Home   >   Blog  >   What Is Double VPN, and Is It Worth Having?

What Is Double VPN, and Is It Worth Having?

Updated on: September 7, 2021

What is Double VPN

“Double your pleasure, double your fun…”

Don’t worry. This is is not a commercial for Doublemint Gum.

This is an article explaining the benefits of using the double VPN functionality, and which virtual private networks offer the option to use double VPN. So, if I were to rewrite this famous Doublemint Gum slogan to suit this double VPN feature, it would go something like: “Double your anonymity, double your encryption, double VPN.” Kinda catchy, right?

How VPN encryption works

But, before we speak about which VPN providers offer double VPN, what exactly is a double VPN? And when is it necessary to use double VPN?

Well, a double VPN connection works the same way as a single VPN, but with a few small distinctions. First, with a double VPN, your internet traffic is sent through two VPN servers instead of a single VPN server. The benefit of this second VPN server is that your browsing activity goes through a second layer of encryption, giving you more advanced privacy protections when surfing the internet.

Check out the remainder of this article for more information on what exactly a double VPN is, which VPN providers offer a double VPN, and whether this feature can be beneficial to you.

What Is Double VPN?

So, what is double VPN?

Well, before we get to that answer, let’s make sure you know how to identify a double VPN.

If you are researching different VPN providers, it may be confusing to determine whether or not certain VPNs offer double VPN because double VPN is sometimes referred to by different names. Any time you see the term multi-hop, double-hop, or VPN server chaining, it is referring to a double VPN.

The concept of a double VPN is pretty simple, but only after you understand clearly the function of a single VPN server.

When you use a VPN connection, your online activity is sent from your computer or device through an encrypted tunnel to a VPN server, so all internet traffic goes through AES 256-bit encryption before reaching its destination. This way, internet service providers, third parties, or cyber-attackers are not able to get their hands on your identity or data, and if they somehow do, all of the information they find will be indecipherable.

With a double VPN, this encrypted protection is happening twice. First, your online traffic is sent to one VPN server, and then it bounces to a second VPN server before reaching its destination. This seemingly redundant process serves as an added level of security that makes it even harder to trace any activity back to the user.

When you are using a double VPN, a secure connection is made between your device and the first VPN server, and another secure connection is made between the first VPN server and the second VPN server. This allows VPN server cascading, where all of your online traffic and data is consecutively sent through both tunnels, and you get an extra level of IP protection since your source IP address is disguised twice.

If you are using the multi-hop VPN functionality, your internet traffic hops from server to server before reaching the destination. This is not called double VPN because, in multi-hop, internet traffic can be encrypted on more than two VPN servers, with a different IP address on each server.

Do You Need Double VPN? Here’s Why or Why Not

So, what’s the bottom line? Do you really need double VPNs, or is using this extra level of protection just a sign of extra paranoia?

Well, whether or not you need this additional server connection really depends on your reason for using your VPNs. If you are a standard VPN user, double VPN is not really necessary. The reason for this is that the ordinary single VPNs already use top-notch, military-grade, encryption that offers sufficient privacy when it comes to masking your identity, IP, and data online.

Now, you may be thinking, “If the VPN services offer double VPN, shouldn’t I just take advantage of it?” Well — no. You see, whenever you use any VPN connection, you should expect your connection speeds to drop to a slightly slower speed than usual. You can understand this by picturing a trip on the subway. If you take a train that goes right to your destination, your trip will be quicker than if you have to catch a connection that will take you to your stop.

The way double VPN works is that you have to take (at least) 2 connecting trains instead of one direct train. Your connection is now going through two VPN servers — which means an added step of encryption and decryption, and an even bigger lag in speed. I am sure you have caught on by now to the logical fact that double VPN encryption doubles this slowdown on the internet because your connection is going through encryption and decryption on two VPN servers instead of just one server.

This slowdown can be mostly remediated by making sure that your starting connection speeds are adequate; This means making sure you only use VPNs that are reputable for their speeds and reliability. If this is the case, a slight slowdown using one server, and a bit more of a slowdown using multiple servers will not have as big of a negative effect on your speed.

