Top 10 VPN Logging Policies & Verified No-Log VPNs

top VPNs logging policies explained

Most VPNs with a half decent landing page advertise themselves as being log-free or having no logs. But is it really the case?

People subscribe to a VPN for a number of reasons, and in many cases, it’s all about unlocking geo-restricted content (particularly Netflix), etc.

But let’s face it: the reason you subscribe to a VPN is because you want to be hidden and safe. It’s obvious. A VPN must be able to hide all your activities and your identity away from prying eyes so you can do whatever you want away from anyone’s reach – even the government. It should be, after all, your right.

Of course, even if you use a VPN (and no matter which VPN you use), there are digital footsteps. These take the form of logs in your VPN’s server which might be kept or deleted depending on the logging policies of your VPN provider. Which begs the question…

What Exactly Are Logs?

Logs, in general, are bits of information you leave while being connected to the Internet. The data is available to your VPN provider – the websites you visit, when you visit the sites, what you do on those sites, the personal information share, usernames, passwords, other identification details; this might help service providers to track information back to a specific user.

This information stored is referred to as a “log”.

There are different types of logs for different use cases. Your VPN provider may retain some information (that they will eventually wipe off from their servers) or they may choose to record and keep (and sell) everything. This all depends on the nature of the information and the VPN services themselves… so what are the kinds of VPN logs?

Kinds of VPN Logs

In order to further understand no-log policies, you need to have a brief knowledge of the kinds of logs that your VPNs keep.

There are 2 major types of logs – activity and connection logs.

Activity logs, or sometimes called usage logs, are those which contain all your activities on the Internet. These logs pose a great threat to your safety and anonymity.

These include:

  • All the websites and IPs you’ve visited.
  • The applications you have used.
  • Connection times.
  • Metadata.

Fortunately, some of the best premium VPNs do not retain this type of data. Some examples of them are NordVPN, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, VyprVPN, and Private Internet Access.

But free VPNs retain all of this for the sole purpose of selling your data to the highest bidder. This can be advertisers who want to push personalized ads or even governments seeking to track every click. Not cool!

Another kind of logs is connection logs. Connection logs are often called “harmless” logs.

These are already given since the moment you visit a website, your connection is timestamped and traced back to your ISP so you can be identified. It’s a slight snoop in your activity, but it’s not as intrusive as activity logs. However, this can pose as a security risk depending on the extent of the log and the length of time such logs are kept for. In some extreme cases, these logs are never deleted.

Connection logs are often used by VPN providers to make sure their service isn’t being abused by free trial accounts, hackers, and extreme pirates.

Now that you know what kind of logs are being kept, it’s time to fully know what kind of processes your premium VPN providers go through do to ensure your anonymity.

What exactly are they tracking, to what extent, and how do they keep things leak-proof?

Top 10 VPN Logging Policies

Logging policies can also vary on different points.

VPN providers claim that they have no logs yet rent third-party servers. Not only do the third-party services have access to your log, but they also do not have the same level of security as your VPN provider which will definitely leave you vulnerable.

Consequently, you need to choose a VPN that will guard not only your activities on the Internet but your personal information and activity on multiple levels. It’s not easy to discern which VPN is actually protecting you over a “bad” VPN, so we’ve taken the time to review the no log policies of the VPNs we always recommend.

Take the time to learn if these VPNs below are keeping you safe! We’ve marked what each VPN is logging and for what purpose (in parenthesis).

1. NordVPN

“We don’t track, collect, or share your private data. It’s none of our business.”

NordVPN wouldn’t be our top-rated VPN for no reason. It’s natural to think that when you’re looking for a premium VPN and one ranks 1st on the list, you know there would be no privacy issues.

True enough, NordVPN has a strict no-log policy. Consumers are ensured that none of their data, traffic logs, and browsed content is being spied on by third parties or even the government.

NordVPN collects:

  • Email address (Marketing)
  • Cookies (Marketing)
  • Payment data (Payment Fraud Protection / Refunds)
  • Timestamp of last session status (Service Improvements)
  • Customer service information (Service Improvements)

They collect the minimum information with justifications; the data is being used to improve services and prevent account abuse.

The data will all be encrypted and cannot identify you. It’s all for the sake of user convenience so NordVPN’s logging policy is all clear.

Furthermore, NordVPN operates in Panama so it’s away from the prying eyes of any surveillance alliances. There has been no breaches or leaks, or any news around them cooperating with government investigations so far.

Want to know how NordVPN made it to the top of our list? Read more about NordVPN here.

2. ExpressVPN

“Your DNS traffic is your business. Protect it.”

With ExpressVPN being one of the most prominent VPN providers in the market, it’s a no-brainer that it also values the privacy of its customers.

On the website, they state that they do not and will never log IP addresses, browsing history, traffic destination, and DNS queries. While you may feel somewhat secure about this, it doesn’t erase the fact that they collect some information…

ExpressVPN collects:

  • ExpressVPN apps and app versions successfully activated (Service Improvements / Refunds)
  • Dates (not times) when connected to the VPN service (Service Improvements / Refunds)
  • Choice of VPN server location (Service Improvements / Optimization)
  • Total amount (in MB) of data transferred per day (Service Improvements / Tracking Abuse)

We do remind you that these particular data are not sufficient to determine the individuality of a particular user, so you can rest your head on this one – you will remain anonymous despite these.

