What is Double VPN? (Explained in 2022)

Last Updated: August 13, 2022
What is Double VPN? This article addresses these and other questions.
What is Double VPN?
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What is Double VPN?

A “Double VPN” feature connects users to not just one but two virtual private network (VPN) servers.

This VPN server chaining mechanism, also called multi-hop, provides additional protection and anonymity. 

Despite this, the vast majority of VPN companies do not offer this feature. What are some of the reasons that Double VPN is not widely used?

What services provide it? This article addresses these and other questions.

What is Double VPN Connection?

NordVPN Double VPN

Instead of connecting to a single VPN server, a Double VPN sends your traffic across a pair of servers located in different locations.

This increases your online security and privacy, but at the expense of your connectivity.

Although Double VPN’s advantages, a standard VPN connection is faster, more dependable, and can offer appropriate protection.

Double VPN is an enhanced security option for virtual private networks (VPNs) that encrypts your data twice by sending it through two separate VPN servers rather than just one.

Now, with a Double VPN, your online behavior is concealed across two systems as opposed to one, a process called VPN server chaining.

Certain virtual private network (VPN) services provide users with access to an additional layer of online protection called double VPN, often called multi-hop.

By default, when you join a VPN, your web traffic transfers from your device to the VPN server and then to its final location.

If you enable Double VPN, a second VPN server will be added to the flow of traffic, doubling the amount of encryption that is applied to your data.

A multi-hop VPN, true to its name, passes your traffic through numerous servers before exiting the public internet.

Instead of two servers, your traffic can flow through three or four servers; each further server adds an additional protection layer and IP address.

There are two varieties of multi-hop VPNs: 

1. The “Cascade” Variant 

A “cascade” arrangement consists of one core VPN service and two or more VPN servers belonging to that service.

At each hop, your IP address and data are decrypted and re-encrypted before being transmitted.

2. The “Nested Chain” Variant

NordVPN Double VPN

The “nested chain” configuration of a multi-hop VPN is the second form of multi-hop VPN setup.

This configuration utilizes two or more distinct VPN services with a variety of locations. A “nested chain” provides enhanced security against compromised VPN services or servers.

There are numerous companies that offer this feature, including:

  • NordVPN
  • ProtonVPN
  • SurfShark
  • Windscribe VPN

It is important to note that, when using a double VPN, you will likely not have access to the same number of servers.

Therefore, if you frequently link to a specific VPN server, you may discover that it is blocked while the double VPN feature is enabled.

Why Use A Double VPN?

NordVPN Double VPN

The benefits of employing a double VPN will vary with every user. The majority of VPN service suppliers will inform you that running two tunnels doubles your security.

If someone tries to access you, they must breach the VPN server you’re connecting to. It is twice as difficult with two VPN servers.”

A double VPN has a second VPN server and an additional layer of encryption. This is the procedure for outgoing data:

  • Information is encrypted at the endpoint
  • Encrypted data is re-encrypted on the end user’s device
  • Information is routed to the first VPN server with double encryption
  • The initial VPN server eliminates the second layer of encryption
  • Data is transferred to the second VPN server with encryption
  • The initial layer of encryption is eliminated, and the data is completely decrypted
  • Information is transmitted to the target website, application, or online platform.

Incoming data undergo the identical procedure in reverse. Every server applies a security layer, and both are decoded on the end-user device.

Who Mostly Uses Double VPN?

Activists

There are some states that do not like it when they are attacked, and there is a constant risk that activists will be criminally persecuted.

This is why demonstrators, bloggers, and activists in general frequently employ dual VPNs to avoid detection.

Journalists

As was mentioned before, journalists in certain regions of the world confront significant challenges if they wish to carry out their professions in an ethical manner.

Since they or their informants may be subject to severe punishments, they must be able to defend themselves with an additional degree of security.

Whistleblowers

When they go public with critical information that could threaten others, people who blow the whistle put themselves in grave danger.

They frequently face reprisal, censure, and blacklisting at the hands of government and corporate entities.

It is vital that they maintain their identities hidden unless a third party guarantees their protection.

How Does Double VPN function?

To comprehend how Double VPN operates, we must examine the common path taken by data streams to reach their destination.

Regular IP masking routes your information through a single server and conceals your IP address behind that of the server.

Let’s examine the sequence of events in a typical VPN connection:

The VPN program creates a secure tunnel between a user’s device and its server with the press of a button.

  • It encodes the information to be transmitted and transfers it to the linked server via the tunnel.
  • Prior to transmitting data to its end location, the server decrypts data received from the user’s device and masks its IP address.

When transmitting data back to the user’s device, the server encrypts it, and the user decrypts it.

Double VPN Variations

Currently, some suppliers deploy variants based on the double VPN method. The most prevalent variation is multi-hop. Multi-hop VPNs utilize many servers. 

Multi-hop VPN employs cascade or nested chain methods. In the cascade strategy with two or more nodes from the same Vpn connection, a basic server is utilized.

In the nested chain method, two or more servers from distinct suppliers are employed. In both methods, your Web traffic is re-encrypted, and the IP address changes at each step.

VPN Over VPN Is Not A Double VPN

You can utilize two VPN servers as opposed to one in two distinct approaches. We have already discussed double VPNs in detail, but you can also utilize a VPN on top of a VPN.

