Privacy / Security

Internet privacy and security: Do you need a decentralized VPN?

When you surf the Internet using a regular browser, your IP address is broadcast for everyone to see. The data you search online is linked to your computer. Any content you send to your friends can be viewed by hackers and your government. The only way to secure your connection is to use a VPN service.

VPNs encrypt your data and use a secure tunnel to transfer your traffic to a private server. Your IP address and all your traffic then read the new server. Your government can no longer track your personal address online. You are shielded from hackers and snoopy ISP providers.

Although VPNs secure users, many of them are privately owned. Owners make the rules on how to handle your security. If the provider decides to keep your logs, you are not safe. They can hand over your data to governments and compromise your security. Some may limit what you can use their VPNs for.  To overcome the challenges of centralized VPNs, decentralized VPNs were invented.

Decentralized VPN Meaning

A decentralized VPN is a type of network that uses distributed, separately owned servers to secure users’ Internet connection. In contrast, a centralized provider owns its servers. It also has a single or severally, centralized control points.

With a decentralized VPN, many computers combine their traffic and communicate using a peer to peer system. Each PC acts as a server. With the help of the blockchain technology, the nodes can also make decisions that impact the virtual private network.

Decentralized VPNs can’t be hacked because attackers would have to hack each computer node to gain control over the system. The blockchain helps nodes to communicate and delegate users to vote and make decisions.

In simple terms, a decentralized VPN differs from a centralized provider in that:

– Uses distributed nodes owned numerous people
– Uses the blockchain for better security and decentralization
– Nodes communicate in a p2p network
– A decentralized voting system is used to make decisions

Decentralized VPN Security

So far, most decentralized VPNs work through the blockchain. Developed in 2008 by bitcoin’s founder, the distributed public ledger offers unparalleled security. The network depends on distributed computer nodes to keep it online and working. Using p2p distribution and other technologies, the failure of one or more nodes can’t compromise the network.

Although users share their traffic to keep the VPN active, all data is encrypted. You may connect the Internet through someone else’s traffic overseas but you are not compromised. Both you and the node contributed are protected using advanced encryption.

Features

Decentralized VPNs are mostly open source, using the blockchain, open to everyone and more affordable. While not many of them have gone mainstream in popularity, here is what they offer.

Open Source Software

In a bid to create transparency, decentralized VPNs use open source software. Any interested parties can view the clients on Github. Developers can improve on the software and point out providers using questionable code.

By contrast, centralized VPNs own their software. Only a few top developers know about the code used. If the company decides to keep users’ logs, they have the power. For VPN users, entrusting your security to private companies is not right. While some may be genuine, many providers have been accused of leaking users IP addresses. Find a review of the best-centralized VPNs on Best VPN 24.

A few VPNs cooperate with governments to reveal your logs and personal details. That is not the case with legitimate decentralized virtual networks.

No user Limitations

Anyone can share their Internet traffic on a peer to peer based infrastructure. If your Internet traffic is suddenly disrupted, it is replaced with another node. There is no point of failure unless attackers get control of 51% of the network.

VPN Marketplace

Because anyone can share their traffic, the quality of connections differs. Some may have faster connections. Others may use highly advanced security measures. Decentralized networks offer a marketplace where users can sell their traffic based on quality. There is no specific pricing. Providers set the prices and customers decide whether to pay.

While every node is connected to the same type of server, they are each different. Customers communicate with providers in a safe, blockchain-based platform. The payments are completed using cryptocurrencies. No names are used or address given. By using smart contracts, the VPNs also hold users accountable.

Customers pay the agreed fee using crypto. The funds are held on smart contracts. After offering quality services, the funds are then released to the provider’s account. The whole process is transparent and efficiently done without the need of a mediator.

Supports Regular VPN Services

Want to shield your IP address from your government? Decentralized VPNs have that power. Like any regular virtual network, a distributed network links your traffic through several nodes to anonymize you.

Since anyone can join the network and become a provider, decentralized networks can accommodate thousands of servers. Users can choose between the nodes from all parts of the world. Security is assured since the companies use advanced encryption techniques. Using OpenVPN and other secure tunneling techniques, decentralized VPNs provide better security than centralized networks.

You can stream Netflix and other servers. You can torrent and share files with others. Speed may vary from one provider to the other. But decentralized networks are poised to offer much better services than their centralized counterparts.

Future Predictions

VPN users are constantly complaining about poor services. Whether it is speed or lack of privacy, centralized VPNs have their flaws. Decentralized networks have the power to end some of the problems. With individual nodes provides personal traffic, the problem is speed will be addressed. If you want a fast provider, the blockchain provides a list of the fastest providers.

To Conclude

VPNs are an integral part of personal security nowadays. If you are not using one, your connections are not safe. While fairly better than surfing the Internet without security, centralized providers are flawed.

By using decentralized means such as the blockchain, decentralized VPNs are increasing in popularity. Computer owners from around the world share their traffic for pay. Startups provide the software needed to secure everyone. Communication is done in a p2p manner and payment is completed using cryptocurrencies.

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