10 best no-logs VPNs to use in 2021 | Zero-logs and no tracking

Looking for a VPN that won't track and store data about you? Many VPNs claim to keep no logs on their users, but what does that really mean? In this guide, we look at zero-log VPN claims to find out which VPN services really keep no logs.

What are the best no-logs VPNs?

Below you can see the best VPNs that do not keep logs or track users, for more information about each provider simply scroll down.

  1. IPVanish - This US- based VPN has a watertight zero-logging policy. To make the service more secure, it's also loaded with superb privacy features.
  2. ExpressVPN - This top-tier provider takes security seriously, combining zero-logs, strong encryption, & privacy features.
  3. NordVPN - is a great no logs VPN that is cocked full of security features
  4. Private Internet Access - One of the most secure no logs VPNs on our list. PIA has proven its zero-logs claim in court, repeatedly!
  5. CyberGhost VPN - A no-logs VPN that is really easy to use. It offers great mobile apps that provide the same great protection for Android and iOS.

Try IPVanish our #1 no-logs VPN pick

See full list & analysis

A VPN is a versatile tool that is useful for many things. It can give you privacy when you use public Wi-Fi, or let you bypass blocks on the internet at work. It can also help you to get better value for money, by allowing you to watch US Netflix from abroad. Many people also use VPNs to defeat government censorship and to access geo-restricted content or services that are usually out of reach. 

Despite their many functions, VPNs were originally designed to provide people with online privacy. The other benefits are just a handy side product of how a VPN works. used to provide privacy while online. That said, many VPNs overstep their mark and actually fail to provide the privacy they are designed for. This makes those VPNs extremely unreliable (and somewhat concerning).

Anybody who values privacy must be careful not to subscribe to a cowboy VPN. The most important thing is to check the VPN provider's privacy policy to find out how they treat data. What you are looking for is a VPN that doesn't keep any logs. 

Unfortunately, the term "no-logs VPN" and "zero-logs VPN" is often abused by VPN providers as a marketing gimmick. Many VPNs lie and claim to be zero-logs, Looking at their privacy policy reveals that they store certain types of data that invalidate that claim.

To help consumers find real no-log VPNs, we have put together this guide. Below you will find out what a no-logs policy is, and we will pinpoint a choice of services that don't keep any logs that cause an invasion of your privacy. 

For a provider to be eligible for a recommendation in this no-logs VPN guide, we verify the provider's no-logs claims. After we have confirmed this, we also check that the service provides:

The best no-logs VPNs in 2021

Want to know which VPNs offer the best no-logs service in 2021? Look no further! Below, you'll find our in-depth analysis.

IPVanish is a trusted no-logs VPN provider. It balances fast speeds with genuinely impressive levels of privacy and security.

  • Pricing

    • 12 months: $2.62/mth
    • 1 month: $9.99/mth
  • Pros & Cons

    • "Scramble" feature obfuscates VPN traffic
    • Split tunneling and port selection are nice bonuses
    • Unlimited simultaneous connections
    • Solid encryption and OpenVPN support
    • Torrenting is allowed
    • Based in the US
    • Struggles to unblock BBC iPlayer and Amazon Prime
    • Customer service could be improved
  • IPv4/6 leak detected?

    • No
  • Independently audited?

    • No
  • Website tracking?

    • Yes

IPVanish Demo

IPVanish Demo
IPVanish Demo


IPVanish is a US-based VPN provider that is trusted by consumers worldwide thanks to its watertight no-logs policy. This ensures that even if it is approached by copyright holders, government authorities – or any other third party – it never has any records about what its users did online on its network.


With IPVanish, you get solid apps for all platforms that have useful advanced VPN features such as a kill-switch and obfuscation. This makes the VPN suitable for sensitive tasks such as torrenting. And because this provider has servers in over 75 countries, you can easily use it to bypass government censorship or to access geo-restricted content from all over the world.


On top of its strict no-logs policy and kill-switch, we know we can count on IPVanish to secure my privacy online, especially when out and about in coffee shops, bars, and any other public Wi-Fi network. This service has a handy feature called "network block" which protects all devices you use IPVanish on from connecting to unsecured Wi-Fi networks. In addition to that, we know that IPVanish always has your back with its robust AES 256-bit encryption standards.