In the first scenario, you utilize two distinct servers from a single service provider. In the second scenario, a single server is serialized with a server from a different supplier.

Thus, the distinction appears small, yet it exists and can be significant.

Some VPNs still maintain logs, despite the fact that the best VPNs do not, and they could be investigated by police departments or compromised. 

If one of these two suppliers receives the hammer, your data history and privacy will be compromised.

Alternatively, if you use two different VPNs and one of them is compromised, the attackers will only get half of the picture.

Double VPN Benefits

The benefits of Double VPNs are as follows:

NordVPN Double VPN

Better Security Against Hackers And Enforcement

Using a layered VPN double-encrypts user information, making it twice as difficult for hackers to obtain and transform into an understandable form.

The system protects consumers and organizations from cyberattacks, such as traffic association attacks, in which cyber-attackers analyze internet traffic to expose information about the sender, textual information, and route.

Due to the cascading connection of the double VPN, even if a hacker has physical proximity to the VPN server, they will be unable to discern user identities.

In order to successfully intercept and transform internet traffic into an understandable form in a double VPN, a hacker would require immediate direct access to all servers, which is difficult for VPNs located in different geographic areas.

Avoid Censorship

Some of the most liberal countries around the world put some limits on their citizens’ ability to use the web within their borders.

This is to say nothing of countries like China and North Korea and other jurisdictions whose restrictions on personal freedoms are legendary and well-known around the world.

You can evade these restrictions with a single VPN connection. A second VPN ensures that you cannot be identified.

VPN Protocols

The TCP and UDP protocols offered by OpenVPN are examples of dual-protocol VPNs. A double VPN uses both of these protocols simultaneously.

OpenVPN is currently one of the fastest and most secure VPN protocols, but the combo of TCP and UDP removes any privacy problems altogether.

Geographical Privacy

You can provide privacy by adopting the IP address of a remote server and concealing your location with this capability.

Additionally, its global servers allow you to circumvent geo-restrictions, similar to a conventional VPN.

Keeping Your ISP In The Dark

Even if your Internet service provider (ISP) is interested in your online activities—which they really shouldn’t be—he won’t be able to figure out a thing about what you’re up to on the internet.

The ISP will be aware that all of your Internet traffic is redirected to a single node (your VPN server).

However, it will not comprehend the nature of your traffic, the websites you frequent, or anything else.

Unknown Whereabouts

By connecting to two different VPN servers located in different countries, you can conceal your behavior online and avoid prying eyes.

Multi-hop boosts the number of levels between your virtual and physical locations.

Double VPN Disadvantages

Generally speaking, double VPN was never intended to be the default. Due to this, many network operators have not adopted or even planned to implement it.

Multi-hop is not required to safely pirate or unblock a streaming platform such as Netflix. Before electing to use this strategy, you should be conscious of the following drawbacks:

Limited Server Options

Rarely is it possible to combine multiple locations with a double hop VPN. Those tuned for it may be designed to arrive in tandem.

This option is offered by some VPN companies to alleviate the risks posed by high-risk jurisdictions.

These providers choose the appropriate locations for their specialized double VPN servers with great care.

Takes A Lot Of Memory

A further drawback of a double VPN is that it can consume a great deal of RAM.

In addition, a double VPN can reduce your internet speed, so use caution if you don’t require it for your online activities.

It is essential to understand that a double VPN is not appropriate for everybody, but particular individuals can benefit from it. Always ensure the security of your data before utilizing it.

Using TOR Browser Vs. Double VPN

The Onion Router (TOR) is a browser that offers a novel method to allow customers to access the internet anonymously: it automatically allows users to connect through other users as gateway servers.

For the majority of users, a single VPN or TOR connection provides sufficient security.

However, utilizing a combo of VPN and TOR (or a double VPN) can entirely conceal your identification and activities.

Indeed the VPN server that is processing the traffic for you will not be able to tell what it is that you are doing online other than connecting to the computer of another person.

If you value your privacy, this is an option to use a double VPN that does not require you to pay for two separate services.

Best VPN for Double VPN

Not only do few VPNs offer double VPN, but it is also difficult to determine which one is the most effective.

Listed below are the top Double VPN VPNs.

NordVPN

NordVPN Double VPN

The popularity of NordVPN can be attributed to its additional features and vast performance monitoring.

The VPN serves more than 5,100 connections in Sixty regions globally. Some of these include customized obfuscation platforms, Tor IPs, P2P, and double VPN.

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Some double VPN connections are offered in nine different nations.

The VPN does not reveal the geographic address of the first domain controller, but you can select individual cities within a country to access.

All servers offer exceptional speeds.

The Bottom Line

Only the most privacy-conscious users will benefit from a dual VPN connection, which consumes a lot of resources yet renders your physical location almost indistinguishable.

As you can see, there is more than one way to increase your VPN’s Internet connection, and certain scenarios require different setups.

When you cannot risk having your security compromised, you have numerous alternatives for hiding your online activities, including a client-integrated function that double-encrypts your information and a proxy connection.

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Written by Trevor Cooke

The only safe internet is a private internet. You’ll see me at parties talking about cybersecurity, privacy, and VPNs. Yes, I’m that guy.
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