Cookie Free Website Analytics

Panelbear does not track personal data, and uses zero tracking cookies. That way, you can enjoy useful insights, without invading the privacy of your visitors.

Why cookie-free analytics

Cookies are one of the ways that tools such as Google Analytics use to track visitors across the web. They are often used to identify a visitor across page views and sessions.

Over the years cookies got a bad reputation for being one of the ways which enable bad actors to track people across the Internet, building profiles about their age group, buying preferences, where they live, and other personal data.

You might be wondering what is all that personal data used for? You guessed it, it fuels those ads targeting you when visiting various sites across the web.

But it doesn't end there, some companies might sell that data to third parties which may in turn target you with political ads, emails, or even build databases about what you do on the Internet.

Cookies are not the reason why this happens, but unfortunately, they are one of the means for invasive tracking and personal data hoarding.

That's why privacy legislations such as GDPR may require websites to get user consent before making use of such cookies. As usual, the specifics depend on your own circumstances, and we encourage you to seek professional legal advice when needed.

Analytics give websites important metrics

Most website owners are not interested in tracking people across the Internet or building behavioral profiles for politically motivated ads. They're interested in how many page views their website got the last few months and other important metrics.

That's why, for websites to understand which pages are relevant to their visitors, they use an analytics tool. These tools enable you to count total views, top countries, referrers, and some other important metrics.

This helps website owners get a view of the big picture, and create more of the articles, videos, and products that people are actually interested in. After all, you can’t improve what you can’t measure.

Additionally, these tools also help website owners understand when a page is loading too slow. That way they can identify what’s causing the issue and fix it.

Website analytics is what enables them to identify these issues and understand the big picture. Driving creation of new content, new features, and even bug fixes.

Unfortunately, these are powerful tools and some bad actors have abused their position. That’s why it’s important to recognize that analytics tools are not the problem on their own, and like cookies, what matters is how they are being used.

Can analytics work without cookies or consent?

Generally, yes. You do not need tracking cookies for analytics to work. You may still need consent for tracking depending on the exact implementation, regulations that apply to you, and other aspects which depend on the details of your project. That's why we encourage you to seek professional legal advice and avoid risking your reputation, getting fined, or worse, breaking the trust that your visitors have given you in protecting their data.

It might be tempting to believe that cookies are the problem, and blocking or disabling them is the solution. While it would be great if we could stop bad actors by blocking cookies, the truth is that there are many other ways in which invasive data hoarding can happen.

You do not need to be an analytics company to abuse your position, and you don’t even need Javascript to track people across sites. Your Internet Service Provider, your hosting company, and even your smartphone manufacturer could have enough information to build a profile about you over time.

Trust is the foundation for our everyday life. Our devices, and what we do with them have become an extension of ourselves. That's why it's not always easy to draw the line between what is an acceptable use of our data, and what is not.

In short, websites need insights, and visitors have the right to privacy. That’s why privacy-first analytics are part of the solution, as the data is de-personalized and aggregated so that no individual can be singled out, and tracked across the web. This results in useful website statistics without invading the privacy of individuals.

However, the problem is not only about software. We need strong data protection regulations, which ensure proper handling of your data, and accountability for those that process it.

That way, with better tools and regulations, businesses can continue to understand their website traffic, while delivering an amazing, privacy-respecting experience to their visitors.

Privacy-first analytics for a better web

At Panelbear, we were frustrated with the current state of third-party cookies, invasive cross-site tracking, complicated tools, and annoying cookie banners. That's why we're happy to share with you the analytics tool that we initially built for ourselves and is now available for anyone to use.

Panelbear gives you real-time insights into your website's traffic, without tracking cookies or tracking personal data. It’s a simple and fast Google Analytics alternative that does not require any configuration to get started, and it’s easy to use. That way, you can deliver an amazing experience on your website without invading the privacy of your visitors.

Here are some of the reasons our customers switch to Panelbear:

  • Funded by happy customers, not by selling advertising data.
  • Automatic anonymization out of the box.
  • Lightweight, and blazingly fast.
  • No building of user profiles.
  • No selling of personal data.
  • No tracking cookies.

Feel free to try it on your website, and let us know what you think.

Panelbear is customer-driven and is the result of thousands of websites from around the world, who recently made the switch and shared their feedback with us. We build new features and improve the product based on the feedback we get every day.

Do you need a cookie consent banner

Legal disclaimer: We're not lawyers, and this is not legal advice. Any advice on this website is general in nature and not to be taken as professional advice.

If you're using Panelbear you don't need to have any special configuration to enjoy cookieless analytics.

We believe no cookie consent is needed because:

  • No tracking cookies used.
  • The data is only used for analytics.
  • Visitors aren't tracked across websites (we don't build user profiles).
  • Our session IDs encode zero personal data in them. Our tracking mechanism automatically "forgets" about the visitor device that generated the data within 24 hours.
  • There's no way to identify an individual from the data we store.

However, as with any other analytics service, you may be required to mention all third-party services you use in your Privacy Policy. We encourage you to seek professional legal advice for your specific circumstances.

But, what are cookies

Cookies are small text files stored on your browser to remember settings and other information on a specific website. While often they are used for tracking purposes, not all cookies are tracking cookies.

Cookies are also one of the ways for a website to remember that you're logged in, or that your language preference is English, or German as an example.

While they are many times indispensable, they have also been abused for tracking people across the internet, and building browsing history profiles across the web which are sometimes sold for advertising purposes.

How do cookies work

When a website sets a cookie, your browser will store it and "remember" to send it along with every request to that same website each time you access a new page. In case the cookie has expired, the browser may delete the cookie, and requesting a new one might be necessary (this is often what happens when you are "logged out" of a website after some time).

The data a cookie contains may include:

  • The name of the website that set the cookie.
  • The amount of time for which the cookie is valid.
  • The cookie value - this corresponds to the actual contents of the cookie (e.g. the logged-in user ID).

Cookies are an essential part of the modern web. They power many features which we take for granted. This includes things like remembering you're logged in to a website, or the items in your shopping cart on e-commerce sites.

However, with great power comes great responsibility, and we should take the necessary steps to prevent them from being abused and compromise the privacy of people on the internet.

What do cookies track

Cookies by themselves don't track anything. In fact, many cookies are used for things other than tracking. For example to remember which pages you logged in to, which website language you prefer, and so on.

When a website places a cookie on your browser, it instructs it to save a small text file for later. When you later again visit the website that placed this cookie, your browser will send that text file along with your request back to the website server. This in itself is not harmful, it's a necessary mechanism to power many useful website features.

How to remove tracking cookies

You can easily delete all cookies on your browser, either per website or across all websites, directly from the browser settings.

However, this may remove important, functional cookies too. This means you may get logged out of various sites, and some of your preferences on some websites might be lost.

How to block cookies

While blocking cookies is a drastic alternative to stop invasive tracking, some browsers allow you to reject all cookies via the configuration options.

This is often not advisable, because most websites use functional cookies in one way or another to provide features such as keeping you logged in, saving your user preferences, and even things like remembering your shopping basket on online stores.

Panelbear analytics charts

Ready to try Panelbear?

It's free for small websites - no credit card required.