Given this speed concern, double VPNs are not a good idea if your main goal online is to bypass internet restrictions to access any geo-restricted website — like the Hulu streaming website. If you slow your speed too much by using a double VPN, you will be sacrificing your video quality for an unnecessarily high degree of privacy.

If your purpose for using VPNs, however, is for total anonymity online, or for an additional layer of protection for your data, a double VPN is definitely a great asset.

Can You Use a VPN over a VPN

Yes — you can use a VPN over a VPN. If you are trying to create our own double VPN service, follow these steps:

  1. Install a Virtualization tool on your computer or device. Download a free virtual machine, like Hyper-V. Use this to install a second OS (operating system) on the virtual machine, which doesn’t have to be the same OS as your computer.
  2. Load your VPN onto both: Load your VPN onto your device and virtual machine (which will likely count as 2 of the devices allowed on your VPN service, so make sure to take note of how many devices you can use on your VPN. NordVPN allows 6 devices at once, and Surfshark allows an unlimited number of devices).
  3. Create your personal double VPN: On your device, launch the VPN and connect to a VPN server from the VPN’s location menu. When you turn on your virtual machine, check an IP checker site from your virtual machine’s browser, and you should be able to see where the IP address of your VPN server is located. Now, launch your VPN on the virtual machine and choose a different server location from the VPN location menu.
  4. Connect using double VPN: Information that is sent from your virtual machine is now sent via a VPN on a VPN — traveling through the first server and then the second server.

Our recommendation for the best privacy and security if you are using two VPNs is to use two different VPN providers.

Onion over VPN Vs. Double VPN

When you are using Tor and a VPN in tandem with each other, the combination is called Tor over VPN — also known as Onion over VPN. This process of first establishing a VPN connection, then connecting to a Tor network, gives you privacy and anonymity when communicating on a network.

If you are using an Onion network, all of your online data goes through layers of encrypted onion routers. When an onion router gets the encryption key, it peels back an (onion) encryption layer from the relayed data before relaying the information to the next layer (router).

After your message finally reaches its end point, the server request is sent through the same process, but in reverse, so every onion node encrypts the given message until it is returned to your device with layer-over-layer of encryption, and your device is the only one that has the key to decrypt all of these layers and decode the data. It is also important to realize that, just because the intermediary servers had a part in this process, none of them have the tools to decipher any of the data or messages that they passed on, and none of them even know the destination server or the first VPN server from where the message initially was sent.

If you first connect to your VPN server and then connect to the Tor (Onion) network, you get all of the encryption of Tor, with the added benefit of having your IP address hidden from any Tor server, which is especially useful since anyone can act as a node on the Tor network.

It is also extremely helpful to use a VPN over Tor because the VPN hides the fact that you are on a Tor network from anyone know may find this suspicious — the authorities, your boss, your school administration, etc. Instead of suspecting that you are visiting a website on the dark web, all anyone can now see is encrypted internet traffic.

So — What makes using a double VPN (or double hop connection) different than using Onion over VPN? Well, for starters, using double VPNs send your traffic and data through two layers of encryption, while Onion over VPN sends your data through many layers of encryption. And, just as VPN encryption slows your traffic a bit, many more layers of encryption means even slower speeds. Therefore, if you are looking for better speeds, Double VPN (with only one extra layer of encryption) is a better bet than Onion over VPN.

If you are tremendously worried about your privacy and anonymity and fear being caught using a VPN or blocked website in a heavily restrictive country, Onion over VPN is the most iron-clad, and won’t run the risk of even the little amount of data being leaked. For the ordinary VPN user, double VPNs are plenty secure and offer better speeds.

Advantages of Double VPNs: Why Double VPN Is Super Secure

The biggest benefit of double VPN is the extra layer of privacy that it provides users. If you use a double VPN, the IP address of your destination server or destination website can’t be determined by anyone snooping on your online activity. On top of this, your second VPN server won’t even be able to determine your actual IP address because it was already masked by your first VPN server connection. The practical implication for this is that, in the event that there is a breach on your second VPN server, there is a slim to no chance for your internet traffic to ever be connected to you.

So, what are some real-life scenarios in which you could benefit from doubly-encrypted data and identity?

A common scenario in which you would need two VPN servers to doubly encrypt your traffic and doubly hide your IP address is if you are a journalist trying to protect your source’s identity.

Similarly, if you are an activist, advocate, or journalist standing up for something controversial by exercising your freedom of speech, a double VPN ensures that your voice is heard without the fear of consequence. This second VPN server can afford a level of security and privacy that ensures that sensitive data and private information is never revealed and controversial individuals are not harmed for their words.

Another common reason to use a double VPN connection is if you are located in a country with strict government censorship, like China, where you could potentially face punishment if you are found accessing forbidden data or website content online. Double encryption in this case halves the chance of you getting caught and facing repercussions.

Another situation in which a double VPN functionality is advantageous is in more complex attacks, such as traffic correlation attacks. The way the double VPN works, each VPN server only gets the IP address of the prior VPN server — never the IP address of the destination server or destination website. So, while an attacker may be able to uncover the first VPN server IP address, every step the traffic takes in the double server or multi-hop process adds an extra level of privacy and protection from any attacker.

3 Best VPNs For Double VPN

Unfortunately, not all VPN providers offer double VPN connections.

Of the pool of VPN providers that offer double VPN servers, here are three of our top recommendations:

1. NordVPN

Devices compatible with NordVPN
Company Location: Panama
Servers: 5200+
Countries: 60
Connections: Up to 6
Speed: Great
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: No
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $3.71/month

NordVPN is first VPN on our list when it comes to added data protection and security features — like Nord’s Double VPN feature to ensure an even more secure internet connection.

Even if you are using NordVPN without its Double VPN, it is a pretty impressive service with over 5,200 VPN servers in almost 60 countries worldwide, and it consistently delivers good speeds and reliable connections on all servers.

If you need a VPN that allows for safe torrenting, NordVPN has hundreds of specialty servers for P2P data sharing. When you are looking to browse the Tor network, though, you should use NordVPN’s Onion over VPN option (not Double VPN), which will send your traffic and data though a VPN server and then over to the Onion network.

If you want a VPN that can unblock your restricted content, NordVPN can reliably deliver buffer-free access to Netflix, Hulu US, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Prime Video Disney+, and over 400 additional services.

NordVPN has obfuscated servers that can bypass firewalls and geographic restrictions, and a double VPN (called Double VPN) that sends your traffic and data through an extra layer of encryption, giving you the most secure experience out there. You can find the Double VPN feature under the “Specialty Servers” heading on the NordVPN app menu.

During VPN setup, it is important to remember that NordVPN’s Double VPN is only available when using their OpenVPN TCP or UDP protocols.

This VPN service protects your activity and data with its AES 256-bit encryption, a no-logs guarantee, OpenVPN and IKEc2/IPSec protocols that will keep your footprint hidden. Its CyberSec feature also provides an extra layer of protection from malware and annoying ads that may pop up on your website.

NordVPN offers apps for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, smart TVs, routers, and Linux, so there should never be a problem finding an app that is compatible with your device, and you can use up to 6 devices simultaneously with a single subscription, which means you’ll be able to use a combination of devices without compromising your speed or quality.

Pros:

  • Very fast streaming speeds
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 6 simultaneous VPN connections
  • Great privacy and security features

Cons:

  1. Speeds can be slower in advanced mode

Devices compatible with Surfshark
Company Location: British Virgin Islands
Servers: 3200+
Countries: 65
Connections: Unlimited
Speed: Good
Torrenting: Yes
Logs: No
Free Trial: 7 Days (Mobile Only)
Live Chat Support: Yes
Money Back: 30 Days
Netflix: Yes
Price: From $2.49/month

Surfshark is one of the best, most affordable VPNs on the market. But, even though it is “cheap,” it still manages to offer some of the top VPN features, like its MultiHop double VPN option.

Though Surfshark’s speed does not compare to NordVPN, its servers are still plenty fast for torrenting or streaming with hardly any buffering or lag. If you find that you are having any trouble with speed, you can try switching between OpenVPN UDP and TCP protocols, which will sometimes fix the problem.

Surfshark has proven to be successful at unblocking streaming sites like Hulu, Netflix, HBO GO, Disney+, ESPN+, Amazon Prime Video, BBC iPlayer, and more.

Surfshark can be used on pretty much all devices and platforms you use, including Windows, Android, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Fire TV, Apple TV, and more. You can find the MultiHop setting on y our Surfshark app at the top of the “Locations” option.

Surfshark has great security features with its AES 256-bit encryption, split tunneling, double encryption, kill switch, and its special CleanWeb suite, which blocks ads and protects against malware.

Part of what makes Surfshark one of the most popular VPN providers is that it allows for unlimited devices to connect on just one account, making it ideal for a large family who wants to connect multiple electronics at once.

Pros:

  1. 30-day refund guarantee
  2. Top privacy and security features
  3. Affordable and user-friendly
  4. Unlimited VPN connections

Cons:

  1. Slightly slower speeds
  2. Split Tunneling only on some platforms

ProtonVPN meets the same standards as NordVPN and Surfshark, with its 256-bit military-grade encryption, no-logs policy, kill switch, DNS and IP leak protection, and other privacy and security features.

ProtonVPN’s Secure Core feature helps defend users from internet attacks. Secure Core is ProtonVPN’s double VPN feature that sends internet traffic through more than one server for an added layer of privacy and security online. This way, anyone who is trying to access the traffic at your destination server will never be able to access your actual IP address.

One of the additional benefits of ProtonVPN is that it offers its built-in adblocker — Netshield — to all of its paid users.

There are a few tiers for paid plans for ProtonVPN. Their basic plan offers 2 simultaneous VPN connections and access to servers in 43 countries, but this plan does not offer access to their Secure Core double VPN.

If you want extra privacy features and access to 10 user connections in over 55 countries, you will want to upgrade to the ProtonVPN Plus plan. This plan allows users access to their double VPN feature, built-in ad blocker, and streaming service support; The catch is that you will need to pay more than $6/month for this ProtonVPN Plus plan.

ProtonVPN has native apps for MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. If you download the Plus plan of ProtonVPN, you can access the Secure Core double VPN option in the “Country” setting.

If you have any question about your VPN, you will need to contact ProtonVPN with a support ticket, as they do not have the same 24/7 live-chat feature that both NordVPN and Surfshark have.

Pros:

  • Good privacy and security features
  • 10 simultaneous user connections
  • 30-day refund guarantee

Cons:

  • More expensive than other VPNs
  • Advanced features require purchase

Conclusion

Ok, so here’s the bottom line. Yes. There are certain situations in which using a double VPN is helpful and beneficial. But, the vast majority of VPN users will find a single, ordinary (reliable) VPN connection entirely sufficient.

Remember that double VPNs will slow your internet connection, so you will need to be careful that you are using a VPN that has good baseline connection speeds to start.

NordVPN offers great speeds, as well as great security and privacy features, and a large server network. So whether you are using a VPN provider like NordVPN for single or double encryption, your experience will be a positive one.

We hope you found the information in this article helpful! If you are looking for the best VPN providers offering double VPN, we recommend NordVPN or Surfshark, because they are a fraction of the price of ProtonVPN and offer more benefits.

VPN service
Features
Best price
Score
Best Overall
  • Super fast.
  • Reliable & ultra-secure.
  • Great for HD/4K streaming.
  • Chrome, Firefox & Edge extensions.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
  • Outstanding!
$12.95
$6.67 /mo
Save 49%
Best Value
  • Fast speeds.
  • Strong privacy & security.
  • Uninterrupted streaming.
  • Ad-blocker included.
  • Chrome & Firefox extensions.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
$11.95
$3.71 /mo
Save 68%
Best Budget
  • Fast VPN streamlined for beginners.
  • Strong encryption & privacy features.
  • Chrome & Firefox extensions.
  • 24/7 live chat support.
$12.95
$2.21 /mo
Save 83%
Privacy Alert!
You are exposing yourself to the website you visit!

Your IP address

Your IP adderss is exposed. vpn Websites can use it to identify you.

Location

, ,

Internet service provider (ISP)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *