Millions of users around the world use a VPN. Why? To protect their privacy on the Internet. In this era of growing surveillance on Internet users, VPNs come handy.
They encrypt the network traffic. But, is VPN really anonymous? Let’s see.
Does VPN provide anonymity?
The answer to this question is not as simple as yes/no. Let me try to explain though. The first thing which you should know is that there are no “no logs VPN.” So, all those big VPN providers lie about keeping logs? No, and Yes.
Every network has to keep logs, even the most secure VPN connection network. And with so many users worldwide, it indeed is essential for a VPN service provider to keep records.
Without them, how can they identify a user trying to disturb their systems or trying to spam using the network?
How can a VPN provider troubleshoot connectivity problems if they can’t determine the user and their device?
Also, there are offers with daily/monthly usage limits or limits on the number of devices used. How will the service provider know you have crossed those limits? So, the hard truth is you are not anonymous for your service provider.
If they can’t keep me anonymous, is VPN really secure?
Well, the answer to this question is YES, a clear one. The definition of anonymity is not able to be identified. When you use their servers, they encrypt the incoming as well as outgoing traffic.
Any data request made by you on a website gets recorded as a request from the VPN server you are using.
So, no one, not even your ISP, can see what you are browsing. But, the logs? Isn’t it possible for the government agencies to ask about details from the VPN service providers?
Well, the thing is that the service providers keep logs to identify different users, but these records don’t reveal the identity of users.
So, what “no logs” mean in reality?
- There is no logs that store the user’s IP addresses, the real one, assigned by his/her Internet Service Provider.
- There are no logs with a timestamp, no data about when the user connects and disconnects from the service or for how long he/she used it.
- There are no logs of browsing activity, i.e., the DNS queries made by the user.
- There are no logs to monitor the Internet activity, nothing about services the user used the VPN servers for.
So, if someone from a law enforcement agency (or even the top offices of government) tries to get something out, there is nothing. So, you are safe from any surveillance (or hacking attempts) and your privacy, maintained.
Now that the matter with logs is clear let’s check some of the best anonymous VPNs you can trust. It’s only a brief introduction here, but you can follow the links to get the detailed anonymous VPN review for each.
- ExpressVPN is a company stationed in the British Virgin Islands. It’s the one with servers providing some incredible speeds. The encryption system used is one of the best, to ensure your security. And privacy? ExpressVPN states that there is nothing on the servers that reveals user’s identity. There aren’t any IP address, DNS requests or traffic logs.
- NordVPN – When it comes to privacy, NordVPN has a reputation. The company operates from Panama, and the zero-log policy ensures they have nothing about your online activities. For more private experience, you even get the Double VPN feature where your data passes through two encrypted servers. And as an added benefit they keep themselves updated with VPN-blocking protocols of Netflix.
- VyprVPN – This VPN service provider has its headquarter in Switzerland, one of the most privacy-friendly countries. It owns, operates and maintains all its servers without any involvement of third-parties. When it comes to privacy, VyprVPN is strict in following its no-traffic and no-DNS log policy.
This is just an introduction of what’s available in the market, check our guides for a detailed comparison.