Apart from their no logging policy, they also operate their own DNS on every server, meaning there are no third party DNS. Identifiable data is never stored on any server.

What’s more favorable is that ExpressVPN is based in the British Virgin Islands. This means that they are far from intrusion by government entities around the world. Talk about independence.

Curious about ExpressVPN? Read more about it here.

3. VyprVPN

“We don’t log VPN user activity. We’re audited to prove it to you.”

Not too long ago, VyperVPN had some issues with its claim of absolute no-log policy.

They stated on their website that they required some logging of VPN service data in the past for the convenience of their customers. It helped them to filter the unnecessary content and optimize the experience of their users.

And with their commitment to being fully transparent, they enumerated the information they formerly logged and retained for 30 days which included:

  • Customer’s source IP address
  • VyprVPN’s IP address assigned to the user
  • Connection start and end times
  • Total number of bytes used

In November 2018, the company made the decision to hire an independent auditor – security firm Leviathan – to strengthen its commitment to being a No-Log Policy VPN.

Subsequently, in March 2019, it changed its policies to further confirm that truly, they keep no activity logs of its users whatsoever.

VyprVPN collects:

  • Personal Data from registration (Service Improvements / Refunds)
  • Customer support inquiries (Service Improvements / Refunds)
  • Third-party party payment processors (Refunds / Fraud Detection)
  • Third-party party analytics software and cookies (Marketing)

Way to go, VyperVPN!

Do you want to know more about VyperVPN? Read about it here.

4. CyberGhostVPN

“The only way to secure your data is not to store it.”

But is it really the case, CyberGhostVPN?

The VPN company claims that it fully implements a no-log policy for the activity of its users.

CyberGhostVPN collects the personal and non-personal data of its users from account registrations and support inquiries. The former includes data such as registration information for the proper administration of the accounts of its users. The latter, on the other hand, consists of data which is exchanged between the user’s browser and the company’s affiliates or their server.

CyberGhost collects:

  1. Personal data during registration (Service Improvements / Refunds)
  2. IP address during payment – not connected to VPN (Fraud Detection)
  3. Third-party party analytics software and cookies (Marketing)
  4. Connection attempt, country of origin, CyberGhost VPN version, “etc” (Service Improvements)

This poses no threat if the company could just invite a security firm to run an audit and publish the results.

Data concerning the performance of their services are shared with a third-party called MixPanel. It may not be that alarming because it’s a tool for improving the product with user experience data. It acts as sort of a gauge to determine satisfactory performance but for some users who don’t like third party analytics, they also happen to use VWO, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, Bing, Instabug, BugSplat, OpenX, etc.

The two most worrying parts are: they track when and how often you are connecting to their VPN servers which they use to optimize their services by identifying peak hours and such…

…And the usage of “etc” in their list of data collected during connection attempt. Etc? Really? This is a broad statement.

They claim that they don’t track its users’ internet traffic performed using the VPN and identifying information. They don’t quite clearly state what they do track under “etc”…

Need some convincing? Check out our review of CyberGhostVPN here.

5. Private Internet Access (PIA) VPN

Private Internet Access. As secure as the name may sound, can PIA really attest to this fact?

It may come as a red flag for some because of the fact that it’s based in the US, but don’t worry, you’re safe and secure because PIA has proven no intrusion of the government and its no-log policies in court.

Yes, you heard that right. PIA has proven its no-log policies and has protected the privacy of its users in court. And not just once, but twice!

PIA deserves all the praise it receives from the privacy community. After all, it values its customers’ anonymity and security – and has “definitive” proof. They don’t bother spelling it out in their Terms of Service because of this.

If you’re not convinced, check out our review of PIA here.

6. Ivacy VPN

“No data logging to worry about.”

Who would have thought? Ivacy VPN advertises itself as one of the most extremely affordable VPNs in the market.

Some users might think that with cheap subscriptions come faulty security. Well, we hate to break it to you but it’s a misnomer for Ivacy VPN.

It certainly values the privacy of its customers because they seem to collect the bare necessities.

Ivacy collects:

  • Billing information (Refunds / Fraud Detection)
  • Ivacy VPN software and app-related data such as events, failed connection attempts, application, aggregated bandwidth (Service Improvements / Abuse)
  • Support-related emails and chat log (Service Improvements)

Data pertaining to inactive customers is purged after 12 months.

Ivacy also uses a handful of product tools such as MixPanel, Firebase, Crashlytics, Google Analytics, and iTunes. That said, they still promise to protect you from ISP tracking and third party spying.

Need some more convincing? Check out our review of Ivacy VPN here.

7. Trust.Zone

Trust is a very big word, especially for VPN providers.

Trust.Zone is another VPN that claims zero logging. They claim that all their VPN servers do not store log files to keep the privacy of their users secure and safe.

Trust.Zone collects:

  • Billing information (Refunds / Fraud Detection)
  • Support-related emails and chat log (Service Improvements)
  • Third-party payment processors (Refunds / Fraud Detection)
  • Third-party analytics software and cookies (Marketing)

Collecting personal information from the account registration process is the norm. E-mail addresses are used for marketing newsletters and product updates so you can just use a new email account.

We cannot say the same for the third parties who process the payments made on their site. Hence, it’s advisable to use cryptocurrency for payments to keep your information safe.

One thing to note is they mention something about usage data being anonymous. So are they collecting anonymized usage data and how secure is this?

Read our review about Trust.Zone here to see if it’s for you.

8. Windscribe VPN

“Take your browsing history to your grave.”

Some VPN privacy policies lay out all the details necessary for a secure and safe experience – but Windscribe is one of the most transparent when it comes to explaining their log policy.

Their policy breaks down what they collect in various steps:

  • When you visit their website, they use 3rd party tracking and analytics (Marketing)
  • When you sign up, they log your email (Marketing)
  • When you pay, a 3rd party payment processor takes your billing information (Billing / Fraud Detection)

Windscribe collects:

  • Total amount of data transferred within a 30-day window (Free Trial Abuse)
  • Timestamp of your last activity (Free Trial Abuse)
  • Number of connections (Free Trial / Device Limitation Abuse)

And they’re quite honest about what’s being stored in the servers’ memory which is immediately wiped when you disconnect:

  • OpenVPN/IKEv2 username
  • Time of connection
  • Amount of data transferred

As stated in their privacy policy, they keep logs of the bandwidth you consume on their network and a record of your last connection to their servers. A little scary, but they are honest about it.

The deal breaker for some might be the fact that they operated in Canada. In case you didn’t know, Canada is one of the founding members of the Five Eyes Alliance.

All in all, we’re quite happy to see such a transparent no-log policy. But if you are perceptive about total privacy, then you should think twice before subscribing to this one due to their jurisdiction.

If you need more facts, check out our review of Windscribe VPN here.

9. ibVPN

“Will you really be invisible with ibVPN?”

Perhaps, you will. They start off their privacy policy with “We collect personally identifiable information about you…” but goes on to say they don’t collect or log any traffic or use of their VPN service.

ibVPN is based in Romania so you know they aren’t legally obliged to keep logs of the activities of their users.

If you’re looking for further proof, take it from one of the founders himself, Dan Gurghian.

ibVPN collects:

  • Billing information (Refunds / Fraud Detection)
  • Support-related emails and chat log (Service Improvements)
  • Third-party payment processors (Refunds / Fraud Detection)
  • Third-party analytics software and cookies (Marketing)

They store limited data but it’s for the sake of monitoring users who abuse the free trial they provide. It also allows them to stop spamming and to prevent other users from doing things which are not allowed in some of their servers. They also go on to say that they “cannot relate any specific activity with any specific user” in case they do have to comply with the law and share what little information they have.

If you want to know more about ibVPN, you can check out our review here.

10. hide.me VPN

hide.me is a less popular VPN in the market but with its clear no-log policy, it does not disappoint.

They want to stray away from possible legal liability both ways, so they strictly do not log the data of its users.

hide.me collects:

  • Personal data you share during signup (Billing / Marketing)
  • Non-persistent log of connection data which includes customers’ randomly generated usernames and assigned IP addresses (Service Improvements)
  • Third-party marketing and product tools (Marketing / Service)

Do note that they only keep the connection data for troubleshooting purposes and this is wiped clean once the issue is resolved.

Furthermore, they represent that all the possible data they receive on their servers always remain anonymous, so your identity is protected.

One fact worth noticing is that hide.me VPN is based in Malaysia which supports no data retention. It’s a long stretch away from being investigated by any government entities.

If you want to know more about hide.me VPN, check out our review here.

5 Verified No-Log VPNs

Premium VPNs sometimes go to the extent of proving their stance on privacy issues such as logging policies through other methods apart from just the common marketing copy on their website. It’s needed. After all, it’s one of the primary reasons why a customer should subscribe in the first place.

Users, on the other hand, need additional confirmation. For a very meticulous one, just an assertion of not keeping logs will not suffice. There has to be some definitive proof that indeed, a VPN can brand itself as “safe”.

Only a few VPNs have attained a verified status in the Internet community, and each of these can fully attest to the safety of its customers on its platform. Take a look!

1. NordVPN

If you need to verify further whether or not you can trust NordVPN with your browsing activities, then check this out.

In order to strengthen their commitment to being a log-free VPN, they hired an independent audit company just recently. In case you were wondering, the audit was done by none other than PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, one of the big 4 auditing firms in the world.

The audit report wasn’t available at first given the confidentiality of the details, but in January 2019, the company cited that the report is now available to be viewed by NordVPN subscribers and free trial users.

So there you have it, folks. NordVPN is tried and tested to be log-free.

2. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a top-tier VPN for a reason. Its vast number of subscribers and considerable recommendation on the Internet are proof that it also values privacy and security above anything else.

But it’s hard to prove a no-log policy claim unless backed up by some sort of documented evidence – that’s why ExpressVPN has also expressed its willingness to undergo an audit.

Recently, ExpressVPN invited Cure53, a cybersecurity firm to conduct a review of their privacy policies. The inspection ranged from testing the extension in browsers to other issues that possibly needed fixing.

Cure53’s report on its findings is viewable on its website, but you can also find a summary of it on ExpressVPN’s website. The report affirms ExpressVPN’s no-log policy, so you can rest assured knowing that your information won’t be stored or kept.

3. VyperVPN

VyprVPN has had its own fair share of doubts in the past, presumably because of its minimal logging policies which included IP addresses, bandwidth consumption, and others.

When the company sought to prove how it can compete with other VPNs which upheld no-log policies in good light, so they decided to hire the services of Leviathan Security to perform an independent audit.

Fast forward to the present, VyprVPN now boasts itself as the first VPN provider who has been publicly audited – which further reinforced their claim of being log-free.

In case you want to read it, VyperVPN’s audit documents are available here for viewing.

4. CyberGhostVPN

While CyberGhostVPN may not have an independent audit to back its claim of no logs, it’s still a VPN provider that keeps true to its word.

In March 2012, the VPN provider successfully passed an audit conducted by QSCert for the Information Safety Management System (ISMS). The mark signified that the internal processes laid out by the company for its users have passed the industry’s standards.  Additionally, the certification is renewed yearly so you’re certain that it keeps up with current standards.

That being said, it looks like CyberGhost VPN is living up to its reputation of being a no-log VPN by conducting a yearly transparency report.

5. Private Internet Access

If most VPNs had their activities audited for the sake of proving their no-logs policy, Private Internet Access did it in the most convincing way possible.

The VPN provider has proven its no-log policies in court.

If you can’t comprehend what’s amazing about this claim, do take note that PIA operates in the US. For your knowledge, the country is known as being part of the Five Eyes Alliance, an organization which focuses on surveillance and intelligence.

This means that Private Internet Access fully favors the privacy of their users over what the government is demanding.

So it’s no wonder that PIA’s victory is celebrated by its loyal users and the community alike. It’s actually one of the most trusted VPNs in the industry when it comes to privacy, so you can rest assured that PIA is one of the safer choices you can make.

Protect Your Privacy Through a VPN With Proven No-Log Policy

High speeds, geo-unlocks, and smooth UX are a must-haves for VPNs, but privacy and security should be the most important.

Your information being readily available for snooping by third parties is a scary thought. To be safe, always make sure that your VPN doesn’t keep notes about what you’re doing.

And with all these facts we’ve given, you’re ready to make the most educated decision you can make. It’s a matter of preference on your part, but it’s truly up to you to choose which VPN do you want to put your trust on.

Choose a VPN which does not compromise your privacy and security.

Us? We choose NordVPN.

Top 5 Free (or Freemium) VPNs That Actually Work

You know you need a VPN to access your favorite Netflix content, hide your browsing habits from ISPs and governments, or protect your data from third party advertisers. But how does it actually work?

How VPNs Work

To put it simply, VPNs (which stands for Virtual Private Network, in case you’re wondering) work by connecting you to a secure network of servers. When you’re connected to this network, your traffic (Google searches, for example) is routed through the network to a server that acts as an intermediary. This server then sends your traffic request to the site you’re trying to access.

All while encrypting your data.

By doing this, both your computer (your network and anybody watching, such as your ISP) and the site you’re visiting can only see the VPN server. This detaches your internet activity from your IP address and keeps you hidden and secure.

Some VPNs do a better job of this than others. That’s why it’s always a good idea to check if you’re using a good, trusted, and secure VPN, especially when it’s free.

Why use a free VPN? What’s the difference between free and paid?

Glad you asked.

With our extensive testing of various VPN services, we’ve learned that there’s a distinct difference between free and paid VPNs. The bottom line is that you’ll always be better off with a paid VPN. In most cases, you get what you pay for.

Some VPNs start as low as $5-10 per month. If you’re serious about your privacy, this is a worthwhile expense.

But if paying is not an option, read on.

Generally speaking, free VPNs are the same as regular VPNs, but with restrictions such as:

  • Limited bandwidth
  • Limited access to servers and locations
  • Slower performance
  • Limited protocols and encryptions
  • No access to Netflix or torrent-friendly servers

Found a free VPN with high data allowance? It’s probably very slow and useless for streaming. Got a free VPN with good speeds? You’ll probably only have enough data allowance for one episode of your favorite Netflix show. Two if you’re lucky.

Since these VPN services need to earn money somehow, they’re also more likely to mine your data so that it can be sold on to third-parties like marketing agencies.

Not all free VPNs are like this and you’ll be pleased to know that there are some fantastic ones out there. We’ve tested these so that you don’t have to—just download them and go!

It’s worth noting that these are freemium VPNs. This means they have free plans in addition to their paid, premium options. This is because VPNs that are 100% free tend to be really bad because they have no way to make money, which means they have limited resources to develop their service.

Best Freemium VPNs

Without further ado, here are the 5 best freemium VPNs we’ve tested. For in-depth reviews on each one, check out our full list of VPN reviews.

1. Windscribe

Windscribe is our favorite freemium VPN service. It’s very popular with their users, too. A Canadian-based company, Windscribe operates servers all over the world and was founded in 2015 by Yegor Sak (who is quite active in talking to the community!).

Freemium Plan Details
Windscribe’s free version is pretty good as far as free VPN plans go. With the free plan, you get 10GB/month with access to servers across 10 different countries. You also get the same speeds as their premium users, and none of your information is monitored, mined, stored, logged, or sold on to third parties. Plus, there’s a built-in firewall and ad blocker.

Freemium Plan Limits
Limitations with Windscribe do begin to show up when you start to look at what’s on offer to premium members. For premium members, Windscribe offers over 50 different locations and there are no data caps.

Read our verdict of Windscribe here
Get Windscribe Free

2. Hide.me

Another relatively good freemium VPN service is Hide.me. The company’s based in Malaysia and calls itself the “world’s fastest VPN” that lets you “take back your freedom.” Bold statements, right?

