Not all VPN providers are the same. Among the differences that are the most common worried about by the customer, (besides cost and reliability,) are logging, and who the provider answers to when information requests are made. But often this information is difficult to distinguish when it is contained in the complicated legalese and documentation that is called the “Terms of Service.”
Because of this, many are looking through the terms, and asking VPN providers a lot of questions, so here is a simplistic outline of how serious 5 highly popular takes the Anonymity issue. The most common questions to be addressed here are:
- Are any logs kept that would enable a 3rd party to match time stamps and IP addresses a particular user, and if so, what information is actually logged?
- What jurisdictions does the provider answer to in the event a query for data is made, and what are the requirements in which they will release the information requested.
- Maintains absolutely no logs of any kind. According to their Administration they would have to maintain at least 4TB of information daily to store the logs.
- The company is in a Canadian jurisdiction, but because they maintain no logs, no information can be shared, either with 3rd parties or governments.
2) Private Internet Access
- They also keep no logs of any kind, and instead of using Static, or Dynamic IPs, they use shared IP addresses. This makes it impossible to connect any user to any IP address or time stamp. On their website they also encourage their customers to use anonymous payment forms, like bitcoin, and anonymous emails, to help maintain the anonymity.
- They are in the US jurisdiction, but have gateways in Canada, the UK, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Their choice of the US jurisdiction was intentional though, as the US requires no data retention. Information is never shared with third parties, unless there is a warrant or court order. In these cases though, there are no logs to surrender.
3) Torrent Privacy
- Maintains connection logs, but doesn’t keep the IP addresses in them. They only keep these logs for 7 days, and maintain that it’s still impossible to find out who has been using their service.
- Seychelles strongvpnreview.online is their jurisdiction, so a special lawsuit is required to force them to relinquish the logs, though they do have servers in the Netherlands, US, and Sweden.
- TorGuard maintains logs that are deleted on a daily basis., and say that they can’t keep them any longer due to storage capacities that would be required. Since no IPs or timestamps are kept, determining who used the connection at any given time would be impossible.
- Based in Panama, they have servers in the Netherlands, Ukraine, Panama, and Romania. Information is never shared with any third parties, unless court orders compel them to do so. Even with this requirement satisfied, the lack of logs would comprise a lack of data to satisfy the request.
- They maintain that no IPs are stored, and that few issues have occurred, and that accidental divulgence has never happened.
- The main jurisdiction is in Sweden, but they intentionally keep the organizational data mixed, which makes it virtually impossible to legally gain access to any kind of data they do not want to divulge.