While all VPN providers have access to your history and traffic, the bigger question is what they choose to do with this information. Companies who claim to be “no log VPNs” will direct your history to a “trash” folder or file, discarding it from record.
What do these “No Log” VPN Providers keep?
The only information these providers claim to keep is related to your VPN subscription purchase. This information can include your physical and email address, credit card data, VPN password, and your name. Some VPN companies will even allow anonymous purchases and activities using e-commerce methods like Bitcoin, increasing your privacy even more. “No log” VPN companies claim that they don’t keep records of your Internet history or traffic for any third parties, or for themselves.
With security growing more and more risky, and hackers adapting to sneakier methods to get information, an increasing number of VPN companies are claiming to be “no log”. You still need to use caution, however, as some countries require both ISPs and VPNs to save logs for a certain period of time. For example, Australia has some strict laws, companies have to store information for two years. In some other countries, while there is no set time requirement for storage, a court order can force the VPN company to release the logs. The USA is one of these countries, as seen in the famous court case Apple v FBI.
Who do they target the most?
Authorities seem to focus their attention on those using torrents. In some countries, VPN providers seem to immediately surrender records to companies who file complaints and copyright holders, without a fight. Torrent users should carefully choose a VPN located in a country without such retention laws.
To make sure that your VPN is not logging your activity, you should always read their terms carefully. But there are other details, especially the laws of the country where your VPN is based. Always try to select a VPN from a neutral country.