Freemium Plan Details
When using Hide.me’s free service, you still get the good stuff like IP leak protection, a kill switch, one-click connect, and split tunneling. Malaysia is not part of any intergovernmental agreements (e.g. 5 Eyes) either, so your information is safe. Also, the connection speeds are respectable, and you won’t be bombarded with ads.

Freemium Plan Limits

On their free plan, you can only connect to certain countries and none of these include Europe or the United States. This might be a dealbreaker for some of you. In addition to this, your data transfer is capped at 500MB that only renews every two weeks.

Read our verdict of Hide.me here
Get Hide.me Free

3. Hotspot Shield

Hotspot Shield is a well-known VPN provider and you have probably come across them in one form or another before. They have apps for virtually everything, including browser extensions and mobile devices. While they don’t exactly get the best press online, it’s far from being a ‘bad’ freemium service, particularly when you compare it to what’s available!

Freemium Plan Details

When using the free version of Hotspot Shield, you will still manage to pull impressive download speeds and your traffic is protected and encrypted to the same extent as their premium plan.

Freemium Plan Limits

You’ll only be able to use one of their servers based in the United States, and this can only be accessed from a single device. When accessing content from certain sources, (e.g. the BBC or Hulu) you’ll see a premium payment wall. As for Netflix, it doesn’t work at all. They’ve also opted to include banner ads as part of the freemium plan, and you’re limited to 500MB per day. Still, this is far better than Hide.me’s 500MB every two weeks.

Read our verdict of Hotspot Shield here
Get Hotspot Shield Free

4. ProtonVPN

ProtonVPN hasn’t been around for all that long, but they’ve certainly made an impression on us. It’s a private and secure service that’s available across several devices, including Linux and iOS. Their founders are scientists who met each other at CERN and started the secure ProtonMail project, so they don’t mess around with their technology.

Freemium Plan Details

Built with security in mind, ProtonVPN has an ultra-secure core architecture that is backed up with AES-256 encryption, supplemented with 2048-bit RSA, HMAC, and SHA256. It uses the OpenVPN protocol, too, which is the industry standard for security. All this is available for both free and premium users. Unlike the other freemium plans we’ve looked at, ProtonVPN doesn’t have any data caps or limitations.

Freemium Plan Limits

Although there are no data limits, you can only use ProtonVPN’s free version on one device and, at the time of writing, there are only three countries that include free servers. It also doesn’t work with Netflix. Speeds are OK, but they’re not the best.

Read our verdict of ProtonVPN here
Get ProtonVPN Free

5. TunnelBear

One of the most newbie-friendly VPN services in existence, TunnelBear is known for all the right reasons. The best thing about TunnelBear by far is how easy it is to use; it’s a plug-in-and-play VPN that works without you needing to configure settings or manually install additional components. It’s worth noting that TunnelBear is now owned by McAfee, A US-based company, which brings with it some potential concerns.

Freemium Plan Details

Aside from how easy it is to use, TunnelBear’s free users benefit from not having any of their data or information logged and disseminated. Unlike Hotspot Shield, there are no ads, and the speeds are respectable.

Freemium Plan Limits

Data transfer is capped at 500MB per month on the freemium plan. Tweeting about the company gets you an extra 1GB (clever, right?). Like the other freemium VPNs we’ve reviewed, you can only access a small handful of locations and servers, and it doesn’t work with Netflix.

Read our verdict of TunnelBear here
Get TunnelBear Free

VPNs With Amazing Free Trials

Most VPN providers will offer some form of free trial for their premium VPN service. In almost all cases, a free trial will give you complete access to the VPN product for a certain amount of time. That means anywhere between 1 and 30 days. After the trial period, you’ll have to subscribe to a premium plan to keep using the service.

These VPNs offer the full premium product during their free trial period:

1. Trust.Zone

Trust.Zone’s free trial lets you use their VPN service for 3 days. You’ll be able to access 141 locations—not quite as many as the 164 offered to their subscribers—and unlimited bandwidth.

Also included is 1GB of data transfer and one simultaneous connection at any given time. (Premium subscribers get unlimited data transfer and can have three simultaneous connections.)

Although the Trust.Zone trial is only for 3 days, it still provides you with an opportunity to try out their VPN and test out over 140 different locations.

Read our verdict of Trust.Zone here
Get Trust.Zone Free

2. HideMyAss

HideMyAss is owned and operated by McAfee, the California-based security technology company. There’s a 7-day free trial on offer for all new customers. After the 7 days, you will be automatically billed for a 12-month subscription, so make sure to stop this by canceling before the trial period ends.

During the trial period, customers can access the full HideMyAss VPN product. This includes total privacy and protection, strong encryption, OpenVPN protocol, and consistent server speeds in locations all around the world.

Read our verdict of HideMyAss here
Get HideMyAss Free

3. VyprVPN

VyprVPN offers a 3-day trial for either one of their paid plans. So you can choose between the regular plan for up to 3 devices, or the premium plan which gives you a 5-device limit, access to the cloud server, and the Chameleon protocol which blocks VPN blockers.

Its slick desktop app is easy to use and VyprVPN delivers on speed, features, and a variety of locations. Full access to the VyprVPN product includes all the great security features paid-up members get, such as the choice of encryption or protocols used.

Read our verdict of VyprVPN here
Get VyprVPN Free

VPNs With Perfect Money-Back Guarantees

Instead of a free trial, some VPNs offer money-back guarantees. This may be a better option since the “trial period” tends to be longer. As long as you’re willing to pay upfront and get the money back later, this is essentially a type of free trial you can take advantage of.

Typically, the money-back guarantee is valid between 7 to 30 days. If you purchase a VPN subscription and aren’t satisfied, you can get your money back simply by asking for a refund within the given time period.
By doing this repeatedly, you can use premium VPN services for months without spending any money.

Here are three great VPNs that have awesome money-back guarantees:

1. ExpressVPN

Often called the best VPN money can buy, ExpressVPN offers their first-time customers with a 30-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked. Their guarantee lasts for exactly 30 days: if you place an order on the 1st of the month, you can contact customer support for a refund at any point before the 30th.

Money-back guarantees are often much better because you get to access the full product rather than a watered-down version, and this is the case with ExpressVPN. You’ll be able to access awesome features such as:

  • Foreign Netflix content
  • Super-fast speeds on ultra-secure servers
  • Worldwide locations
  • 24-hour live chat support

Read our verdict of ExpressVPN here
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2. NordVPN

Just like ExpressVPN, NordVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee that lets you explore the full NordVPN service without any restrictions (they also have a free trial, but this is only for 7 days). Their customer support team is available 24/7 and you can get your money back without any questions asked.

NordVPN is another fantastic VPN service that is virtually identical to ExpressVPN in all but name. It regularly features highly on VPN review sites because of its:

  • Secure, strong encryption and protocols
  • Compatibility with Netflix
  • No logging and torrent-friendly policy
  • Double data protection

One downside is that NordVPN is more expensive if you want to pay month-to-month as opposed to annually. So that’s something to consider if think you might subscribe to their service long-term.

Read our verdict of NordVPN here
Visit NordVPN

3. Private Internet Access

Private Internet Access is a well-known VPN provider that offers new customers a 7-day money-back guarantee. Although this timeframe pales in comparison to Express or Nord, it’s still enough time to get familiar with the service and decide whether it’s for you.

All refund requests must be made in writing and submitted via email to helpdesk@privateinternetaccess.com.

Private Internet Access offers fast speeds, a variety of locations, and a budget-friendly price. They don’t log or keep any information. You can also make Bitcoin payments.

Read our verdict of PIA here
Visit PIA

VPNs Don’t Need to Cost Money

If you look around and do your research, it’s easy to get all the benefits of a VPN without paying any money. While we do recommend investing in a good VPN if you plan to use one in the long-run, for occasional or temporary use there are many options available.

Free VPNs, free trials, and money-back guarantees all let you access a VPN at no cost. Obviously, the quality of the service, as well as the service limitations, will vary greatly depending on which plan you go with (hint: premium VPNs are always better). We hope we’ve helped you go over some of these differences in this post.

For those of you that simply want the best with no hassle, check our list of the best VPN reviews.

VyprVPN Review

“The World’s Most Powerful VPN” VyprVPN used to claim a high status in the world of private web browsing.

Now they’ve rebranded to “The Most Trusted VPN Service” and they certainly have a right to claim that title. Golden Frog, the company behind VyprVPN, is based in Switzerland (a country that takes data and internet privacy very seriously).

Let’s take a deep dive into VyprVPN in our review, and see how they stack up against other VPNs.

VyprVPN Specs & Offers

VPN Name VyprVPN
Leak Test No Leaks
Logging Policy No Logs (Verified)
Speed Fast
Torrenting Torrenting & P2P Discouraged
Netflix Unblocks Netflix
Jurisdiction Outside of Eyes (Switzerland)
Servers / Countries 700 / 70
Max Connections 5
Kill Switch Has Kill Switch
Anonymous Payment Methods Not Available
Free Trial 3 Days
Refunds No Refunds
Customer Support "Live" Chat, Email, Ticket
Price Starting From $6.67

VyprVPN Pros: The Good Bits

It’s also important to mention a few things about Golden Frog as an internet optimization company. Its founder is known for committing to developing software that enhances the web usability making it more open and secure, but at the same time, respecting the privacy of the users since the early ’90s.

No Log Policy – Audited and Approved by External Security Firm

Let’s get this bit out in the open first.

VyprVPN is quickly becoming a very trustworthy service by publishing the independent audit report by the security firm Leviathan.

Not only did they welcome the security firm to run a full diagnostic on their VPN architecture, but they also went on to publish the entire report to the public to see.

This move is clearly the right step to take for any VPN company and VyprVPN is leading the pack. The audit showed where logging issues were and these issues have been quickly fixed.

In terms of trust and transparency, VyprVPN is certainly one of the more trustworthy VPN services now.

Servers and Locations – Is 700 Servers Enough For You?

VyprVPN offers more than 700+ servers across 70 countries.

There’re over 200,000 unique IP addresses available.

There’s no need to beat around the bush; Vypr offers a stunning amount of choice and is definitively one of the top performers in this category.

VyprVPN Speed and Performance – Pretty Darn Fast, Depending On Where You Are

VyprVPN’s speeds leave a little to be desired, but hold up decently well. We’ve certainly seen faster VPNs, especially if you’re accessing from countries such as China, but during our tests, we found accessing from Northern Europe to deliver pretty impressive speeds:


At the time of this VyprVPN review, our internet speed was operating at 300Mbps download and 300Mbps upload. We tested from Northern Europe.