We love how easy this VPN is to use, and the fact that you can test it risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Tested by Attila Tomaschek

Tested by Attila Tomaschek

ExpressVPN is an outstanding provider. This service has your privacy built into it with excellent features designed to protect your privacy online.

  • Pricing

    • 12 month: $6.67/mth
    • 6 month: $9.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros & Cons

    • Super fast – great for streaming!
    • Super secure – 256-bit encryption
    • Unlimited downloading
    • 5* customer support and 24/7 live chat
    • 30-day money-back guarantee
    • A bit pricey - but worth it!
    • No free trial
    • Only 5 simultaneous connections
  • IPv4/6 leak detected?

    • No
  • Independently audited?

    • Yes
  • Website tracking?

    • Yes

ExpressVPN Demo

ExpressVPN Demo
ExpressVPN Demo


ExpressVPN keeps only minimal anonymous usage statistics. It's worth noting that no timestamps or IP addresses are included in this data. This makes ExpressVPN a no-logs service for all intents and purposes – and a superb one at that! The ridiculously fast performance is ExpressVPN's headline act, but fantastic 24/7 live chat customer support, 5 simultaneous connections, and peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing support certainly sweeten the deal.


One of our favorite ExpressVPN features is its kill switch – or Network Lock – because it's automatically enabled, compatible with all devices (including routers), and ensures that your traffic doesn't leak from the encrypted tunnel in the event of a VPN outage... or in those moments where you switch Wi-Fi networks or shut your laptop. It's exactly these sort of real-life security considerations that make ExpressVPN our go-to provider.


As well as this ExpressVPN offers robust encryption standards to keep hackers at bay. And they have even created their own protocol called "lightway". We found this protocol allows for fast connections and it's great for stream and general browsing. This, in combination with what is, in effect, a no-logs policy, means that the company will have nothing useful whatsoever to hand over to authorities, should it ever be forced to.


ExpressVPN has servers in a whopping 94 countries around the world – and they all provide lightning-fast connection speeds, ideal for streaming, and a huge draw for anyone looking to bypass pesky geo-restrictions. Users in China will particularly appreciate ExpressVPN's "stealth" servers in Hong Kong. There's also a free Smart DNS service included with all subscriptions that'll ensure your Netflix binge-watching runs smoothly!


Features are easy to navigate using the desktop software for Windows, macOS, and Linux, the sleek apps for Android and iOS, or the custom router firmware. It's pretty easy to see why ExpressVPN impressed our experts and remains one of our most popular providers to date, but don't just take our word for it; try ExpressVPN today with a 30-day, no-quibble, money-back guarantee.

Tested by Hannah Hart

Tested by Hannah Hart

NordVPN is ideal for anybody wanting a no logs VPN that is feature rich

  • Pricing

    • 27 month: $3.3/mth
    • 24 month: $4.13/mth
    • 12 month: $4.92/mth
    • 1 month: $11.95/mth
  • Pros & Cons

    • No logs at all
    • Quick servers in 59 countries
    • Six simultaneous devices
    • 30-day money-back guarantee
    • OpenVPN encryption with perfect forward secrecy
    • Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) leaks
    • No Linux client
    • Connecting to a server can sometimes take a moment
  • IPv4/6 leak detected?

    • No
  • Independently audited?

    • Yes
  • Website tracking?

    • Yes

Nord Demo

Nord Demo
Nord Demo


NordVPN is a no-logs VPN provider based in Panama. This alone makes it one of the best VPN choices available for privacy fanatics, as it puts it comfortably outside the direct influence of both the NSA and copyright holders. It backs up this privacy-friendly stance by using strongly implemented OpenVPN encryption and accepting potentially anonymous payment via bitcoins. 


Alongside peer-to-peer (P2P) permissions and obfsproxy technology to defeat censorship and obfuscation, one thing that sets NordVPN apart from the competition is its all-inclusive feature-set. NordVPN has unique advanced features such as “double-hop” VPN chaining (which essentially routes traffic through two servers rather than one). Overall, an excellent no logs VPN that is fast, and has servers in 59 countries - ideal for streaming in HD and unblocking all manner of geo-restricted or censored content. You can test it yourself thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Tested by Aaron Drapkin

Tested by Aaron Drapkin

Private Internet Access is an extremely relible no-logs with a solid reputation. What's more, it has even had to opportunity to prove it no-logs status in court! Not many VPNs can make that claim.

  • Pricing

    • 38 months: $2.08/mth
    • 12 months: $3.33/mth
    • 1 month: $9.95/mth
  • Pros & Cons

    • No logs – proven in court!
    • A great budget VPN
    • Accepts Bitcoin payments
    • Great OpenVPN encryption
    • Client features kill switch and DNS leak protection
    • US based company
    • No free trial
    • Slightly outdated UI
  • IPv4/6 leak detected?

    • No
  • Independently audited?

    • No
  • Website tracking?

    • Yes

PIA Demo

PIA Demo
PIA Demo


Private Internet Access (PIA) is based in the US, so it is not a provider for the more NSA-phobic out there. That said, we were happy to see that this is a completely no logs service and that it has proven those claims in court on more than one occasion. It is not common to have such definite proof that the VPN does what it says, which is a definite positive attribute of this service.


I found the apps easy to use when testing the VPN, and while it does have a lot of customizable options, it was great to see that it also comes set to OpenVPN by default, which means it is ready to be used even if you don't understand those advanced settings. Best of all, those advanced settings don't take long to learn and give you plenty of advantages – if you want to torrent, for example. 


Its desktop software supports multiple security options, a VPN kill-switch, DNS leak protection, and port forwarding, and it permits 10 simultaneous connections which is ideal if you own a lot of devices. We used the service for unblocking a variety of streams and found it to cope excellently even when opting for HD. We also enjoyed the fact that it has servers in 74 countries, which meant that we could access a variety of different services from around the world. A superb service that you can test risk-free thanks to its generous 30-day money-back guarantee. 

Tested by Ray Walsh

Tested by Ray Walsh

CyberGhost is a no-logs VPN that is a joy to use. If you want a truly secure VPN service combined with a sleek, easy to use app, look no further.

  • Pricing

    • 36 months: $2.25/mth
    • 24 months: $3.49/mth
    • 12 months: $3.99/mth
    • 1 month: $12.99/mth
  • Pros & Cons

    • High speed for ultra-fast streaming
    • More than 800 servers & global coverage
    • No Logs (worth mentioning) Policy, guaranteed security and encryption
    • 7 simultaneous connections
    • Based in Romania, away from 14 Eyes alliance
    • No independent audit since 2012
    • Speeds could be more stable
    • No obfuscation
  • IPv4/6 leak detected?

    • No
  • Independently audited?

    • Yes
  • Website tracking?

    • Yes

CyberGhost Demo

CyberGhost Demo
CyberGhost Demo


CyberGhost VPN combines fully-featured software with incredible ease-of-use, and you'll be able to enjoy up to 7 simultaneous connections with just one subscription. What's more, CyberGhost employs military-grade encryption to keep its users' data and VPN sessions secure. The unflinching combination of AES 256-bit encryption and the OpenVPN protocol means any sensitive information disclosed online will remain completely private.


Being based in Romania is another huge draw for CyberGhost VPN, as well as its robust no-logs policy. Some minimal statistics are kept, like are with ExpressVPN, but again, no timestamps or IPs are ever recorded, presenting no threat to a user's privacy.


We'd recommend making the most of CyberGhost's generous 45-day money-back guarantee. During this trial period, you'll be able to check out all the most in-demand streaming services without restrictions, speedy servers in 90 countries, and a whole host of security features – kill-switch and P2P support included! Additionally, 24/7 live chat customer service is at hand if you have any burning questions.

Tested by Aaron Drapkin

Tested by Aaron Drapkin

ProtonVPN is a secure no-logs VPN from the developers of ProtonMail. Built with privacy and security in mind, this service has somehow managed to balance this out with great speeds.

