I get inquiries like: “I look for a VPNProvider WITHOUT log files!".
Many providers are then often named who “supposedly do not save any log files”. This topic is completely misunderstood. Many of my readers think: "If a provider saves log files, then he can pass them on to authorities." However, it is completely overlooked that the normal process when authorities contact you VPNService turns out to be completely different and, in most cases, logfiles of VPNProviders are not necessary at all!
But step by step, I would like to provide an explanation!
How do you like one VPNProvider WITHOUT log files?
Each VPN-Provider who has limits on his tariffs, stores log files or records user activities.
So if a provider also offers tariffs that are limited to a volume of data per month or you can use only 1, 3 or 5 devices (example) with a user account, then he must technically log files / logs store. Otherwise he would not be able to implement this limit!
Even if he claims on his website or wherever the opposite.
Example of log file storage with CyberGhost:
Tariff limits that indicate use on a limited number of useable devices can be technically implemented ONLY through the use of logs (logfiles):
In its terms CyberGhost speaks of legal violations can also be tracked and, if necessary, measures are taken against the user. If the provider did not know who is doing what, he could not do it!
Vendors who do not run any log files (have no restrictions). You can therefore also use the service on 99 + devices at the same time with a user account! In any other case, logs are created, regardless of what the provider publishes on his website.
Not only VPNVendors store logfiles of your activities!
Most of the providers I've tested so far use so-called rental servers. This means that you have rented a server location or the entire server at one location and only manage it. Special mention should be made of the VPS, ie the “virtual private servers”. Hundreds of them run in parallel on a single piece of hardware, so to speak. This process is also called "virtualization".
These “VPS servers” are comparatively inexpensive and actually offer the same range of functions as a “real server” with its own hardware would do. However, if you have your own hardware, the following costs must also be taken into account: site rental, internet connection including data billing, power connection costs, power consumption, back-up solution, power failure back-up devices, etc. Therefore, the running costs add up with your own hardware with an appropriate internet connection 1000 Euro or more per month, while VPS servers are already available for 5 Euro per month!
Now, while you may rightly see the benefits of the VPS servers, which are of course synonymous in a fast Zubuchung, performance extension at the touch of a button to understand.
The really weighty advantage for VPN-Provider also consists in the fact that the IP addresses that this rented server use always run on the “host”, i.e. the “landlord”.
As a result, for an authority that is interested in the user of an IP address at any given time ONLY the hoster is available as a direct contact person.
The VPNProvider is actually out of the woods (saying) because he has to answer any requests from authorities anymore. However, the hoster is therefore partly also locally in the obligation to log the user activities which run on his server. This is what these hosters do, saving all inbound and outbound connections that occur when using the servers. For the incoming connections, these are the IP addresses of the VPN-Service User. The outgoing are the target websites or services which the VPNUser with it.
Should there be a local legal obligation to provide this information to an authority, the hosters will do the same. Because their business model is not in it, individual users for VPN-Services to inspire, rather than renting Internet servers, legal problems or fines that could lead to the closure of the company are more of a hindrance.
So it will be with most VPNServices log files stored about user activity, even if the VPNProviders themselves did not notice. (In the hosting contracts, these things are ALWAYS clear, so the VPNProviders know it well!)
Example of a lease between the hoster (landlord) and the VPN-Providers:
You should therefore pay very close attention to whether a VPN-Supplier “own hardware” and “IP addresses registered on him” are used. Otherwise, the contact person for all inquiries from authorities is always the server's host. The security of your data then depends primarily on its location and the obligation to provide information!
Is the company location included VPNProviders important?
One of the misconceptions that spread therefore in an incorrect assumption, is that if the VPNProvider in a secure country, no one can force him to save users' data. But that is complete nonsense. Because as we have seen from the previous examples, it is with the fewest VPN- Providers really “without log files” and since these “rent servers” is actually the location of the VPNServer determines whether providers are required to complete data. These are then usually also provided directly by the server hosters to the authorities anyway.
That the VPN- Service based in Panama or the Seychelles is unfortunately no guarantee that it will not save any log files and in most cases the user activities are saved anyway by the “server hoster” and they are “responsible for providing information” to the authorities. .
Without log files you are safe from surveillance !?
The entire Internet is being monitored today. If we talk to specific surveillance, through the CIA or NSA, then “normal people help VPN-Services ”not at all. Regardless of whether they save their own server, their own IP addresses or no log files at all.
The secret services neither have to go to the provider to inquire about data, nor do they care about the legal framework. In the case of “targeted monitoring of individual users”, all INPUT and OUTPUT data packets become one VPNServer monitored and evaluated. From this, individual user activities can be constantly monitored despite the encryption. One VPN-Service therefore only helps to a limited extent against targeted monitoring or makes it more difficult, but does not make this impossible.
The only solution for avoiding targeted surveillance is not having one VPNServer but used several in a row. One speaks of a “cascaded connection” or “multi-hop” VPN" called. You build one VPNconnection to a server. However, this does not simply forward the data to the Internet in unencrypted form, but builds another encrypted connection to another VPNServer on. This “chain” of connections ensures that on a single VPNServer, all data from outside can never be monitored. So you can only check the connected IN and OUT data and filter, in the case of a cascade to another server but the actual destination of the data or the Urspung (user) of the data is unknown.
The following example uses multi-hop VPN shown in simplified form.
Now, when you think about what information can be captured when monitoring a single server, you'll understand why only this type is a real guarantee against targeted monitoring. The supervisor always sees only the ON and the outgoing identities but never an overall picture (WHO DOES WHAT?). Even the log files on the servers would not be able to reveal!
Multi-Hop VPN Connections are the only effective technical solution to avoid targeted surveillance. Technically, there is no other solution, each one VPN-Connection which is simply executed can be monitored by secret services targeted, the log files of VPNUses are not necessary for this.
At the end...
I hope that a little explanation in many assumptions that have been misrepresented on the Internet. Not every provider storing logfiles therefore MUST be insecure. However, providers that intentionally misrepresent are never recommendable. Therefore, do not be afraid if a provider deals with it openly and also about which protocols he creates or how he deals with it.
Personally, I would say that providers who either do not really want to create log files and / or always prefer 100% proprietary hardware and IP addresses to others. If you also want to be protected against targeted surveillance, then you come to providers with cascades (multi-hop VPN) not over.
Provider with 100% own hardware + IP addresses:
Provider without limitations and logfiles, as well as cascades: