What’s a multi-span virtual private network and is it necessary?
Simply stated simply, the multi-span VPN gives you an additional layer of security and an additional server to your existing VPN connection through “chaining” as well as “cascading” multiple VPN servers. The purpose is to enhance the privacy and security offered through a typical one-server VPN connection.
Multi-homed VPNs can be referred to as dual VPNs, but all VPNs may be part of an enchain.
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What’s wrong with a standard VPN?
A standard VPN connection channels both outbound and inbound Internet traffic through one VPN server.
- Your data is protected on your device.
- It is sent through the VPN server.
- The encryption is performed by the VPN server
- and then was delivered to its destination.
The same thing happens in reverse for inbound traffic. A normal setup like this can provide adequate security and privacy for the majority of users. But however, it does not come without flaws. If the servers are compromised, in some way or way, your ISP (ISP), as well as authorities, network administrators applications, websites, and hackers, are able to connect the traffic that is coming through the VPN server with that leaving. Even though your data has been encrypted it is able to be compared to unencrypted traffic with the help of time stamps, amount of data transferred as well as VPN servers’ IP addresses.
The VPN server could keep track of your IP address as well as your network activity even though they claim to adhere to the “no records” policy. If the VPN provider is reliable and trustworthy, the service providers generally do not have their own data centres where servers are housed…
An intruder could see an IP address for the VPN server you’re connected to. If they manage to gain access to the data centre in which the VPN server is situated the user could be vulnerable to the correlated flow of traffic. Secured communication between the user’s device and server could be compared with encrypted traffic to and from the network, which can identify the user.
If a skilled attacker has managed to compromise access to your VPN server – servers located in data centres can be compromised employed by employees or tracked by government agencies and they can observe your online activities.
The advantages of multi-hop VPNs
A few VPN providers provide multiple-hop VPNs in their packages. Our most popular recommendation is NordVPN which has a number of dozen double-spaced VPNs across several countries. Additionally, you get the policy of no-logging, fast servers, reliable support, and dependable encryption.
A multi-span VPN attempts to reduce these risks. This is how the typical double-jump VPN works:
- All your data will be encrypted after a certain time,
- After that, you can then encrypt your device another time (two security layers).
- Data encrypted is then sent to the initial VPN server.
- The second layer of encryption is eliminated.
- Secure data gets then sent through the secondary VPN server.
- The encryption layer is eliminated and the data becomes completely encrypted.
- The encrypted data is transmitted to the destination.
It is important to note that each level of encryption is eliminated by reverse order in the order it was used first in, first out. First VPN to protect data stored on this device is the final one in the chain and the one that is last to decrypt files will become the very first in the chain.
The tunnel-in-tunnel addresses many issues that are caused by normal VPN connections:
Although your ISP or the attacker is able to view your data flowing into your VPN server they can’t be able to see your data coming into the other VPN server and, therefore, cannot track the traffic that comes through the VPN in order to compare it with the encrypted data that is coming in.
The applications and websites you are using when you connect to a multi-homed VPN will show another VPN server that traffic is flowing through however, not the primary one that it is entering the first one, making a connection almost impossible.
The majority of VPNs utilize shared IP addresses. this means that all clients who are connected via the same VPN have an identical IP address. This makes it more difficult to monitor the online activities of one user. The fact that traffic is sent through two different pools of users who share IP addresses makes it harder to track the flow of traffic…
If an attacker breaches one of the servers in the chain data of users remains encapsulated within another layer of encryption. If an attacker is able to compromise another server they’ll not be able to trace any data past that first server.
Many disadvantages of VPN
Speed and performance
Internet speed and performance of devices will be affected by making use of a multi-hop VPN.
- The latency will be increased due to the distance that your data needs to travel.
- Speed is restricted by the server that is in the chain that has the lowest bandwidth available.
- Encrypting multiple layers of encryption instead of only one is more demanding on the device’s hardware.
In rare instances, the connection between two servers might be more efficient than directly connecting to another server. In this situation a multi-span VPN could increase speed by bypassing the checkpoint however, this is not as reliable enough that a multi-span VPN can actually benefit users with just one VPN at the same time.
It cannot shield users from the VPN service
Multi-skip VPNs can reduce certain traffic-related dangers that come from VPN connections to one server, however, they do not shield you from the ill-fated VPN providers. If both servers are owned by the same ISP that is, it’s simple for the ISP to track your online activities and keep the logs of everything you do online. Because the ISP is in charge of both servers, a dual VPN does not shield you against your VPN supplier…
Another option is to utilize VPN servers of different Internet service providers (see below) Another option is to utilize the personal VPN server along and your internet provider. These solutions require more technical know-how to set up compared to the various migration options that are built into the applications of some providers and are outside the topic of this post. It is enough to declare that they pose their own privacy and security issues.
Multi-hop VPN versus Tor
If you’re seeking anonymity, Tor will probably serve better than an all-hop VPN. Tor’s servers, also known as relays or nodes are decentralised that is, they aren’t operated by a single company. The Tor network always connects to at least three Nodes. This is higher than the standard two provided by the majority of multi-homed VPN services.
When you visit another domain and you connect to a different domain, your Internet traffic follows a different random route across it. This is the Tor network. Every node knows only the exact location of the nodes that are ahead of and behind it. This means that each node is aware of the entire path your data travels until it reaches the destination. Like a multi-hop VPN, each node strips an encryption layer by revealing its IP address to the following node within the chain.
Tor isn’t able to select where these nodes are situated, while multi-hop VPNs do. Tor is also vulnerable to traffic analysis, though this isn’t a common occurrence. Numerous applications and websites could restrict internet traffic to the output of Tor’s nodes. Additionally, Tor is usually slower than VPNs. VPN.
Tor + VPN
There is a way to use Tor by using a VPN however, experts disagree on whether this actually offers benefits for users. The simplest way to utilize Tor using a VPN is to simply establish a connection to your VPN and then launch your Tor browser. The first step is to go through the VPN and then to the Tor network.
If you think you’ll need to increase your privacy, but while sacrificing speed then an all-path VPN coupled with Tor is definitely an option, however, it is not the one that the majority of users would need.
Do I have the ability to use 2 VPNs simultaneously on the same device?
There is a possibility of connecting two VPN clients to two separate servers on the same machine simultaneously. But, this does not create a multi-hop VPN as we have described previously. Instead, it is more likely that several VPNs that are on the same machine are normally configured to support split tunnelling. This, in other words, creates two tunnels in place of a tunnel inside one tunnel.
Split tunnelling is based on rules that govern the way the Internet flow is routed according to its source or the type. For instance, you could need BitTorrent traffic to pass through one VPN, while information from your other applications is routed through a different VPN. So long as both sets of guidelines that define this behaviour don’t overlap and the two VPNs are able to operate independently.
Installing 2 VPN programs on the same computer and connecting them without setting first IP routes could cause issues like memory leaks or DNS errors. The exact outcome depends on the configuration of the specific VPN client.
We tried a variety of VPNs using Windows 10 to see what happens if we connect to them at the same time. Our tests revealed that either the first VPN did not let the second connect in any way (ExpressVPN blocked NordVPN connections) and the third VPN gained full control (PrivateVPN was in possession even though Ivacy is still in use). The VPNs were not working together when running traceroute, which gave identical results using one VPN as it did with two VPNs.
In essence, in the end, connecting two VPNs at the same time with the exact same computer isn’t identical to using a multi-hop VPN which could result in unwanted behaviour and mistakes.
VPN servers for Networks from various providers
If you’re looking to mix VPN servers from various ISPs, it’s better to select a VPN for your smartphone or laptop as well as a second VPN that is using a Wi-Fi router or virtual device. The result is the same when using a double-spaced VPN that is provided by a company such as NordVPN. The data flow is like this:
- VPN The device you use to connect to VPN protects your data by encryption and then sends data to your router, virtual machine or the network.
- VPN B in the network or on the computer encrypts the data again and then sends the encrypted data the VPN server B.
- VPN Server B gets the information, then removes the second layer of encryption and transmits the data to VPN server A.
- VPN Server A gets the information, removes the encryption level that was used, to begin with, and transmits the fully encrypted data to the destination.
The process reverses in the case of the incoming Internet traffic. Web sites and applications are able to observe the flow back to the VPN server A while your ISP is able to only monitor that the data is transmitted to the VPN server B.