One of the most important reasons to use a trustworthy VPN is to protect your online privacy from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), government, and other snoopers. But how do you know your VPN isn’t also collecting your data and selling it on? A zero-log VPN is the answer – such providers swear on their reputation that they do not collect and/or sell any identifiable user data.
However, there is no way for a mere user to verify the truthfulness of no-logs claims. So, if a provider wants to keep the user’s trust, an independent audit of its zero-logs policy is the way to go. But there still is one thing to keep in mind – there is no VPN service that doesn’t keep any logs. All providers have to keep track of some data to make sure their service is running smoothly.
So with this information in mind, we read through numerous anonymous VPNs’ zero-logs policies, tested their legitimacy, and picked out the best no-log VPNs in 2023. Read on and find out everything you need to know about your favorite VPN for privacy.
Best no-log VPNs for privacy
- NordVPN – best audited no-logs VPN in 2023
- Surfshark – VPN with amazing speeds and no logs
- Norton VPN – secure no-logs VPN service
- Atlas VPN – audited no-logs VPN for privacy protection
- ExpressVPN – a VPN for fast torrenting
Why should I use a no-log VPN?
A no-log VPN is vital if you care about privacy because it means that no one, not even your VPN provider, can access any of your online activity.
Here are some of the main reasons why that is so important:
- Hide your activity from your ISP. Internet service providers often collect information about your online activities and store this data for a set period of time. Your ISP may be also obliged to share that information with law enforcement or intelligence agencies. If you use a no-logs VPN, however, you can avoid this completely, because it will encrypt your traffic and leave your data alone.
- Avoid targeted ads. In some countries, including the US, your ISP is legally allowed to sell your data to third parties, such as advertisers. This increases targeted advertising, which a VPN can help avoid by making it impossible for your ISP to collect your data.
- Increase your online security. A no-logs VPN will not only hide your online activities from your ISP and other interested parties, but also protect you against cyberthreats such as DDoS and Man-in-the-middle attacks. Some VPNs even include safe browsing features that block malicious websites and ads.
Best no-log VPNs – our detailed list:
We have researched a lot of VPNs and have pulled together a list of VPN providers that operate zero-logs policies. Other testing criteria included independent audits, leak protection, jurisdiction, RAM-only servers, and more – read all about it below.
Meanwhile, here are the best no-log VPNs in detail:
1. NordVPN – overall best no-log VPN in 2023
|Servers/countries:||5,800+ servers in 60 countries|
|Independently audited:||Yes, three times|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get NordVPN with 68% OFF + 3 months FREE! 🔥|
Whatever your requirements for a VPN, NordVPN has it all: it is fast, reliable, and quite possibly the most anonymous VPN we have ever tested.
NordVPN operates a strict zero-logs policy that has been independently audited twice by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the first time in 2018 and then again in 2020. Both times when their logging policy was audited, their privacy claims were confirmed as valid. Few VPN services can boast of something similar!
Better still, NordVPN is legally based in Panama, which is a very privacy-friendly country and doesn’t have any data retention laws.
NordVPN’s no-logs policy explicitly guarantees that its services do not monitor, record, log, store, or pass on any information related to the user's internet activity. This means that they don’t keep bandwidth data, traffic logs, IP addresses, or browsing info.
In addition, NordVPN had an independent audit for their app security in 2019. It was performed by a cybersecurity consulting agency VerSprite. Various penetration tests were performed on the apps and infrastructure. The report ended up finding a few bugs that were patched quickly, and now NordVPN offers bug bounties.
You can get NordVPN starting from $3.19/month for 6 simultaneous connections. Also, each subscription includes a 30-day money-back guarantee so that you could try it risk-free first.
Find out more about this provider in our detailed NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark – top VPN with no logs and amazing speeds
|Based in:||The Netherlands|
|Servers/countries:||3,200+ servers in 100 countries|
|Independently audited:||Yes (two security audits and one privacy audit)|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get 85% OFF Surfshark + 2 months FREE 🔥|
The first audit was performed in 2018. The focus was on the Chrome and Firefox browser extensions. The Surfshark browser extensions were deemed extremely secure. The second audit was in 2021, this one was about overall security and server infrastructure. Just like before, the results proved that this is one of the safest VPNs. The logging policy was audited in 2023, proving that the service doesn't keep any logs related to you or your online activities.
