When shopping a VPN subscription, there are many factors to consider. One of the most critical ones is the logging policy of the VPN provider. The logging policy can make or break a VPN service. In this article we answer the question: Does NordVPN keep logs? Read on to find out.
What Makes a Trustworthy VPN?
There are many things to consider, security-wise, when choosing a VPN provider:
Security Considerations In Assessing VPNs providers:
- Encryption Strength: Do they use robust, open-source and verified ciphers?
- DNS Leak Protection: Do they provide DNS from within the encrypted VPN tunnel?
- VPN Kill Switch: Do their native apps block all network traffic in the event of a disconnect?
- Multi-Hop VPN: Do they offer the possibility of bouncing your traffic over multiple servers?
- Ads & Tracker Blocking: Do they block ads and trackers?
- WebRTC Protection: Do they protect against WebRTC leaks?
- Tor Over VPN: Can you route the VPN through Tor?
- Jurisdiction: Are they in a jurisdiction where running a no-logging network service is legal?
- Support for Anonymous Payments: Can you pay using cash or Bitcoin?
All of these points are worth your consideration. But the most important thing to look at when considering a VPN provider is their logging policy.
Why is the Logging Policy so Important?
The logging policy is critical when considering a VPN provider. The logging policy underpins every other security feature they offer. It is critical that policy be strictly no-logging.
Think about it…
What good is strong encryption if the VPN provider logs all your activities?
What good is DNS leak protection if the VPN provider logs all your activities?
What good is a VPN Kill Switch if the VPN provider logs all your activities?
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What Does No-Logging Mean?
A trustworthy no-logging policy means:
- No traffic logs
- No IP address logs
- No connection logs
- No connection/disconnection timestamps
- No bandwidth logs
A VPN provider needs to commit to not logging these data points. This is because all your traffic is transiting over the VPN provider’s network. They can see everything you do online. Choose the wrong VPN provider and you could end up in a worse privacy situation than without a VPN.
So, What About NordVPN's Logging policy?
The NordVPN website has a page dedicated to highlighting their no-logging policy. On that page we are greeted with:
It’s a good start.
You can also tell a lot about a VPN provider’s trustworthiness by looking at how they talk about logging. Scrolling down on the page a bit, we find NordVPN's take on what to look out for when looking at a VPN provider’s logging policies.
From the NordVPN website:
- The types of data the service collects about users and their internet usage;
- The external support or tracking tools it uses;
- The country where the service operates and the local legal requirements for collecting user data;
- The payment options the service offers and how these are linked to the user identity.
This is also good. No nonsense. No fluff. They seem to understand the issue they are discussing. And it is very much in line with what I wrote in the opening paragraphs.
NordVPN explicitly states they do not collect any connection logs or any usage logs. What does this mean, specifically?
- No incoming and outgoing Ip address logging
- No connection date and duration logging
- No transferred bandwidth logging
- No used VPN servers logging
- No visited websites logging
- No downloaded files logging
- No application use logging
Again, this hits the mark. If you’re concerned about privacy, this is again what you want.
It Still Comes Down to Trust
But what guarantee do you have that a VPN provider will respect its policies. None. That’s why we’re carefully combing over the information they provide on this subject, to see if they actually know what they're talking about. If they do not, we can discard them as a potential choice.
And if they do understand what they are talking about, it still comes down to trust.
But NordVPN decided to take things one step further.
They had PricewaterhouseCoopers AG, a major auditing firm, perform an audit of their no-logging infrastructure. Once the audit was complete, PricewaterhouseCoopers AG concluded that NordVPN’s no-logging claims were valid and accurate.
So you don’t have to takes NordVPN’s word for it. Their claims have been verified. You still need to trust the auditing firm - there’s just no way around trust.
Does NordVPN keep logs. We can confidently answer: No, they do not. NordVPN is a fine choice for anyone looking to gain some privacy online.
For more information on NordVPN, head over to their website.
We have a few articles that look at various aspects of NordVPN's service. You may want to check them out:
- Is NordVPN Safe?
- Does NordVPN Allow Torrenting / P2P?
- Does NordVPN Work with Netflix?
- Does NordVPN Work on an Amazon Fire Stick?
- 5, 9 & 14 Eyes: What Does It All Mean for VPN Users?
As always, stay safe!
Does NordVPN Keep Logs? [NordVPN's Logging Policy Explained]
By Marc Dahan
Last updated: April 8, 2020