6 Best No-Log VPNs in 2023: VPNs That Keep You Anonymous
No-Log VPN Key Points
- Many providers aren’t transparent with their no-logs policies. This is why it’s crucial to understand what information your Virtual Private Network might be collecting on you.
- The VPN’s location, potential security audits, history, and customer feedback can all tell if the provider stays true to its no-logs policy claims.
- It’s best to avoid free VPN services, as most of them keep logs. However, there are freemium and free no-log VPNs you can utilize if you’re on a tight budget.
Out testing has confirmed – NordVPN is the best no-log VPN
With the proliferation of data breaches, government surveillance, and invasive tracking practices, it’s essential to entrust your online activities to a VPN service that takes your privacy seriously. Having an uncompromising no-logs policy is arguably one of the core aspects of every quality VPN provider.
The VPNs featured in this meticulously researched guide have demonstrated a commitment to strict no-log policies. They will ensure that your browsing history, connection timestamps, and other sensitive information are not stored or accessible.
Whether you’re a privacy-conscious individual, an activist, or someone who simply values online anonymity, I’ve summed up everything you should know to pick the best anonymous VPN based on your needs. Protect your digital presence and reclaim your privacy with these six top-tier no-logs VPN services.
Best No-Log VPNs – Our Shortlist
- NordVPN – The best no-logs VPN overall.
- Surfshark – Fast and high-quality zero-log VPN.
- Atlas VPN – Affordable no-logs VPN with a free plan.
- PrivateVPN – User-friendly and reliable service.
- ExpressVPN – Premium no-logs VPN with strong security.
- Private Internet Access – VPN provider with the largest server network.
What Are No-Log VPN Providers?
No-log VPN providers are VPNs that claim to have a strict no-logging policy. This means that they do not collect, store, or keep any logs or records of their users’ online activities.
No-log VPN providers aim to maximize user privacy and anonymity by ensuring that there is no traceable information about their users’ browsing history, connection timestamps, IP addresses, or any other identifiable data. Often they are based in offshore VPN jurisdictions to avoid legal data collection.
The primary purpose of a no-log policy is to protect user privacy by minimizing the amount of information that can be potentially accessed or disclosed to third parties.
By not keeping logs, these VPN providers aim to prevent any compromising or sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands, whether it’s hackers, government agencies, or other surveillance entities.
Types of VPN logs
There are three types of logs your VPN provider can keep on you. Understanding what these are can help you differentiate services with questionable no-logs claims from those with a zero-logs policy. Here’s a closer look at the types of VPN logs:
- Aggregated Logs – These are the most favorable types of logs. Aggregated logs are supposedly anonymized, meaning they can’t be associated with any particular user. Many providers that claim to be zero-log VPN services actually use these types of logs for statistical analysis, network optimization, and improving the overall performance of their products.
- Connection Logs – These types of logs aren’t necessarily problematic, but can be under certain circumstances. This is because connection logs can be collected on a server level or a user level. This includes logs such as bandwidth usage, your real IP address, and the VPN server’s IP address.
- Usage Logs – Also known as activity logs, these are the most worrying types of traffic logs a VPN can collect. Usage logs can include information like your browsing history, your DNS queries, and other useful metadata of your VPN session.
Why Should I Use a No-Log VPN?
Using a no-log VPN offers several key benefits for individuals concerned about their online privacy and security. Here are a few of the main benefits you can obtain from a no-logs VPN:
- Stay Private From Your ISP – Internet Service Providers collect and keep information about our online activities. Using a zero-logs VPN will help you prevent this. It will not only encrypt your data but also leave no written evidence about your online activities.
- Protect Against Surveillance – Online surveillance is only getting more prevalent with each passing year. A no-logs VPN mitigates the risk of government or third-party surveillance. The former can be very valuable if you live in an authoritarian country.
- Avoid Targeted Ads – While not nearly as worrying as surveillance, targeted advertising can be very annoying. A no-logs VPN keeps your activities private, making it impossible for anyone to track your activities and target you based on them.
- Secure Sensitive Information – You can safeguard your sensitive information, such as passwords, financial transactions, and personal communications. The encryption provided by the VPN ensures that your data remains secure and protected from potential eavesdroppers or hackers, especially when using unsecured public Wi-Fi networks.
Best No-Log VPNs – Our Detailed List
As far as no-log VPNs go, NordVPN is hard to beat. NordVPN’s apps include seamless and very convenient privacy protection features. You can count on private DNS, kill switch protection, and a dedicated IP address option.
