What does it mean, “a VPN without logs”?
When you connect to a VPN server, you shield your internet traffic from your internet service provider (ISP) and others. They can no longer see your online activity — but the one holding your shield can. That’s why it’s crucial to know what kind of logs your VPN provider keeps.
A “no-log VPN” is one that doesn’t collect (or log) traffic that passes through its servers. This is trickier than it may seem, since many countries force services to store data for at least some time — to protect your online privacy, true no-logs VPNs operate out of jurisdictions without data retention laws, such as Panama.
How does a no-logs policy protect you?
A VPN provider’s log-keeping policy is its official stance on data retention. It sets the bar for what you, the customer, can expect when using its services. To protect your online privacy, it’s absolutely crucial to know what kind of logs your provider keeps — and to verify its claims.
The best no-logs VPNs have their policies examined by independent practitioners. NordVPN was the first major service to submit its VPN no-logs practices for review, engaging PricewaterhouseCoopers AG Switzerland to conduct thorough examinations in 2018 and again in 2020. It did not identify deficiencies within the scope of its engagement — NordVPN did not keep logs of user online activities at that point in time. Neither did Deloitte when it audited NordVPN in 2022.
What are the main types of internet logs?
For private everyday browsing
- Incoming and outgoing IP address
- Connection date and duration
- Amount of data transferred
- VPN servers used
- Websites visited
- Files downloaded
- Software used
- Easier to track
Usage logs contain a lot of potentially sensitive personal information, but even connection logs can be used to identify you online. While you should definitely stay away from VPN providers that collect usage logs, also keep an eye out for those that keep extensive connection logs.
5 reasons why NordVPN is the best service for privacy
Frequently asked questions
Do all VPNs keep logs?
Does NordVPN really have no logs?
Are there any free no-log VPNs?
To protect your data and privacy, we strongly recommend using a trusted VPN with a proven track record. Many offer substantial discounts for longer commitment.