Do VPNs Keep Your Data?

Yes and no. While some VPNs are known for storing data at least temporarily, most VPN clients have a “no logs policy.” This usually means that the VPN company will not keep a log or record of any data.

The specifics of logging policies are sometimes different, so make sure you check your VPN’s website and read what their policy is. For example, CyberGhost has a strict no-logging policy, and they delete all data after 24 hours. Additionally, ExpressVPN only logs minimal information, such as your server location.

Is it legal to use a VPN?

Yes. Currently, VPNs are perfectly legal in the United States. The legality of a VPN varies from country to country. It is legal for you to protect your privacy by using or purchasing a VPN. While personal privacy is completely allowed, you should never break the law using a VPN or do anything that violates the VPN’s terms of use.

For example, it’s not legal to download or stream any copyrighted material like games, movies, or music without purchasing the items, even when you’re using a VPN.

Torrenting copyrighted media or files you don’t own is illegal. Here’s a basic rule of thumb: if the action is illegal without a VPN, it’s also illegal with a VPN and should be avoided.

How can I make sure my data is private?

Use a trusted, reliable VPN. When you access the internet through a VPN, your data is encrypted. This encryption helps protect your privacy by making it almost impossible for hackers to track your data.

When choosing a VPN, research the client’s encryption software. Many VPNs use 256-bit AES encryption, which is military-grade encryption. Look at the VPN’s security protocols and encryption software to help ensure that your data is safe and will not be tracked.

A VPN helps protect your privacy on public Wi-Fi. When you use Wi-Fi at a coffee shop, restaurant, or hotel, your data is not protected. A VPN encrypts your data and keeps you safe even when you connect to a public network.

In order to keep your personal information safe no matter how you connect to the internet, find a VPN that allows you to download on multiple devices. That way, you can protect your phone, tablets, and laptop all on one subscription.

Do certain countries keep my information more private than others?

Yes. If you want to keep your information private, keep an eye on the location of your VPN server. Long story short, there are specific international alliances that make certain countries better for privacy than others.

A “surveillance alliance” is an agreement between countries to share internet data. Some countries have alliances with internet service providers (ISPs) to flag key phrases and track specific data, mostly for security or research purposes. On the other hand, some countries don’t allow US officials to retrieve data.

If you want to keep your data as private as possible, avoid connecting to a VPN server in a country that’s part of your surveillance alliance. The United States is part of the Five Eyes alliance with Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom—meaning these countries often share data.1

You might be wondering how a no-logs policy fits into all of this. Why does it matter what country you use if your VPN provider does not track your data? Sometimes government entities can force a VPN to track data without their users knowing.1 If data security is imperative, connect to a country outside of the Five Eyes alliance.

What are the best VPNs to use?

Many factors contribute to which VPN is the best for your needs. If you’re someone who likes to travel, use a VPN with a high number of servers in various countries. If you enjoy streaming Netflix and Hulu, consider a VPN client with a fast internet speed. NordVPN, Mullvad, and Hotspot Shield are three of the fastest VPNs available.

If you’re more interested in sticking to a specific budget, then finding a quality VPN for a low price might be more your thing. Many VPNs have cheaper options when you subscribe for a year or longer plan. You might want to do some research before choosing which VPN is right for you.

Here’s a list of some of the best VPNs we’ve seen overall. This list provides a great starting point for finding the most tested and reliable VPNs.