US Server (New York)

  • Ping: 113ms
  • Download: 195Mbps (35% slower)
  • Upload: 183Mbps (39% slower)

UK Server (London)

  • Ping: 50ms
  • Download: 210Mbps (30% slower)
  • Upload: 237Mbps (21% slower)

EU Server (Amsterdam)

  • Ping: 42ms
  • Download: 195Mbps (35% slower)
  • Upload: 255Mbps (15% slower)

Asia Server (Hong Kong)

  • Ping: 321ms
  • Download: 51Mbps (83% slower)
  • Upload: 105Mbps (65% slower)

The overall results are pretty solid and we even received an update from VyprVPN on their Asian servers:

Effective immediately, connections to the following servers can see a 2-3x increase in throughput speeds, and enjoy the peace of mind of more secure, top-of-the-line hardware.

  • Hong Kong
  • Macao
  • Taiwan

Server Structure – In-House Servers and Zero-Knowledge DNS

The company owns and manages their own server clusters, which is a great plus for customer’s data security. That means no 3rd parties; their code, their hardware, their network.

What does this mean for you? Golden Frog retains and owns all the data within their VPN client, and no third party can access this information. Even better, Golden Frog also offers their own DNS called VyprDNS.

What this all adds up to is one very secure VPN. Privacy fans will love to hear that Vypr is a Zero-Knowledge DNS, with no logging whatsoever. So your activities stay anonymous!

Netflix – Yes, But You’ll Pay For It

Netflix has started to block VPNs more aggressively to restrict location-based content. Most VPNs simply can’t get around this. Some can; and some, can every so often. VyprVPN is one of the latter.

While VyprVPN isn’t perfect, some servers are still able to pass the Netflix test.

We tested the New York and Chicago servers for Netflix streaming, and VyprVPN passed with flying colors.

As of January 2019, VyprVPN also works for Netflix UK regions as well. Netflix still seems to not work for some EU servers.

Still, having access to US and UK Netflix content is a major plus. This essentially means you will be able to watch most TV shows and movies offered in English by Netflix.

Chameleon Protocol

VyprVPN also offers a unique VPN protocol, the “Chameleon Protocol,” allowing you to escape country restrictions and censorship. It encrypts and scrambles your data with OpenVPN so you’re able to browse securely and safely. This is a protocol unique to VyprVPN and should be effective in getting around geo-restrictions and limits such as those set by Netflix. However, you can only use Chameleon if you opt for the higher tier package offered by VyprVPN. For an extra $1.67 a month, it’s worth it – you’ll also get other extras.

This kind of security is always welcomed – whether it’s VPN-TOR compatibility or multi-hopping by services like NordVPN, we welcome them all.

Kill Switch: Activated and Engaged, Commander!

VyprVPN offers a kill switch feature in case you are disconnected from the VPN.

It’s configured in a way that it stops all Internet traffic when the VyprVPN client loses connection with the network for whatever reason. We’re very happy to see this included.

VyprVPN’s Pricing Has Some Caveats, But It’s Affordable

Golden Frog offers two payment plans:

  1. VyprVPN: $5 per month billed annually (-50% discount, $60 per year), or $9.95/mo billed monthly ($120 per year) for 3 devices.
  2. VyprVPN Premium: $6.67 per month billed annually (-50% discount, $80 per year), or $12.95/mo billed monthly ($155 per year) for 5 devices.

Everyone is aware of annual vs monthly billing, but it’s quite a significant discount for signing up for the year.

$5 is usually the settling point for many VPN buyers, but for 73% of Golden Frog’s customers, it makes sense to get the VyprVPN Premium package for $6.67.

Why?

Because the basic option doesn’t include the Chameleon Protocol.

That likely means you’re stuck if you want to get past geo-restrictions and the standard protocols aren’t working.

On top of that, you don’t get your own dedicated cloud VPN server. The two additional device usage is a nice bonus as well. All that said, we’d certainly recommend customers spring for the slightly higher but more feature-packed $6.67 plan.

Strong Encryption

VyprVPN offers multiple protocols:

  1. PPTP – basic 128-bit encryption which is slightly faster due to weaker encryption, and useful if your device doesn’t support OpenVPN.
  2. L2TP/IPsec – 256-bit encryption which is obviously a better security choice than PPTP.
  3. OpenVPN – available in 160-bit and 256-bit, OpenVPN is one of the most trusted protocols widely used by the majority of the VPN community.
  4. Chameleon – proprietary technology which also gets around deep packet inspections, so you can get around country restrictions. The Chameleon protocol is only offered to premium customers.

On top of these protocols, a Network Address Translation (NAT) Firewall is also available.

Interface & Compatibility with Devices

You will not find yourself experiencing compatibility issues when using VyprVPN.

It works with all major devices, whether you’re using a  Windows, Linux, Mac, Android or iOS device.

Do keep in mind that VyprVPN doesn’t support TOR browsers, however.

VyprVPN does offer bonus features, by allowing you to anonymize your TV (Android and Apple), as well as your router – handy features to include.

Sadly for those who enjoy the utility of browser extensions, VyprVPN offers none.

The Sign-Up Process: 5 Steps to VPNing Across the Globe

Just visit their website, select the plan that suits you the most, fill out a simple form and get the following confirmation email in your inbox.

After that, you will see a brief introduction on what the service looks like and how you can set it up on your computer. In case you have another device, don’t fret. VyprVPN offers plenty of tutorials on setting their VPN up on other devices also.

Super Simple Usability

VyprVPN’s UI is slick, simple and very easy to use. It’s probably one of the best VPNs in terms of design.

