We’ve all heard about VPNs. They keep us secure, let us access geo-blocked content, and serve several other useful purposes.
While a regular VPN is safe and secure enough for an individual, there’s also something called a double VPN. A VPN encrypts your traffic and reroutes it through a server. What does the double VPN do? Let’s see.
This encryption is often called VPN tunneling as it’s like a virtual tunnel for your data to pass through.
What is a Double VPN?
In simple terms, a double VPN is like putting a VPN on a VPN. So it forms a tunnel over an already secure tunnel, thus making it even more difficult for anyone to break the encryption and read your data.
When you connect to the internet without a VPN, data travels from your computer to the web server directly.
When you connect to the internet with a VPN, data travels from your computer to the VPN server and from the VPN server to the web server.
When you connect to the internet using a double VPN, data travels from your computer to the first VPN server. From the first VPN server to the second VPN server. And from the second VPN server to the web server.
As you can see, it is more secure than a single VPN. While breaking the encryption of a single VPN isn’t easy, doing it on a double VPN becomes downright impossible.
However, since the traffic is encrypted twice and has to follow a longer route to the web server, it does slow down the speeds.
What is VPN Cascading?
When the data packets hop over multiple VPN connections, it’s called VPN cascading. Cascading doesn’t just stop at double VPN. There can be triple VPN and quad VPN as well.
The more layers you add, the more security you get. And your connection becomes slower. That’s a trade-off you have to manage. Do you want more security or speed?
As an individual user, a single VPN works just fine. With OpenVPN and AES-256 bit encryption, it’s a practically unhackable connection.
VPN cascading reduces speeds. And not just because of the extra steps. The more VPN servers you add in the network, there are higher chances that a server might be congested. If you’re using four VPN servers (quad VPN), and even one of them is congested, you will experience a network slowdown.
One good thing about VPN cascading is that the second VPN server doesn’t know about your IP address. The third one doesn’t know about the first VPN and the fourth VPN doesn’t know about the second VPN. So each VPN server adds another layer of anonymity to the system.
As data hops over one node to another, your IP becomes even more hidden. Of course, this comes at a big cost – speed loss.
When you need Double (or Triple) VPN
As a regular netizen, you need to stay safe from prying eyes of the ISP, your government, and hackers. Almost all the governments in the world keep a track of the online activities of their citizens to keep their behavior in check.
VPNs can help you stay protected from constant snooping. But do you really need a double VPN? Let’s analyze your VPN usage for that.
Do you use your VPN only when you need to watch Netflix? This means you use the VPN to bypass geo-blocks and speed is important to you. A double VPN wouldn’t be right for you as it will slow down your speeds.
If you use a VPN to stay safe on public Wi-Fi networks, single VPN will be good enough for you. There is no need to use a double VPN on it. Public Wi-Fi networks are usually slow. Using a double VPN will make the connection even slower.
But if you’re trying to share some information that might harm your well-being, you need to make sure that it’s safely hidden and cannot be traced back to you.
If you’re living in a place where there are riots taking place and the government has censored the internet heavily, you might want to get your voice heard.
To make sure the government doesn’t come after you, it’s best to use a double or even a triple VPN. In such cases, speed isn’t important. You need to be safe as some governments aren’t as forgiving as others.
If you’ve heard about Jamal Khashoggi, you’ll know how important it is to be anonymous when raising your voice against tyranny.
Apart from that, you can use a double VPN if you want to share sensitive data such as your bank details and you’re suspicious someone might be trying to hack your connection.
There is no harm in using a double VPN. If a provider is offering you this facility, you’re free to use it. However, the only drawback is slow speeds. So if you’re comfortable with speed drops, you can go ahead and double, triple, or quadruple your VPN connection.
Providers that offer Double VPN
Not all VPN providers offer double VPN. However, some top providers such as Surfshark and NordVPN offer double VPNs.
When you look for a double VPN, make sure they have a money-back guarantee. The VPNs mentioned above have 30-day money-back guarantees. You can try their speeds and performance. If you’re not satisfied, you can claim a refund.
Double VPN has become pretty popular these days. As they gain popularity, more providers will start offering this service and as more companies come into this, they might be able to achieve optimum speeds with them.
If you’re a regular netizen looking for a VPN provider, don’t reject a good offer just because they don’t offer double VPN. Not everyone needs double, triple, or quadruple VPNs. One round of encryption is generally more than enough to keep you protected.
However, make sure you choose a good protocol and the right encryption. Weak protocols such as PPTP can be easily broken. If you use OpenVPN while connecting to the VPN, you’re already pretty secure.