|Rating||Double VPN name|
|NordVPN||4.5 / 5.0||Double VPN|
|ProtonVPN||4.9 / 5.0||Secure Core|
|Surfshark||4.5 / 5.0||MultiHop|
|Astrill||4.4 / 5.0||MultiHop|
|IVPN||4.2 / 5.0||MultiHop|
|PerfectPrivacy||4.0 / 5.0||MultiHop|
Double VPN – Best Options
If you’re in the market for a double VPN, you’ll likely want to know more about the pros and cons of this unique service, and how it can enhance your privacy as you spend time online. Even those of us who are familiar with VPN services may be asking what is a double VPN, and why should you use one?
We’ll cover all of this and more as we dive into the pros and cons of these services, and when you should or shouldn’t use one. Read on to learn more and see our recommendations for the best VPN services out there.
What is a Double VPN?
So what is double VPN as it pertains to your online activities? A double VPN is much like the standard VPN service that you use when you’re online for specific tasks, but it adds a second layer of protection that increases your privacy. This service is also called Multi-Hop by many VPN providers online, and this very similar form of VPN server comes in two types.
A double VPN does much more than encrypt your traffic, and many people use it for business, personal, and entertainment purposes. The first version of a double VPN was more like two VPN networks strung together, but the modern double VPN is much more robust and adds both another VPN server and a secure tunnel.
Traditional VPN services will encrypt your data before sending it over the network using an AES 256-bit encryption, but when you use a double VPN, that doesn’t mean your encryption level doubles to 512-bit.
Instead, the double VPN reroutes your data a second time, and that traffic ends up getting encrypted a second time, which significantly increases your protection. It’s also worth noting that a double VPN will use at least two secure tunnels, and sometimes more, to connect the first and second server used, which adds another layer of security.
Some parts of your data may be already encrypted on your devices like a smartphone or computer and then sent to a VPN server. That specific VPN server then decrypts your data and sends it to its destination, such as a website, online service, or app. When you implement additional servers using a double VPN, this process gets modified.
Your data gets encrypted twice (once by each VPN service), and the VPN servers involved remove layers of encryption one by one until your data arrives at its destination. At no point is your data unencrypted until the final server sends it directly to the destination, so your data remains protected the whole time.
Multi-Hop VPN Servers
A multi-hop VPN is slightly different from a double VPN but has a similar structure in the sense that it still uses secure tunnels and multiple servers. A multi-hop VPN sends your traffic through multiple servers, potentially three or four, if not more, and each time your data passes through one of these servers, a new layer of encryption gets added along with a different IP address.
A multi-hop VPN makes these changes to protect your data further than a standalone VPN would, but your information still arrives at its destination fully intact. The tradeoff here is that your connection might be slightly slower, but many users don’t notice or mind and prefer the added privacy and security they enjoy.
Cascade and Nested Chain Multi-Hop VPNs
There are two types of multi-hop VPNs: cascade, and nested chain. The cascade version uses a single VPN service and at least two servers from that VPN company, so your data is de-encrypted and re-encrypted at each jump. Your IP address also gets changed before the information gets sent to its next destination.
A nested chain is slightly different because it uses more than one VPN service, strengthening the protections surrounding your data and minimizing the impact of a compromised VPN service or server.
The thing about nested chain multi hop VPNs is that you can’t get them from a single VPN provider, and you’ll need to run two VPN services with one layered over the other. There are a few ways that you can configure these two VPNs, and many VPN providers offer detailed instructions on how to install a VPN to a router or your device, which is a great place to start.
Can You Use a Second VPN Service While Using a VPN?
It’s possible to use a VPN service while you are currently on a VPN, and for the best security, you’ll want to use VPN services from two different companies. It’s also possible to use one VPN on a device and one on your router or even run one on a virtual machine using your device.
To set this up, you’ll need to install your VPN services on your devices as usual and install a virtual machine if you plan to use one. Once the installations are complete, you can establish your own double VPN by launching one service on your device or router, and then launching the second on the other device or virtual machine.
Once you have these two VPN instances set up, you can send traffic using one VPN server and then the other, which is a VPN layered on another VPN, or a double VPN.
Double VPN Pros
There are several critical advantages to using a double VPN, with the biggest one being an increased level of protection for your data, which translates into privacy that you’d find very difficult to manage with any other method. When you use a VPN, the way your data gets handled makes it very difficult for anyone to track you or snoop on your activities.
Specifically, bouncing your traffic and data from one server to another makes it very difficult for any of your information to fall into the wrong hands, and it also masks your real geographical location. Many individuals want to conceal their location to access blocked websites in their area or apps and other data from the internet they otherwise couldn’t receive.
Double VPN Cons
The primary drawback of using a double VPN or multi-hop is going to be the decreased connection speed, which results as part of the encryption process and your data traveling through multiple servers. There are also costs to consider and the time it takes to set up your VPN if you’re using various providers.
Regardless of your internet speed, you will likely notice a modest slow down in your connection, and if your connection speed is already slow, you’re likely to notice it more.
Using a VPN when you’re on a public network is a fairly common practice, and you can prevent some of the loss of speed by choosing servers closer to you, but the encryption and decryption process still takes time.
Costs and Setup
If you want to use a VPN service from two different providers to create a double VPN or multi-hop, sometimes you’ll need to pay for multiple services. This setup adds to your overall VPN costs each year, often at least doubling them, and that doesn’t include the time you’ll spend setting up your VPN and installing software and apps on your devices.
Setting up a double VPN is not a beginner exercise, and you’ll need to be at least a little tech-savvy to pull this off. There are also multiple ways to chain VPN services together, and some providers offer special features for using multiple VPNs or offer multi-hop options, but this varies from company to company.
The purpose of this article, is to feature VPN services with a built-in Double VPN or Multi-hop feature. It is very easy to establish Multi-hop connection in NordVPN, ProtonVPN, or Surfshark software.
Double VPN on Smartphones
VPNs reviewed in this article have mobile apps with a built-in support of Double VPN or Multi-hop.
Surfshark mobile app Multi-hop servers:
Is Double VPN Really Needed?
A double VPN isn’t explicitly needed in most of cases, but many users find them comforting for keeping their data safe and adding additional layer of privacy. Double VPNs also get used for working with sensitive data and other specific tasks where security is a top concern.
When is Double VPN Not Needed?
There are definitely going to be times when using a double VPN isn’t really necessary. It’s not that you couldn’t use a double VPN in many of these situations, but the slow down in traffic and extra encryption won’t help for these activities:
- Unblocking websites
Just because a double VPN might be overkill for these types of tasks doesn’t mean that your regular VPN isn’t a good option. Some individuals like to use a VPN for torrenting or streaming content that gets blocked in their country, and a single VPN works fine for this purpose.
The Best VPN Services with Double VPN
VPN services are used worldwide by all kinds of users and not reserved for only business applications. Here’s our list of the best VPN services to consider and the pricing of their services.
NordVPN Double VPN
NordVPN double VPN service is one of the best available as it’s affordable and has a proven by 3rd party audit no-log policy. This company also has a massive network of servers globally, so you have many options to choose from, fast connection speeds, and appropriately secure encryption.
NordVPN double VPN is helpful when it comes to finding the best server that fits your needs and makes it easy to establish a connection in only a few clicks. This ease of use means that it’s easy to set up a double VPN with NordVPN as it’s so user friendly.
The cost of NordVPN starts at $3.71 per month when you sign up for a 2-year plan, but it goes to $9 per month for a six-month plan and $11.95 for a single month. When you total that up, it works out to $89 for the two-year plan and $54 for the six-month plan.
ProtonVPN Secure Core
Proton VPN is a Swiss company that puts a lot of emphasis on the security and privacy it’s services give to users. This service allows for streaming and P2P connections and features a Secure Core and Kill Switch privacy feature for advanced users.
This service prices out at 24 Euros for their Visionary plan that allows for ten VPN connections. For five VPN connections, it costs eight Euros per month or 96 Euros per year on their Plus Plan, and for two VPN connections, it’s four Euros per month on their Basic Plan.
Surfshark VPN is full of features and based in the British Virgin Islands. They have over 1700 servers spread over 63 countries and allow streaming and P2P connections. This highly transparent VPN service has advanced features such as ads blocker, kill switch, multi-hop capabilities, and a camouflage mode.
Surfsharks 2-year plan starts at $1.99 per month or $47.76 per year, but they also have a one year plan that costs $5.99 per month or $71.88 for the year. Their one month plan costs $11.95 each month.
Astrill Multi-hop makes it easy for users to connect using their service with a single click, and they also offer smart mode, which helps you pick what websites get accessed using the VPN and which ones are safe to use without for a better browsing experience. There’s also a filter, so some of your applications can access the internet without the VPN causing issues.
Astrill Multi-Hop starts at $10 per month for a one year plan, $15 each month for a six-month plan, and their monthly price is $20.
IVPN offers multi-hop services and a straightforward set up so you can use their open-source software without a contract and connect with up to seven devices. Using this VPN, you can get full network access, and the company has its own logless DNS servers for added security. There’s also exception encryption, 24/7 customer support, and a 7-day refund period.
Pricing for IVPN starts at $60 per year for the standard plan that allows for two devices to connect and $100 per year for the Pro plan that allows for seven devices and other features like multi-hop and port forwarding.
Perfect Privacy is a cascade type of multi-hop VPN connection that accommodates up to four hops. Their service also comes with TrackStop to prevent untrusted content from reaching your device and Stealth VPN that protects against Deep Packet Inspection that tries to block VPN traffic on restricted networks.
Perfect Privacy costs $9.99 per month for the one year plan and $8.95 for the two-year plan. If you want to pay month-to-month, it costs $12.99, and all plans come with the same long list of helpful features.
Even if you’ve used VPN services, you may find yourself asking what is a double VPN best use case? For many users, it merely offers them added protection for their data as they perform various online activities.
While some people think this extra protection is unnecessary, it’s helpful to many users and leaves them less vulnerable if one of their VPN services has a compromised server or tunnel.
You can choose a VPN provider that offers multi-hop service, or you can layer two VPN services together if you’re a bit tech-savvy. Most VPN services are user friendly and highly effective so you can enjoy the features of the software and feel confident your data is safe.