You must have read content online and you must have been been told by peers or tech representatives that VPNs secure you online. But how far can that protection go?
Are there any entities like law enforcement agencies that can access your IP address and your location, even if you are actively using a VPN? This article will cover answers to questions such as can VPNs be tracked by the police? And when will the police track an IP address?
Can The Police Track Your VPN?
So, can VPN be tracked by police? Unless a VPN provider chooses to help, the police will be unable to monitor the activity of VPN users. A warrant can be issued by the authorities to ask for usage and connection logs to be provided. All of your internet activity can be traced back to you if your VPN retains logs. Diverse legal countries can make it more difficult to track VPN users. Using a robust VPN like VeePN can protect you if there is no court search warrant against you.
If a judge orders a VPN company to begin tracking certain users, police can monitor all of the VPN server activity. It doesn’t matter whether the VPN had a rigorous no-log policy in the past. All activities can be observed in real-time by law enforcement. A Warrant Canary page is commonly used by a VPN to alert its subscribers about the issuance of a subpoena.
Tracking VPN users might also be affected by the location of the VPN service provider. Suppose a VPN is based in Panama, and US law enforcement requests logs from it. In this instance, a VPN service can simply say no because the laws of the United States do not apply. It’s not uncommon for court proceedings in other countries to drag on for years.
Now, how do police track IP addresses? First, your Internet service provider (ISP) knows your actual IP address. While it can track your connection timestamp and location, it cannot view anything you do on the internet. Because of this, law enforcement must have access to VPN server logs in order to monitor your online activities.
In order to prove their case, the police could ask for a variety of logs, such as:
Logs of VPN connections: these records show the times at which the user was linked to a VPN. Your IP address and bandwidth use are part of this. Your internet activities are completely obscured by these logs. An Internet service provider (ISP) can supply a lot of the same information.
Logs of traffic usage: these logs include information about the connections you’ve made. A log of all the websites you’ve visited can be used as evidence of your use of a virtual private network (VPN).
No-logs policies prevent VPN providers from providing any usage data to investigators. Without logs, it is impossible to trace any of your interactions to you.
In order for police to track VPN activity and to determine whether VPN prevents tracking, the complete legal process must be considered. To begin, an arrest warrant or court order must be obtained in order to contact the ISP. A VPN company’s logs are next in line for investigation.
This is where things become a little more complicated because it depends on where the VPN is based. A VPN provider based in the same jurisdiction as the investigators will have a far shorter process than a company located elsewhere. It’s not easy to obtain all the necessary paperwork to gain access to a VPN server’s data in a different nation. This case’s judicial proceedings could drag on for months or perhaps years.
The length of the process depends on the seriousness of the crime. There is a tendency for federal agencies to focus on the most serious cybercrimes and expedite their investigations. A VPN jurisdiction has little bearing on the outcome of this lawsuit if it is taken seriously.
You need a VPN with a lot of privacy features if you want an extra layer of security and want to prevent police tracking of VPNs. To make it more difficult to trace you, a VPN must offer additional features than just a no-logs policy.
For a good VPN, here are some things to look for:
- As previously stated, the most important component for maintaining privacy is the policy of not keeping any logs. A VPN server’s no-logs policy assures that no logs are kept.
- RAM disc servers are an excellent supplement to a no-logs policy. They do not have the ability to save any data because they erase everything when they restart. In the event that a server is seized, it helps to keep everyone else safe.
- In order for a VPN to be effective, it must secure your IP and DNS addresses. All apps should have built-in leak protection.
- In case your VPN connection drops and your online activities are exposed, you can use an Internet Kill Switch to prevent this.
- Typically, jurisdiction isn’t a major deal, but it can provide an additional degree of security.
To cut the long story short – you need an absolutely trustworthy VPN service to make sure that your data is safe. Your data should only be available for the law enforcement agencies in case of a criminal investigation and a court order.