A VPN or “virtual private network” is the easiest way to make your internet activities private. If you want to browse the web privately or share files privately, a VPN will encrypt and redirect your internet connections. This means all the data leaving your computer is encrypted, making it very difficult for hackers or eavesdroppers to monitor your internet connections.
Note that a VPN is different to a web proxy, which only redirects your browser connections. A VPN encrypts and redirects all your internet connections. However, many VPN providers retain logs of your online activities, which means they become just another company tracking you. This is not optimal if you wish to remain anonymous. We present here two reliable anonymous VPN providers that do not retain user logs:
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is a VPN provider that doesn’t retain user logs. The company currently operates out of the United States with gigabit gateways in the U.S., Canada, UK, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
I’ve been testing their VPN service for about 6 months, and the service has been fast and reliable. I use it continuously now, and I don’t notice any lag when browsing the web, or downloading files.
Their VPN service supports all the major platforms: Window, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS and Andriod. They support the following VPN protocols: PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP.
Concerning activity logging, the company says:
We absolutely do not maintain any VPN logs of any kind. We utilize shared IP addresses rather than dynamic or static IPs, so it is not possible to match a user to an external IP. These are some of the many solutions we have implemented to enable the strongest levels of anonymity amongst VPN services. Further, we would like to encourage our users to use an anonymous e-mail and pay with Bitcoins to ensure even higher levels of anonymity should it be required. Our core verticals are privacy, quality of service, and prompt customer support. We will not share any information with third parties without a valid court order. With that said, it is impossible to match a user to any activity on our system since we utilize shared IPs and maintain absolutely no logs.
The service costs $6.95 per month. For payment they accept credit cards, Paypal, Bitcoin, and Liberty Reserve. For extra anonymity, consider paying with Bitcoin.
Link: Private Internet Access
BTGuard is a VPN provider based in Canada. As you can tell by their name, this company specializes in creating anonymous internet connections for Bittorrent users. The service works on Windows, Mac and Linux. Besides using the pre-configured client, users can also set up their own client to work with BTGuard (any client that supports “Socks V5″ proxies including uTorrent and Vuze). In addition, BTGuard also includes encryption tunnel software for security purists.
In regards to logging user activity, the company says:
The jurisdiction is Canada. Since we do not have log files, we have no information to share. We do not communicate with any third parties. The only event we would even communicate with a third party is if we received a court order. We would then be forced to notify them we have no information. This has not happened yet.
On the negative side, I’ve seen some user complaints about BTGuard’s email support being slow, and some users also report that they are occasionally dropped from the service when using the Canadian servers.
The price for the BTGuard VPN is $9.95 per month, or $6.95 a month for their Bittorrent Proxy service. You are only allowed to connect to their servers from one household at a time, but you can connect to their servers from unlimited computers simultaneously inside that one household.