Can VPN monitor Internet activity?

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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  • If you've considered using a VPN but didn't take the leap yet, you've probably wondered whether or not can VPN monitor Internet activity.
  • Many VPN can and actually do monitor their customers' Internet activity, but a few select services are against this practice and enforce strict policies to fight it.
  • Check out our best VPNs that won't invade your privacy.
  • Visit the VPN Hub to discover more awesome guides on keeping safe while you're online.
Can a VPN monitor your Internet activity?

If you’ve considered using a VPN but didn’t take the leap yet, you’ve probably wondered whether or not can VPN monitor Internet activity. And it’s nothing to be worried about, many of us took VPN with a grain of salt in the beginning.

Let’s put it this way. Are you aware that without using a VPN, your ISP has full control of your traffic? How about the fact that your ISP can see everything you do online?

Ranging from the websites you visit to what files you download and how much time you spend online, your ISP sees it all. Doesn’t that bother you at all?

Well, essentially what a VPN does is take over your ISP’s role in a sense. You’ll still be getting your Internet from your ISP, but they won’t be able to eavesdrop on your connection any longer.

So what happens with your traffic?

How does a VPN work?

In order to encrypt your traffic, a VPN performs a lot of processes. It all starts when you install a VPN client on your PC and connect to a secure server. Remember, the closest the server, the higher the speed you’ll get.

After securing your connection with the VPN, you’ll perhaps try to access a website. Your request goes from your machine, through the VPN client where it gets encrypted, and passes a secure tunnel that hides traffic from your ISP.

A VPN can protect your privacy

The data then reaches the VPN server, where it gets decrypted and pushed forward to the website. The website then generates a response and sends it back to you on the same route.

Only this time, the response gets encrypted by the VPN server and unencrypted by the VPN client. Therefore, between you and the VPN exit point, all your traffic is encrypted.

We’ve already established that VPNs can’t break SSL encryption. So technically there should be no reason to worry about it. However…

Can VPN monitor Internet activity?

You’re not going to like this answer, but the truth is that VPN can monitor Internet activity. More so, some of them actually engage in such privacy-breaching practices.

This is why it’s important to pick a trustworthy VPN and stick with it, no matter how tempting lifetime free VPN sounds. Providers such as Private Internet Access, CyberGhost VPN, and NordVPN have strong anti-logging and anti-monitoring policies.

Remember, a VPN can see almost everything your ISP used to see. And if ISPs could see your unencrypted Internet traffic with ease, then so does your VPN.

What is the best no-monitoring VPN?

Even if we’ve burst your bubble with the claim above, you shouldn’t be disappointed. Like in any other industry, VPN also has its fair share of bad apples.

To help you get past potentially monitoring VPN services, we’ve provided a list of services that are guaranteed to respect your privacy and not log or monitor anything you do.

Product NameKeeps logs?Company Name
Private Internet AccessNo traffic logsKape Technologies
CyberGhost VPNNo identifying dataKape Technologies
BullGuard VPNNo identifying dataBullGuard
NordVPNNo logsTefincom & Co., S.A.
Surfshark VPNNo logsSurfshark LTD

As you can see, there are some subtle differences between the services in our selection. It’s up to you to choose the one that fits your needs the best. Regardless of your choice, you can rest assured that the VPN you stuck with won’t monitor your Internet activity.

It’s possible for VPNs to monitor your Internet activity

To sum it up, it’s not unheard of for VPNs to monitor their customers’ activity. Some of them collect these bits of valuable information to sell them to various companies or hand them over to authorities if the need arises.

On the bright side, there are also several providers that swear by their no-logging, no-monitoring policies that won’t break your trust and invade your privacy by monitoring your Internet activity.

FAQ: Learn more about VPN monitoring Internet activity

  • Does VPN hide Internet activity?

Yes, a VPN can make it possible that your ISP can’t track your Internet activity by encrypting it.

  • Can VPN be hacked?

While technically possible, it’s not very likely for VPNs to get hacked.

  • Can you get hacked through VPN apps?

Yes, it’s possible to compromise your PC through a VPN app, but that usually happens if the app itself is infested with malware.