdiction far away from the dreaded fourteen eyes, and cheap pricing- NordVPN’s (proven) no-log policy makes it’s a solid contender amongst the best VPNs today.
Read more about NordVPN audit report:
Although we’ve listed our picks in no particular order, the second pick we’ve got indeed encapsulates the meaning of a trusted VPN provider.
Not only is ExpressVPN based far away from fourteen eyes, in the British Virgin Islands- it offers customers lightning-fast browsing speeds, which makes it the most popular VPN to be used for video streaming and torrenting.
As far as their no-log policies are concerned, ExpressVPN, much like NordVPN, walked the extra mile for the sake of transparency in the VPN industry and got audited by PwC. Unlike, NordVPN, however, the security audit committed on ExpressVPN went for a more holistic approach and scrutinized the entire infrastructure.
As highlighted in the blog post published by ExpressVPN, the third-party security auditors analyzed several security components, including the newly introduced TrustedServer, and concluded that the British Virgin Island-based VPN was perfectly compliant with the terms stated in their privacy and no-log policy.
Moreover, ExpressVPN also went through a complete security audit, done by the auditing firm Cure53, which sets the bar for transparency and accountability pretty high as far as other VPNs are concerned.
To further demonstrate how seriously ExpressVPN takes its customer’s privacy, is the fact it introduced a new feature in April 2019, called TrustedServer, which also underwent the third-party security audit done by PwC.
TrustedServer, saw the VPN provider upgrading all their servers being run on RAM-disk mode, which ensures that all data regarding a customer’s browsing activity is wiped off after every session.
Another incident worth mentioning in an attempt to highlight how seriously ExpressVPN is when its servers were seized by Turkish authorities, back in December 2017. According to the Turkish authorities, a suspected individual had deleted evidence of information related to the political assassination on social media via ExpressVPN.
However, after coercion hadn’t worked, Turkish police tried to physically seize ExpressVPN- to no avail, since the British Virgin Island-based VPN truly does not keep any tabs on its customers.
The incident with the Turkish police proves, that ExpressVPN genuinely cares about online privacy, along with providing customers with the best features available, that too, at an affordable price point.
ExpressVPN no-log audit report
Based in Switzerland, VyprVPN is another common choice for users on the lookout for VPNs with a strict no-logging policy. Furthermore, VyprVPN has been around for more than a decade, and the VPN provider has always been open to modifying its features and improving on security. A more detailed analysis of the Swiss VPN’s features such as encryption and browsing.
Like most of the VPN providers on our list, VyprVPN has been a critical player in propagating the principles of accountability and trust in the VPN market, since it was the first VPN providers to get a third-party to audit their servers.
VyprVPN and Leviathan Security
Back in September 2018, VyprVPN collaborated with a cybersecurity firm, namely Leviathan Security group, to transition into a complete no-logs VPN service. The security audit team from Leviathan Security analyzed and scrutinized all aspects of VyprVPN’s infrastructure, and identified any loopholes that revealed sensitive information that could expose the user’s identity.
VyprVPN’s transparency, combined with the quality services they offer, explains why some traditional users are hesitant to switch to more modern VPN providers, especially when there’s a VPN provider available that has consumers have been relying on for more than a decade.
VyprVPN Review Here
#4- Private Internet Access
Although Private Internet Access is based in a country that falls into the jurisdiction of the dreaded fourteen eyes; the U.S based VPN provider is immaculate with its no-log policies. Aside from some minor drawbacks, PIA offers users an easy-to-understand interface, along with high browsing speeds perfect for video streaming and secure encryption protocols.
The first instance was back in 2016, in which the official court documents revealed that, in response to a subpoena from the FBI, PIA could not provide any information to the governmental agencies, simply because they did not have anything to show.
Another case of PIA VPN unintentionally proving the authenticity of their no-log claims occurred in 2018 when another subpoena was issued on the VPN provider, as suspected evidence against a hacking case.
As was the case with the previous subpoena, Private Internet Access was unable to provide any information, since they do not keep any logs regarding user data.
Here you can find detailed private internet access review:
#5- Surfshark VPN
Based on the British Virgin Islands, Surfshark is another VPN provider that takes it’s no-logging policies very seriously. Since Surfshark is located in the British Virgin Islands, it is far away from any jurisdiction that promotes shady data retention laws, or mass government surveillance.
Along with offering users with lightning-paced connections, Surfshark has a zero-knowledge DNS which keeps their user’s anonymous activity, anonymous.
As far as their no-log policy is concerned, Surfshark prioritizes user privacy above everything else. Their no-logs policy explicitly states that they only collect the fundamental data needed to authenticate their users and ensure that they haven’t exceeded their device limit.
Furthermore, Surfshark is also one of the biggest contenders in the VPN industry to get a security audit, which mainly focused on their Chrome and Firefox’s extensions. The security audit further reinforces the principles of security and transparency that Surfshark has followed through with religiously.
At the end of our article, we can hope that we’ve significantly eased up the process of ‘VPN hunting,’ we still feel the need to remind our users to find a VPN that suits their particular needs.
With that said, a VPN provider with a robust no-log policy is always necessary for secure browsing, which in essence, is the primary function a VPN seeks out to fulfil.