Should You Trust the No-Logs Policy of Your VPN Provider?
If your VPN provider keeps logs of your activities, it beats the entire purpose of using a VPN in the first place. You might want to hide your information from your ISP but there’s no point if it gets monitored by the VPN provider.
Besides, the information on VPN servers can also land in the wrong hands. It can go to hackers or even the government. A no-logs policy means that the VPN doesn’t keep your usage logs and it’s always desirable.
Let’s say a VPN provider keeps your usage logs. Now if the government approaches them with a warrant, they’ll have to hand over all the details according to the law. So your data will be given to the government authorities.
However, if the VPN doesn’t keep any user logs in the first place, they won’t have anything to hand over to the government even if they get a warrant. This will keep your data private and protected.
Why Keep Logs?
It would be great if VPNs didn’t keep logs at all. However, some VPNs keep statistical usage logs such as the time stamps to monitor their own performance.
There are many reasons to keep logs. For example, if the VPN keeps a usage cap per user, they’ll need to monitor the bandwidth you consume.
And then there are some VPNs that keep complete usage logs including all the websites visited by you. That’s where the problem lies.
Top VPN companies don’t generally do that. Such practices are done mostly by free VPNs. As they say, if you don’t pay for a product, you’re the product. Free VPNs generally keep your details and sell them to other parties for a profit.
The Five-eye Countries
When you look for their logging policy, also consider the place where the VPN is based. The Five Eye is an alliance of countries that share signals intelligence among each other. The Five Eye countries are USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
If a VPN is headquartered in one of these countries, it has to obey the local laws. And the local laws can force the VPN company to hand over the data of a specific user or all users.
Under these circumstances, it becomes highly important that the VPN you select is not headquartered in the Five Eyes. If a VPN is in one of the Five Eye countries and keeps your logs, you can guarantee that your data is unsafe. Such a VPN cannot promise the anonymity you expect from any typical VPN service.
Is a No-logs Policy Important?
Definitely! If a VPN promises that it doesn’t store usage logs, you can rest assured that your data will not be handed over to the government. That is if you trust the provider. Since there is no other option than to trust the provider, a no-logs policy is the only line of defense you have against spying.
There are several VPN companies that take your privacy seriously. Not everyone is out there to get your information. This should be a relief factor. There are many companies that want to work ethically by not recording user data.
Is It Possible not to Log Anything?
Technically, no. it’s impossible to keep no logs at all because some logs are required for maintenance. However, it’s possible to log only non-identifiable information.
If a VPN is reliable and promises that they don’t store any logs, it means they don’t keep any connection or traffic logs. This means user anonymity is maintained.
However, it depends on the level of reliability of the VPN provider. Can you trust your VPN provider?
What Are Warrant canaries?
When you look for VPNs, you might find that some of them have “warrant canaries” on their websites. A warrant canary is a declaration that the VPN company has never been approached by the government with a warrant to hand over their user data.
While a warrant canary doesn’t necessarily mean that the VPN will not hand over the data once it’s approached, it does mean that the company has never received any warrants. This might put your mind at ease while subscribing to it.
So, Should I trust a No-logs Policy?
It depends on your VPN provider. If your VPN provider is reliable, you can safely trust them. How to know they are reliable? Look for some reviews. If a large number of people like their services, there are chances that it’s a reliable company.
There have been stories of VPN companies sharing user data with the government despite having a no-logs policy. However, not all VPN companies do that. To begin with, try getting a company that’s not located in the Five Eye spy countries.
If the company is outside the Five Eyes jurisdiction, your data will be safe from the government even if you think that the company may have logs.
When it comes to logging policies, it’s ultimately the company’s word. You need to decide whether the company is reliable enough to garner your trust.