When it comes to VPN software, there are a few things that standout as being important: the server network, the speeds, and the sorts of protocols and encryption that are available. But if you’re using a VPN for security and privacy reasons, then you may well be considering opting for a second VPN to make sure you’re doubly protected.
This could be because you’re worrying about the potential for DNS leaks, but there are even cases where you might be using your favorite VPN service and it is inadvertently interacting with another from a different source. This can cause conflicts that might make both VPNs redundant, so is there a right way to use two VPNs at once? And is it even worth the effort?
How You Might Use Two VPNs at Once
There are a number of ways you might end up using two VPNs, and for many it could even be accidental. Perhaps you’re a regular user of a VPN program but haven’t realized that you’re already connected to VPN in your work place’s office. Maybe you’ve activated Opera’s built-in browser VPN and haven’t noticed that it’s active. Or it could even be that it’s an intentional decision you made in the hopes of ensuring your internet browsing – and all the data and details you share as a result – is as secure and safe as possible.
Dual VPN: Is it Worth Doing?
Sad as it is to say, but even some of the best VPN providers can still suffer from DNS leaks. It’s an issue that often arises when there’s a delay between the connection, the VPN, and the wider internet. At this point your data is vulnerable and if you’re security conscious then you should certainly be considering a way of protecting yourself from this.
In this regard you might be thinking about using two VPNs. The logic is smart: by routing your connection through two secure tunnels you’ll essentially enhance your personal security, with your base connection encrypted before heading to the second VPN where it is encrypted once again. Double the encryption, double the protection, right?
Well, not quite.
The Flaw in the Logic
The problem with running two VPNs is that unless they’re properly configured to control which addresses are handled by which VPN, you’ll essentially be operating two encrypted connections in parallel with one another rather than in sequence; this theoretical ‘double protection’ simply won’t happen like this. Instead it creates collisions with one another that, at best, will lead to the VPN connection that is slowest to transmit its encrypted data being the one that ‘works’. However, in many cases it’ll lead to neither VPN working, the encryptions switching erratically, or the setup initially working before completely cutting out.
And the added issue is that a dual VPN isn’t quite worth all the hassle of finetuning two VPNs to work symbiotically. The encryption isn’t any stronger because it’s gone through two VPN tunnels, it simply means that if the latter connection should leak some true data from its origin, then the former connection will keep it safe.
But that doesn’t mean a double VPN can’t – or shouldn’t – be achieved.
The Best Double VPN Options
The best option to keep yourself truly hidden is to make use of a high-quality, trustworthy service like IPVanish or CyberGhost, both of which offer protection from DNS and IPv6 leaks as well as a kill switch. This, paired with their transparent no-log policies, makes for VPN services that have no need for a double VPN because of how solid their security is.
However, if you really would rather make use of two VPNs at the same time, then subscribing to NordVPN is well worth considering. The provider is one of the few offering an in-built double VPN and since it’s a feature designed solely for this purpose the client handles the technical side of things to ensure there are no hiccups along the way.
For those looking for something more technical, customizable and arguably the safest option of all, there is always the use of virtual machines. By creating a manual network VPN to connect to a simulated desktop via a VM service like Parallels, the hosted machine can then activate a VPN service that can leverage that initial connection to create a truly double VPN under your own control and settings.
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