  • Free option

    Yes

    Pricing

    • Free trial: $0/mth
    • 24 months: $3.29/mth
    • 12 months: $4/mth
    • 1 month: $5/mth
  • Pros & Cons

    • No IP logs
    • Excellent free version lets you try before you buy
    • Good value for money on premium
    • Easy to use, fully featured, and fast
    • 10 simultaneous devices permitted
    • Does not support Wireguard
    • No live chat option
    • Premium subscription is required to unlock full feature list
  • IPv4/6 leak detected?

    • No
  • Independently audited?

    • Yes
  • Website tracking?

    • No

Proton Demo

Proton Demo
Proton Demo


ProtonVPN is a superb no-logs VPN that is run by the same people behind the popular secure email service, ProtonMail. As well as having a free version with limited bandwidth, ProtonVPN has a full unlimited premium service. Servers are located in 44 countries, and they all provide fast speeds for streaming and completing other data-intensive tasks.


ProtonVPN goes the extra mile to reassure users of its security and transparency – and that's what we like best about the service. It has invited auditors to comb through its no-logs policy and publicly published the reports, and it's an open source provider that makes its home in Switzerland. We like this, because it keeps ProtonVPN beyond the reach of the 14 Eyes Alliance and ensures that it can operate free of invasive data retention laws.


The software is available for all platforms and can be used on 5 devices simultaneously. The VPN is also fully-featured with a kill-switch, DNS leak protection, Tor through VPN, and a Secure Core network. When it comes to logs, Proton keeps no usage logs whatsoever, no IP logs, and the last login time is overwritten on each new connection. All of this makes Proton an excellent VPN for privacy, and truly one of the best no-logs providers on the market today.

Tested by Hannah Hart

Tested by Hannah Hart

VyprVPN is a zero-logs VPN service with an audit to prove it. If privacy is your #1 concern, you might like to know VyprVPN runs its own server network & offers unique Chameleon obfuscation technology.

  • Pricing

    • 36 months Olympics special: $1.39/mth
    • 36 months: $1.67/mth
    • 18 months: $2.5/mth
    • 2 months: $6.47/mth
  • Pros & Cons

    • Based in Switzerland - great for privacy!
    • Audited no-logs policy
    • P2P is supported
    • Obfuscation, kill switch, and DNS leak protection
    • VyprVPN owns its server network
    • Connection times can run slow
    • Fewer servers than other providers
    • Not accepting crypto payments at this time
  • IPv4/6 leak detected?

    • No
  • Independently audited?

    • Yes
  • Website tracking?

    • Yes

VYPR Demo

VYPR Demo
VYPR Demo


Previously, VyprVPN was based in the US, and well known for owning its own server network infrastructure, as well as its Chameleon stealth technology – a reportedly effective method of unblocking the internet in China.


There was a problem, however. VyprVPN kept quite detailed connection logs, and despite being a highly competitive service, it was difficult to recommend it because of this. Everything changed in 2018, however, when VyprVPN and its parent company, Golden Frog, physically relocated to Switzerland.


At the same time, VyprVPN went fully "no-logs". This would be good but fairly unremarkable in itself, as there are plenty of no-logs VPN services out there these days. What makes VyprVPN stand out is that it is one of the only VPN companies we know of to have its no-logs claims (not just its software) independently audited by a third party. 


You can check out Levitation's detailed VyprVPN No Log Assessment report for yourself, and VyprVPN says that it will commission more of these to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to keeping no logs. 


VyprVPN otherwise uses robust technical security and, because it wholly owns its entire network of servers, there is no need to worry about logs kept by third-party server centers.

Tested by Aaron Drapkin

Tested by Aaron Drapkin

Surfshark is a relative newcomer to the list, but this provider knows the value of a no-logs policy. What's more, this VPN is packed full of features that will help keep you secure online.

  • Pricing

    • 24 months: $2.49/mth
    • 6 months: $6.49/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros & Cons

    • Based in the British Virgin Islands beyond data retention laws
    • No-logs policy has been audited... twice!
    • Supports torrenting
    • Super speedy servers ideal for streaming
    • Unlimited simultaneous connections
    • Not quite as fast as ExpressVPN... but still quick
    • One-month subscription is rather expensive
    • Mac client lacks some features
  • IPv4/6 leak detected?

    • No
  • Independently audited?

    • Yes
  • Website tracking?

    • Yes

Surfshark Demo

Surfshark Demo
Surfshark Demo


Surfshark is a provider that has only been around for a few years. However, in that short amount of time, it has quickly risen to be a consumer favorite in the VPN world. This is due to the fact that this VPN is a superb all-rounder that caters to everybody’s needs.


The VPN provides a watertight no-logs privacy policy, and it implements robust OpenVPN encryption across all platforms. To ensure you never leak data to your ISP, this VPN has a kill-switch and DNS leak protection. And, thanks to its obfuscated servers, this VPN is well-suited for torrenting. Plus, Surfshark unblocks some of the most popular streaming services around the world, such as Netflix US and BBC iPlayer.


We know we can rely on Surfshark’s no-logs policy to keep all our online activity private, and we can confirm that the killswitch works like a charm because we put it through some rigorous testing and it passed with flying colors. During our tests, we found that the killswitch worked perfectly on all the devices we tested it on, both desktop and mobile. 


An incredible VPN that can be installed and used on an unlimited number of devices simultaneously. Well worth testing using its 30-day money-back guarantee.

Tested by Attila Tomaschek

Tested by Attila Tomaschek

Hide.me keeps zero-logs and is based in Malaysia with an advanced feature set, so you know you'll be in safe hands with this choice.

  • Pricing

    • 39 months: $2.43/mth
    • 24 months: $3.74/mth
    • 1 month: $12.95/mth
  • Pros & Cons

    • Audited and impressive no-logs policy
    • Good selection of features across platforms
    • 10 simultenaous connections
    • Can annonymously purchase a subscription
    • Supports torrenting
    • Lacks specialized servers
    • Premium plan is pretty expensive
    • Struggles to unblock streaming services
  • IPv4/6 leak detected?

    • No
  • Independently audited?

    • Yes
  • Website tracking?

    • Yes

Hide.me Demo

Hide.me Demo
Hide.me Demo


Hide.me is a VPN provider from Malaysia that is perfect for anybody who cares about privacy and security. The VPN has a lot of advanced features that ensure your data is always protected.


Hide.me won its place in this list thanks to a robust no-logs policy, and we particularly approve of the fact that the provider has commissioned independent security analysts to audit its logging policy. Being based in Malaysia means that Hide.me isn't required by law to store user logs, and there's no need to even hand over your email address when you sign up for a free plan.


And you know this VPN never stores any records of what its users do online thanks to the robust no-logs policy. Hide.me has apps for all platforms with a kill switch, DNS leak protection, obfuscation, and full IPv6 compatibility. Plus, Hide.me provides port forwarding for torrenting. Admittedly, though, Hide.me does not unblock some sought-after streaming services – such as iPlayer and Netflix US. That means that this a VPN that is primarily useful for privacy and security rather than for unblocking content.


That said, for those who need that added privacy, this is a service that comes heavily recommended. You can compare it against any other service yourself, thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee. 


 

Tested by Hannah Hart

Tested by Hannah Hart

StrongVPN is a service with a solid no-logging policy. It is based in the US, which may concern some, but with a strong emphasis on privacy, there are no alarm bells here for us.

  • Pricing

    • 12 months: $3.33/mth
    • 1 month: $10/mth
  • Pros & Cons

    • Strong no-logs policy
    • 12 simultaneous connections
    • Bitcoin payments accepted
    • Supports torrenting
    • Can unblock Netflix
    • Smaller pool of servers than other providers
    • Based in the US
    • Not the most feature-rich service
  • IPv4/6 leak detected?

    • No
  • Independently audited?

    • No
  • Website tracking?

    • Yes

StrongVPN Demo

StrongVPN Demo
StrongVPN Demo


StrongVPN is a secure VPN provider that implements a trustworthy no-logs policy. It has apps for all platforms that have the features you need to stay secure online. This includes a kill-switch and DNS leak protection.


With StrongVPN you'll also get access to a free Smart DNS service thrown in for free, which can help you unblock even more geo-restricted content from around the globe. We love that this VPN lets consumers run the software on up to 12 devices simultaneously, which makes it an ideal no-logs VPN for larger families or users with lots of devices.


And StrongVPN provides amazing speeds for downloading torrents or streaming in HD. Well worth testing using its 30-day money-back guarantee.


 

Tested by Attila Tomaschek

Tested by Attila Tomaschek

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What are VPN logs?

Simply put, VPN logs are a record of customers' activity while using a VPN service. But not all logs are necessarily bad, or harmful, to users, and the reality is that it's all but impossible for a VPN to keep no logs at all. Even the strictest no-logs providers need a way of knowing when customer subscriptions have expired and when they require renewal, for example.

We take a closer look at the different types of logs that  VPN service might keep, below. We'll also discuss whether these logs are normal and necessary to keep the service functioning, or if they are, in fact, a risk to a users' privacy.

Types of VPN logs

The kinds of logs that a VPN service can keep about its users' internet usage (not including customer account information) can be divided into two types of VPN logs: usage logs and connection logs.

Usage logs

Usage logs make up a record of the websites you visit, basically. ISPs frequently keep these sorts of records and are often even required by law to do so (though these requirements will usually come with a set time limit for how long the logs should be kept).

No VPN services openly admit to keeping usage logs, despite the fact that the claim sometimes contradicts the laws of the country in which they're based. For example...

In the UK

ISPs (and VPN providers, which is a good reason to avoid UK-based VPN services) are required by law to log this information and store it for 12 months in a way that is accessible to a wide range of government departments.

In the US

ISPs have successfully lobbied Congress to sell or share customers' detailed web browsing history to advertisers and partner companies.

Connection logs

Connection logs are also known as metadata logs, although the UK government abuses this term by classing web browsing history as "metadata".

A full set of connection logs includes the following information:

  • The IP address the connection was made from.
  • When the connection was started.
  • When the connection was finished (which together are often referred to as a timestamp).
  • How much bandwidth you used while connected.

Crucially, these logs do not include websites you connect to (unless you are the UK government). Though they provide more than enough information to risk compromising your privacy.

The danger connection logs pose should not be underestimated. Every known case where somebody was caught performing criminal activities while using a VPN to conceal the fact, was because of VPN providers analyzing its connections logs and handing over the results to the police.

Note: Unscrupulous VPN services can claim to be "no-logs" providers because they do not collect usage logs. However, they actually log a lot of connection information, and we consider these claims entirely misleading.

Real-time logs

It's important to understand that all networks generate logs in real-time as a necessary byproduct of their operation – VPNs included. However, these logs still exist even if they're instantly deleted (e.g. are sent directly to a /dev/null file).

This means they can always be monitored as they are created (i.e. in real-time). Even the strictest no-logs VPN service will monitor logs in real-time when network issues need to be resolved or abuse identified. 

Most "no-logs" VPNs keep these real-time logs for a short time, which is understandable since having some information about their own systems help VPN companies provide the services they provide.

We consider this to be perfectly acceptable within reason. If real-time logs are only kept for a few minutes or deleted the moment a session ends, then it only poses a negligible risk to a users' privacy, and shouldn't really be cause for concern.

Server Logs

Almost all VPN companies rent servers from third-party server providers. So, even if the VPN provider keeps no logs, it is likely that the server centers in which the VPN servers are located do. Unlike VPN companies, server centers have no obligation to protect users' privacy.

This isn't ideal, regardless of how you view the situation. A good VPN company that truly cares about the privacy of its users can still do a great deal to mitigate the problem, though.

Server logs are an issue that certainly needs consideration, but it's the logs that are kept (or that can be kept) by a VPN provider that pose the greatest privacy threat to its users. Therefore, the jurisdiction in which a VPN company is based can have a huge impact on its ability to protect your privacy.

Learn more about internet privacy

For more information on improving your online privacy, take a look at the following guides:

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What is a no-logs (zero-logs) VPN?

So, we've come to the burning question – and there's indeed a great deal of disagreement surrounding it! Can a VPN truly call itself no-logs if it deletes all logs a few minutes after a session ends? What about if it logs timestamps and bandwidth, but does not associate any of this data with users' IP addresses or account details? Do anonymized and aggregated usage statistics count as logs? These questions are by no means simple to answer but must be considered carefully when establishing what actually constitutes a genuine no-logs VPN service.

As far as ProPrivacy.com is concerned, a no-logs VPN is a VPN service that keeps no identifiable logs that can be used to tie a customer to their internet activity when using the VPN service. 

Similarly, if some logs are kept, but for so short a time that we can't really see how they could be used to compromise a user's privacy, then we are also happy to classify a VPN as "no-logs."

Why should I use a no-logs VPN?

Your internet provider (ISP) keeps detailed records of how you interact with its service. When you use a VPN, your internet provider is blocked from seeing the content of your data (because it is encrypted), and what you get up to on the internet (as this is shielded by the VPN server, which acts as a proxy).

Your VPN provider, however, can now see this information instead. This includes the IP addresses of individual web pages and even the contents of your data on sites that are not protected by HTTPS

Unlike ISPs, which are often required to hand over their logs to the government, almost every VPN service promises to protect your privacy, at least to some extent. But only a no-logs VPN can really be trusted to keep such a promise when push comes to shove, simply because it cannot hand over information that it plainly doesn't have…

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Will a VPN that keeps no-logs make me anonymous?

No. A VPN provides its users with privacy, not anonymity. This is a crucial distinction that needs to be made, and it's actually a common misconception that VPNs offer anonymity. That's not what they're actually providing. No matter its usual logging policy, a VPN can start logging at any time and begin matching users with their internet activity. Unfortunately, many VPN services are not always entirely honest about the logs they keep when it comes to historical data, too.

A good VPN will provide a high level of privacy and protection against a wealth of blanket internet surveillance with the least impact on your own personal experience. A VPN will also keep you out of trouble when torrenting, but you should not rely on them to protect you if you commit a serious crime.

Journalists, political dissidents, whistleblowers, and those whose life or liberty relies on true anonymity should use Tor instead.

Logging can always be turned on

A VPN provider may be forced to begin keeping real-time logs, instead of discarding them, no matter how fanatical it is about privacy. And if put under enough pressure, it will. Nobody working for a VPN provider will want to risk going to jail just to protect your criminal activities, after all!

So why all the fuss about using a no-logs VPN?

Generally speaking, a VPN's no-logs policy is more concerned with professionalism than an absolute guarantee that you'll never get into trouble.

If a VPN service has promised to improve its users' privacy, then it should be designed from the ground up to do just that. Keeping no logs that can compromise users' privacy is one of the most basic building blocks of any such design.

Logs are the antithesis of privacy. A VPN that keeps logs has no business claiming it can protect your privacy when using the service.

How to be sure your VPN doesn't keep logs

At the present time, we simply have to take providers at their word or pay attention to the increasing number of independent audits that set out to test this. Here at ProPrivacy.com, we hope such audits become common throughout the industry as they have the potential to establish a level of transparency that frankly does not exist today.

Always read the VPN's Terms of Service and Privacy Policies

Checking the ToS and Privacy Policies of any VPN you consider using is an important step. A lot of VPNs will be happy to make bold and generalized "no-logs" claims on their home page, but will be quick to qualify these claims in the small print.

Take a look at our full VPN reviews, in which our experts review each VPN providers' ToS and Privacy Policies so you don't have to!

Warrant Canaries

Warrants and court orders requiring companies to hand over customer details are usually accompanied by gag orders, which prevent the company from alerting its customers that something is amiss.

In order to reassure customers that something like this has not happened to them, some VPNs operate warrant canaries. For a detailed discussion on what these are and whether they are effective, please see Are Warrant Canaries Useful?

Are there free no-logs VPNs?

You'll find a lot of zero-logs VPNs offering a free option. Be wary, though. These services often come with limitations that their premium counterparts lack. Expect sluggish speeds and a reduced selection of servers. Unfortunately, this means unblocking videos abroad, torrenting and online gaming is off the table.