It also has a Double VPN feature. NordVPN’s Double VPN servers route your connection through two servers instead of one, encrypting your data twice. This brings even further increased privacy levels.
NordVPN’s status as a zero-logs VPN has been confirmed time and time again throughout the years. In 2023, it commissioned a third independent audit to verify its no-logs policy. As expected, the audit confirmed NordVPN kept its promises to a letter.
To add to this, NordVPN is based in Panama. Unlike some of its competitors included on this list, NordVPN can count on the privacy-friendly laws of the country it’s based in. This is because Panama doesn’t have any mandatory data retention laws, nor is it a part of any major international surveillance.
While NordVPN is a clear first choice in my book, it isn’t the superior service in every aspect. For instance, it only offers only six connections per plan. This can be limiting, especially when compared to what services like Surfshark or AtlasVPN offer. Additionally, NordVPN is more expensive on average than these two providers.
That said, the latter shouldn’t be that big of a drawback, as NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. It’s very prompt with the refunds and offers a long list of supported payment methods, including options that emphasize user anonymity.
- The safest and best no-log VPN overall
- Based in Panama
- Audited independently by notable auditing firms
- Offers dedicated IP address options
- Great safety features, including advanced tools
- 30-day money-back guarantee on all plans
- More expensive than my alternative top picks
- Only offers six simultaneous connections
Despite being a significantly younger service than NordVPN, Surfshark has a reputation as a very safe and privacy-friendly provider. It has a strict no-logs policy, which has been audited multiple times over the years. Moreover, the audits were performed by reputable companies like Deloitte and Cure53.
In 2021, Surfshark decided to transfer its headquarters to the Netherlands. This worried many users, as this country is a part of the Nine Eyes Alliance. According to the provider, this decision was in part motivated by the Netherlands being a no-logs-friendly legal jurisdiction, since it has no laws requiring it to retain user data.
Despite its relocation, Surfshark’s no-logs policy is still unquestionable. It is one of the few VPNs that work entirely on RAM-only servers.
Additionally, Surfshark’s privacy and security features are very respectable. It offers DNS, IP, and WebRTC leak protection. Naturally, its apps also come with a kill switch. Focusing on privacy, Surfshark includes a valuable Camouflage Mode tool. This VPN obfuscation feature masks your VPN traffic as regular Internet traffic.
As I’ve mentioned when talking about NordVPN, Surfshark even has a few advantages over my top pick. It’s a more affordable service, both long-term and short-term. It also offers better value for money, as it allows you to connect as many devices as you wish.
- Successfully passed multiple audits
- Strict no-logs policy
- Strong encryption and WireGuard protocol
- Supports unlimited simultaneous connections
- A more affordable solution than NordVPN
- Based in the Netherlands
- Slightly fewer advanced privacy features than NordVPN
3. Atlas VPN
The only data it collects on you is what you share during registration. And, even with this, you can use anonymous payment methods to minimize the information you share. Other than that, it only collects basic usage data that helps it regulate and maintain its apps.
This VPN is based in the US, which does have some mandatory data retention laws. And, seeing that the US has an increasingly invasive stance towards the online privacy of its citizens, this might seem worrying. However, this is no reason to avoid this provider, as its no-logs policy has been verified by third parties.
Atlas VPN has been independently audited in 2021 and 2022. The service came out clean in both audits, as neither audit found any critical privacy issues in its apps or service. With that in mind, you can use Atlas VPN with peace of mind knowing that your VPN connection is safe and private.
Atlas VPN does suffer from one more drawback compared to my top two picks. Unlike NordVPN and Surfshark, it doesn’t offer RAM-only servers. This means that its servers could potentially store data.
Looking at its general features, Atlas VPN is a great budget pick with plenty of advanced features. Its apps come with tools such as MultiHop+, SafeBrowse, and SafeSwap servers. You’ll also find standard tools for protecting traffic, such as a kill switch and anti-leak protection.
- Independently audited twice
- Doesn’t store personally identifiable data
- Supports unlimited simultaneous connections
- Affordable and includes a free VPN plan
- Based in the US, which might deter some users
- Doesn’t offer RAM-only servers
PrivateVPN is a reliable and steadfast VPN that can meet all of your online needs. According to the service, PrivateVPN “doesn’t maintain logs on your Internet activity or keep anything that could be used to identify you or your browsing activity.” Additionally, it also includes a kill switch, as well as IP and DNS leak protection.
Performance-wise, it’s very capable of accessing streaming services or acting as a VPN for torrenting. It maintains an impressive 99.98% uptime, ranking as the best VPN on my list in this regard. The service offers around 200 server locations and supports the fast and safe WireGuard protocol.
PrivateVPN’s main drawback compared to my top three picks is that it hasn’t been independently audited. This is a bit disappointing and leaves room for speculation. Until it passes a security audit, we can never be sure that it truly doesn’t store user data as it claims.
Still, the service is transparent and hasn’t been involved in any incidents in the past that would have compromised its strict zero-logs policy claims.
Another potential disadvantage of this VPN is the fact that it’s based in Sweden. This Nordic country is a part of the 14 Eyes Alliance. Seeing that the Swedish authorities might try to seize the servers in the future (as was the case with Mullvad in early 2023), there’s no telling for sure if PrivateVPN truly has a strict zero logs policy.
Considering both the positive and negative aspects, PrivateVPN ranks in a very solid fourth place, offering great service on affordable plans. It’s one of the best no-logs VPNs for casual users who want strong encryption and stable connections and port-forwarding.
- Claims a strict no-logs policy
- Strong encryption
- Kill switch, IP, and DNS leak protection
- Supports port forwarding
- 99.98% uptime
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Not independently audited
- Based in Sweden (a part of the 14 Eyes Alliance)
There’s no doubting ExpressVPN’s reputation of being a safe and private VPN provider. It’s one of the most frequently audited providers in the business. Its service, apps, and even its Lightway protocol have been independently audited over the years. And, third-party auditors haven’t found any worrying information on any of these audits.
Besides being independently audited, ExpressVPN is also based in the British Virgin Islands, a very privacy-friendly location. The BVI doesn’t have any mandatory data retention logs. Plus, every Express VPN server runs on RAM. In other words, the service can’t store logs in the long run, as the data on every server is wiped on every restart.
ExpressVPN has a very transparent no-logs policy. In it, the service explicitly states that it doesn’t log IP addresses (user or VPN), browsing history, Internet traffic, or DNS queries. Like my other top picks, it only collects minimal data about your usage of its services.
The provider’s security practices are on par with the private ones. ExpressVPN uses best-in-class encryption, a network kill switch, and runs its own DNS on every server. It also comes with the in-house LIghtway protocol, which is particularly great for mobile devices and activities such as gaming or accessing streaming services.
Considering all of these privacy and security features, there’s a reason why ExpressVPN is higher on my list. It’s a premium service, but its drawbacks precisely lie in this fact.
ExpressVPN is the most expensive provider on my list of the best no-log VPNs. Moreover, it’s also the provider with the fewest connections per plan, allowing you to connect only five devices simultaneously.
- Maintains a strict no-logs policy
- Based in the British Virgin Islands
- Uses RAM-only servers
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Great security features coupled with Lightway protocol
- The most expensive VPN on my list
- Only supports five simultaneous connections
6. Private Internet Access
Like AtlasVPN, Private Internet Access is based in the US. Fortunately, like its competitor, PIA has also been independently audited.
PIA also maintains a transparency report page, which it regularly updates. It publicly informs its users of any warrants, subpoenas, or other notices it receives. This is something very few VPNs do but is a great way to ensure users that the service is safe.
Besides passing the audit with flying colors, PIA has proven its no-logs policy in court as well. The provider has been in a court of law multiple times and repeatedly proven that it simply doesn’t store user logs, meaning it has nothing to share when required to do so. So, even with it being a US-based company, PIA’s logging practices ensure maximum online privacy.
With user protection in mind, it’s worth mentioning that PIA is the only VPN on my list to offer open-source transparency. PIA’s code is publicly available, so every eager user with a bit of technical knowledge can verify the VPN’s source code.
- Independently audited
- VPN with the most extensive server network
- The source code is publicly available
- Ad and malware blocking
- Plenty of advanced privacy and security features
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Based in the US
- Not the best pick for beginners
Best No-Logs VPN Comparison
|Best VPN Ranking||1 – THE BEST||2||3||4||5|
|Avg. Speed||46,4 Mbps||40,1 Mbps||35,9 Mbps||43,6 Mbps||42,2 Mbps|
|Logs||No-logs||No identifiable logs||No identifiable logs||No logs||No identifiable logs|
|Suitable for Games||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|Works with Streaming||Netflix,|
Amazon Prime Video,
Amazon Prime Video,
Amazon Prime Video,
Amazon Prime Video,
Amazon Prime Video,
|P2P Traffic||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||✅ Yes||✅ Yes|
|Split-tunneling||Port Forwarding||Port Forwarding|
|Best Deals||63% OFF + Gift||Save 81%||83% OFF||Save 85%||3 months FREE|
Testing Methodology: How We Picked The Best No-Log VPNs
When selecting the six best no-logs VPN providers, I followed a strict set of criteria that shouldn’t be compromised on. Here are the benchmarks I used when picking the top no-logs VPN services:
- Zero-Logging Policy – Every provider we list has a clear no-log policy, meaning they do not collect or store user activity logs. Many of the selections above have also passed independent audits cementing their reputation of being true no-logs services.
- Jurisdiction – The best-ranked services on this list are all based in privacy-friendly VPN jurisdictions. This is important because these locations have lenient data retention laws and aren’t a part of major international surveillance alliances.
- Data Encryption – Encryption protects your sensitive data by converting it into an unreadable format. Strong encryption protocols for secure data transmission ensure that this encrypted data can’t be cracked and that your private information stays as such.
- Leak Protection – Preventing potential privacy leaks is one of the most important purposes of every no-logs VPN provider. Several aspects go into a quality leak protection system. Primarily, these include IP and DNS leak protection and a kill switch to cut off your connection in case of any VPN connection drops.
- RAM-Only Servers – Leading VPNs have switched to completely RAM-based VPN servers, as they make it easier for them to follow a zero logs policy. With RAM-only VPN servers, data is wiped on every server restart, so there’s no information that anyone can retain.
- Speed and Network Size – These are two more general aspects, but nonetheless, ones worth considering. To be able to rely on the VPN, you should pick a service with fast speeds. This is especially important if you want to stream or torrent content.
- Additional Privacy and Security Features – Lastly, some VPNs include additional features that help them stand out from the competition. This can include multi-server connections, obfuscation, DDoS protection, and many other tools that bolstered your privacy.
Are There Any Free VPNs That Do Not Keep Logs?
As a general rule of thumb, I recommend opting for reputable paid VPNs over free VPNs. In most cases, picking a free VPN service entails taking up certain security risks. Not to mention, most free VPNs intentionally keep logs, some even selling the data for profit.
As worrying as this might sound, there are a few VPN services that have zero-log policies and are worth signing up with. Proton VPN is arguably the top service in this regard. As a free service, Proton VPN offers a great free plan.
The Proton VPN free plan includes a strict no-logs policy. Plus, Proton VPN is based in privacy-friendly Switzerland, so it’s protected by its favorable local laws. To add to all of this, Proton VPN doesn’t limit how much data you can use per month (although it does limit you to only one device).
Besides Proton VPN, Atlas VPN is another choice worth considering. However, unlike Proton VPN, there are some limitations. Primarily, Atlas VPN limits your monthly data to 5 GB and only offers three free servers. However, as it’s firstly a premium service, it’s understandable why Atlas VPN doesn’t match Proton VPN’s quality of free service.
Understanding Logging and its Implications
The logging policy is an integral aspect of every VPN service. It’s part of the VPN that you don’t want to think about very often but want to rely on at all times.
If a VPN claims to have a true no-logs policy but actually don’t, you could endure harmful consequences. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most notable examples of when VPNs were caught lying about their no-logs policies:
The Consequences of Fake No-Log VPNs
One of the most notorious VPNs when it comes to fake no-logs policies is Opera VPN. This VPN is one of the most blatant examples of how a service can disguise its data logs as normal activities. Opera VPN uses identifiable logs to monetize the user. It even gives each user a unique ID which helps it collect information. As far as VPN logging goes, this is as bad as it gets.
So, what are the potential consequences of using such shady VPNs? The examples of PureVPN and IPVanish have shown us in the past. Although both of these services have a fairly solid reputation, they have been included in similar scandals. Despite claiming they are no-logs VPNs, both services have been caught logging user data and providing it to the authorities.
Fake no-logs VPNs bring a false sense of security that can be dangerous. They can result in privacy issues or even legal consequences for the user. Moreover, these services damage the entire industry’s reputation.
Users who encounter such services might become wary of VPNs in general. But, this shouldn’t be the case, as some zero-logs VPNs have fully upheld their claims. With that in mind, let’s look at the other side of the coin and positive examples of true zero-log VPNs.
When No-Logs VPN Services Prove Their Claims
Trust is an essential aspect when it comes to no-log VPNs. Fortunately, despite the negative examples I’ve mentioned above, many services have proven they truly maintain a no-logs policy.
The two most notable examples happened quite a while ago, in 2016 and 2017, and both included very well-known VPNs. In 2017, Turkish authorities seized ExpressVPN’s servers. In a public statement that soon followed, ExpressVPN explained that the authorities couldn’t retrieve any data, as the provider kept no logs.
In 2016, Private Internet Access was involved in an FBI case. The provider couldn’t provide the Bureau with any information, as it was proven that it kept no logs of user activity. So, despite being located in the US, which has very intrusive privacy laws, PIA still maintained complete user privacy when put to the test.
How to Choose the Best No-Log VPN for Your Needs?
The criteria I’ve outlined above include some of the most important aspects that objectively matter for every no-logs VPN. However, every VPN user is different. So, it’s also essential to consider subjective criteria based on your specific needs. Here are some tips that will help you do so:
Assess Your Privacy and Security Requirements
By understanding your security requirements, you can select a VPN that effectively prevents your Internet Service Provider, government agencies, or other third parties from monitoring and tracking your online activities.
To go into more specific criteria, look for features such as military-grade encryption, data obfuscation, tools to prevent data tracking and monitoring, as well as the VPN’s jurisdiction and other legal considerations.
Consider Your Budget and Pricing Plans
Privacy and performance aside, you should also find a no-log VPN that strikes a balance between cost and the features you require. Doing so ensures that you invest in a VPN service that provides value for money while meeting your privacy and security needs.
Higher-priced VPNs may offer additional features. On the other hand, free VPNs are a tempting alternative, but they often come with limitations, such as data caps, slower speeds, or intrusive advertisements.
Additionally, many VPN providers offer discounted pricing for longer subscription durations, such as annual or multi-year plans. Evaluating your budget and long-term needs can help you save money by opting for a cost-effective long-term plan rather than paying monthly.
Read User Reviews and Expert Recommendations
Sharing this tip on a review site might seem redundant, but reading expert recommendations and opinions of other users can be very helpful when deciding on a VPN service.
Consistent positive feedback regarding a VPN’s no-log policy and privacy features can help you narrow down your options and prioritize the most trusted and reliable providers.
Expert reviews and recommendations from reputable sources can offer valuable guidance from a more skilled perspective.
On the other hand, user reviews provide valuable insights into the real-world experiences of other VPN users.
By combining these two, you can get the most information on a specific provider.
Use The Free Trial Or 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Every service on our list offers a money-back guarantee to its customers. This is a great way of testing the VPN without risking any money. Some VPN providers even offer limited free trials.
Utilizing a free trial or money-back guarantee provides a risk-free opportunity to evaluate the VPN’s performance, security, compatibility, and overall user experience. Ultimately, it enables you to make an informed decision and choose the best VPN for your specific requirements.
Conclusion – Emphasizing the Importance of No-Log VPNs
By opting for a no-log VPN, you can safeguard your sensitive information and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. The six VPNs on my list will protect you against data breaches. Moreover, they will minimize the risk of personal data being compromised, even in the event of server breaches or legal requests.
No-log VPNs help maintain anonymity by severing the link between online activities and real identities, making it harder for third parties to track or profile users. They thwart the efforts of ISPs, advertisers, and other entities seeking to monitor and gather user data for targeted advertising or other purposes.
The picks I outlined above all have a proven commitment to user privacy and a strict no-log policy. Still, if you won’t settle for anything but the best, NordVPN is the top no-log VPN you can get in 2023.
No-Log VPN FAQs
Which VPN service does not log?
Several VPN services claim to have a strict no-log policy, meaning they do not collect or store user activity logs. Providers like NordVPN and ExpressVPN are among the most reputable and trustworthy in this regard.
Do VPNs really keep no connection logs?
Yes, there are trusted VPN providers that don’t keep any logs of your activities. Most often, these services have undergone independent audits or engaged third-party organizations to evaluate their logging practices.
What does “no logs” mean on a VPN?
“No-logs” on a VPN means that it does not collect or store any records or logs of user activities. It implies that no data regarding the websites visited, files downloaded, IP addresses, or any other online activities of the user is recorded or retained.
Does ExpressVPN keep logs?
Does NordVPN keep logs?
Why do VPN services keep logs?
The most common reasons why VPN companies keep logs include troubleshooting and technical support, network management and optimization, and legal compliance. Of course, not all VPNs keep logs, especially those that emphasize user privacy.
Are VPNs required to keep logs?
VPNs are not universally required to keep logs, as it depends on the jurisdiction in which the VPN service operates. For instance, some countries have data retention laws that mandate VPN services to retain certain user data for a specified period.