Internet is fun, undoubtedly! However, it is also susceptible to treachery. How? The internet has become a dangerous place. The advent of cybercrime and digital marketing has commercialized data. We are no longer private on the net. Governments have also realized the potential internet has and how they can utilize it to further their agenda. Thus, there is an all-encompassing presence of online surveillance. But all is not lost. Current VPNs, especially commercial vendors, have emerged as champions of an individual’s online security and privacy. No-logs policy, including the one for NordVPN, is part of that effort.
VPNs use virtual servers to access the internet, hiding their tracks. But they are a trust game. We willingly hand our data over to a provider, who can do whatever they want with it. That’s where no-logs come in. No logging policy ensures users that their data is inaccessible to anyone, including the vendor himself. But what is it, and is it reliable? You’ll find out by examining the logging policies of a critical VPN player, NordVPN. The article includes a closer look as well as why NordVPN favors user privacy over profit.
Disclaimer — The following article is subjective and pertains to the writer. We do not endorse any exclusive VPN, and we condone the abuse of such technology.
What is a no-logs VPN?
When employing a VPN, a user tends to look for distinct features. These may include connection speed, the server network, the ability to bypass geo-blocks, and some niche features like obfuscated servers and so on. But we can guarantee that no one will rely on a VPN that claims to log data. Why? Because it is one of the fundamental truths about VPNs. Users expect their VPNs to be logging-free. Although many vendors highlight and advertise their service as a no-logs VPN, that should be an obvious component. But the sad reality is that it is not so.
Some VPNs need to advertise themselves as a no-logs VPN because of the few unabashedly logging PII (Personal Identifiable Information). This simply defeats the purpose of the VPN. A zero-logging policy is supposed to be the founding pillar of a VPN. When you access the internet from the safety of your homes, the outgoing traffic first passes through your ISP. Your ISP is privy to everything you do on the web. In extreme cases, it can give your information to concerning parties. There are even countries where it is the law to hand over online data to authorities.
Thus, chances are, your data may end up with advertisers or, even worse, cybercriminals. Hence, users employ a VPN to prevent such scenarios. When you are on this connection, your data traffic undergoes encryption, and you remain hidden behind remote IP addresses. But the truth is that your vendor can easily access your data. That’s why there is a need for this policy. Without it, a VPN vendor can store your data and do whatever it wants with it. But a no-logs policy prevents this.
How does keeping no data logs protect users?
An organization can easily install a packet sniffer or relevant technology like the DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) to examine and block your traffic. Hence, it is paramount that you use VPNs if you prefer online security. However, those without decent logging policies are no good. That’s because they can themselves incur harm on users. Hence, a no-logs policy is crucial when fighting against online insurgency. Numerous agents can benefit from mining your data, such as:
- Hackers — They are individuals who try to gain illegal access to your device. They can employ methods such as MITM (man in the middle) or phishing to manipulate users into handing over their data. Furthermore, they can misuse your data to commit crimes. A no-logs VPN safeguards your data from potential hackers.
- ISP — ISP (Internet Service Provider) is the organization that provides you with internet access. But they also misuse your data for their personal goals. Sometimes ISPs are required by law to hand over user data as they always know what you do on the internet. Thus, a no-logs VPN can help users remain nearly anonymous on the web.
- Government — Authorities and official organizations delve into online surveillance. They claim it for the sake of national interest, but reports have shown that many have misused online data to manipulate voters. A government needs to respect the right to privacy, but if it doesn’t, you can always employ a zero-logging VPN to do so.
- Corporates — The age of digital marketing is here. Today, companies push their products online. They use algorithms to track your interests and employ cookies to collect data. If you do not like targeted marketing, VPNs are the way forward.
NordVPN No-logs policy: A quick look
- Connection time stamps
- Session information
- Used bandwidth
- Traffic logs
- IP addresses
The company also claims that as soon a user connects to the NordVPN network, their data becomes encrypted, even from the provider.
Does NordVPN log user data?
No, the vendor doesn’t gather any PII. Although, the claim that NordVPN doesn’t collect a single byte of data is not possible. Any VPN stores some data to track user subscriptions, purchases, server management, etc. NordVPN also logs your email and purchase records. However, there are few things NordVPN doe log, even if it’s temporary. It means that this data remains with NordVPN for 15 minutes after a session expires. The logged data includes:
- VPN servers you connect to
- CPU, RAM, and network usage of said server
- Your username and timestamp
- Device ID (but only for mobile devices)
- Type of device and corresponding operating system
- Crash error reports, if they occur
What does the term zero logging mean for NordVPN?
Independent audits are the only way for VPNs to ensure users about trustworthiness. NordVPN is the only vendor that has taken consecutive multiple (three so far) independent audits of its servers and central infrastructure. An independent audit inspects the source code of the software. It also investigates logging practices. NordVPN claims to be a “Zero-logging” VPN, and we stand behind them. All these have never turned over anything contradicting the claims of NordVPN.
Why is NordVPN no-logs policy good for user privacy?
NordVPN offers attractive features and a wholesome experience but it also assures your safety. What makes the NordVPN a good no-logs VPN? For sure, the policy is strict and guarantees user privacy. The company also has undertaken multiple independent audits to prove it. But what else? Given below are a few factors that make NordVPN one of the best No-logs VPN:
- Additional security & privacy features — Other than the no-logs policy, NordVPN has numerous features to ensure data safety. From exclusive tailor-made servers to Stealth mode and Double VPN features, NordVPN can ensure your safety.
- Independent audit — They are the only way for both users and a VPN vendor to earn each other’s trust. An independent audit can prove a VPNs claim. Thus, it can ensure users that their data is in safe hands. At the same time, an independent audit allows the provider to showcase their versatile policies and justify the various claims. VPNs are a trust game on a two-way street. Independent audits can help both users and vendors to walk it.
- Jurisdiction — The company hails from Panama, a country void of data retention laws and away from the prying eyes of the Five Eyes alliance. Hence, your data is safe with NordVPN, as the company is under no legal obligation to hand over user data.
- Payments via cryptocurrencies — NordVPN accepts cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Dash, Litecoin, XRP, Monero, Ethereum, and Ripple. It ensures user privacy. Users can sign up with their crypto wallet while remaining anonymous and nonetheless enjoy the 30-day money-back guarantee. Furthermore, the sole information the company logs are the relevant email and purchase history. Thus, using cryptocurrencies for payment adds another layer of security to your VPN.