VPN-Mythos: "No Logfiles" How to recognize a provider WITHOUT log files! How to find out which service does not save!

I get daily requests like: "I look for a VPNProvider WITHOUT log files!"

In this case, many providers are often called, which "allegedly save no log files". This topic is completely misunderstood. Many of my readers think, "If a vendor stores logfiles, then they can pass them on to authorities." However, it is completely overlooked that the normal process is when authorities approach one another 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 VPNProvider who has limitations on his tariffs, saves log files or logs user activity.

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):

Example CyberGhost limits in the tariffs
Example CyberGhost limits in the tariffs

The provider speaks in its privacy policy that he does not link any statistical data related to the user account. However, the question that arises technically is therefore: how can the provider then limit that users only use 1 or 5 devices at the same time? This requires that data related to a user account also be collected. Otherwise this would not work.

VPNProvider with log file storage

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!

CyberGhost stores logfiles

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!

The vast majority of vendors I've tested so far, use so-called rental server. This means they have rented a server site or the entire server in one location and only manage it. Particularly noteworthy are the VPS, so to call the "virtual private server". These run, so to speak, to hundreds in parallel on a single hardware. This process is also called "virtualization".

VPS virtual server
VPS virtual server

These "VPS servers" are comparatively cheap to have and actually offer the same functionality as a "real server" would do with its own hardware. However, the following costs are also to be taken into account with your own hardware: location rental, Internet connection including data billing, power supply costs, power consumption, back-up solution, power failure back-up devices, etc. Therefore, the running costs add up with your own hardware with the corresponding 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 VPNBut there is also the fact that the IP addresses that use this rented server always run on the "hoster" so 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 VPNService user. The outgoing ones are the destination 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 VPNTo inspire services, but Internet server for rent, while legal problems or penalties that could lead to the closure of the operation could be 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:

Rental Agreement Hoster & VPN-Providers
Rental Agreement Hoster & VPN-Providers

You should therefore pay very close attention to whether a VPNProvider uses "own hardware" and "self-registered IP addresses". Otherwise, the contact person for all requests from authorities is always the host of the server. The security of your data is then primarily dependent on its location and information obligation!

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 VPNVendors really "without logfiles" and since these "servers rent" 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 VPNService has its headquarters in Panama or in the Seychelles is unfortunately no guarantee that it does not save log files and in most cases, the user activities are stored anyway by the "server hosters" and they are the authorities "respondent" ,

Without log files you are safe from surveillance !?

Today, the entire Internet is monitored. When we talk about targeted surveillance by the CIA or NSA, they help you with "normal VPN-Services "not at all. Regardless of whether they store their own servers, their own IP addresses or no log files.

The intelligence agencies do not have to go to the provider to ask for data, nor do they care about legal framework. In the case of a "targeted monitoring of individual users" simply all IN and OUT data packets of a VPNServer monitored and evaluated. From this, individual user activities can be constantly monitored despite the encryption. One VPN-Service helps against a targeted monitoring only conditionally or makes it difficult, but this does not make impossible.

The only solution for avoiding targeted surveillance is not having one VPNServer but several used in succession. One speaks then 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 up. This "chain" of connections makes sure 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!

VPN-kaskadierung Multi-hop
VPNCascade or "multi-hop VPNCalled "protects against targeted monitoring!

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:

Created on:03/28/2017

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