Are VPNs Really Untraceable and Anonymous?

PRIVACY Updated on: 27 September 2018

There are many reputable VPNs that are untraceable and anonymous. However, there are also just as many who claim to be but are not. So, how do you tell the difference between the two?

In this post, we explore the topic of VPNs and tell you exactly what they can do, what they claim to do, and what they actually do. As you can probably tell, in most cases, there are differences between all these points.

1. Why Are Some VPNs Anonymous and Others Are Not?

In a perfect world, every company that claimed to be the ‘best,’ would be telling the truth. Ideally, when a company makes a claim, you would hope that this claim would be substantiated and that there would be total transparency in everything that they do.

We all know this isn’t always the case.

With a VPN, it a complex development project that requires a comprehensive support infrastructure. It requires constant development in order to ensure that it protects its users against the latest threats online, and more importantly, to sustain that promise of being highly secure at all times.

Another key point to consider is that customers will need help and in some cases a real person to deal with when it comes to product or service support.

So, in order to sustain the above, any company that offers a VPN would surely need to pay money out for their infrastructure, support, and development costs.

A quick search online will reveal hundreds of companies who offer VPN services. Some of them, including those which appear at the top of the search engines pages (because they pay for the space), offer their services for free. FREE.

While many people are quick to pounce on such a ‘great deal,’ we advise you to exercise extreme caution. In other words, ‘Don’t Do It.’

Any business of any kind will need to make money in order to sustain their operations. With a VPN, as we have just discussed, this is always the case. So, if you think about this just a moment, then how would it be possible for a company to offer a secure infrastructure, product development, and support for free?

It isn’t.

2. The Problem With Free VPNs

Our theme for this article is focussed on the anonymity of VPNs. At the start, we began this post by saying some VPNs are anonymous and others are not. Free VPNs are a key example of those who claim to be ‘the best’ but are most certainly not.

If they do not collect money from their customers via subscriptions, ask yourself this:

  • How can they afford to develop the product and keep it secure?
  • How can they afford to pay to rent their servers in highly-secure locations?
  • How can they provide support for their customers?
  • How can they afford to stay afloat?

Their business will not be built on generosity, nor will it be getting bankrolled by someone who wants to help others.

They are stealing and selling your personal data, or worse still, they are performing some other form of undisclosed activity in order to make their money. The result of which is that your data is not secure, nor is it likely to be anonymous.

3. Not All VPNs Are Created Equal

The welcome news for those who want a secure and completely anonymous VPN is that there are some reputable companies. These are a selection of VPN providers that pay money to support highly-secure servers, and who pay to employ a team of developers who work around the clock to support their software and their customers.

Above all else, these VPN companies can ensure their user’s web traffic is untraceable, and they maintain their promise to keep their user data free from the prying eyes of marketers, governments, Internet Service Providers, and anyone else who is snooping around looking for information online.

How Do They Do This?

Encryption – This is the number one feature that you need to look out for if you want to ensure that your information cannot be intercepted or otherwise revealed online. The major VPN companies, such as NordVPN, ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Hide My Ass, are all examples of businesses that offer such a service.

Zero Data Logging – This is probably the second most important factor when considering the best VPNs for anonymity online. When you go online, there is typically information collected with each and every click you make, and with every action you take.

While there is no individual person sitting watching your every move, you can rest assured that your actions are being logged and recorded somewhere. Internet Service Providers are obliged to do this. With a zero data logging policy, this means your VPN company assures you that your data is not recorded nor can it be passed onto your ISP or any other requester, such as the government or another type of agency.

Hiding your IP Address – Revealing your IP address online is like giving someone your home address. It is very personal information that most people don’t consider to hide when they go online. A reputable VPN company will effectively mask your IP address in order to prevent any ties to your web activity and your actual location.

Because you first connect to the VPN and they send your information and requests out via their own servers, this means that it is there IP addresses which get revealed to the world, not yours.

These are just three of the key attributes and actions a VPN provider will take to ensure that you are untraceable and that you can remain completely anonymous when accessing any type of service online.

So, whether you want to access Netflix, YouTube, iPlayer or any other site for that matter without having to worry about someone tracking your activities and reporting back, then you need to buy a reputable VPN in order to get such assurances.

The good news is that most of the TOP VPN companies offer their services for as little as $3 per month. When you compare this with a risk linked to downloading a free VPN, there is no question as to whether it is worth the money or not.