If you are using a VPN provider, you have to make sure that they take your privacy and security very serious. This has been highlighted strongly with the NSA and PRISM allegations released by Edward Snowden, and we are all concerned about how much of our data actually goes into the public domain. What you need to look for is a provider that will never link your activity to any external IP address.
Only recently did someone use a so called “anonymous” VPN, but it turned out that the protection that they offered was sub-standard to say the every least. Hence, a list of questions was developed to help people find a VPN service that really doesn’t log. You need to look, firstly, at issues surrounding your anonymity, but you should also look into limitations and the aspect of file sharing. The questions we will list below are those that you can ask a VPN provider that you are considering. It makes it very difficult for them to give a direct answer, and if you find yourself speaking to a provider that is trying to get out of the questions, you may as well move on.
Questions to Ask to Find a VPN Provider That Doesn’t Log
The first question is the most direct of all: simply ask whether they keep any logs. Also ask them whether there are any third parties who match IP addresses as well as time stamps to service users. If the answer is yes to either of these questions, make sure you ask what information is being held and why.
Next, ask the company under which jurisdiction they come. You also want to find out which circumstances can arise in which case they must, by law, share information. Also find out which third parties they would share with in these circumstances. Similarly, you should ask what would happen if they receive a DMCA take down notice and what their procedures are for handling these.
Next, ask about their payment systems. Which ones do they use? How do these link to the accounts of their users? Are payments secured and safe through an SSL server?
If you are satisfied with the answers you have been given, you will have found yourself a VPN service that doesn’t log. There are various providers out there that really give a good service, so you shouldn’t have to spend too much time finding one. However, you must take this time, because the last thing you want is for your information to be sold or released for no reason whatsoever. There are two services in particular that do not log, which are Private Internet Access and BTGuard. Let’s take a look at these two.
Private Internet Access (PIA)
PIA does not keep any logs at all. They use shared, rather than static or dynamic IP addresses, which means that users can never be matched to an IP address. They take anonymity very seriously. They operate within our own country, but also have gateways in Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Romania and the Netherlands. Because there isn’t a data retention law in place here, PIA choose to be under local jurisdiction. They will only share information with a third party if they are court ordered to do so. However, the information they would provide in that case is minimal because they use shared IPs and do not keep logs. Naturally, Private Internet Access complies with DMCA and have a legal team in place for this. They have a range of different payment methods in place, including Bitcoins, which can be used anonymously. The only information they retain is that which makes it possible to give customers refunds.
BTGuard does not keep any logs either. They come under Canadian jurisdiction but cannot share any information because they do not retain any information. There is no communication with any third parties and would only do so under court order. However, in this case, they would only be able to say that no information is available. BTGuard has never been court ordered to provide information yet. They do not use open incoming ports, which means that broadcasting content can never be taken down. The only downside of BTGuard is that they have limited payment options. However, the ones they do use are Bitcoin and PayPal. Furthermore, they intend to start accepting alternative payment methods. The only reason why they haven’t done so yet is because they are committed to not keeping any information on file, which would have to change somewhat if people are able to make credit card payments.