What is a Decentralized VPN?
Decentralized VPNs promise to be the upgrade to existing, standard VPN services. They claim to offer better privacy at lower prices than their traditional counterparts, while also improving the internet as a whole. To see how they plan to deliver on these promises, we need to understand how decentralized VPNs work. Instead of using machines in server farms, dVPNs use the devices of their users instead as so-called nodes. You’re not accessing the internet through a server, instead you’re using somebody else’s computer, which acts like a server for your connection.
Why would you use a dVPN?
The idea that you could fund your VPN by having other people use it will likely be a big draw to anybody with bandwidth to spare. However, decentralization also means greater transparency for users. As we’ve argued before in our article on no-log VPNs, regular VPNs are a black box. What’s actually happening to your data is unknown, and you have to take any VPN provider’s claims of privacy on trust.
According to a whitepaper by dVPN platform Sentinel, dVPNs don’t have this issue. Instead, each connection request is made on their blockchain, which doesn’t keep records the same way a server does. While, of course, it does raise questions about how the blockchain functions—Bitcoin isn’t anonymous, for example—if it works as advertised, it would be a great way around a major sticking point for regular VPNs.
Is Tor better than a dVPN?
For privacy, security, and anonymity Tor is clearly the best option. dVPN solutions look suspiciously like an attempt to monetize yet another open source toolset. Decentralized VPN solutions are very similar to the design of Tor except they are closed source, corporate funded, and full of buzzwords. dVPN seems like a new product category being offered by multiple vendors in hopes of expanding sales. Also, keep in mind that over the years VPN Providers have run into trouble multiple times.
Link: How Does a Decentralized VPN (dVPN) Work?