Some VPN users want to add even more privacy and security by running several VPNs at once. Is this possible? The simple answer is yes, you can use different VPNs at the same time. The not-so-simple part is that it’s a complicated thing to do, and you’re better off trying this if you’re somewhat tech-savvy.
While users may choose to run two or more VPNs at the same time, there isn’t very much benefit to doing it in the first place. You can install several VPNs onto the computer, but trying to use them together will most likely result in some problems. Luckily, there are options for the less tech-literate users that are equally as effective when configured properly.
What happens when there are several VPNs working?
Running more than one VPN at once is a little more complex than just installing two VPN providers and connecting them. The second VPN will most likely display a routing error. And the VPNs will battle it out until one takes precedence over the rest, leaving you with only that one running.
When establishing the connection, a VPN creates multiple routing entries with lines of netmasks to overrule the default gateway. This ensures that your VPN traffic is sent through the first one. The other VPN tries to do the same and, because these lines already were established, the conflict begins.
How to do it properly?
This is where it begins to get complex. You will need to make manual changes in the configuration of the OpenVPN files. You need to add very specific lines so that both VPN clients work cohesively.
Overall, the smartest way to have two VPNs working simultaneously with the least amount of work is to set one on the operating system and install the other to a virtual machine. You will need to install the virtual machine on the computer and add OpenVPN to it. You will then use the system from the virtual machine. You have, in effect, created two tunnels. Your IP address will first route through your computer before being routed through the virtual machine. This is going to slow down your speeds considerably, and it will get even slower yet if you continue to add tunnels.
You can use this same process for VPN routers. While VPN security is provided through the networks, they can be configured to accept multiple connections at once. You can have several OpenVPN clients set up, but they will need to be on separate DNS servers and set up to allow “Accept DNS Configuration=Exclusive”. Not all VPNs permit this and if you are caught, you may be violating your terms of service.
A simpler solution
Basically, what you are hoping to accomplish is a double VPN. There are some VPN companies that allow this, saving you hours of work. These companies will accomplish the double encryption in a very short amount of time, and within the same client. This method sends traffic to one server, then redirects it to a secondary server seamlessly. There won’t be any conflicting VPNs because all the traffic is streamlined through one specific provider.