The answer is dictated by the provider you choose, but technically all VPN companies can see your traffic and history. However, most of them choose to discard that information directing it to a “null” file or folder. These are the so-called no-log companies. Nowadays more and more VPN services are advertising themselves as the keen protectors of netizens’ privacy, meaning that they don’t hold any records of your online activities, neither for themselves nor for third parties. The only exception from the rule is the tiny bit of information they store about your purchase and subscription. The extent of the details may vary, but most commonly they collect your name, address, password, valid e-mail address and credit card information. Still, there are companies that raise the stakes even higher by allowing you to pay via anonymous methods, such as Bitcoin. This increases your privacy to an ultimate level.
You need to be cautious when dealing with the no-log notion, as it’s quite a grey area. There are countries whose legislation forces companies (not only VPNs but ISPs as well) to store logs for a determined amount of time. In Australia for instance, the demanded storage period is 2 years. In other cases no proper legislation is present, but a court order may be enough to force the company to hand over any recorded logs. The case is similar in North America, as we learned from the battle between Apple and the FBI. The reason for such outcry against privacy is that authorities seek and strike those who favor torrenting. Sadly, there are more and more VPN companies that turned over their own customers to copyright right holders who filed complaints. Since companies need to act in accordance with the law of the country they’re incorporated in, you better keep your head low, and tread carefully, as Big Brother might be keeping an eye on you.
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Have all your VPN related questions answered by checking our VPN experts' answers to frequently asked questions:
- Can a VPN Company See My Passwords and Data?
- Can a VPN Provider See My Traffic and History?
- Can I Use a VPN Service on My Mobile Device?
- Can I Use Multiple VPNs at Once?
- Can The Use of a VPN Be Detected?
- Does a VPN Hide Torrenting from ISPs?
- Does a VPN Protect Against Viruses?
- Does a VPN Service Bypass ISP Throttling?
- Does a VPN Work on Mobile Data?
- How Do I Get Rid of a VPN?
- How Does a VPN Work?
- How Does VPN Encryption Work?
- How Secure is Using a VPN?
- Is It Legal to Use a VPN?
- Is Using a VPN Service Easy?
- Should I Pay for a VPN?
- Should I Use a VPN All the Time?
- Should I Use a VPN at Home?
- Should I Use a VPN on My iPhone, Android Phone?
- What Does VPN Traffic Look Like to My ISP?
- What Happens if My VPN Disconnects?
- What is a VPN?
- What’s the Difference Between a VPN and a Proxy?
- Why Should I Hide My IP Address?
- Why Should I Use a VPN Service?
- Will a VPN Lower My Ping?
- Will a VPN Speed up My Connection?
- Will a VPN Work in China?
- Won’t a VPN Slow my Internet Connection Down?