With the recent divulgence of certain records by a very popular VPN provider to certain government agencies, it has become painfully apparent that not all VPN providers see anonymity and privacy in the same way. And, for many of us, reading through the legalese that is the “Terms of Service” is confusing and will leave the reader with a head-ache that most medications couldn’t get rid of.
Because of this, I went through the legalese of some of the more popular VPN providers that VPNReviewz.com recommends, and took 2 questions to task: 1) Do they keep any kind of logs that possibly could be shared with a third party, and if they do, what data is retained in those logs and for how long? And 2) what jurisdiction does the VPN provider reside in and answer to, and what are their requisites before they will provide the requested information?
After sorting through all the legal terminology, and then taking a day to recover from it, I compiled a list of 5 providers and how they treat the data they do, (or don’t,) collect. Here they are:
- They keep logs, but they are deleted on a daily basis due to the size. Even with that, they claim that timestamps and IPs aren’t kept in them.
- Their jurisdiction is in Panama, but they have servers all over the world, and court orders would be required from the jurisdiction of the server in question.
- They maintain no logs of any kind, timestamps and IPs are gone once logged off their server.
- They are based in Sweden, but keep organizational data muddled to complicate matters for third parties trying to obtain data that they may not wish to divulge.
- Because they use shared IPs, rather than dynamic or static, determination of usage would be virtually impossible, even if they did keep logs.
- They reside in the US jurisdiction due to the data retention requirements: none. Even in the event of a court order, there is no data to be divulged.
- They keep connection logs, but state tat no IPs or timestamps are kept in those logs. These logs are deleted every 7 days, but they say that the logs wouldn’t identify specific users.
- They are in Seychelles, which requires that a special kind of lawsuit be presented to share data with third parties
- They keep no logs. When I asked them they claimed tha due to traffic, it would require more than 4TB of storage space daily.
- They are in a Canadian jurisdiction, but since they don’t keep logs, requesting data would still get nothing from them.
That’s the first 5 VPN providers that I have checked out so far. They are all very popular, and well respected in their communities, but if you have any kind of doubts, sift through their terms of service, do your research and ask questions at VPNReviewz. If you would like further assurances of anonymity, then using an anonymous payment form, (bitcoin,) and email service.