VPNs Are Supposed to Keep Your Privacy, But Some Keep Logs on You as Well

One of the main reasons to use a VPN is to keep your information private, particularly while you’re browsing the Web. But before you get too comfortable, thinking this will keep prying eyes out of your personal business, know that some of the most popular VPNs are actually keeping logs on you, even after promising that they won’t.

As crazy as it sounds, that’s true. A new report claims that 26 of 115 of the most popular VPNs are keeping logs on you and your use of their service.

The Investigation

Many websites, services, software, etc., promise not to track you, keep your login information and data, etc. VPNs do the same, and it seems even more crucial that they not keep such information, as they’re charged with making sure than your browsing is secure.

The Best VPN investigated 115 of the more popular VPN services and found 26 of them collected three or more log files that include personal and identifying information. This includes IP addresses, locations, bandwidth data, and connection timestamps.


This comes at an interesting time, when Facebook is being called out for sharing users’ data, making many want to drop the service. Yet another service they were counting on to protect their privacy has been holding onto their information. In fact the VPN industry is increasing in popularity. In 2014 it was a $45 billion business, and it’s expected to increase to $70 billion by 2019.

Leading to an Arrest

PureVPN’s logs actually led to a man’s arrest, logs that they say in their privacy policy they’re not keeping. They say they “have no record of your activities such as which software you used, which websites you visited, what content you downloaded, which apps you used, etc., after you connected to any of our servers.

However, Ryan Lin’s information was being kept. The logs of his data were turned over to the FBI. He was using PureVPN, a service he believed was keeping his information private, yet they were keeping logs regarding him and gave up the info to the FBI.

Despite it being made public that they’re keeping logs, PureVPN still does, yet their privacy policy still claims that they don’t. The study determined they are keeping names, email addresses, phone numbers, IP addresses, bandwidth data, and connection timestamps.


But again, PureVPN isn’t the only one, just one of 26 of the tops VPNs – not all of them, just the most popular ones. If you’re concerned your VPN might be collecting information on you, visit the list to see if yours is mentioned.

The Lesson

The lesson here is of course that no Internet services can be trusted to keep your information safe. Not only can Facebook and Google not be trusted, but no service can be trusted, not even one that is supposed to be helping you keep your information private.

Trust no service implicitly and do as much research as possible. And, of course, always stay tuned to Make Tech Easier, as we will do our best to keep you informed.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.


  1. “Trust no service implicitly and do as much research as possible.”
    If no service can be trusted, then any research is a waste of time since it will only confirm the general lack of trustworthiness.

    In the greater scheme of things, the rights/needs of society will always override the rights of the individual for three reasons:
    1) Society has much greater resources than the individual
    2) Society must survive, the individual does not
    3) Protecting society is a greater good than protecting the individual.

    Therefore, to protect society, authorities will demand access to all modes of communication.

  2. Agree. Who are the other 25?Journalism gives who, what, when, why, where. Ddtails. Without thzt infofmstion, it is junk. Fske news which has become so popular.

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