, , ,

What Is Double VPN and Do You Need It?

May 29, 2024 • Zachary Amos


Some people take online privacy more seriously than others. Where a single VPN can provide adequate personal data protection when browsing the web, they use two. What is double VPN, and does it make your browsing sessions twice as secure? Do you need it? Can you use multiple VPNs on your phone? Get all the answers here. 

What is Double VPN?

A double VPN is exactly as it sounds — a configuration that routes your web activity traffic through two VPN servers instead of one. It essentially encrypts your IP address information twice, doubling the security and anonymity of your browsing sessions. 

How Your Data Is Protected When Using a Double VPN

The first VPN encrypts the data sent to and from the internet, making it incredibly difficult for third parties to decipher. The data goes through an intermediary server in a different location, usually of your choosing, replacing your IP address with the details provided by the VPN server. 

Your activities on every website, app or online service you visit are safe from prying eyes. Plus, it shows that you’re browsing from a different country or state, making tracking your physical location more complex. The process simply reverses with the incoming data, so it’s encrypted on the server and decrypted on your device.

A double VPN introduces another encryption and decryption layer to the mix. Encrypted data is sent to the second VPN server, following the same process as before. 

Technically, you can route your internet traffic through more servers to create triple or even quadruple VPN configurations. This method is called VPN server chaining or VPN server cascading.

Double VPN Benefits 

The advantages of using a Double VPN are numerous and immediately apparent. 

Double Encryption 

Having your web activity traffic hop across two encryption levels makes it twice as hard for cyber criminals to decipher. Even if they gain access to the first server, the second VPN layer keeps your data secure. This extra layer of protection can provide some peace of mind, especially if you’ve experienced cyber attacks in the past. 

Enhanced Anonymity and Privacy

Double VPN lets you be virtually untraceable online, and your activities are anonymous. Nobody, not even your internet service provider, can see what websites or apps you visit on the web. The only thing they know is you’re using a VPN service. Each server in the chain hides your original IP address, making it harder for websites or services to figure out who you are.

No One Can See Your Real Location

Another great benefit of a double VPN is that no one can see where you’re accessing the internet from. You get two IP addresses from two different geographic locations, but only the IP from the second location is visible. Additionally, anyone monitoring your home network traffic will only see the connection to the first VPN server without knowing the IP address of the destination site. Even if hackers compromise the second VPN server, they cannot trace the traffic back to your actual location. 

Bypassing Geo-restrictions

Lots of people use a VPN to get around websites or online services that are not accessible in their countries. For instance, 43% of the total UAE population depends on VPNs for such purposes. Double VPNs make bypassing geo-locked content even easier, especially in countries with strict restrictions or stringent cyber laws. You might be able to access information unavailable in your area if the traffic didn’t go through multiple servers in different places.

Double VPN Drawbacks 

As beneficial as double VPN may be, there are a few drawbacks that you should keep in mind. 

Slower Internet Speed 

Encrypting your data twice and sending it through two different servers will inevitably impact your internet connection speed. The additional routing and processing results in increased lag and ping rates. How much slower your browsing speed will be depends on the quality of the VPN infrastructure and your distance to the server. The speed decrease will be more dramatic if the geographic distance between the first and second VPN servers is vast. 

Higher Resource Usage

Both the VPN servers and your devices require significant computing power to run a double VPN. This resource demand might be unsuitable for older computers and mobile devices, causing them to overheat. 

Potential Compatibility Issues 

Accessing some websites or online services with a Double VPN setup might be difficult. These destinations may flag the multiple server connections as suspicious behavior and promptly deny or limit accessibility. 

Limited Server Choice

In most cases, you don’t get to choose your entry and exit server locations when using a double VPN. This can be problematic if you want to be seen as browsing from a specific country. 

Do You Need Double VPN?

Now you know what a double VPN is, do you need it? Ultimately, it comes down to your specific requirements. For example, a double VPN makes sense if you need additional protection or want to be 100% untraceable online. Using a regular VPN while surfing the web can improve online security and privacy, but it is not foolproof. According to a recent Forbes survey, 57% of users experienced a cyberattack while using a VPN, highlighting the need for an additional encryption layer. 

Nevertheless, if you just do regular web browsing and streaming, a single VPN or even no VPN at all may suffice. 

How to Implement Double VPN 

Double VPN is hardly a common feature, so not all providers offer the service. Some more popular VPN companies like NordVPN, Surfshark and ProtonVPN offer double VPN features and have their own methods for setting up the configuration. 

It’s also possible to implement a double VPN at the browser level. For instance, Brave browser has a built-in VPN service, providing the first encryption layer. Using a regular VPN setup while using the browser makes the second layer. 

Is Double VPN Overkill?

Whether double VPN is overkill depends on your specific needs and concerns. A single VPN provides adequate privacy and security for most everyday internet users. However, double VPN might be worth considering if you’re dealing with highly sensitive information or need an extra layer of protection.

Think of it like locking your door at home. For most people, a single lock provides enough security. But if you have valuable possessions or live in a high-crime area, you might add a deadbolt for extra protection.

Is Double VPN Better Than Single?

Again, it depends on your specific needs and the threat model you may be facing. However, for most everyday internet users, a single VPN is sufficient to protect their online activities from prying eyes. It’s essential to assess your risk level and choose the appropriate level of protection accordingly.

Can You Use 2 VPNs on Your Phone?

Yes, you can use two VPNs on your phone, but it might require some technical know-how and possibly third-party apps. Some VPN providers offer features like multi-hop or split tunneling, which allow you to chain VPN connections or use multiple VPNs simultaneously.

However, keep in mind that using two VPNs on your phone can drain your battery faster and may slow down your internet connection. Additionally, some setups might expose your device to harm. A study revealed that 40% of Android-based VPNs have malware elements that may compromise your data. 

What Is Double VPN?

Double VPNs add an extra layer of security and privacy to your online activities. They can be incredibly useful for protecting sensitive information and for bypassing restricted content in geo-locked countries. However, they often slow down your internet connection and require increased resource demand. 

At the end of the day, using a double VPN setup comes down to your needs. It might be necessary in certain situations and overkill in others.