VPN Double-Hopping

For added security, two VPNs can be connected in tow so that user data is rerouted twice over. This further obfuscates the user’s data trail, making it even harder to get a reading on where a user has been and where he or she is going. Going through a VPN always results in some speed loss, however, so using two VPNs will, of course, mean more speed loss. This can be acceptable when the security benefit clearly outweighs the need for speed.

VPN Chaining Via Providers

Some VPN providers offer VPN chaining, also known as multihop connections. Using a service that allows a user to double-hop is, of course, much easier and more convenient than a home setup since the provider takes care of everything. A user’s connection is routed through two servers, and in some cases, several servers, before data goes out into the open Internet. iVPN is one of these providers that provides multihopping. All a user has to do to get on a VPN chain is to select the option for a multihop VPN connection and the routing to servers links up automatically. With a service like iVPN, users can choose what two servers they want to hop through, which helps them minimize the speed loss. Their data also gets encrypted again as it passes to the next server, giving them added security.

There are doubts as to whether this chaining really provides worthwhile additional security, however. Some tech experts say that using two or more servers from the same provider means that if one connection can be detected then the other one should easily follow. Another problem with using servers from the same provider is that the provider still sees all. If using servers from different providers were possible, then chaining would also be truly more secure and private. That is, provided that both providers have a no logs policy and do the multihops through shared IPs.

With secure VPN providers, hopping on the servers in different countries where spies or hackers or criminals have no power can greatly increase the chances that a user will not be tracked. Users should take note, however, that a VPN provider that has servers in countries like Russia might be compromised since these types of controlling governments will not likely permit a VPN provider to operate within their borders without some kind of agreement regarding the data that passes through and is stored there.

DIY VPN Chaining

A user can also set up a VPN chain through a Virtual Machine (VM). This setup will run a separate operating system inside an existing operating system. One VPN connection is then run on the original OS while an additional one can be run on the added OS of the VM. Provided that the VM is correctly set up, the routing should be fairly straightforward. All traffic will then run through the VPN on the original OS, then passed through the VPN running on the VM.

Setting up a VM rather than going to a multihop service takes care of the problem of using the same provider’s VPN servers. With a VM, a completely different VPN provider can be used than the one that is set up on the primary operating system. This way, even providers that do not offer mulithops but that are known for better privacy and security practices can be chosen for the job. Users are then also completely free to use any of each provider’s servers for the double-hop, which means even less speed loss on top of better security. More VMs can be added as needed to lengthen the chain, as long as the computer can handle the load and the Internet connection can take more speed loss.

This solution is definitely more costly than either using a VPN provider that you can trust or using a multihop service, but it is certainly more secure. A comparable solution for those who are not up to the task of maintaining a VM is to use the Tor network with a VPN. The security benefits and speed loss are similar, and Tor is already set up to reroute connections multiple times.

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