Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have become a cornerstone for secure and private internet use.
They provide an encrypted tunnel for your data, protecting it from prying eyes. But have you ever pondered the concept of using a VPN over a VPN, or what we often refer to as a double VPN?
Indeed, it sounds like adding an extra layer of armour to your online privacy.
But is it a realistic approach?
When we talk about using a VPN over a VPN, we mean running two or more VPN connections simultaneously. This technique is also known as VPN chaining, multihopping, or a layered VPN.
The process involves routing your internet connection through two (or more) secure servers in different locations, rather than just one.
Yes, it is indeed possible to use a VPN on top of another VPN, a concept known as ‘Double VPN’, ‘VPN over VPN’, ‘Doublehop VPN’, or ‘Multihop VPN’. This strategy involves routing your internet connection through two or more secure VPN servers simultaneously. The primary advantage of this setup is the enhanced security it offers due to double encryption. This multi-layered security model amplifies privacy and makes it exceedingly difficult for any observer to trace your digital activities.
Setting up a double VPN can be quite complicated. One workaround involves installing one VPN on your router and the other on your device.
Or, you could turn to VPN split tunnelling, which lets you maintain two connections simultaneously.
The Role of Virtual Machines In Double VPN
Another option is to use a virtual machine (VM). With this approach, you’d run one VPN on the primary operating system and install the second VPN on a VM.
This allows for a double VPN setup without necessarily establishing both VPN tunnels, preventing potential conflicts.
Using a double VPN can potentially offer greater privacy and security than a standard VPN connection. The principle is simple: by sending traffic through two servers and usually encrypting it twice, you’re making it more difficult for anyone to intercept or steal your data.
However, it’s important to bear in mind that the actual security benefits of multiple VPNs may decrease beyond double encryption.
Moreover, the connection speed might be significantly reduced.
Running two VPNs concurrently may increase your costs, as you’ll likely need subscriptions to both VPN services. It’s also worth considering the potential increase in power consumption, especially if you’re using a virtual machine setup.
Practicality Of Double VPN For Most Users
Though a double VPN connection might sound appealing to privacy enthusiasts, it might not be necessary for the average user. A single VPN connection can provide a substantial level of privacy and security, meeting most users’ needs.
One of the potential downsides of using a double VPN setup is the impact it could have on your internet speed. The additional layer of security may come with some compromises on the performance front.
A VPN operates by encrypting your data and routing it through a secure server, often located in a different part of the world. This process, while essential for protecting your online privacy and security, can slow down your internet connection.
This is due to the time it takes for data to travel to and from the VPN server and the time required for encryption and decryption.
When using a double VPN, these processes are compounded. Your data doesn’t just pass through one encryption process and one server, but two of each.
As a result, the delay between your data request and the response you receive (also known as latency) can be significantly higher, and your overall internet speed can slow down.
This potential decrease in speed is an important factor to consider when deciding whether to use a VPN over a VPN.
If a high-speed connection is vital for your internet activities, you might need to weigh the advantages of extra security against the potential drop in performance.
Related: Will a VPN Reduce Ping?
When considering the use of a double VPN, it’s also vital to take into account its potential impact on your device’s performance.
Running two VPNs simultaneously isn’t a task to be taken lightly by your device.
Double VPNs can be quite demanding on device resources. This is because the process of encrypting and decrypting data, which is a critical aspect of VPN functionality, is computationally intensive.
When using a double VPN, these processes are effectively doubled, placing twice the load on your device.
As a result, your device may experience slowdowns or lags, especially if it is an older or less powerful model. This performance impact might be particularly noticeable when running resource-intensive applications or tasks on your device.
Hence, before deciding to use a double VPN setup, it’s important to assess whether your device has the capability to smoothly handle the additional workload.
If performance is a concern, it might be more practical to stick with a single, robust VPN connection.
While the concept of double VPN or VPN chaining may be appealing to some, particularly from a security perspective, it may not be the most practical or necessary solution for everyone.
