For most users, double VPN is excessive – and rightly so.
It amplifies what a VPN aims to do and aggravates its unintended consequences.
The trade-off, however, can get bad and you’re probably wondering if it’s really worth it.
Let’s find out!
How does double VPN work?
Double VPN works by routing your data through two pieces of VPN hardware instead of one. To illustrate this concept better, have a look at this:
Usually, VPN vendors pre-configure a pair of servers from different countries or territories. Before your traffic reaches any of them, it has to pass through an encrypted tunnel.
As a result, you get to cloak your IP address twice and bury your data under two layers of military-grade encryption.
Anyone who intends to track your activity would have to trace your traffic across multiple geographically separated VPN servers.
Plus, any cybercriminal who wants to steal your sensitive information would have to decrypt two layers of encryption.
The increased privacy and security double VPN offers comes at the price of considerable speed loss. Forcing your traffic to make two pit stops can lead to higher latency. And the farther the servers from your physical location and from each other, the worse the lag can be.
So, is it worth it? Let’s find out!
Is double VPN overkill?
In most cases, double VPN is overkill. You’re free to use it as you please, and it won’t cut your connection when it doesn’t make sense for your activity.
But just like every advanced VPN capability, there are instances where it’s fitting and when it’s unsuitable.
When to use Double VPN
Double VPN makes sense when you need extra protection from cyberattacks and when you have to get around intense government censorship.
Among the biggest beneficiaries of this feature are journalists researching sensitive topics. If you need to hide the identity of your valuable sources like whistleblowers and informants, you shouldn’t skimp on IP masking and encryption.
The other user group that would benefit the most from double VPN are political activists wanting to expose corrupt leaders.
Practicing freedom of speech where it’s a crime to offend the authorities can be dangerous for you and your loved ones. So if you want to speak the truth without putting anyone at risk, using double VPN won’t be overkill.
When not to use Double VPN
Double VPN doesn’t make sense in high-bandwidth activities such as gaming, streaming, and P2P networking.
Don’t get it twisted: you may be able to play games, stream geo-restricted shows, and share files over a P2P network using this feature. But you can do the same by masking your IP and encrypting your traffic once. In fact, major VPN vendors can provide you with specialized servers for each activity.
Losing a considerable percentage of your base internet speed is a given when you use double VPN. So, it would be unwise to subject yourself to such an inconvenience without getting any added benefits.
So, is double VPN overkill?
It can be when you’re just a casual user. If you just want to hide your real IP to access blocked content, connect to an unsafe Wi-Fi securely, and keep your ISP in the dark, you won’t need this feature.
But if someone’s life depends on your internet’s privacy and security, then it’s a must.