One of the main reasons people choose to use a VPN is to have privacy from their ISP monitoring their internet usage. Unfortunately, if you choose a VPN that doesn’t respect your privacy with a no-logs policy, such as a sketchy free VPN, you can end up in a worse privacy position than if you hadn’t used a VPN at all. This is because free VPNs tend to be designed to make money off of selling their users’ activity, this means they do their very best to track and monetize every aspect of your VPN usage. This is compared to your ISP who may not even be tracking you or injecting adverts into the websites you visit.
There are typically two types of no-logs policy, the anonymized logs policy and the no-usage-logs policy. In order to keep its service running smoothly and to ensure enough resources are available, VPN providers do need some level of anonymized logs, however, it’s absolutely possible for them to operate with simple tools like network usage monitors and down-detectors. Most no-logs VPN providers operate roughly following this principle, only tracking generic data regarding the overall eco-system and never monitoring or logging individual user activities. Some track user data such as connection time and bandwidth used, but don’t log data regarding what websites were accessed.
Unfortunately, some no-log VPN providers are not as true to the concept of “no-logs”. A few VPN providers actively log and monetize the anonymized browsing activity of their users. As argued in the privacy policies of VPN providers that do this, by anonymizing the browsing data and not logging who performed what activity, your browsing activity is still technically private.
Why is a No-Logs Policy Important?
Part of the reason the “no-logs” policy is important is simply because your privacy is important. Another not insignificant part though is that any VPN provider or ISP that does store usage logs will likely do so in one centralized location. Centralized repositories of this type of commercially valuable information are a big target for hackers. Given the number of companies that suffer serious data breaches, it’s perfectly reasonable to feel uncomfortable in having your browsing data logged and potentially vulnerable to hackers.