One of the reasons to use a VPN is to protect the privacy of your online activities. However, if your chosen VPN doesn’t have a no-log policy, your anonymity may just be an illusion.

No-logs VPN providers keep none of your data, making sure your anonymity is secure.

If you’re an investigative journalist, a political activist, or a hacker, you don’t want your data lying around where government agencies can get to it. The best way to prevent that is investing in a powerful zero-logs VPN that will keep you anonymous online.

In the list below, you’ll find our top providers.

No time to read? Here are our best VPNs:

1. NordVPN

NordVPN service logo
  • Logging policy: zero logs
  • Location: Panama
  • Features: military-grade encryption, kill switch, free SOCKS5 proxy, DoubleVPN, SmartPlay

NordVPN, based in Panama, has the most robust Privacy Policy you can expect in any VPN.

Due to its location, NordVPN doesn’t have to comply with any data retention laws. This means you can rest assured that NordVPN is a no-logs VPN, and hence, your privacy won’t be compromised.

In addition to optimized servers that enable fuss-free streaming and access to torrent sites, other features include a kill switch (to prevent unintended IP leaks), OpenVPN support, and Dedicated IPs.

NordVPN also offers the SmartPlay feature, which enables secure access to geo-blocked content without any drop-off in speed.

To take advantage of all these features, subscribe to NordVPN on their website. After all, you have nothing to lose with its 30-day money-back guarantee.

2. Surfshark VPN

Surfshark VPN service logo
  • Logging policy: zero logs
  • Location: British Virgin Islands (BVI)
  • Features: military-grade encryption, Smart DNS, split tunneling

Surfshark is based in the British Virgin Islands and therefore benefits from its privacy-friendly legislation.

Again, there are no data retention laws to worry about, and the service doesn’t limit the number of connections per account. Combined, these facts ensure that Surfshark can boast a real no-logs policy.

What is also great about this provider is that subscribing to Surfshark means getting a handy split tunneling feature. With it, you’ll be able to manage which sites and apps you want to be protected with a VPN, and which ones you’re OK leaving unhidden.

Lastly, Surfshark prices are highly affordable, and the best part is that you can use cryptocurrencies to pay for your subscription, adding an extra layer of privacy.

3. Mullvad VPN

Mullvad VPN service logo
  • Logging policy: zero logs
  • Location: Sweden
  • Features: military-grade encryption, OpenVPN, WireGuard, and Bridge tunneling protocols, split tunneling, kill switch

The Swedish Mullvad delivers one of the strictest and most dependable zero logs policies in the industry.

For starters, you can purchase Mullvad VPN via anonymous payment methods, making it as private as possible. Mullvad VPN doesn’t require any personally identifiable information to sign up for its services. You are assigned a randomly generated number, and that is pretty much all they know about you.

Mullvad VPN only uses a few essential cookies to ensure that its website functions properly, but the majority of those expire as soon as you close your browser window.

What is more, choosing this provider means being able to use its split tunneling feature, as well as a powerful kill switch and reliable protocols. All of them will keep you anonymous and private online.

4. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access service logo
  • Logging policy: minimal data collection
  • Location: USA
  • Features: military-grade encryption, kill switch, Handshake Naming System (HNS)

Private Internet Access track record is spotless as far as privacy and logging are concerned.

In 2016, following an FBI subpoena, US authorities tried to get information from PIA to help with an investigation into a possible hoaxer. PIA’s parent company, London Trust Media Inc, kindly informed the FBI of their inability to provide the desired information as it did not log any user activity, just as their privacy policy clearly states.

Additionally, PIA’s strengths include support for P2P connections, a Handshake Naming System (HNS), and a kill switch.

If you choose to get PIA, you’ll be able to pay for it with cryptocurrencies (Zcash and Bitcoin Cash). If you choose to pay by card, however, you’ll have no worries about changing your mind, you’re entitled to a 30-day money-back guarantee.

5. VyprVPN

VyprVPN service logo
  • Logging policy: minimal data collection
  • Location: Switzerland
  • Features: military-grade encryption, Chameleon 2.0 tunneling protocol, kill switch

VyprVPN is one of the providers that tweaked its logging policy to ensure extra privacy for its users.

Golden Frog, the company behind VyprVPN, switched to a no-logging policy and had it independently audited by Leviathan Security. Leviathan’s audit helped to fix “weaknesses in GoldenFrog’s implementation” of its Privacy Policy.

Hence, these days, getting VyprVPN means getting a safe and reliable product that doesn’t track your online activities. Moreover, you are able to enjoy other excellent features, such as Chameleon 2.0 tunneling protocol, and a kill switch.

When it comes to its downsides, sadly, VyprVPN you cannot sign-up for VyprVPN anonymously, which is a little disappointing.

If these facts are not relevant to you, VyprVPN, with its affordable prices, is a great choice for any regular internet user.

6. Windscribe VPN

Windscribe VPN service logo
  • Logging policy: minimal data collection
  • Location: Canada
  • Features: military-grade encryption, kill switch, secure hotspot, social fence

Windscribe VPN, despite being based in Canada (a 5-Eyes country), wins in all the right ways.

When it comes to the Privacy Policy, Windscribe has a crystal clear one: no logs, no incoming or outgoing IP addresses, no historical sessions.

When this no logs VPN collects information, it records minute elements like the OpenVPN username, VPN servers connected to, connection duration, and amount of data transferred. And even this information expires and is discarded within three minutes.

Getting Windscribe is smart in a number of ways, not least of which is the fact that it allows users to connect an unlimited number of devices and does not compromise on performance. The client platforms are basic and easy enough to use for most of your general needs.

7. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN service logo
  • Logging policy: zero logs
  • Location: British Virgin Islands (BVI)
  • Features: military-grade encryption, Network Lock (kill switch)

ExpressVPN operates from the British Virgin Islands. With the provider’s extensive and thorough Privacy Policy, you can be sure that ExpressVPN doesn’t log your data.

In 2017, Turkish authorities investigating the murder of the Russian ambassador for Turkey seized an ExpressVPN server. However, because the provider does not retain browsing history, DNS queries, traffic data, or IP addresses, they were unable to extract any useful information.

In other words, this strict no logs policy has passed a real-life test and proved to be true to its promises.

If you decide to get ExpressVPN, you get one of the fastest providers out there, packed with top-notch security features. The prices are high, hence decide whether the features are worth what you’re paying for it.

8. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN service logo
  • Logging policy: minimal data collection
  • Location: Switzerland
  • Features: military-grade encryption, kill switch, Secure Core, Tor over VPN

ProtonVPN, based in Switzerland, was founded by the creators of ProtonMail.

These two facts alone are a testament to the potential of this VPN. ProtonVPN only keeps a login timestamp, which is overwritten when a new successful login takes place. Thus, IP and traffic logs are non-existent. And, with Switzerland not bound by the US or EU regulations, you can be confident that your privacy is safe.

Recently, Switzerland passed data retention laws for major telecoms and internet service providers. Proton Tech AG (ProtonVPN owners), however, cleared the air stating their exemption from the list citing they are not considered a major telecom company.

If you need more reasons to get ProtonVPN, how about a kill switch, Secure Core, and Tor over VPN features? They’ll surely make your online activities as anonymous as they can get.

9. AirVPN

AirVPN service logo
  • Logging policy: minimal data collection
  • Location: Italy
  • Features: military-grade encryption, split tunneling, Tor integration, highly customizable kill switch

If you’re not looking to spend too much and just want to browse, stream on Netflix, download torrents, or circumnavigate censorship, then subscribing to AirVPN offers excellent value for money.

One might worry that the VPN is based in Italy, an EU country. However, AirVPN is run by believers in internet neutrality and uncensored online freedom, hence there was no proof of them breaking their promises to deliver privacy to product users.

When opting for this provider, you also get a split tunneling feature, Tor integration, and highly customizable kill switch.

What’s more, AirVPN guarantees a minimum of 4 Mbps for both downloads and uploads. And with its affordable plans, AirVPN sits comfortably amidst the best 10 no logs VPNs.

10. Ivacy VPN

Ivacy VPN service logo
  • Logging policy: minimal data collection
  • Location: Singapore
  • Features: military-grade encryption, Internet Kill Switch (IKS), advanced WebRTC protection feature for Chrome

Ivacy VPN is not only packed with great security features, but it also has a user-friendly privacy policy.

This service collects the absolute minimum of data about users. If you sign up for IvacyVPN using a throwaway email account and pay in crypto, your activity with Ivacy becomes essentially anonymous. The VPN’s awesome security features only bolster this anonymity.

There is a caveat, however. First, Ivacy is based in Singapore, which is a Five Eyes partner. And second, its real parent company is most likely Gaditek – the Pakistani company behind PureVPN. The latter also used to boast a great no-logs policy right up until they delivered logs to aid an FBI investigation some years ago.

Therefore, we include this VPN on this list due to no evidence of it breaking its privacy policy, but we would recommend judging the product with a grain of salt.

VPN logging practices

  • Usage logs: this information includes your online activity ranging from connection times, browsing history, metadata, and IP addresses (your originating/true IP and visited IPs). When a VPN logs this information, your privacy is not guaranteed. As a matter of fact, these logs can have serious consequences if forced by the authorities to be shared; you can be identified and located. That’s not what a political activist or hacker would want, right? Most free VPNs are spyware as they collect usage logs, which are then sold to third parties. In essence, “free VPN” services are monitored and thus, are far from anonymous or secure.
  • Connection logs: these logs generally include dates, connection data, time, and IP addresses (sometimes). This data is not as invasive or as sensitive as usage logs unless they include your true IP address, of course. These logs are mainly used to resolve user problems, to monitor the number of devices and data used as well as to help optimize the VPN network. Most VPNs collect such data; otherwise, they couldn’t maintain their security operations and the quality of their services. This kind of logging may be referred to differently in the Privacy Policy not to scare beginner VPN users away. Unfortunately, there’s been a tendency lately to collect more sensitive data like the true IP address under the flag of connection logging — one more reason to read the Privacy Policy carefully.
  • No logs: simply put, no logs VPN offers the only total guarantee of privacy on the internet. However, implementing a completely no logs policy is an uphill task as providers also need to enforce device connections and bandwidth. No logs or zero-log policy has also become a marketing weapon for VPN providers. Therefore, you need to make sure you choose a service that walks the walk and not just talks the talk.

VPN logging practices

Verifying no logs VPN claims

From the research conducted to come up with this list, contradictory claims and false promises have come out as a mainstay in most Privacy Policies, if read carefully. The reality is that the VPN logs issue is a grey area, and it’s almost impossible to verify the validity of the provider’s claims. The non-existence of a widely-recognized no logs standard does not help the matter, either.

To put that into perspective, Cody Kretsinger (alias recursion) a former member of LulzSec, a black hat group of hackers, comes to mind. While using a popular VPN (HideMyAss), his activity linked him and his persona to a number of high profile hacks. This included illegal access to Sony Pictures’ servers. HMAs logging policy reads, “We DO NOT store details of, or monitor, the resources (including websites) you connect to or any of the data sent or received over our network, when using our VPN service.”

However, after a UK court ordered HMA to furnish them with logs of the suspect account, those same logs were used to pinpoint and bring Kretsinger to book. Although it might sound mundane, it is incredibly vital that you read the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy of the VPN you are considering.

There is, however, consolation in instances where the no logs claims have been verified as mentioned above in a few cases. When you choose the VPN to go for, just look at the honesty and transparency of the provider as well as court cases, if any, that they have been involved in. Go through the Privacy Policy carefully and also check out VPN reviews, comparisons jurisdictions, and test results.

What about free VPNs?

If you’re reading this article, you’re more likely than not to care about your anonymity online.

Therefore, avoiding free VPNs is the best you can do. While there are some decent free providers on the market, there’s only a handful of them. Opting for a free VPN would usually mean sacrificing your privacy, because free services are usually funded through ads or worse.

If what you’re looking for is complete anonymity, choose one of the providers from the list above, and you’ll be good to go!