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What is NordVPN’s Double VPN, and when should you use it?

Verified by Amy Reeves

You may already know that virtual private networks (VPNs) help protect your online data from prying eyes by using different encryption protocols, but have you heard of a double VPN? It’s a multi-hop VPN that can increase your privacy online and takes only a few minutes to set up on your device. 

NordVPN is a powerful software with many useful features that provide its users with the best security, privacy and performance. We’ll detail what Nord’s Double VPN offers and how its military-strength encryption can protect you from even the most expert online spying.

What is NordVPN’s Double VPN?

A VPN creates a secure connection between your device and the internet by routing your internet traffic through a server operated by the VPN provider. It masks your Internet Protocol (IP) address, encrypts your data and keeps your online activities anonymous. 

NordVPN’s Double VPN routes your internet traffic through two routers instead of one. For example, if you connect to Australia, your internet traffic gets re-routed to London, then decrypted and sent to its intended destination. This process hides your identity behind an additional server, providing you with an extra layer of protection.

How does Double VPN work?

The basic idea of a multi-hop VPN is quite simple: your data is routed through two different servers instead of one. In NordVPN’s Double VPN, a server is nested inside another server, creating two VPN tunnels, meaning that the users’ data will be encrypted twice and making it twice as hard for anyone attempting to intercept or access it. The Double VPN provides you with twice the protection through the following steps:

  • The user’s data is encrypted on their device and then redirected to a remote VPN server
  • Upon reaching this new server, another layer of encryption is added
  • The newly encrypted traffic is passed on to the second VPN server to be decrypted

This is how the entire process is completed, after which users can browse the internet with maximum protection and security.

What are the benefits of Double VPN?

Double VPN ensures a very high level of security for those users who may be vulnerable to hacking and cyberattacks, such as journalists, activists, politicians and government officials. It isn’t necessary for everyone but if you are a privacy-conscious user, Double VPN can make you untouchable and safeguard you from cybercriminals.

Some of the main benefits that Double VPN has to offer are:

  • Dual encryption
  • Double IP address masking
  • Almost impossible to hack

Double VPN’s dual encryption makes an already impenetrable wall of 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256) encryption more secure, leaving no space for a potential breach. 

Double VPN disadvantages

The disadvantage of opting for twice the security of Double VPN is its adverse effect on internet speed. Routing through two VPN servers takes a toll on the download speed, upload speed and latency, making the browsing experience sluggish.

  • Internet speed reduction
  • Unsatisfactory experience during data-heavy activities such as streaming and gaming

Therefore, it’s not recommended for everyday users but for specific individuals who could use the added security.

Which NordVPN servers support Double VPN?

By selecting “Speciality servers” on the NordVPN app, you will see the option to enable Double VPN. Simply choose the server combination which suits you.

It is worth mentioning that Double VPN is not available on all NordVPN servers. While it’s only currently available in a few countries, NordVPN offers more options than its competitors, such as Surfshark, which is only available in five countries. 

The servers eligible for Double VPN are:

  • Taiwan
  • US
  • UK
  • Canada
  • Netherlands
  • Sweden
  • France
  • Switzerland

Do any other providers support Double VPN?

Double VPN is not a unique feature of NordVPN, as some other VPN service providers offer this dual-layered protection; however, it’s called multi-hop instead of Double VPN, which is simply NordVPN’s branding. Like Double VPN, multi-hop allows users to route through pre-selected combinations of two servers in different countries. 

Even though a multi-hop VPN provides users additional security, few VPN service providers consider this a necessary feature. Some renowned VPN providers that do offer multi-hop include Surfshark and Proton VPN.

Onion over VPN vs Double VPN: What’s the difference?

Onion over VPN is a custom feature of NordVPN through which users can safely access The Onion Router (Tor) network. Tor is privacy software that allows users to browse the internet anonymously. It’s important to note that even though the Tor network will enable you to cloak your presence, it’s not entirely safe. Cybercriminals can still attack and extract users’ data, so using Onion over VPN is safer than directly accessing the Tor network through the Tor Browser.

Onion over VPN and Double VPN both serve different purposes. Double VPN routes the user’s traffic through two servers, strengthening its encryption. Onion over VPN allows users to connect to the Tor network through a safe passageway. So, we cannot argue which feature is better.

Onion over VPN Double VPN
Server One Two
Encryption Single encryption Two consecutive encryptions
Connecting to Tor
Internet speed decrease

When should you use Double VPN?

Double VPN is often considered overkill, as AES-256 encryption is entirely secure by itself. Encrypting the data twice eliminates any possibility of a potential breach but slows down the internet speed, as your data is relayed through two servers, so it’s not ideal for the average consumer.

Double VPN is more suitable for individuals working with sensitive information who want to maintain complete privacy. Journalists, government officials, politicians and corporate employees may use Double VPN, as they usually deal with sensitive and top-secret information. A corporate employee with access to classified information or trade secrets must always stay secure, as a minor information leak can result in significant drawbacks. 

Similarly, government officials often communicate online and require the highest level of protection while sharing top-secret information. So, it’s best to use Double VPN when your privacy is paramount and you’re ready to compromise on a slower internet speed.

Round up of today’s best VPN deals
NordVPN 2 year £2.49 /Month
£2.49 /Month
Surfshark 24 month £1.79 /Month
£1.79 /Month
ExpressVPN 12 month £6.77 /Month
£6.77 /Month
CyberGhost 2 year £1.78 /Month
£1.78 /Month
Proton 2 year £4.27 /Month
£4.27 /Month
PIA 2 year £1.57 /Month
£1.57 /Month
Atlas 2 year £1.34 /Month
£1.34 /Month
PrivadoVPN 2 year £1.99 /Month
£1.99 /Month
Windscribe 12 month £4.53 /Month
£4.53 /Month
IPVanish 2 year £3.58 /Month
£3.58 /Month

Amy Reeves

Editor

Amy is a seasoned writer and editor with a special interest in home design, sustainable technology and green building methods.

She has interviewed hundreds of self-builders, extenders and renovators about their journeys towards individual, well-considered homes, as well as architects and industry experts during her five years working as Assistant Editor at Homebuilding & Renovating, part of Future plc.

Amy’s work covers topics ranging from home, interior and garden design to DIY step-by-steps, planning permission and build costs, and has been published in Period Living, Real Homes, and 25 Beautiful Homes, Homes and Gardens.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Amy manages homes-related content for the site, including solar panels, combi boilers, and windows.

Her passion for saving tired and inefficient homes also extends to her own life; Amy completed a renovation of a mid-century house in 2022 and is about to embark on an energy-efficient overhaul of a 1800s cottage in Somerset.