Virtual Private Networks come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, the market is now brimming with all types of VPN services. The most obvious distinction that can be made here is between Paid and Free VPN. Now, there is no doubt that when it comes to VPN that paid ones are definitely better. This is particularly obvious when we consider international surveillance pacts like the 5/9/14 Eyes. Let us look at how these accords compromise your online security.
The 2019 List of the Most Transparent VPNs on the Market
What Are the 5/9/14 Eyes?
The 5/9/14 Eyes are countries which have agreed to conduct extensive surveillance of civilians. Any VPN service provider hosting its services in the territory of these nations is liable for compromise.
We know that VPNs in these countries can be compromised through Snowden. The case showed that weaker encryptions like PPTP and others can be breached by the NSA with some effort. This case also showed the level to which government agencies can compromise private servers. From handing over encryption keys to shutting down entire servers, their potential privacy breaches are startling.
Because VPN users can be prone to such data compromises, it is critical to choose the right service provider. The matter boils down to privacy policies and how VPN services are provided. Here are some VPNs which are showing the way to the best privacy policies and practices.
Top VPNs With Transparent Policies and Activities
On top, ExpressVPN has a very robust no-logs policy. This claim was famously put to the test in 2017 during a run-in with Turkish government agencies. Even when the company was forced to hand over servers, the authorities did not find anything. The company didn’t keep user logs.
ExpressVPN is also a cutting-edge services provider. It is one of the few to accept crypto-payments. It also offers additional options like Killswitch, DNS leak prevention, split tunneling etc. Given the popularity of the service, there is no doubt it will keep introducing privacy-centric features.
This combination of favorable legal position and proven record for user privacy make ExpressVPN a great choice. We greatly recommend ExpesVPN over others.
If you have some idea of the global VPN market, you probably know about NordVPN already. This VPN giant has made its name in the market by adopting the most user-friendly services in its domain. The company is based in Panama and so, it has no obligation towards any major surveillance agency or government.
If you read through the privacy statement of the company, it clearly states its log policy. This policy shows the service is committed to maintaining user privacy. NordVPN is also well-known for its many user-friendly features like server optimization, OpenVPN support, and the all-important killswitch. You also get other options which can enhance your privacy. Things like Double VPN layering and dedicated IP are all you need to keep yourself anonymized to the fullest.
Now, since the company needs to have a minimal record to avoid fraud, it does retain basic billing info. However, users who are concerned about this can simply pay for their services through cryptocurrencies. This is a sure way to leave no virtual trace and keep your identity protected all throughout.
With such a range of benefits and guaranteed privacy features, NordVPN is a name to bank on. This reserves it the right to have its place in the most transparent VPN companies in the world.
ProtonVPN is probably one of the most internationally recognized VPN service providers in the market. Logging is the main practice by which governments and agencies are able to track user activity. To avoid this, ProtonVPN only keeps timestamps for login and logouts. This means that no agency or government will be able to log any other details about the user. Naturally, ProtonVPN is one of the most trustworthy VPN services in the market.
On the other hand, Switzerland has been moving towards some dubious surveillance legal changes. However, ProtonVPN is not a telecom provider and so, the company’s director declared its services will not be impacted. So, for all ProtonVPN users, this is a positive development. They can bank on the company to keep them safe.
When it comes to VPN companies with clean sheets in transparency, CyberGhost is a perfect example. The company has its offices in Romania. This country did not accede to the EU’s 2012 data retention law changes, so we know it cares about online privacy.
There is one consideration with CyberGhost as is saves some basic user info with billing. This is done to prevent fraudulent activities. However, this data is always stored anonymously. So, there is no way to correlate the stored information with any user.
All of these features and factors make CyberGhost a great choice for individuals and professionals big on anonymity.
Which VPN Should You Choose?
It goes without saying that choosing any one of the above VPN will suffice for general use. However, if you have specific needs or need to avoid the right “eyes”, then you need some research. Different VPNs will be able to offer different services and will have different liabilities as well.
As a start, it would be best to go and have a look at their privacy policies. If you think it meets your purposes, then go for it. There are also additional things you can do to prevent any kind of tracking of your online activities. VPN forums are a good place to find these out or trusted privacy publications.
Choose the right VPN service to stay anonymous online!