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What is Double VPN (Multi-Hop): All You Need to Know

June 17, 2024


Double VPNs are relatively new to the market, and if you’re a current VPN user, then you’re probably wondering what they are.


In theory, you may assume that double VPNs would automatically mean extra-secure connections. But, how safe are they really when compared to traditional VPNs? Let’s get right into it:



What Is Double VPN (a.k.a. Multi-hopping)?


double vpn gives more security

Double VPN allows you to connect to two VPN servers with more security. (Credit: CISPA)


Double VPN, as the name suggests, is a feature that enables you to utilize not one, but two VPN servers. This ‘multi-hop connection’ also means that it comes with extra security because of double encryption.


But while this sounds pretty neat, it’s not really a common feature. The majority of VPN service providers don’t offer them simply because the demand for them isn’t really that big. Not a lot of people prefer more security in exchange for their internet speeds.


This is because an internet slowdown becomes inevitable when your traffic passes through two VPN servers, which are likely situated in different countries that are thousands of miles apart. Double encryption also uses up a lot of resources, which is why it eats up a lot of your internet speed.


But, despite all of these negative aspects, a double VPN is still a solid option for certain groups of people. For example, journalists writing about sensitive topics such as politics may prefer a double VPN for extra security.



How Do Double VPNs Work?


How double VPN works

Double VPNs use two VPN servers to encrypt your data.


To understand how a double VPN works, you must first understand the basics of a traditional VPN.


For starters, VPNs mask your IP address by allowing your network to route your IP address through specially configured VPN servers. Different features such as a VPN kill switch would protect your online activity. In simpler terms, if you browse the internet with a VPN, the VPN will become the source of your data.


Your ISP and other third parties such as hackers and bots won’t be able to see your online activity or the data you send and receive online. Think of it as a filter for all your internet data!


On the other hand, double VPNs have the same process and goal, but instead of using just one VPN server to encrypt your data, it uses two. It will initially encrypt your data from your device and route it through a remote VPN server, and then re-encrypt it by sending it through another VPN server.


With this, you get double the security and double the privacy.



What Are The Advantages of Using a Double VPN?


VPNs are a great tool that provides you with security features while browsing the internet. However, double VPNs can do some of these features a lot better. Here are the advantages of using a double VPN:


1. Extra protection


The IP address of your final destination won’t be visible to anyone watching the traffic on your home network; they’ll only see the initial connection to the VPN server. Your real IP address will also be concealed by the first VPN server, so the second VPN server won’t know what it is. There is essentially no way for your traffic to be linked to you, even if this second VPN server is compromised.


2. No more geo-restrictions


Anyone wishing to bypass geo-restrictions will benefit greatly from the ability to divert traffic between servers in various geographic locations.

For instance, let’s say you’re using a double VPN in China. If you connect to a server in the US and have a second server that’s in Japan, anyone watching your traffic in China will think that you’re accessing US websites. Anyone also watching your activity in the US will think you’re in Japan.


3. Internet freedom


Double VPNs are great if you reside in a country that only permits connections to domestic IP addresses. For example, countries such as China only allow you to connect to limited IP addresses.


With double VPNs, you can first connect to a server in that country, and then choose a different server outside the country, where your traffic will leave.



What are the Disadvantages of Using a Double VPN?


Double VPNs are great for giving you the protection you need. However, they’re not perfect. Here are some disadvantages of using a double VPN:


1. Slower internet speeds


When using a double VPN, it almost always results in significant speed drops in your internet connection. As mentioned earlier, with every VPN server hop, your traffic is encrypted and decrypted. Plus, the distance between servers is usually pretty large too. Think of it as a layover flight vs. a regular flight!


2. More expensive


Double VPNs are only offered in the most comprehensive, top-level VPN packages – which, you guessed it, tend to be the most expensive ones. We’ll later get into which VPN providers offer them.


3. Resource-intensive


Those with older devices will likely have a hard time using double VPNs. Since it has to encrypt and decrypt your data twice, it’ll put a huge toll on your processor. You might also experience more power usage and your device performance may suffer as a result.



When Are Double VPNs Used?


extra protection with double vpn

Double VPNs are ideal for certain groups of people.


As you probably already know by now, double VPNs are incredibly handy and powerful tools to have, especially when it comes to:


  • Bypassing surveillance
    Some governments are known to closely monitor people residing in their country. But with double VPNs, no third parties will be able to have access to your information.
  • Added protection when using public Wi-Fi
    Regular VPNs are great for encrypting your information when accessing public Wi-Fi, but double VPNs are better. This is because public Wi-Fis have very weak protection (which is why a lot of hackers love them). Having a double VPN to encrypt your data twice will effectively lower your chances of getting hacked.
  • For journalism and activism
    Writing about sensitive topics (e.g. politics) may put you under the radar of a lot of people. Luckily, double VPNs will be able to protect you and all those close to you.


On the other hand, you may find that there are times when the fastest VPNs would be better than using a double VPN. Activities such as browsing social media or streaming shows are a lot more efficient—and enjoyable—when you have a faster internet speed vs. enhanced protection. Those sudden lags and buffers can be pretty annoying!



What’s the Difference Between a Normal VPN and a Double VPN?


Aside from bypassing geo-restrictions, the main goal of any type of VPN is to give you extra protection and security. But aside from this, normal VPNs and double VPNs are quite different from each other. Here are their key differences:


  1. Double VPNs offer even more protection
    Double VPNs encrypt your data twice which makes your information and online activity a lot more anonymous. Normal VPNs only encrypt your data through one server which means you won’t be able to experience the same security and protection as double VPNs.
  2. Normal VPNs are better for regular online activity
    Because double VPNs encrypt your data twice, they’ll need to use up more of your resources. As a result you’ll likely have a slower device and a slower internet connection. This can be bothersome if you’re only using a VPN to browse social media or stream movies.
  3. Not a lot of providers offer a double VPN connection
    There are a lot of traditional VPN options out there, but only a few companies offer double VPN connection.



Are Double VPNs Really Safer Than Normal VPNs?


double vpn vs normal vpn

Double VPNs are safer than normal VPNs.


The short answer is, yes – double VPNs are a lot safer than normal VPNs.


Your IP address will be locked behind not just one but two VPN servers. What’s also great is that with double encryption, a brute-force attack will be virtually pointless since it’s virtually impossible to trace back your data.


Data split is another reason why double VPNs are much safer. When connecting to one VPN server, the server has your traffic destination, as well as your IP address. But for double VPNs, one server will have your destination but not your IP, and the other server will have your IP but not your destination.


That being said, double VPNs are great for giving you the extra security and protection that you need.



Which VPNs Offer Double VPNs?


Double VPNs are great but only the best VPN service providers offer them. The following is a list of the top VPN service providers that offer multi-hopping:


  • Surfshark
    A great budget-friendly VPN that is relatively new to the market. Besides multi-hopping, Surfshark also offer other services such as whitelisting and Ad Track Blocker.
  • NordVPN
    One of the most powerful VPN service providers out there that have over 5600+ servers. Aside from multi-hoping, NordVPN also offer split tunneling which is also great for added protection.
  • ProtonVPN
    ProtonVPN has been around for quite a long time now and does a good job of simply securing your internet connection.



Multi-hopping Is Great But Be Cautious


Multi-hopping has a lot of extra advantages when it comes to security, but it does have downsides such as slowing down your device or internet connection.


Whether you decide to use it or not, the most important thing is finding the right VPN for your needs and preferences. Check out Bitcatcha for more tech-related blogs!



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