Depending on your particular needs and circumstances, there could be effective alternatives to using a double VPN.
A quality single VPN can offer a high level of security and privacy for the majority of users. It encrypts your internet traffic, hides your IP address, and can make it seem as though you’re browsing from a different location.
For most online activities such as browsing, streaming, or downloading, a single VPN service typically provides a good balance between security, cost, and performance.
Indeed, for many people, the enhanced security offered by a double VPN setup might be overkill. Unless you have extremely high-security needs or you’re handling highly sensitive data, a single VPN should suffice.
The added complexity, potential performance impact, and cost of running a double VPN might not justify the marginal increase in security for most users.
So, before going for a double VPN setup, consider your specific needs and circumstances. If a single, robust VPN can meet your requirements, it might be the most efficient and cost-effective solution for you.
In summary, the technique of employing a VPN over another VPN, often referred to as a ‘Double VPN’, ‘Doublehop VPN’, or ‘Multihop VPN’, is a feasible and advanced strategy for those seeking to maximise their online security and privacy.
This system hinges on routing your internet connection through more than one secure VPN server, thus providing a superior level of protection through double encryption.
However, while the concept of a double VPN can provide an increased layer of security, it’s worth acknowledging that it involves higher costs and potential setup complexities.
Moreover, for the majority of internet users, a single VPN typically provides ample protection, making the Double VPN approach potentially excessive.
Hence, it’s essential to evaluate your specific online privacy needs and weigh them against the potential benefits and drawbacks of a Double VPN setup before choosing this layered security approach.
Tor over VPN provides a distinct approach to online anonymity compared to double VPN. In a Tor over VPN configuration, your data traffic first passes through a VPN server, and then navigates through multiple anonymous Tor nodes. The data undergoes encryption at each transit point, obscuring your digital footprints and making it notably challenging for observers to determine your online activities or your traffic’s origin. This intricate routing system offers a heightened level of anonymity compared to a double VPN setup, but it may impact your connection speed due to the multiple encryption processes involved.
Double VPN and split tunnelling offer different approaches to handling your internet traffic. In a double VPN setup, all your traffic is routed and encrypted twice through two VPN servers, thereby enhancing your privacy and security. On the other hand, split tunnelling offers a mix of security and convenience. It allows you to decide which portion of your traffic goes through the VPN, with the remainder going directly over the open network. Although this provides flexibility and often better speeds for non-sensitive tasks, it doesn’t offer the same level of security as full tunnelling or a double VPN setup, as only a portion of the traffic is encrypted and routed through the VPN.
Yes, utilising your home router can be an effective approach for a double VPN configuration. This method involves installing one VPN on your router and then setting up a different VPN on your device that connects to the internet. This way, your traffic gets encrypted first by the VPN on your device and then again by the VPN on the router, effectively creating a double VPN connection. However, it’s worth noting that some VPN services offer built-in double VPN functionality, which can simplify the setup process and eliminate potential compatibility issues between two separate VPNs.
Indeed, there are several VPN providers that offer built-in double VPN functionality, thus eliminating the need for manual setup. Notable examples include NordVPN, Surfshark, ProtonVPN, Hide.me VPN, Windscribe VPN, and ClearVPN. Some of these providers, like NordVPN, are particularly recognised for this feature. In certain instances, a combination of the desktop and browser versions of the same VPN might be required to double-encrypt your traffic. However, it’s important to note that not every VPN provider offers this function, and the need for multiple VPNs may not be universally applicable, depending on the user’s specific requirements.
Don’t Hesitate, Secure Your Digital World Today
If you’ve found this guide helpful and are considering employing a double VPN setup or simply want to explore your VPN options further, we at 76 Services are here to help.
Our experts can provide detailed advice and solutions tailored to your unique online security needs.
Feel free to give us a call at 01494 623076, or if you prefer, you can fill out the contact form on our website.
We look forward to helping you navigate your digital world securely and confidently.