1) VPN providers often need log files for maintenance and tariffs.
Almost every VPN service advertises: “Do not save log files”. However, in most cases this is just an advertising statement that is imprecise and can deceive ignorant users. For technical reasons, most VPN providers have to store log files (i.e. protocols) of user login times (login, use, logoff, IP address of the user). It would not otherwise be possible to implement tariffs with limited use of a certain number of devices, according to duration, limited amount of data, etc.
2) The landlords of the VPN servers usually also log.
In addition, there is the additional point that should be considered is that in the vast majority of cases, the IP addresses used on the VPN sites are not registered at all on the VPN providers themselves. This is referred to as “rented servers”.
The registrants are also the contact persons for information from the authorities or all things that have to do with the use of the IP addresses, that these landlords of the servers therefore in many cases completely log the use, is understandable.
This means that the VPN provider itself would not keep any records about the use of the individual servers, the owners of the servers would do this out of pure self-protection nevertheless. In most cases completely unnoticed or completely transparent. There is a great comparison for provider which save no log files at http://www.vpnNOlogs.com if you want to check out a good deal.
Some hints as to when a VPN service definitely uses log files:
Use on limited devices.
If you find a VPN provider that only allows 2, 3 or 5 devices to be used at the same time in its tariff, for example. Then it also has logfiles/protocols, otherwise it could not monitor how often you log in at the same time!
Use with limited data volume.
If you find a VPN provider that offers a limited tariff (How free with maximum 1GB month). In this case the provider also saves logfiles/protocols, otherwise it could not handle this technically.
VPN service uses VPS (Virtual Private Server).
Many VPN services, especially if you operate many servers, use rented servers from providers such as DigitalOcean or other providers. The “landlord/hoster”, however, creates guaranteed log files for all incoming and outgoing connections due to technical assistance. Even if your VPN service would not save any data, all data would still be available.
The VPN provider makes contradictory statements.
Many providers try to maintain the impression that they do not use log files as best they can. However, if you look at the privacy statements, you will often find treacherous contradictions. In combination with the offered tariffs this is quite clear, that the provider uses logfiles and protocols technically and stores them.
Thus one recognizes that a VPN has NO LOGFILES:
- No limitations – neither on devices, after time or after data limit!
- (You can use the service also unlimited often with a user name)
- Own servers instead of rental servers/virtual servers
- Own IP addresses (These will be registered to your own name)
- Uses cascades (Multi-Hop VPN) to conceal user activity
Reasons why VPN providers store logfiles!
- First and foremost, many VPN providers need logfiles to monitor the operation of their own network and servers. They do this in order to be always up to date and to guarantee a quality of service.
- The second aspect is that you can create tariffs that are more attractive for different user groups. So e.g. a cheap variant but limited to the use of a maximum of one device.
- Another aspect is that VPN services run the risk of their servers being confiscated by local authorities if they cannot provide information. So anyone who does not supply data to the authorities can have their servers confiscated. In order to protect yourself, it is therefore worth keeping log files in order to be able to supply data in this case.
The reason for this is that servers always log different activities. For example: “When a user logs in” VPN servers therefore also have different types of protocols that are created automatically. These usually include: logon times, IP addresses, activities performed, results of requests/executions, assigned countries, data transfers, memory usage, processor usage, etc..
Most log files are used by the administrator for troubleshooting purposes. They give an overview of past things that happened on a server or help to quickly identify sources of error even in real-time operation. With this you can manage hardware as well as software.
Are there any VPN providers that do not save log files?
Yes, there are. It should also be noted that the effort involved in operating a VPN service “completely without log files/protocols” is much greater.
The provider can also no longer restrict users from using the service on any number of devices at the same time. Therefore he does not have to offer “cheap” reduced tariffs. Thus it is naturally also substantially more heavily a large mass at customers to win.
The number of servers cannot grow continuously, because they will have to be maintained “manually”. This results in a natural number of active VPN servers, which is also limited by personnel resources. This again contributes to the fact that the service no longer appears so “attractive” in direct comparison with other VPN providers.