When a VPN provider claims to have a “no-logs policy,” it means that they do not store or track users’ online activity and data. This includes sensitive information such as browsing history, IP addresses, and downloaded files. VPNs are primarily used to secure online traffic and maintain user anonymity, whether to avoid targeted ads, hide location, or protect personal data. While many VPN providers advertise a no-logs policy, not all of them actually follow through. Some providers lack independent security audits to verify their claims, and some have been caught logging data despite their promises. This article will explore VPNs that genuinely help users browse anonymously and conduct third-party audits to ensure they do not log user data.
Anonymous (No-Log) VPNs Compared:
Below are key features to consider when looking for an anonymous, no-log VPN. These differences highlight how each VPN can best fulfill users’ needs while providing high-quality security.
Servers and Countries
Most Recent Security Audit
NordVPN: Best for all-around security
NordVPN is a top VPN that offers a comprehensive suite of privacy and security-focused features. It includes double VPN capabilities, obfuscated servers, strong AES-256 encryption, and built-in protection against malware and ads. NordVPN’s no-logs policy was last confirmed by Deloitte in January 2023, and its architecture and mobile app security were audited and backed by Cure53 in February 2023.
Mullvad VPN: Best for overall privacy
Mullvad VPN is highly regarded for its emphasis on anonymity and privacy. It uses an anonymous account number system that eliminates the need for users to share personal email addresses. Users can pay for the service with cash or physical vouchers, avoiding the need for credit card or PayPal payments. Mullvad’s no-logs policy was confirmed by Assured AB in June 2022, with its most recent infrastructure audit by Radically Open Security published in August 2023.
ExpressVPN: Best for security audits
ExpressVPN has shown a strong commitment to third-party testing. It has undergone a total of 16 third-party audits across its entire suite of products, including VPN apps, browser extensions, and mobile counterparts. ExpressVPN’s most recent audit was in November 2022 by Cure53 for its Lightway protocol.
ProtonVPN: Best against government surveillance
ProtonVPN is based in Switzerland, a country with strong privacy laws, making it a suitable choice for users concerned about government intervention or data requests. ProtonVPN is open-source, meaning its code is publicly available for inspection. ProtonVPN’s no-logs policy passed a security audit in April 2023 by Securitum.
Surfshark: Best for those on a budget
Surfshark provides a secure VPN solution at a low cost. It offers unlimited device connections, allowing users to protect multiple devices without additional charges. Surfshark’s no-logs policy was confirmed by Deloitte in January 2023, and its most recent audit was in December 2023 for its Android mobile app.
CyberGhost VPN: Best for large server and location network
CyberGhost VPN has a vast server network spread across numerous locations, giving users the ability to mask their location from various regions. CyberGhost VPN regularly publishes Transparency Reports, providing information on data requests received from legal authorities and company holders.
It’s important to note that some VPN providers that claim to have a no-logs policy have been found to log data or have privacy policies that contradict their claims. Examples include IPVanish VPN, Hotspot Shield VPN, Norton Secure VPN, and Speedify VPN. Choosing a VPN service with a robust no-logs policy, strong security features, and independent audits is crucial to protecting user data. The selection process for this list involved analyzing each VPN’s no-logs policy, checking for the collection of sensitive user data, evaluating their willingness to undergo independent audits, and considering various features such as VPN protocols and security-focused offerings like RAM-only servers and pricing.