What is a No-Log VPN and Why It Matters
What does a No-log VPN mean?
Any VPN protocol always keeps logs to detect possible communication problems and also to keep track of client connections. Regardless of whether we use OpenVPN, WireGuard, or IPsec IKEv2, we will always keep logs of the connections and we could even have a more exhaustive log of the networks that have been accessed. In these records, the most normal thing is to save the date and time of the different VPN connections, the source IP address, and if the DNS servers of the VPN server itself are used, a complete record of all the DNS resolutions made by the VPN servers could also be saved by customers.
If a VPN service collects information about the record of its DNS resolutions, it could easily correlate which client has made certain DNS queries, for example, it could know which websites we have visited, that is, it would have access to all our browsing history, and it could even know what type of device we have connected to the VPN server ( Depending on the queries, it could be known if it is a client with Windows, Linux, if it is an Android or iOS, and even if it is a Smart TV). After being able to know which websites we have visited and which device we have used, it could easily be known what actions we carry out on the device, if we are watching Netflix or Amazon Prime, and much more information. Other information that the VPN service might collect is the bandwidth used, and it could even know all the network traffic if it performs deep packet inspection techniques and could even "lift" HTTPS communication through an HTTP / HTTPS proxy. Finally, it could know our connection habits to the VPN service, because it will be able to see the connection start time, connection end time, and total connection hours that a certain client has been.
The logs of the VPN servers are very valuable information, therefore, we should take these logs into account in order to protect our privacy. Normally, paid VPN services have a feature called VPN No-Log. This feature is, basically, that they do not save any type of personal record on their servers, that is, although VPNs need to use our public IP address in order to work and also certain DNS servers within the tunnel to avoid DNS leaks by the client, they promise that they have this policy to not save any type of record on their servers. In some cases, they store the information necessary to detect problems when providing the service, but they are regularly deleted in order to protect privacy.
All VPN users use these services to have the maximum possible anonymity when browsing the Internet, and they would not want their Internet activities to be reflected in a complete log of VPN connections and disconnections, DNS resolutions, and many other data that can be collected. If we take into account that what all VPNs do is redirect all Internet traffic, the information that travels through the VPN tunnel can be very valuable for advertisers and even for the authorities if they encounter illegal activities such as providing IPTV services.
Important things if the VPN promises you "no logs"
A very important aspect of VPN services is where the headquarters of the VPN service company is located, the jurisdiction of the country is very important because the laws of a certain country could force you to keep records for months or years so that if someone commits something illegal, they can be easily identified. It is absolutely necessary that the local laws where the company's headquarters are located really allow that no type of personal data is collected. In the event that the company's headquarters are in a country where it is required to keep records, although the company can promise that it does not keep any type of record, it will actually keep it because otherwise, it would be committing a crime in its country of origin.
It is also very important if the VPN servers make use of hard drives for the operation of the services that they provide to clients. In order to protect your privacy as much as possible, it would be recommended that the server be installed in the RAM memory and not on hard drives or SSDs. This allows that, before a possible police investigation, the person in charge of the VPN service can turn off all the physical servers quickly and all the information would no longer be available because when a computer is turned off all the information that is in the RAM memory is completely emptied. However, in certain very specific cases, some information could be recovered from the RAM memory. If your VPN service tells you that its servers are installed directly on RAM and not on disks, it is an additional reason to trust their good practices to protect your privacy.
Finally, another very important aspect of any quality VPN server with a no-logs policy is that it passes independent security audits on a regular basis. Thanks to these third-party security audits, it allows the company of the VPN servers to have greater transparency, so that we can trust it both at the level of security protocols used and also that they comply with what was promised with the policy of no records.
No-log VPN services that you can buy
Currently, the vast majority of paid VPN services are VPN No-log, that is, they do not keep any type of log, they have independent security audits to guarantee that there are no records, and the company's headquarters are also in countries where privacy laws are very strong. Nowadays, finding this type of service is really easy, although it is always advisable to read opinions and news about the different services because it has happened in the past that authorities such as the FBI have requested the logs of certain connections, and the company was forced to provide this information. Therefore, our recommendation is that you read about it, however, here is a small list of some highly recommended No-log VPN services:
As you have seen, having a no-log or "no-logs" VPN is absolutely necessary if we want to preserve our privacy when browsing the Internet or doing different types of actions. Our recommendation is that you always use this type of VPN service to leave as little "trace" as possible on the Internet.