Anonymous VPN services have become an important tool to counter the growing threat of Internet surveillance. Unlike Europe with its draconian Data Retention Law, the United States does not have a mandatory data retention law.
However, if an ISP or VPN provider does retain any data relating to its customers (i.e. it keeps logs) then according to the Stored Communications Act it is required to hand these over on receipt of a court order from a law enforcement agency.
Encrypting one’s traffic through a VPN connection helps to keep online communications private, but is your VPN truly anonymous? We take a look at the logging policies of dozens of top VPN providers. Millions of Internet users around the world use a VPN to protect their privacy online.
Unfortunately, however, not all VPN services are as private as you might think especially the ones based in the USA. In fact, some are known to keep extensive logs that can easily identify specific users on their network.
Best Anonymous VPN
On this page, you’ll find our list of the best anonymous VPN services currently. We’ve tested them all (and in the processing of retesting a few of them) so you can be sure you’re getting the best VPN recommendations from our experts.
According to a just-published report, almost one in six people in the USA are now using a VPN (or proxy server) with their internet connection – and half of those folks have turned to a VPN in order to get access to region-locked sites or services, according to new research. These are our recommendations for the Best Anonymous VPN:
In fact, the simple fact that this no logs VPN provider is based in Panama makes it one of the best choices available for privacy fanatics. Due to this fact it is a nice choice for those who need a reliable VPN service for Australia or Canada – countries with a strict surveillance.
This anonymous VPN provides its subscribers with Tor over VPN and double data encryption. It also doesn’t keep logs and has an option of a Kill Switch. Besides, NordVPN has got its own DNS servers to prevent DNS leaks. There is an option of safe P2P file-sharing, too.
Furthermore, as a real anonymous VPN, it allows Bitcoin payments. NordVPN manages DNS calls to prevent information about your web activities from getting exposed.
A total of four devices can be connected to a server at once – through L2TP, PPTP, OpenVPN TCP, and OpenVPN UDP. If you have two more devices at home, you can connect them to another server with any two protocols.
Note that PureVPN is headquartered in Hong Kong. This ironic, given how repressive some of China’s internet regulations are. Yet, Hong Kong doesn’t have mandatory data-retention laws, so PureVPN is not required to store data on users or their behavior.
Also, some VPN companies have, in the past, injected ads into users’ web traffic. A company representative assured me that PureVPN does not do this, nor does it any way profit from user web traffic.
Subscription payments can be made via just about every means you could desire: credit card, AliPay, Bitcoin, Cashu, PaymentWall, or PayPal. Other benefits include PureVPN’s offering P2P file sharing and BitTorrent on more than200 of its servers. The Split Tunnelling feature also lets you select specific traffic to go through the VPN, which is excellent.
When you create an account for billing purposes with PureVPN, you enter an email and a password (a mere 12 characters, with no special characters—hardly secure). But this isn’t the password or login information you use with the actual PureVPN app.
Instead, you receive an email with the password and username in plaintext. Other VPNs also handle user logins this way. The logic is that it separates your usage and payment identities, allowing for greater anonymity.
PureVPN’s PC client stands out immediately for the sheer volume of connection options and tools it makes available. Its policy on logging is unusually clear: the company records the time you connect to a server and the total bandwidth used, but otherwise there are no logs of the websites you visit, the files you download or anything else.
I was relatively impressed with PureVPN’s security; though these days, using strong encryption protocols is more of expectation. I like how easy it is to select various tunneling options.
TorGuard is a Nevis, West Indies-based company that offers VPN services. The company’s website explicitly states that the TorGuard service has nothing to do with the Tor project, as the name might suggest (although it does say that it supports the project through donations). In addition to all major credit cards, TorGuard also accepts BitCoin, PayPal, Alipay, and UnionPay.
No logs or timestamps are kept whatsoever. TorGuard does not store any traffic logs or user session data on our network. In addition to a strict no logging policy they run a shared IP configuration across all servers. Because there are no logs kept with multiple users sharing a single IP address, it is not possible to match a user with an IP and timestamp.
This VPN service connection also features increased encryption protocols making it the most secure VPN experience possible, worldwide.
If you’re concerned about VPN privacy or state-sponsored snooping, you may want to pick a VPN service operated outside of your home country. Similarly, if the service is based on the US, they’re subject to US laws and may be forced to turn over user data to the authorities upon request.
Many people make more of this than they should (we’ve seen overseas services turn over their data to friendly governments without any hesitation repeatedly), but it’s important to make sure a VPN has servers in multiple locations—or at least the location you’re interested in—when shopping.