A VPN or virtual private network is used on the world wide web to secure your internet connection and keep your data private. This can be used for accessing the Internet and also to establish a secured non-intrudable connection to application and services to an enterprise or a secured web service. VPNs work by creating a secure virtual tunnel through the Internet to another network or device. Using this virtual tunnel makes it difficult for anyone – including your ISP – to see your browsing activities. A VPN service comes down to encryption and how much your VPN leaks.
How Does VPN Encryption Work?
A VPN is able to secure your information in a way similarly to the security that a home router provides. The only difference is that a local network shared over a common router is not dependent on the Internet to function. While a VPN is done exclusively over the Internet, with this lies inherent risks that need to be mitigated with additional security protocols, in many cases an SSH is also coupled with the tunnelling.
To get started with a VPN the client and the provider will need to install software that allows the machines to communicate with each other while simultaneously ensuring encryption. The provider is usually controlled through a Remote Access Server, or RAS, and allows the transmitted information to be verified through various types of protocols and a tunnelling process.
This tunnelling process ensures that your information will be encapsulated so that no one will be able to intercept, alter, or even monitor your activity. Tunnelling does more than just hide and tunnel your data from the rest of the Internet. Tunnelling also ensures that your location will remain only known to you and the server that you are connected to. This is done by sending out the IP address of the host server that the VPN is running through rather than your own IP address, thus ensuring complete anonymity. However, if the VPN is designated to an Enterprise service, then the IP of the host may be Hardcoded, or the IP of the host who is connected is white listed. In many cases the MAC of the devices is also mapped to the connection establishment.
A Few of the Protocols that are used for a VPN:
- Point-to-Point Tunnelling Protocol (PPTP)
- Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol (L2TP)
- Secure Socket Tunnelling Protocol (SSTP)
- Secure Shell Protocol (SSH)
- Transport Layer Security (TLS)
- Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
- Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)
What is Double VPN?
A Double VPN is a feature that allows a user to use not one but two VPN servers. Such a multi-hop connection comes with double encryption and extra security for your IP address. When the traffic runs through two VPN servers located in different countries thousands of miles apart, the slow down becomes inevitable. Also, using double encryption is especially resource-demanding.
Is ‘Double VPN’ and ‘VPN over VPN’ the Same
Both ‘Double VPN’ and ‘VPN over VPN’ are similar in utility and the partially the end result achievable. But in both cases, you connect to two VPN servers instead of one. The only difference is that Double VPN uses two servers of the same provider, and VPN over VPN, as the name implies, uses one server from each provider. Hence, when a use connects to two servers, all of the data, including the IP address, is passed from one service provided to the other. In the ‘VPN over VPN’ connection, the compromised provider has only a piece of your data. It can be either your real IP or your destination. There are some problems with using two services for multi-hop, though. The providers aren’t building their software to work this way, so you might be unable to launch different VPN clients simultaneously. Hence, a PoC is essential before one starts to use the ‘VPN over VPN’ connection.
There are several types of VPNs to choose from and ultimately the decision is up to the user to choose which one will best suit their own individual needs. The Security and Anonymity vary from service provider to service provider. An Enterprise Usage VPN, is however dedicated and the enterprises that extend this feature to the employee, also maintain additional monitoring utilities on the connection.