Double VPN can be a useful functionality. But there’s a reason why only a few services offer it.
Casual users find it more a bane than a blessing. If you need to cloak your IP address when gaming, streaming, or torrenting, you may consider it overkill at best and detrimental at worst.
That said, this unique feature comes with benefits you won’t enjoy from normal VPN connections.
Let us elaborate:
Double VPN vs normal VPN connection
If you compare how traffic flows through double and normal VPN connections, you’ll see one glaring difference: the number of remote servers. The former involves multiple pieces of hardware, whereas the latter only has one.
Normally, when you connect to a VPN, your traffic passes through a remote server first. It hides your real IP address and replaces it with its own. This way, the site or service you visit remains clueless about your device, especially its physical location.
Not only that, but your VPN software encrypts your data. Unless the snooper is capable enough to decode the best-kept military secrets, it won’t be able to decipher what you’re doing online even if it intercepts your traffic.
When you use double VPN, the protection you get increases twofold. It multiplies the level of IP masking and encryption your traffic goes through, concealing your identity and activity more effectively.
But here’s the flip side:
Double VPN can raise latency. That’s because of the greater distance your data has to travel when hopping on two servers housed in different locations.
Plus, encrypted traffic moves slower than plain text. So, you can imagine how bandwidth-heavy it is to send data through two layers of military-grade encryption.
To summarize the difference between normal and double VPN connections, have a look at this roundup:
|Masked IP||Encryption layer||Speed loss||Server locations|
|Normal VPN connection||1||1||Tolerable, minimal, or potentially none||Abundant|
|Double VPN connection||2 or more||2 or more||Noticeable or potentially severe||Generally limited|
Double VPN benefits
The two undisputed benefits of double VPN are increased privacy and enhanced security.
Let’s expand on both of them:
Hiding your activity behind a pair of geographically distant VPN servers is among the surest routes to online anonymity. Remember: only the first server communicates directly with your device. So, the one after it knows nothing about you.
If a malicious party wants to find your real IP, it’ll have to compromise all of the servers in your double VPN connection. On top of that, the snoop will have to pray that your VPN vendor logs data and doesn’t auto-delete it after every server reboot.
To say that cracking two layers of encryption is difficult is a massive understatement. Most VPNs use AES-256 encryption, which is what militaries and government institutions utilize to safeguard classified data.
If you seriously want to protect yourself from hackers, double VPN is the way to go.
When should you use double VPN?
You should use double VPN when you need to:
- Circumvent censorship imposed by a repressive government – Connecting to two separate servers can help you get around powerful firewalls and content filters.
- Protect yourself from traffic correlation attacks – Routing your traffic to multiple pieces of VPN hardware makes it extremely challenging to de-anonymize your data and find patterns in your communications.
Double VPN amplifies the privacy and security of a normal VPN connection by routing your traffic to multiple remote servers.
However, it’s not without drawbacks, as you can lose a ton of your internet speed in the process. But if you want to avoid censorship and surveillance, you’ll find the cost of double VPN benefits to certainly be worth it.