Keeping your online activity private can be difficult in this day and age no matter where in the world you live. Just about every major country on earth, from the most oppressive authoritarian regime to the most liberal democracy still seem to think its OK to snoop on their citizens online in the name of national security.
Privacy invasion is why VPNs have become so popular all over the world. People value their privacy online. The problem is that some VPNs are much better at protecting your online privacy than others.
The main feature to look for is a ‘no user logs guarantee’. A no logs guarantee means that the VPN promises to keep no records what you are doing online.
In this guide, we are going to explore some of the available services and show you which are the leading ‘No Log' VPNs on the market in 2020.
How to choose a ‘No Log' VPN
If privacy is your top priority, then it is essential to research your VPNs before signing up. The below pointers will make sure you are getting the level of protection that you expect.
Some VPNs offer excellent privacy safeguards, but others are not so secure. The key features you should be looking out for are:
- A no user logs guarantee – this means that your VPN keeps no records of what you are doing online.
- Minimal additional data retention – some VPNs will not keep user logs but will log details such as IP Addresses, data usage, which servers you connect to and so on. Privacy-conscious users should avoid providers who keep this sort of information.
- Criminal Case proof – the truth about some VPNs no user logs guarantee is often exposed when their user’s data turns up in court cases. Court cases have caught a few VPNs out so check to see if providers have any records in court hearings.
- Strong encryption – Be sure your VPN offers robust encryption to make sure your data won't be compromised while travelling between servers.
- Jurisdiction – The laws are different in every country and some countries require VPNs to keep far more information than others. Look for a VPN based in a country with minimal data retention requirements.
- Payment by Bitcoin – If you genuinely want your VPN usage to be private, you will need to make payment by a crypto-currency such as Bitcoin. Not all providers offer this, but some do.
Top No Log VPN
We have tested all of the major VPNs and our top 5 recommended no logs providers are:
Below you will find more detail on why these VPNs have made it onto our list.
When it comes to privacy, NordVPN is as good as it gets. Their headquarters are in Panama, which is great because there are no local laws requiring them to retain any user data.
They take full advantage of this and keep absolutely no user records beyond the names and card details of those who sign up. You can also pay with Bitcoin if you want to avoid this too.
Last year saw some unsubstantiated rumours about NordVPN data mining. So firmly did NordVPN reject these accusations, that they have now commissioned an independent audit of their security to prove the privacy protection they offer their users.
NordVPN’s encryption is as strong as any significant provider on the market, with 256-bit AES encryption offered as standard. There are also multiple additional security features that you can use too, such as double-hop VPN server connections and VPN with Tor servers too.
NordVPN combines this near-perfect privacy protection with six concurrent connections, a vast server network, and fast speeds. If you want privacy, you need look no further than NordVPN.
Best No-Log VPN Service
ExpressVPN is another provider which has a proven no user logs guarantee. Theirs was tested a couple of years ago when they found themselves inadvertently caught up in the assassination of a Russian ambassador.
Turkish officials investigating found that a suspect had been using ExpressVPN, but ExpressVPN didn’t hand over any details because they didn’t have any. This is their no user logs guarantee in action.
ExpressVPN is also located offshore, in the British Virgin Islands, where there are no local laws requiring data retention. They also accept payment by bitcoin, which makes it possible to sign up almost entirely anonymously too.
Throw in some of the most robust VPN encryption on the market, a massive server network, good speeds, and a great range of apps, and ExpressVPN are another real contender for Best No Logs VPN.
VyprVPN is one of the only VPNs around which has already had its no user logs guarantee independently verified. An independent audit, carried out last year, has proven that VyprVPN keeps absolutely no user logs whatsoever.
It wasn't always the case and VyprVPNs rapid improvement in this area is a testament to how seriously they take user privacy these days.
This hasn’t come at the expense of any other areas of their service either. VyprVPN still offers decent connection speeds, a reasonable server network, and strong encryption.
They do not currently accept payment by Bitcoin which is a shame. But VyprVPN is headquartered in Switzerland which has some of the best privacy laws in Europe.
PrivateInternetAccess (PIA) is another VPN which offers a no user logs guarantee. They are adamant they keep absolutely no logs and we have seen no reason to question this.
Although they haven’t yet done an independent audit, they have been subpoenaed in multiple court cases and not coughed up any information which strongly suggests that they don’t hold it.
PIA's base is in the USA, which doesn’t have the best data retention laws in the world. But crucially, these are yet to be applied to VPNs so, for now at least, PIA is fine.
You can pay for PIA using a massive range of methods including privacy-friendly Bitcoin and even anonymous gift cards. Their encryption is as strong as anything on the market and their overall service is pretty good too.
IPVanish is regarded as one of the best privacy-focused VPNs on the market. Their privacy protections have come under a little scrutiny in recent times after a Homeland Security child porn case appeared to have IPVanish customer logs included as evidence.
IPVanish has hotly disputed the claims and insists they do not keep user logs. They are also planning an independent audit to prove this. This case could be a one-off and after new owners reconfirmed their commitment to not logging you may wish to give them the benefit of the doubt.
But should there be a rerun, IPVanish would be off this list pretty quickly.
Aside from this, IPVanish are located in the USA, they have strong encryption as standard, and their all-round service includes ten concurrent connections, fast speeds, and a vast server network, which is excellent.
They do not accept payment by Bitcoin, which is a shame, but for us, IPVanish is still a strong contender.
How can I trust a VPN service’s no log claims?
The truth is that any VPN can claim to offer a no user logs guarantee and unless you have the access and technical knowledge to check their systems, you have no real way of knowing.
The reality is that some claims are far more dependable than others. As we have seen, a growing number of VPNs are commissioning independent audits to confirm their no user logs promise.
An audit involves a specialist data security firm looking at their code and systems and checking to see that they are indeed keeping no user logs. An audit is perhaps the single best way to know if a no logs claim is genuine.
Feedback and reputation is another good way. Websites like ours have a lot of experience testing VPNs and knowledge of the industry. If there are doubts about a provider, we will know and we will not hesitate to tell you.
Court cases are also an important pointer. If a VPN’s user data appears in a court case, there are automatically questions for that provider to answer. We keep a close eye on such stories and always report them back to our readers.
Lastly, a good barometer is to look at how long a VPN has been around. Most VPN users insist on a dependable no user logs guarantee. At the first hint that such a guarantee is not what it seems, many customers run for the hills and that provider is usually not around much longer.
If your provider has been in the market for a long time, it is a reasonably safe bet that their no user logs guarantee is a genuine one.
Most VPNs claim to offer a no user logs guarantee, but as we have seen some are much more dependable than others.
In this article, we have delved into the VPN world to identify the five providers who offer the best no user logs guarantee and overall privacy protections that you want.
NordVPN is the provider that has come top of the pile, but all of the five VPNs recommended in this article offer excellent all-round privacy protections too.
If you want to do your research, we have also offered some pointers on how to identify whether a no user logs guarantee is worth any more than the paper it is written on.
There are a lot of VPNs on the market and sadly, many of them are keen to get hold of your cash without offering you the level of service you want.
If online privacy matters to you and you want to keep your online data safe, you need a VPN with a no user logs guarantee. Using this article will help you identify the best one for you.