Can I Use Multiple VPNs at the Same Time?

VPN multi hop image

If one VPN is good, then two should be even better, right?

Well, kind. There are both advantages and disadvantages to running multiple VPNs at once. And one of the biggest drawbacks is how difficult it can be to set up.

However, we’re going to tell you how to do it, why you might want to, and even fill you in on an easier alternative.

Why Use Multiple VPNs?

The tunnel and encryption provided by a single VPN drastically improves your privacy by both hiding your Internet activity and creating a disconnect between what you do online and your identity.

This is enough for most people.

However, it actually doesn’t make you “anonymous”. There are a few reasons for this, but we’re going to focus on the three most relevant to our topic:

1. Many VPN providers aren’t trustworthy, keeping (and sharing) logs even when they say they don’t.

2. VPN server networks are large, these servers are often rented or maintained by a third-party, and for that reason any individual server could be compromised at a given time.

3. It’s theoretically possible to correlate incoming (before the VPN tunnel) and outgoing (after the VPN tunnel) traffic to re-connect your activity with your identity. This so-called traffic analysis isn’t easy but is a risk.

Using multiple VPNs could help alleviate or eliminate some or all of these risk factors, by using multiple providers, multiple servers, and multiple tunnels. That still wouldn’t make you completely invulnerable, but it would make you a lot less vulnerable.

How to Set Up Multiple VPNs

There are two ways to use multiple VPN connections. One is pretty complicated, while the other is super simple.

The first option being to literally run multiple VPN instances at the same time, whether it’s the same VPN provider or two separate providers. The problem here is that you can’t just install two VPN clients, say from NordVPN and ExpressVPN, on the same computer and turn them on at the same time.

It won’t work.

But you can get around this issue by using a virtual machine, with one VPN running through your base operating system and the second VPN running within the virtual machine.

The good news is, if you already run a virtual machine, this wouldn’t be that hard to set up – and you could even use the same VPN provider for both connections, with each connection counting as a separative “device”.

But most people aren’t running virtual machines. And for those people, achieving the above setup is a whole lot of work. But there is another method.

Using Providers with Built-in Double VPN

Recently, several VPN providers have started to introduce some form of “double VPN” or “multi-hop VPN”.

Rather than running two separate instances of a VPN, your connection will be routed through two different servers or tunnels within the same provider’s network. This allows you to get many of the same benefits of multiple VPNs with a lot less hassle.

That being said, it doesn’t allow you to use multiple VPN providers or programs. That means your provider can still be a security liability, if they keep logs and aren’t trustworthy.

There are currently only a few VPN providers that offer double or multi-hop connections, including:

You can check out our detailed reviews for NordVPN and ProtonVPN. Both come highly recommended – and offer a lot of other great features.

Double VPN vs. Onion Over VPN: Which One’s Better?

There is another alternative to running multiple VPNs, and that’s to run a VPN with Tor. This can be accomplished with NordVPN’s Onion Over VPN feature – or by just using the Tor browser while connected to a VPN.

In some ways, this could be more secure than using double or multi-hop VPN. But it’s also slower, since the Tor network is not nearly as fast as a good VPN.

It can still be a useful way to add some extra security and privacy to your connection though.

June 13, 2021

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