However, if you are just after a VPN to keep you secure while browsing the web, then a free VPN might be the answer.

The best free no-logs VPNs

Below we have listed some free VPN services that we know don't keep any logs. But, if you decide to pick another free service, we recommend you exercise extreme caution. Many free services claim to be secure, but they are often anything but.

ProtonVPN

protonvpn on all devices

ProtonVPN is a no-logs VPN from the makers of ProtonMail, so the company has pedigree when it comes to privacy. The company is based in Switzerland and it operates a fast service with servers located all around the globe. Although, on the free plan you may find speeds become restricted at peak times.

To learn more, check out our ProtonVPN review.

Try ProtonVPNs free plan >>

Hide.me

hide.me vpn client

Hide.me is a Malaysian-based zero-logs VPN provider that offers feature-rich apps for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS. So, it's the perfect pick if you want to protect several devices at once. On the free plan, you get a 10GB allowance each month and the choice of 5 free servers.

To learn more, check out our Hide.me review.

Try Hide.me free plan >>

Windscribe

windscribe vpn

Windscribe is a Canadian provider with easy-to-use apps for all major platforms, including a browser extension for Chrome, making everyday browsing a real breeze. On the free plan, you get a 10GB monthly data allowance and 11 free servers.

To learn more, check out our Windscribe review.

Try Windscribe free plan >>

No log VPN overview

There are no guarantees, but you can generally assume that a no-logs VPN cares a great deal more about your privacy than a provider that does keep logs. No-logs VPNs will go the extra mile to protect your privacy – which is more than can be said for your ISP – and most will go even further in this regard than necessary.

A key part of which, when it comes to VPNs, is keeping no logs that can compromise its users' privacy. If you need a very high level of anonymity, then use Tor, but the rest of us are spoiled for a choice when it comes to great no-logs VPN services...

Conclusion

Now that you are armed with all the information you need about VPN logs, and which providers promise not to keep any, let's review our top picks:

  1. IPVanish - This US- based VPN has a watertight zero-logging policy. To make the service more secure, it's also loaded with superb privacy features.
  2. ExpressVPN - This top-tier provider takes security seriously, combining zero-logs, strong encryption, & privacy features.
  3. NordVPN - is a great no logs VPN that is cocked full of security features
  4. Private Internet Access - One of the most secure no logs VPNs on our list. PIA has proven its zero-logs claim in court, repeatedly!
  5. CyberGhost VPN - A no-logs VPN that is really easy to use. It offers great mobile apps that provide the same great protection for Android and iOS.

FAQs

Written by: Ray Walsh

Digital privacy expert with 5 years experience testing and reviewing VPNs. He's been quoted in The Express, The Times, The Washington Post, The Register, CNET & many more. 

23 Comments

AYYASH
on September 28, 2019
Reply
Hi AYYASH. All the VPNs on this list are good for privacy. ProtonVPN runs an excellent free tier and the per-month pricing for Pro plans is probably the most competitive here. If you are willing to buy longer-term plans, however, then NordVPN, CyberGhost and PrivateVPN can work out v ery cheap.
Hi
on October 11, 2018
Reply
Why is mullvad not on this list?
https://cdn.proprivacy.com/storage/images/proprivacy/02/member-dougjpg-avatar-image-default-1png-avatar-image-default-minpng-avatar_image-small.png
Douglas Crawford replied to Hi
on September 20, 2019
Reply
Only because we can only put 5 services on this list. Mullvad is also a very good no-logs VPN.
Yoshi
on July 30, 2018
Reply
Many thanks for the great in-depth articles you write here, Douglas. What one could notice in addition is that depending on the personal level of paranoia, it is of course very well possible to cascade VPNs as well similar to the nice layers of the famous onion, only still way faster. When in doubt, there is also still the good old school method of sitting in a phone booth with an acoustic coupler at hand (every good household should have one) in the best cheesy but cult 90s movie "Hackers" - style. "Grand Central Station" it is. ;) https://youtu.be/s-eZSIn9kHA
Robin
on May 1, 2018
Reply
NordVPN not on your list?
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