You have all the necessary information on the main screen that pops up on logging in. If you need to adjust the settings, you simply click the “cog” button to get to what you need.

Right after you click the settings button, head to the “Option” menu to have a look around.

There are four protocols you can choose from, one of which is the unique Chameleon protocol VyprVPN offers. You’ll be using OpenVPN by default when you start, so if you want to change, this is where you’ll need to do so.

You can choose any server you like, simply by pressing the button with the location sign right next to “Connect”. Here you will find a drop-down menu with locations and approximate ping readouts for each server.

Vypr has made it easy to sort the list, with sorting By Region, Favorites and Search; alternatively, you can hit All and browse through the tremendous list of servers on offer.

The settings area will also provide help if you ever need customer support, want to seek help on forums, check what apps are available, as well as options to purchase VyprVPN for business purposes.

Product Documentation: A Great Source of Help

You can access the FAQ section right from the Options within the desktop app. It has an impressive range of common questions and extensive guides on how to run and install the software on different operating systems and devices: Windows, Mac, Android, etc.

Neutral Points

Payment Methods – Covers the Basics, And Not Much Else

Sad news for Bitcoin holders. You can’t pay for the software anonymously with cryptocurrency.

You can pay for VyprVPN with your credit card, Alipay or PayPal however.

VyprVPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee period for each plan. You can cancel your plan mid-term, but you won’t get any refunds for your unused months. And yes, there is a 3-day free trial offered, in case you want to try before you buy.

You Can Torrent; Download Responsibly!

You won’t find any restrictions on torrenting or P2P file sharing in Vypr’s user agreement.

They even go as far as to say that they treat all traffic equally and do not put any restrictions on your actions in regards to torrenting.

However, like most VPN providers, they have a note specifying their stance on illegal downloads under copyright laws.

If you’re planning to do plenty of questionable torrenting, bear in mind you’ll be going against their ToS should you download content illegally.

Although VyprVPN does not monitor the content of your traffic, you are not allowed to break your local copyright law.

If your account gets suspended because of a copyright infringement notice, it’s on you. You won’t get your money back either.

The main point to consider is that you are allowed to torrent files, but keep your local copyright law in mind.

We’ve seen user reviews say their account was suspended due to this reason, but it’s not too frequent. Your luck may vary. Be careful.

Cons

Customer Support: “Live Chat” is a Lie

Although you’ll find this reassuring “Live Chat with Support” button on the homepage, it’s actually a ticket system; a bit of a cop-out.

Filling out the form and entering your email, VyprVPN staff will answer your questions, but not immediately.

VyprVPN’s customer support, though responsive, takes a little bit of time to resolve customer issues.

We remember the early days of Golden Frog’s customer service, and Vypr’s response times are a huge improvement.

That doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and rainbows; users have reported more than 10 hours of waiting time to get an answer to their problems.

That said, you can typically expect an answer in 10 minutes to 1 hour. Be prepared to provide plenty of information on your problem – it’s unlikely the customer support staff will be able to solve your problem right away.


Golden Frog (VyprVPN) as a Business

Golden Frog GmbH operates as a “Global Internet Privacy and Security Solutions” company. What this means is they make products that protect you and aims to increase your performance.

The founders worked around the Internet since the early ’90s in the US. In fact, the majority of the company appears to be based out of Texas. However, legally speaking, the company is strictly Swiss.

Based in Switzerland, they operate with a privacy-driven legal framework. The jurisdictional advantage is pretty clear. It’s not just Golden Frog who realized this – there’s ProtonVPN who also operates their VPN and private email service in Switzerland.

They take privacy seriously and are clearly leagues ahead compared to most VPN services.

VyprVPN Doesn’t Log Anymore (with Proof)

This was one of the biggest concerns privacy-seekers used to have with VyprVPN.

VyprVPN used to store sessions data for up to 30 days. And they were very clear about this policy too. They let users know which data was stored: connection start and stop times, the total number of bytes used, and all the IP addresses used by the user. This is a deal-breaker for some customers.

This is no longer an issue since they published an independent 3rd party audit from a security firm.

Golden Frog was transparent from the start about their logging policy and still remains transparent. We, as consumers, must rely on trusted third-party information – court cases (as proven twice by Private Internet Access) and audits by security companies.

We’d rather go with a service that is transparent and gets checked by third-party services than an unknown service that only claims to have a no-log policy. Anyone can say anything.

If privacy is your primary concern, VyprVPN should win massive points – your personal data is anonymous and safe, at least according to Leviathan Security Group.

Conclusion – Is Transparency Important to You?

VyprVPN is a great piece of software, that most users will find extremely comfortable and easy to use.

It has a very nice intuitive user-interface, and plenty of things to be satisfied with – Swiss jurisdiction, respect for user’s privacy, avoiding geo-restrictions with Chameleon protocol, and the ability to stream Netflix in US and UK.

That’s all great, but they also discourage torrenting and don’t have anonymous payment options.

Overall, VyprVPN is a high-performing, fast and secure VPN for almost any device.

Our recommendation for VyprVPN boils down to what you’re looking for from a VPN. Looking for ways to bypass geo-limits and want to keep your internet traffic anonymous while browsing? How about trust in the company that handles all your sensitive information?

If VyprVPN as a product sounds interesting and you believe company transparency is important, click on the link below to try VyprVPN.

Visit VyprVPN

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