According to our research, Surfshark neither collects users’ visited IP addresses, browsing history, session-related information, nor the used bandwidth or network traffic. It only stores the users’ ID and time stamp of connection but the data is deleted within 15 minutes thanks to its RAM-only servers.
Additionally, this VPN includes other privacy-enhancing features, such as DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leak protection. It ensures that the chances of outsiders getting their hands on your data would be close to zero. More so, there's the Alternative ID feature, which allows you to create fake online identities and email addresses, so you'd not need to use your real information when creating new accounts.
Also, Surfshark uses AES-256 and ChaCha20 encryption along the most modern and secure tunneling protocol, WireGuard, which showed blazing-fast speeds during our tests.
The subscription prices start from only $2.30/month for unlimited simultaneous connections. You can also pay with cryptocurrencies to remain anonymous and use it on all popular platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Fire TV.
Learn more about this provider in our full Surfshark VPN review.
3. Norton Secure VPN – secure no-logs VPN with antivirus protection
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||1,000+ servers in 29 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get up to 56% OFF Norton VPN! 🔥|
Norton Secure VPN is a sure-fire choice if you’re looking for a no-logs VPN with additional layers of security measures like antivirus, an ad blocker, or Wi-Fi security.
This VPN provider implements powerful AES-256 encryption and has a strict no-logs policy. This policy ensures none of your personal information nor online activities are collected or compromised in any way. It does, however, obtain subscriber information for communication Another thing we found out while testing, Norton VPN’s no-logs policy hasn’t been independently audited.
It’s also important to note that Norton VPN is registered in the United States, which belongs to the 14-Eyes surveillance alliance. Even though the US isn’t considered to be the most privacy-friendly jurisdiction, this VPN ensures that none of your sensitive personal data would be accessible to any third parties.
Next to the no-logs policy, Norton Secure VPN gives you access to an ad blocker, which blocks various ads and trackers that maintain malicious content. During our in-house tests, it managed to remove 86% of all sorts of ads, which is a great result. There’s also a Wi-Fi security feature that allows you to stay protected when your device connects to an unprotected network, such as public Wi-Fi.
You can get more security features like antivirus if you decide to purchase Norton VPN together with its antivirus suite. You can subscribe to a VPN subscription plan for $1.67/month and get 10 simultaneous connections.
Check our in-depth Norton Secure VPN review for more information.
4. Atlas VPN – VPN with an audited iOS privacy protection
|Based in:||United States|
|Servers/countries:||1,000+ servers in 42 countries|
|Independently audited:||Yes (Windows and iOS apps)|
|Current deal:||🔥 Get Atlas VPN, now 85% OFF + 3 months FREE! 🔥|
While Atlas VPN is not based in an ideal location (United States), it still ensures a strict no-logs policy. Also, its iOS client was independently audited for the first time in 2021 by VerSprite. The Application Penetration Test showed medium-to-low risk issues that couldn’t be used to compromise users’ privacy.
Furthermore, Atlas VPNs no-logs policy states that they do not collect any user-identifiable information that relates to the usage of the app. The only personal information they keep for some time is the signup data, which includes name, email, and payment methods.
Other data that they log relate to the app’s functionality – basic usage data, model of the device, and the OS used. They also note that they comply with the US data disclosure laws, but as they don’t log any identifiable or possibly incriminating information, this isn’t concerning.
One downside of Atlas VPN is that it doesn’t seem to have RAM-only servers. That means they are using typical servers that are less secure than the RAM-only ones.
As for security, Atlas VPN uses AES-256 encryption, and has a SafeSwap, which is an IP rotator. Other features include a reliable kill switch, SafeBrowse for blocking ads and suspicious websites, and data breach monitoring.
You can purchase Atlas VPN subscription starting at $1.82/month with a 30-day money-back guarantee and get unlimited simultaneous connections. There’s an option to pay with crypto as well, including BTC, LTC, ETH, and others.
For more details, read our Atlas VPN review.
5. ExpressVPN – swift VPN to use for torrenting
|Based in:||British Virgin Islands|
|Servers/countries:||3,000+ servers in 94 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥Get ExpressVPN, now 49% OFF the 1-year plan!🔥|
ExpressVPN is yet another excellent VPN that will keep you private while surfing the web. It’s based in the British Virgin Islands, as there are no data retention laws there. The only thing that raises some concerns is that this service is owned by Kape Technologies, which has a bit of a shady past.
Nevertheless, you can count on ExpressVPN as it has an independently-audited no-logs policy. And unlike other VPNs, this service also has a bug bounty program. This allows independent testers to catch a bug or a vulnerability that in-house developers might’ve missed.
On top of that, TrustedServer technology makes it impossible to keep data logs because the servers are running only on RAM. That means that the information is purged the moment it’s not in use. As for security, ExpressVPN uses AES-265 encryption, a solid kill switch, and IP & DNS leak protection. Plus, there is a Threat Manager that protects you against malicious ads and trackers.
You can get an ExpressVPN subscription for $6.67/month. Plus, to further boost your anonymity, you can pay in cryptocurrencies. Not to mention, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee to protect your plan.
Read our ExpressVPN review for more information.
6. CyberGhost – torrenting VPN packed with features
|Servers/countries:||9,600+ servers in 91 countries|
|Current deal:||🔥Get CyberGhost VPN, now 84% OFF + 3 months FREE🔥|
The following anonymous VPN on our list is CyberGhost. It’s a great beginner-friendly service that will secure your data and ensure your confidentiality online. It’s based in privacy-friendly Romania, which is outside the Fourteen Eyes jurisdiction.
Furthermore, to show that they mean business, Cyberghost has been independently audited by Deloitte and proved that they have a strict zero-logs policy. Also, every quarter the provider releases transparency reports. Moreover, CyberGhost has specialized NoSpy servers that are fully managed by the company. That means that no third party can tamper with them and get your info.
Also, let’s not forget about important security features, such as AES-256 encryption, IP & DNS leak protection, and a rock-solid kill switch. More so, you can always pay in crypto to keep your personal info safe.
So, snatch a CyberGhost plan for $2.11/month. You’ll get 7 simultaneous connections and a whopping 45-day money-back guarantee. Alternatively, you can always try this service with a free trial version.
For more information, read our CyberGhost review.
How we tested these anonymous VPNs
When choosing our list of the best anonymous VPNs, we considered the following criteria:
- No-logs policy. This may sound obvious, but a strict no-logs policy is vital, as it means your VPN provider is not storing any of your data, so there is no way it can be sold on to a third party.
- Independent audits. Any no-logs and no-tracking policy remains just a claim until it’s been confirmed by independent, third-party audits.
- Leak protection. A VPN must not leak your IP or DNS addresses, because if it did, your ISP would be able to see your online activities regardless of whether you are connected to a VPN or not.
- Data required for operations. VPNs still sometimes collect data required for app performance assessment, and this data can include temporary timestamps, server performance, device info, etc.
- RAM-only servers. All data retained on RAM-only servers gets wiped from them with each restart, so having such servers help no-log VPNs further ensure their zero-logs policies.
- Speed. If you want to use your VPN regularly, you will need it to be fast, particularly if you're using it to stream region-restricted content or torrent. So we only chose speedy VPNs using our VPN speed test tool.
- Customer support. Just in case anything goes wrong or you need some extra help, it is crucial to choose a VPN that has good customer support.
- Price. We have also looked at value for money and included a range of VPNs that cater to different budgets.
What is a zero-logs VPN?
A zero-logs VPN is a VPN service that doesn’t store data about users’ online activities or connections. This means that it won’t save any information about what you do online, including your personal details, payment information, and search history. Therefore, you can retain complete anonymity. Even your VPN provider won’t be able to see what you are doing.
Unfortunately, however, most VPN providers do log at least some user data, and some may also give or sell your information to third parties. These parties may include advertisers, the government, or your ISP. So to keep your privacy and anonymity, it is vital to choose a VPN that operates a strict zero-logs policy.
Types of VPN logs
VPNs can keep different types of data logs. Here, are a few of the relevant terms and what they mean:
- Online activity logs are exactly what the name suggests: this is when a VPN stores information about what you are doing online. Sometimes they are also called usage logs. If your VPN provider connects online activity logs, that means it knows what websites you're visiting, what online services you're using, etc.
- Connection logs are the most common form of data logs kept by VPNs. This means that it can keep information related to your VPN session. This can include your IP address, the IP assigned to you by the VPN server, usage timestamps (how long your online session lasted), which protocol you used, and how much VPN data you used. Unfortunately, even some VPNs that claim to be completely anonymous keep connection logs.
