When considering signing up for a VPN service and your main concern is privacy, security and anonymity one of the first things most people look to is the logging policy of the provider. For those of you who aren’t well informed on what this means or how it affects you then in basic terms think of logging as what the VPN provider records about you and about your usage when using the service.
The type of use you make of a VPN service depends largely how logging will affect you. If you mainly use a VPN service to stream video content that isn’t available in your country then logging is of less importance, although would you be happy if the VPN provider was recording every site you visited and every video you watched? Part of the main reason of VPN services is the anonymity and privacy that they provide and by logging your actions it hardly keeps with this ethos. One of the reasons why free VPN providers are rarely suggested as a good option by anyone in the know is that they have to have a revenue stream to keep the service running, if you aren’t paying for it directly then they are likely to be logging your data which means they’re selling your web usage history to companies who have an interest in how people use the internet or specific sites.
The issue of logging is a contentious topic and there are many different camps of thoughts when it comes to logging at VPN services. There is also an element of trust when it comes to the word of the VPN provider and when they say they log nothing or very little then you have to trust that they will be true to their word. Now there is no reason to disbelieve a provider when they tell you what they do or don’t log but if you are of suspicious mind you may come to your own conclusion in the long term anyway.
There are very few if any VPN providers that claim “No Logs” totally. This is most likely because it is practically impossible and such a wide ranging statement could be construed in a variety of ways depending on user expectation. There are some very good providers who do claim “No Traffic Logs” and one of the best and cheapest is ultimately the ever popular PrivateInternetAccess and with good reason. Not only do they suggest no traffic logs but are also extremely cheap and is what makes them an attractive option to those looking for good privacy.
Another good provider who although again doesn’t claim “no logs” is LiquidVPN and what makes them exceptionally good is the clear and precise way in which they fully disclose what is logged. When we talk about “logging” it does not include traffic logs which again is like PrivateInternetAccess in the sense that any of your actions, web usage or services accessed are not logged nor stored. The only details that are logged are system logs which are required for the service to function, the total amount of times you login and the amount of data you transfer while connected. None of these logs can bind you to any action you carry out online and are merely service function logs, again another provider who although does not claim to completely not log (which is likely to be an impossibility) is fully transparent about what they do record and from a personal point of view I find this the most honest and refreshing policy.
A third contender is NordVPN who are a rather interesting provider. You may be wondering why they are so interesting, the reason being that they are based in Panama which for all intents and purpose is considered an off-shore provider. There are a handful of providers who could be considered off-shore such as BlackVPN, Ironsocket and a few others which are registered in Hong Kong but there are very few who are actually off-shore to the point of NordVPN and the only other provider that springs to mind in a similar sort of “exotic” location is Proxy.sh who are located in the Seychelles.
Why this makes any difference at all is due to the logging policies of the country they are located in. With this it leads NordVPN to claim in their FAQ section “We do not store any information. No logs at all.” and as long as they are using servers around the world who are happy with this policy then there should be no reason why you shouldn’t believe their claims. One area that consumers question is if the policy for logging of the host country out weights that of each individual server location and may be a question you wish to research before signing up to any VPN service including the three listed in this article.