Can The Government See Through VPNs?

Everyone is worried about the government seeing what they do online. For instance, people who use Facebook and YouTube are now finding out that certain topics are forbidden.

Can the government see through VPNs? The government aren’t able to see through well encrypted, live VPN traffic and track what people are doing. However, it’s important to note that with an order from the courts, they’re able ask the VPN provider for information about the person using the VPN. Whether or not the VPN will give up this identity information will depend on factors like its privacy policy and its jurisdiction.

Regarding handing the information about users to an agency, such as the government, it will depend on the data collected by the VPN provider.

There’s three main data collection categories:

  • Usage logs: This is what tells what websites you have visited.
  • Connection logs: This is what tells the IP address the VPN assigned, the true IP address of the user, connection times and the data usage.
  • No logs: There are some VPNs that don’t keep logs of your activity while using the VPN. The only exception would be the information that’s needed for troubleshooting and billing.

Even though some of the VPNs claim not to collect logs. However, this could be just a façade. that’s the reason it’s crucial that you don’t overlook their privacy policies. You may be seeing things you’d rather not see in the policy, like very intrusive data collection.

No logs policy VPN

If you are concerned about being spied upon by the government, it’s best to choose a VPN that has a no-logs policy. This will ensure the VPN does not log every website you visit whilst using their service, instead all access information will be nullified.

You are looking for something that can protect you. So, why take a chance by choosing one that logs you?

Now that we have gone through what can happen with the government, we’re going to look more at another government agency and then look at ways that you can protect yourself (check out my list of reputable VPNs here with a no log policy).

Can the FBI see through VPNs?

Depending on the VPN provider chosen, it may be possible for the FBI to see through the VPN. Especially if the VPN is a free service, as they may not have the security that paid for VPNs offer. Some free VPNs may also be set up deliberately by the FBI and other agencies so they are able to see at first hand what the VPN user is doing.

When a law enforcement agency gets your browsing history, whether they have a warrant or not, they first go to your ISP. Your ISP will be able to see all of the sites that you’re visiting, and there’s a traffic log kept for this particular purpose. However, when you use a VPN, this is prevented.

Even though browsing using your VPN will prevent an ISP from keeping track of your movements, the ISP might not be the last stop when they investigate. It’s also possible that they’ll track down as well as request the logs from the VPN provider.

A lot of VPNs claim that they don’t keep logs. However, there have been many court cases which have demonstrated that’s not always true. If you are looking for a VPN, you want to make sure that you’re choosing one you can trust. At the end of the day, simply using the VPN will only shift your vulnerability, taking it from the ISP to the VPN you use.

One of the best things that you can do and help protect yourself is to choose a VPN that does not log your activity. You want to make sure that you are reading the information on your VPN’s privacy and that you understand everything before downloading and using it. Although this may not stop everything, it may help you with protecting your privacy more when someone comes looking for your history.

Tips for Choosing a VPN

Figure out what you need a VPN for – Figure Out Why You Need It – You aren’t going to go into an electronics store and purchase the first television or computer that you see. You shouldn’t do this with VPNs either. Check out my review on best VPNs here.

  • If you are looking for one that your whole household can use, one that allows multiple connections simultaneously is the one you want, also called router-based VPNs.
  • If you are planning on streaming online movies, you want one that offers unlimited bandwidth and reliable, high speed connections
  • Do you travel a lot and rely largely on public Wi-Fi? You’ll want a VPN which offers great security and that has global servers.

After you understand what you’re going to be using your VPN for, jot down the features that you need to have and the ones that aren’t so important. Once you have completed this process, it’s going to be a lot easier to find the VPN you should choose.

Look at the Qualities of VPNs – Each of the VPN companies will prioritize something. It might be encryption, it might be anonymity, it might be speed. You want to be sure their priorities and yours match up.

For instance, if you’re interested in watching content that’s geographically blocked, you’ll want to look for one that is known for unblocking content. A lot of VPNs have a hard time bypassing the VPN block of Netflix. However, ExpressVPN and NordVPN can negotiate those obstacles successfully on a continuous basis.

If you’re someone who values their anonymity and privacy, like a journalist, you’ll want to find one of the VPNs that doesn’t retain logs, and which has a very secure encryption.

It’s also a good idea to check the VPN’s security protocol as well as if it has the kill-switch feature.

Check Its Compatible Devices

Even though the majority of VPNs support the platforms such as iOS, windows, Android, Mac and Linux, not all of them can be used on all of the platforms.

If your computer is Windows but you have an iPhone, you’ll want to make sure that the VPN has an app and platform for both of these.

You also want to see the number of devices that can be connected to the VPN at one time. Some of the available VPNs will allow as many devices as you want, and others will let you only connect three or fewer.

Make Sure the Interface is User Friendly

The user-interface and setup on many VPNs is quite complex. Therefore, if you aren’t interested in configuring your VPN because you’re not tech savvy, you want to look for one that will offer a platform that’s user-friendly and has simple procedures.

Some of the VPNs offer virtual setups, so don’t have to do anything.

Be Certain Important Locations All are Covered

How many locations and servers may be the thing that helps you decide on your VPN. If you’re in a country that’s less developed or populated or you’re planning to live or travel there for a while, you’re going to need one of the VPNs with servers close to the location or in it.

Decide Which Payment Plan You’d Want

You always want to consider payment when you’re searching for your VPN. Prices will different based on the subscription length and features of the VPN.

The way you pay also will be important. Some of the VPNs offer payment options that are completely anonymous, such as Bitcoin. Some of the other let you purchase gift cards, so you avoid putting personal information in.

Even though it’s tempting to use free VPNs, it’s not a good idea to use one. Even when you aren’t paying using money, you’re going to pay for another way, whether it’s with unreliable protection, low-quality streaming or ads.

Look for One with Good Customer Service

Something many people overlook when searching for their VPN is the customer service. You want one that is available 24/7. A VPN will constantly change, so you want to know that you can contact someone easily who’s going to help you with any problems.

A good feature to look for is one with live chat, since tickets and emails may take hours or even day until they’re answered.

Wrap Up

A good VPN can protect you against the government and FBI spying on you by ensuring there are no logs for them to access. Therefore they have no idea what your internet history is but be careful as some VPNs may actually keep logs even though they say they don’t.

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