- Personally-identifiable logs are personal information that can identify you. This can include your email addresses, bank details, clear text passwords, date of birth, home address, IP addresses, phone models, device ID, and other sensitive data. Typically, these are not collected through the VPN service, but rather through the website and other means. Many VPNs will give you the choice of whether you want to divulge personally identifiable information (e.g., by offering anonymous payment methods).
Logging policies with VPN services
VPN logging policies are usually vague on purpose. They either do not name the full extent of data that is being collected or don’t specify what type of user data is noted.
While some data logs are harmless, like how the servers you’ve connected to perform, extensive data logging is dangerous since it connects with the VPN provider's jurisdiction of operation.
Jurisdiction plays an important role in determining whether a VPN is truly a no-log or not. If the provider is based in the 5-Eyes Intelligence Alliance, then the government can request user data from the providers legally.
In addition, especially in the US, while the government legally cannot spy or log information on their people, they can request other alliance member countries for that information. And if your VPN is based in one of those countries and is logging data about your activity only, your information becomes readily accessible.
Which free VPNs do not keep logs?
Unfortunately, most free VPNs make their money by logging data about your online activity, including traffic logs and connection timestamps, and selling it to advertisers. So you would be very unlikely to find a completely free VPN that is actually anonymous.
Aside from this, free VPNs generally deliver slow speeds and are usually blocked by international streaming services. This means you wouldn’t be able to use it to access foreign versions of Netflix or Amazon Prime Video or to unblock geo-blocked apps, such as BBC iPlayer, Hulu, or HBO Max.
However, if you want to get top-quality and free VPN services that wouldn’t compromise your privacy, we recommend using the free trial or 30-day money-back guarantee options of premium VPNs.
VPNs that have been caught logging user data
Unfortunately, even when the VPN provider notes that they won’t log any data about their users, it’s not always factual. Here are the providers and cases when the VPN companies were caught secretly collecting information:
- PureVPN – back in 2017, this British Virgin Islands based VPN provider was caught logging their user data and selling it to the FBI. However, ever since that event, PureVPN has updated their ToS terms and their no-logs policy to clear up any misconceptions about the company’s involvement in the case.
- IPVanish – based in the United States, back in 2017 this VPN provider was also caught providing user data to the authorities who were investigating a serious crime. Ever since this reveal, IPVanish had undergone an independent no-logs policy audit that confirmed that this provider doesn’t collect or store their user’s data logs.
A VPN is an excellent tool to help you protect your private information from ISP tracking, hackers, and other adversaries. However, it’s equally important to make sure the VPN itself won't monitor your activities. That’s where the no-logs policy comes into play.
Best anonymous VPNs have strict no-logs policies that ensure your personally identifiable information is inaccessible to anyone, including the provider itself. On top of that, these policies are examined by external auditors for compliance so that you could be sure about their legitimacy.
According to our research and testing, NordVPN is the best no-log VPN on the market. It has a zero-logs policy that’s been independently audited twice, as well as numerous security and privacy features to help you stay anonymous online. So, this is truly the most private VPN on the market right now.
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How are no-log VPNs legal?
In most countries, it is completely legal to use a VPN. And a no-logs VPN is legal because a VPN provider is not required to keep any records of your online activity.
Are no-log VPNs safe?
Yes, VPNs that use a strict no-logs policy are very safe to use because they do not store any of your data. This means that no one can view any of your online activities. So, your sensitive data, including your personal information, banking details, and search history, are completely safe from prying eyes.
Which VPNs do not keep logs?
NordVPN is overall the best VPN that doesn’t keep logs. It has been independently audited twice and confirmed to comply with the no-logs policy by PwC. Other VPNs on our list are also great options for protecting your data and remaining anonymous.
Why do VPN services keep logs?
Reliable VPNs keep certain data to process payments and ensure quality services. However, it only includes necessary information and can’t be used to identify a person. Unreliable VPNs, on the other hand, collect all types of data and might share it with third parties for financial benefits.
Are VPNs required to keep logs?
No, there aren’t any requirements for VPNs to keep logs of data that could identify a user. However, depending on the laws of the country a VPN is based in, it may be legally obliged to provide the government any data they have. But if a VPN doesn’t keep any logs, then there is no data to give.
Does ExpressVPN log user data?
ExpressVPN's ToS states that they don’t log any information and it has been proven by an independent audit, however, the company’s ownership raises concerns over data security. ExpressVPN is owned by Kape Technologies, which has an alleged history of malware distribution.