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No-Log VPN: Why it’s important?

In the interconnected world of  technology and connectivity, the internet plays a pivotal role in facilitating our online experiences. However, the convenience of being connected comes with a trade-off— third party entities like ISP or hackers have the capability to track our online activities. One of the ways to address this problem is by using a VPN, which will encrypt the data while navigating on the Internet. But there is another thing users should be concerned about: The no-log vpn policy.

WHAT IS A NO-LOG VPN POLICY?

The no-log policy means that the VPN provider does not log or store information about your online activity like:

  • Your IP Address
  • The websites you visited
  • Your downloaded files
  • Your devices
  • Connection time, duration, and data transfer rate during a VPN session
  • Timestamps (It indicates the time when specific online activities occurred)

But one question arises: Do all the VPN companies apply the no-log policy?

Not at all.

Let’s understand why.

WHAT COMPANIES LIE ABOUT THE NO-LOG POLICY

Let’s take the example of PIA VPN, whose headquarters are located in the USA. They claim they don’t log any kind of user data and do everything to make users feel comfortable with their privacy.

But pay attention to the PIA VPN location.

Where are they based on? 

In a country that belongs to the 14 Eyes alliance.

The 14 Eyes alliance is an intelligence network established between the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and Norway, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain, and Sweden,  where the state agencies are monitoring everything that you are doing online and sharing your privacy with their members. Which means, VPN providers based on those locations are obligated to log your data anyway. 

That’s one thing companies lie about.

Another thing is how the free VPNs services work. They offer the same features as the paid one does. All that stuff (no-logs, bypass geolocation,etc…). But the most concerning thing users are not aware about: How does those services (or companies) pay to keep their servers working if they don’t charge consumers?

One way that companies like Hotspot Shield does is make users opt to sale of their personal information, but they are not clear for:

  • Who are they selling the information to?
  • What kind of personal information is sold?

They may sell browser history information to advertisement companies or any third party. It’s unknown. But what is completely clear is that Hotspot Shield: 

  • May profit from selling user information (even without user consent)
  • Logs any kind of consumer  online activity.

That’s one of the shady things those companies do.

Some companies behave in this way because most users are not able to acknowledge whether their data is encrypted or not. They cannot see what is happening during the encryption process of a connection to a VPN server. That one thing is hidden from users. And some services or companies take advantage of it.

HOW TO CHECK IF THE NO-LOG VPN POLICY IS LEGIT 

Whenever you try to use a VPN, go to check how the no-log of a VPN provider works. Things to verify includes:

  • Headquarters location: Try to not use a VPN of countries that make alliances with the Fourteen Eyes. Because if the government authorities of those places issue an order requesting access to user data, the VPN provider must comply with it. Try to use services like FastestVPN, which is located in the Cayman Islands. This place have no data retention mandatory laws.
  • Log Retention policy: Before purchasing a VPN service, go and read Terms of Service or the Privacy Policy. It shows what kind of information is going to be logged. Try to choose a service that stores as minimum data as possible.  Ex: There are two services that provide VPN: service A and service B. Service A has a policy that stores: Name, email and payment method. But service B just stores the email, which one is safe? Service B. The less information stored, the better.
  • Available free plan:  Be careful when a VPN provider offers its services for free. As mentioned above, they need a budget to keep their servers running and to do so they may sell your personal information to third parties. 
  • Ad Blocker:  It’s a feature responsible for neutralizing ads on your web browser. Go for a VPN that offers this feature because it’s a good signal that your data won’t be sold to marketing companies.

SUMMARY

If you are planning to use a VPN, take a look at what kind of information they store, where they are located and check whether their no-vpn log policy is legit. If you consider those things, there is a higher chance that your information won’t get leaked.

If you want to protect yourself online, but don’t know how, check the message below.