As a new entrant to the whole VPN world, or even as a seasoned online security expert, you’ve probably heard a few things about Double VPN. It’s a security feature that not so many VPN companies provide, and the few that do make it a point to say so on their list of best features. This is primarily because the feature allows providers to offer a level of protection that normal encryption isn’t able to guarantee. It makes it much more difficult for hackers to get hold of a VPN connection that has double encryption since with such, the level of patience and accuracy required to hack through is almost unattainable. Such a high level of protection is able to ensure that users are steered clear of any possible threats to their private information.
Because it is possible that there are a number of people who might not be as familiar to how double VPN all works, in this guideline, we’re going to try and make the concept a little bit easier to understand, and also look at the pros and cons of using such a feature.
How Double VPN Works
It wouldn’t be surprising to assume that some of our readers might have thought that the term “double encryption” implied that the normal level of encryption, which is AES 256-bit encryption would then become AES-512. It’s actually a guess that’s not that far off the mark since the only implication is that the same level of encryption is applied, but done so twice.
To better illustrate, assume we have a running VPN connection that’s routed through an encrypted tunnel to a server that’s based in a country of your selection. The normal form of encryption in use would be the AES-256 bit one. With a feature such as double VPN added into the mix, traffic from the initial server gets re-routed to a second one that’s not necessarily based in the same city or country.
This would translate to the already scrambled data being re-encrypted, adding to the difficulty for any third party such as your ISP would have to undergo in order to decrypt. This also results in a very high level of anonymity, as no-one would be able to easily track back where you could have launched your connection from.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Double VPN can be extremely useful especially to people who find themselves needing to work around severe Internet censorship. People like journalists and political activists would benefit immensely from using the feature since the authoritarian regimes that they’re normally found trying to subdue are known to use a lot of force to tone down their voices, especially online.
By using a normal VPN service, such people are not completely protected from the effects of VPN failures such as IP and DNS leaks. With a double VPN though, such failures cannot happen, and in the uneventful occasion that it did, the bits of traffic that would be unscrambled would only point to the location of the first server, leaving the second one still cloaking your actual location.
Inasmuch as double VPN offers such a high level of increased security, it has two particular disadvantages that tend to turn off a number of customers. One is the fact that the feature is normally included only in the topmost cadre of packages on offer, meaning it ends up being quite expensive to have. The second issue, and probably the most unfortunate, is the fact that with such a strong level of encryption, the speed of your connection tends to suffer a lot. In some cases, it is known to be slow enough to frustrate users as they wait for a movie or live broadcast to buffer. Of course this depends on the ISP’s provider speed, but needless to say, it’d be better if you ensured that you have a large bandwidth before you switch to double VPN.
To try and make it an easier option to make for users, there are a number of providers that offer a double VPN connection as separate to the default VPN one, so that you only need to switch to the latter in times of dire security need.
Where To Get Double VPN
The one top-tier provider that is known to offer double VPN is NordVPN. As mentioned in our NordVPN review, it is a feature that really enhances the level of protection online, and it has also been known to be quite expensive to implement even for a provider. Nonetheless, NordVPN includes the service among many of its other reputable features, such as its Internet kill switch, and it’s capacity to support up to 5 simultaneous VPN connections per user. The service also supports Onion over VPN, which allows you to combine the anonymity provided by the Tor browser, with NordVPN’s military grade encryption. NordVPN’s zero-logging feature ensures that none of their users browsing history is recorded, and the fact that their headquarters is in Panama makes it difficult for any data retention officers to subdue the service provider.
NordVPN also offers DNS leak protection, meaning the service has measures put in place to prevent any form of traffic “leaking” out of the VPN tunnel and going through the default DNS servers. This sort of malfunction would have your ISP aware of the kind of sites you’re viewing. Lastly, NordVPN offers dedicated servers that allow you to optimize the performance of your VPN service according to your use and supports P2P file sharing and torrenting for those whose primary work involves large volume file exchange.
Wrap Up on Double VPN
Using double VPN will definitely make impossible for a user’s data to get infiltrated. The catch, however, is that it might be more expensive than you might have thought, and it might really slow down your connection. Such reasons only dictate that having such a connection should be a resort that’s turned to only when it becomes absolutely necessary. Also, before subscribing under a provider that offers double VPN, it’d be best to ensure that your connection is fast enough by default, so that it doesn’t slow down to a point that it becomes frustrating once the new feature is implemented.