A VPN service can help protect your identity, browsing habits, and torrenting activity from snooping eyes. However, there is a similar form of protection that some users are starting to consider, especially the more “paranoid” ones.
Just like the name says, a double VPN allows you to double your privacy. But, as always, increased privacy comes with a couple of disadvantages. The main question that you should be asking is if whether you really need this type of protection.
What Is a Double VPN?
A double VPN works almost the same as your regular VPN service. You still connect to your VPN provider and route your traffic through servers in other countries. Your traffic and data still get encrypted using AES 256-bit encryption.
But, with a double VPN, there is another level of security. After routing your connection through one secure server, your connection gets routed through a second server. As with the first server, the second server encrypts the data that it transmits to and from your computer.
The main difference between a regular VPN service and a double VPN is the extra server. This one extra step dramatically increases the difficulty of tracking your location and viewing your data.
Advantages of Double VPNs
The main benefit of a double VPN is increased privacy. Your Internet connection gets routed through two servers, each with its own encryption. This process makes hacking and eavesdropping significantly more difficult.
While most standard VPNs offer reliable services, there is always a risk of security issues. A few seconds of exposed traffic may give trackers a chance to determine your IP address and location.
If you are using a double VPN, those few seconds of exposed traffic simply reveal the IP address and location of the first server. Hackers and trackers still need to get through another layer of security, which is virtually impossible at this point.
Why doesn’t everyone use a double VPN?
There are a few potential disadvantages compared to using a standard VPN service.
Due to the double encryption and servers, double VPN services tend to cost more. There are only a few VPN providers that offer these services as they are catering to a very small market. It usually works as an add-on to your normal VPN software, for which you have to pay extra. But, if you look hard enough, you will find a couple of VPN providers that offer this feature at no extra cost. As an example, NordVPN includes a double VPN in their service for free.
You may also experience slower speeds with a double VPN connection. Heavy encryption slows speeds as every bit of data needs to be encrypted. When you double the encryption, the slowdown is greater.
Some people use VPN services to access geo-blocked websites. These are sites that are blocked in specific regions. If you are using a double VPN to access a geo-blocked streaming service, the slower speeds may keep you from enjoying the movie or television show. In fact, depending on your available bandwidth, you may even struggle to visit certain websites.
You can still access these sites through a single VPN. Even if the site is blocked, accessing it through a VPN does not pose a security risk.
When Should You Use a Double VPN?
While a double VPN may not be needed for every type of online activity, it can be useful for protecting your identity when transferring sensitive data. For example, journalists working in countries with strict censorship laws and government watchdogs may need to mask their IP addresses behind two encrypted servers.
Opinions are a bit divided when it comes to torrenting. Some people claim it is better to double your encryption when downloading torrent files. In our opinion, a standard VPN connection, from a reputable provider, is enough to eliminate the risk of being detected by your ISP or copyright trackers.
The pros and cons of using a double VPN are very clear. These services provide a great form of online security. It is almost impossible to track your location or browsing activity when your connection is encrypted and routed through a server twice.
Getting through both layers of security and encryption is too much work for anyone who may be trying to monitor your online activity. But remember that a double VPN also costs more and may slow your Internet speeds.