Decentralized VPNs: Are they more secure?

by Jones David

Virtual Private Networks have been around for decades, with the first version of the technology developed by a Microsoft employee in 1996. Since the 2000s, VPNs have been associated with and utilized mainly through businesses until incidents such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal. More recently, security warnings for Apple devices opened the wider public’s eyes to data security issues. Nowadays, VPNs are widely used by both businesses and individuals to protect their privacy and unlock online resources.

Many tools are out there for protecting online privacy, including VPNs, firewalls, and anti-virus software. Another option is Decentralized VPNs or VPNs. Although they share a name with VPNs, they operate differently, arguably providing better protection than a standard VPN. While Virtual Private Networks are a mainstay in data privacy, are dVPNs even better?

How does a standard VPN protect your data?

Standard Virtual Private Networks are widespread, with free Urban-VPN downloads available for all internet users. When you use a VPN, you connect your computer to a server operated by your internet service provider (ISP). The connection is subsequently forwarded to your VPN’s server and the website you wish to browse. The link from the ISP to the VPN is encrypted in a VPN tunnel, and you are assigned the IP address of the VPN’s server.

The main takeaway is that your ISP and other snooping third parties will only be able to see the encrypted communication. The websites you visit will only see the IP address you are using instead of your own. This makes it difficult for your online activity to be tracked, providing a level of anonymity. 

Your VPN encrypts your connection using a VPN protocol, which is a set of rules that governs how the VPN communicates with other network devices. As a result, your connection is safe from beginning to end via the VPN tunnel. VPNs’ only weakness, as shown by their logs, is the VPNs themselves.

What are VPN logs?

When you use a VPN, traces of your activity are left on the provider’s servers – these are known as logs. Logs somewhat negate that objective, as the primary purpose of using a VPN is to remain anonymous online. To relieve potential issues around this, VPN providers promise to destroy or not maintain their logs.

However, there is no way to know whether your VPN has destroyed your logs, meaning your privacy and security may be at risk. Every time you use your VPN, you trust the service not to keep this information.

How do Decentralized VPNs differ?

Decentralized VPNs are peer-to-peer (P2P) networks that eliminate the third party, which is a significant point of failure in any network. As traditional VPNs store logs on your online activity, this information could be sold to third parties without your knowledge. When you use a VPN, you don’t connect to servers but to nodes.

Each node in a decentralized network serves as a client and a server. This gives the user complete control over their data and personal information. 

In effect, this isn’t much different than a standard VPN: you’re still obtaining an IP address from another location, which you may use to get more content online by accessing geo-restricted websites or other countries’ streaming libraries. 

Are there any advantages to using a Decentralized VPN over a standard VPN?

VPN services connect users to a limited number of servers worldwide, which can frequently cause congestion, particularly during peak hours. Decentralized VPNs act as both client and server, allowing users to connect to any device on the worldwide network with faster internet speeds. This ensures that there are no internet slowdowns at any time.

Additionally, unlike a standard VPN which logs data onto servers, a Decentralized VPN logs data on your device. This means that your information never leaves your device and, therefore, cannot be sold to third parties. Most significantly, VPNs have a centralized server, creating a point of weakness for potential hackers to exploit. Even though there are steps you can take to prevent companies from storing your personal data, it’s best to take precautions to prevent your information from being in a data leak. 

Are Decentralized VPNs more secure?

Decentralized VPNs do not require a central hub to control their servers. However, this does not imply that Decentralized VPNs are inherently more secure. Decentralized VPNs do offer more transparency for users, as VPNs can log your data without your knowledge despite privacy claims. 

Although it’s a good idea to keep in mind that because Decentralized VPNs create connections through nodes, it’s unclear how the connection between your device and the node is established. If your goal is greater privacy, ​​because each node can only view the node before and after, this provides anonymity without the risk of traditional VPN logging. 

You may also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy