Affiliate Commissions

CyberWaters is supported by its readers, therefore we may receive affiliate commissions if you purchase goods or services via our links. We appreciate your support.

Can a VPN Monitor Its Users’ Internet Activity?

Can VPN Monitor Your Activity

Key Points:

  • VPN companies may track browsing data, but no-logging policies can help protect user privacy.
  • VPNs can monitor internet activity, but reputable VPN providers with strict privacy policies can help minimize the risk.
  • By choosing a reputable VPN provider users can reduce the chance of their browsing data being tracked

A VPN can possibly monitor your internet activity and browsing data.

To avoid a VPN spying on your browsing data, ensure that their no-log policy is confirmed by an independent audit.

Do VPN Companies Track Your Browsing Data?

As VPN usage has increased, concerns about VPN providers tracking browsing data have also risen. So, the question is, do VPN companies track your browsing data?

The answer is not straightforward. 

Some VPN providers do track user activity, but it largely depends on the specific provider and their logging policies. In some cases, VPN providers may track user activity to provide targeted advertisements, while others may track activity to comply with government regulations.

However, many reputable VPN providers have no-logging policies in place to protect user privacy.

No-logging policies are statements made by VPN providers that they do not collect or store user data. This means that even if the VPN provider is subpoenaed or hacked, there would be no user data available to provide. 

However, it’s important to note that not all no-logging policies are created equal. Some VPN providers may claim to have no-logging policies but still collect certain data.

NordVPN no-logging claims
NordVPN’s No-Logging claims

What Data Can a VPN Monitor?

When you use a VPN, the VPN provider can see the following data:

  • Your IP address
  • The IP address of the server you are connected to
  • The amount of data you are sending and receiving
  • The websites you are visiting
  • Connection timestamps

It is important to note, if you are using a free VPN service, it is possible that the provider is selling your data to third-party advertisers.

How Can You Make Sure a VPN Won’t Track Your Internet Activity? 

The best way to do that is to read the provider’s privacy policy. It should be straightforward and make it clear that the VPN doesn’t log your traffic and IP address. 

It also helps if the VPN’s no-logs policy has been audited by an independent cybersecurity firm. For example, NordVPN’s no-logs policy has passed 3 independent audits.

Also, some top VPNs release regular transparency reports. They detail how many requests for user data the provider received from government authorities. The reports also detail how the VPN providers didn’t comply with the data requests. For instance, CyberGhost VPN publishes transparency reports every 3 months.

Another way some VPNs can be more trustworthy is by having open-source apps. That means anyone can inspect the code for security and privacy vulnerabilities. Private Internet Access is a good example of a top VPN that open-sourced all of its apps.

Do Free VPNs Monitor Your Internet Traffic? 

Yes, most free VPNs will log what you do online while connected to their servers. They also log your IP address, browsing data, and all other internet activity.

Free VPNs log such data to share it with third parties for profit. Running a VPN service is pretty expensive. It involves costs like server acquisition and maintenance, customer support, developers, and marketing.

That also means that governments can force free VPNs to share user data with them, which compromises your privacy.

What’s more, using a free VPN comes with other inconveniences. Most free VPNs have buggy apps, slow speeds, and poor customer support. 

There are also legit free VPNs, which offer free plans and paid plans. They usually provide good privacy because they don’t keep logs. However, the free plan comes with noticeable limitations, like data caps or very few server locations.

AtlasVPN has a free version and is a reputable VPN that does not monitor any user’s data.

Bottom line — getting a paid VPN is always better, as it provides much better privacy and overall value than a free VPN. At most, you should only use a free VPN plan to test the service before you buy it.

Can VPN Monitor Your Internet Activity FAQ

Can VPN Provider See Your Traffic?

A VPN provider can potentially see your traffic, but a reputable provider with a strict no-logging policy will not monitor or store your data.

Can a VPN Spy On You?

A VPN can potentially spy on you, but a reputable provider with strong encryption and no-logging policy will protect your privacy and prevent spying.

Do Free VPNs Track Your Browsing Data?

Free VPNs may track your browsing data and sell it to advertisers for profit. It’s important to use a reputable VPN provider with a strict no-logging policy to protect your privacy.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while VPNs can be a useful tool for protecting your online privacy and security, it’s important to understand that they are not foolproof. VPN providers may have the ability to monitor your browsing data and internet activity, and free VPNs in particular may be more likely to track and sell your data.

By choosing a reputable VPN provider with a strong no-logging policy, implementing additional security measures, and being aware of the potential risks, you can make informed decisions about how to use VPNs effectively and protect your online privacy. You can even pay for it anonymously if you want to hide the fact that you use a VPN.

🌐 Website:nordvpn.com
🏢 Headquarters:Panama
📍Servers/Countries:5800+ servers in 60 countries
₿ Accepts CryptocurrencyYes
💸 Deals & CouponsGet 68% off + 3 months extra
These articles could be helpful too
Apr 03, 2020
at 4:33 am

Theres a limit to how much they know but it is still best to go with a provider that has a no logs policy. The premium providers with a no logs policy PureVPN and PIA, however PureVPNs cheaper and has a 7-day trial as well

Apr 03, 2020
at 7:13 am

Hi simit, thanks for the comment! Indeed, it is best to go for a no-log policy provider, always! However, I must say a concern regarding PIA is that they are based in the US, which is not a good jurisdiction to operate a VPN in. Personally, I would not recommend PIA and stick with NordVPN.

Apr 06, 2020
at 4:43 am

Oh you say that because of the 5 eyes alliance right? Many providers stress on that. Also youre right Nord is based in Panama. PureVPN is based in HongKong thats a good option too in that case. Cant seem to find where Express is based

May 06, 2020
at 4:44 am

Yes, it’s because 5 eyes alliance and also because US does not have good consumer data protection laws. As far as I know, ExpressVPN’s jurisdiction is in The British Virgin Islands, which is a good location to operate a VPN in. But from their website I understood that they have a distributed team all around the world like in Singapore, London and so on (which doesn’t affect the data collection or logging policies anyways).

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *