VPN or Virtual Private Network is used to secure an Internet connection and protect your online activities, browser traces, and any other private information stored over the web. VPNs are meant to hide your real IP address and tunnel your data through a different server before it reaches the site servers. This way, the connection between your browser and the website you are accessing becomes secure and encrypted.
But, several websites do not work when a VPN is activated on your computer. So, can you be tracked despite using a VPN? Is VPN hiding your browser activities? And can your info and browser logs be traced back when you use a VPN?
Can You Be Tracked Using VPN
Let’s find out!
Is VPN Secure?
If the question is how secure is a VPN, then let’s say it pretty much is. Using VPN does protect your connection, and the fact that it encrypts and tunnels your data through a DNS server does ensure that your IP becomes untraceable.
But that does not guarantee that all VPNs are equally secure. A few free VPN service providers are not at all secure, yet they claim to be. The free VPN service providers run ads on their VPN dashboard to generate revenue. With such services, there is always a risk of your data being shared with the marketers and advertisers by the VPN developers themselves. Moreover, these VPNs are often blamed for data purloining.
However, even using a reliable VPN can be tracked despite the best security measures, as there is one more way your VPN connection can be traced back to you. What’s that factor? Keep reading!
VPNs: Anonymity vs. Privacy?
If you read what VPN does, you’ll find out that it “hides” your IP address by connecting your browser to the site servers through another server on a different location in an encrypted tunnel. This makes your connection anonymous, as the VPN-provided server’s IP masks your location and other information. But there’s the catch. VPN can offer anonymity, but that doesn’t mean it can also provide privacy.
When you are using the web on an activated VPN, the servers of the websites you visit or your Internet service provider may not view your IP address. Still, the VPN service providers can see that information, as they are the ones masking it. Means, your data is still out there with someone, be it be the VPN service provider.
So, you can say that it’s not all private when it comes to VPN. Atleast not with every VPN. So how do you decide which one is the reliable one, which keeps your information private, while keeping your browser activity anonymous?
VPN’s No Logs Policy
A No Logs Policy in context to a VPN service provider means that a particular provider does/will not keep a log of user information or any data regarding users’ browser activities. The details included in the No Logs Policy that the VPN service providers shall not store are:
– IP Addresses
– Bandwidth Info
– Session Details [Site Information]
– Network Traffic
It’s a part of a consumer entrusting a VPN service provider to follow the same practice of defending online security. Hence, a reliable VPN service provider will not build up a database of user information on its servers, as they have no requirement.
Netflix Can Still Detect VPN: How is it Possible?
People use VPN to bypass location restrictions and access international content on streaming sites such as Netflix. If there’s a no-log policy in many VPN services’ user agreement, then how Netflix still detects that you’re using a VPN and mess up your Netflix experience by showing up the m7111-133-5059 Error.
Netflix is a big giant in the streaming entertainment business, and it regularly checks users’ accounts for their network connection. Your IP address changes regularly in a normal connection, as you are connected to a different site server for each site you visit on the browser.
But in the case of a VPN, all the site servers are connected to your browser through one single DNS server in between. So, your IP address never changes. And this is detected by Netflix. This is how Netflix can see you are using a VPN, and it blocks usage on your account while your VPN is activated.
Is VPN Security Applicable to Law Enforcement?: The Loophole in No-Logs Policy?
Here’s an interesting dilemma. Can police track you down if you’re using a VPN?
Well, firstly, law enforcement will not go after you for using Netflix over a VPN. But it shall in case you’ve tried to hide an illicit online activity or cybercrime by masking your IP and hiding your traces. So is it possible for police to track your VPN usage?
It all depends on data retention laws. Data retention laws deal with the lawful and rightful usage of data available online. It accounts for mandates concerning the online privacy of citizens. While many countries have made VPN illegal, some have restricted the VPN service providers to take user logs.
VPN service providers from countries with strict data retention laws will always keep user logs even if they claim they don’t. It’s just that the authorities can’t let some illegal activity carried out over the web go unnoticed or untraceable. Usually, authorities’ first step is to head to Internet service providers to obtain data logs; it’s only when they realize that there was an activated VPN in place, they go the VPN service provider.
So, you may always be under a watch despite using a VPN, unless there is a VPN connection where there’s no condition to keep logs.
Systweak VPN: Offering Utmost Anonymity and Privacy
Systweak VPN is one of the best VPN service providers for Windows users and offers the most secure connection from all fronts. Systweak VPN is developed with military-grade protection from AES 356-bit Encryption, making the data tunnels free from leaks. Moreover, Systweak VPN has more than fifty servers to serve users with private connections.
And most importantly, Systweak VPN does not keep user logs. Being developed in India, the VPN service provider is under no legal obligation to build any database comprising user log information.
Its features include removing regional restrictions from streaming sites, making secure private connections, and bypass ISP throttling.
Download Systweak VPN for the most secure private connection, and you won’t be tracked at all.