P2P vs Double VPN Servers: What’s the Difference

This is where P2P VPN servers come in. They’re optimized for P2P networking tasks such as file sharing and gaming, usually coming with no bandwidth restrictions.

Double VPN vs Onion Over VPN vs P2P [All You Need to Know]

Double VPN vs Onion over VPN vs P2P

When using a virtual private network (VPN) or exploring different modes of internet security, you may come across terms like Double VPN, Onion over VPN, and P2P.

Let’s look at the differences between these types of connections so you know what’s best for you.

Double VPN vs Onion over VPN vs P2P – What’s the Difference?

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s break down the basic differences between Double VPN, Onion over VPN, and P2P:

Double VPN vs Onion Over VPN vs P2P comparison diagram

  • Double VPN – An advanced VPN security feature that routes internet traffic through two VPN servers instead of one, encrypting your data twice.
  • Onion Over VPN – A privacy solution where the internet traffic goes through a VPN server and then through The Onion Router (Tor) network.
  • P2P – A direct connection between two or more peers without a central server. A VPN may be established first to mask the identity of a peer.

The image above illustrates the main Double VPN vs Onion over VPN vs P2P differences. But our comparison wouldn’t be complete without some details. So let’s explore how these solutions work and what are their pros and cons.

What Is a Double VPN and How Does It Work?

A double VPN connection is when a device connects to a VPN server that then connects to a second VPN server. This is often called multi-hop.

It creates an additional layer of encryption and anonymity. This is because all internet traffic is transmitted through two VPN servers before reaching its destination.

The main benefit of using a double VPN is increased security and privacy. Routing your traffic through two servers makes it much more difficult for anyone to intercept your data.

However, it is important to note that a double VPN may slow down your internet speed, as the data travels through two servers. That makes it ill-suited for gaming or streaming.

VPN providers often support double VPN within their apps.

What Is P2P and How Does It Work?

Many VPN providers support P2P (peer-to-peer) connections. I.e., you can connect to a P2P network securely after first connecting to the VPN or even a double VPN. Some also offer optimized servers specifically for P2P traffic.

This hides your IP from other peers and snoopers and can prevent your ISP from banning or throttling filesharing activities.

But what exactly is P2P?

A P2P connection is when two or more devices communicate directly with each other rather than through a central server. I.e., user-to-user, not user-to-website.

In a P2P network, each device acts as both a client and a server. This allows them to share resources and information without a central authority.

You can use P2P for communication and collaboration. These networks are also often used for file sharing. They allow users to download and upload files directly from other devices rather than going through a central server. BitTorrent is a common P2P protocol.

P2P can be more efficient and faster than traditional client-server networks. It allows users to download and upload directly from other devices rather than going through a central server.

Such connections can also be more resilient, as they continue to function even if one or more devices go offline. But there is no inherent security or privacy benefit to a P2P connection. It depends on the underlying software and function.

For example, a P2P messaging app might be more secure than a centralized app because no data is stored on a corporation’s servers.

However, in the context of a mass P2P file-sharing platform, all users can typically view each other’s IP addresses. Also, your ISP can recognize your P2P traffic.

What is Onion Over VPN and How Does It Work?

The Tor network is a network of decentralized servers that provides anonymity and privacy to Internet users. It routes the traffic through multiple nodes before reaching its final destination. This is called Onion routing.

Onion over VPN is the process of connecting to a VPN server first and then connecting to the Tor network via that server. This combines both methods of security.

In this case, even if the Tor user is identified, the encrypted VPN connection still protects them.

Because the ‘onion’ has multiple layers for data to travel through and is operated by volunteers, speed is significantly impacted. Therefore, it’s only recommended for those that need the highest level of anonymity.

Double VPN vs Onion over VPN vs P2P – Which One Is Better?

In conclusion, a double VPN is one step up from a standard VPN. It gives the user two layers of security with a modest speed impact. Use it if you want to prioritize privacy while performing regular tasks.

Onion over VPN takes this concept and multiplies it by the many nodes of the Tor network. This is the highest level of anonymity but with a considerable performance hit. Use this for absolute privacy or to get around the toughest restrictions.

Lastly, look for P2P servers or VPNs that offer a P2P feature if you are torrenting or using other file-sharing platforms or apps.

Hopefully, this Double VPN vs Onion over VPN vs P2P comparison has helped you understand the differences between them. Consider your needs and explore your service provider options before making a decision.

P2P vs Double VPN Servers: What’s the Difference?

P2P vs double VPN

If you’re familiar with VPNs, you’ve probably noticed the server labels “P2P” and “double VPN”. Typically, these designations aren’t available in all server locations.

So, what exactly are they? How do they differ from regular VPN hardware, and what are their use cases?

P2P and double VPN – what’s the difference?

The difference between P2P and double VPN servers is that the former specialize in managing P2P connections, whereas the latter are designed to cloak your IP address and encrypt your traffic twice.

Have a look at how your internet traffic would flow through a P2P VPN server.

P2P VPN server traffic flow

And check out how your data would travel when you connect to a double VPN server.

Double VPN server traffic flow

As you can see, your traffic is rerouted in a completely different manner within both systems. Now, let’s dive deeper into each one to get a better understanding of how they work.


To understand what P2P VPN servers are for, it’s important to wrap your head around how peer-to-peer (P2P) networks work.

Here’s a brief explainer:

A P2P network is decentralized. This means it allows multiple devices to send and receive data from one another without relying on a central server. It’s the opposite of the traditional centralized client-server network where end-user devices (clients) can only request and obtain data from the server.

If you join a P2P network, you’ll essentially be sharing your device’s resources with other participants (peers) for the benefit of the whole network. To hide your IP and encrypt your traffic for cybersecurity reasons, you can connect to a VPN first.

Constantly exchanging information with countless other devices over the internet can be bandwidth-intensive. And regular VPN servers often struggle to handle such an activity. That’s why your VPN vendor might deliberately reduce the amount of bandwidth you can use or disconnect you from its network outright.

This is where P2P VPN servers come in. They’re optimized for P2P networking tasks such as file sharing and gaming, usually coming with no bandwidth restrictions.

Since P2P VPN service providers label them as such, only P2P users generally connect to them. So those who want to browse the Web, stream, or play games likely choose other pieces of VPN hardware to reroute their internet connections.

The combination of these factors helps P2P VPN servers deliver high-level performance. They can provide faster download speeds since they’re optimized to manage resource-heavy P2P connections.

Double VPN

Double VPN is an advanced feature that routes your traffic to multiple VPN servers before sending it to its final destination. Also known as multihop or double hop, it buries your data under at least two levels of IP cloaking and encryption.

The goal of double VPN functionality is to increase your level of privacy and security further. Ordinary VPN users may find it excessive or unnecessary. However, it’s incredibly useful for journalists and whistleblowers who need to hide their identity and online activity.

More often than not, double VPN servers are married to each other. You can only choose from a list of predetermined pairs of hardware physically or virtually located in different countries or territories, which may not be on the same continent.

Considering that your data will have to make two stops instead of one before reaching its intended server, you can expect considerable speed loss.

Fortunately, some VPN companies have innovated this feature.

For example, Surfshark has launched Dynamic MultiHop, which enables you to select any two server locations on its global network. With unbridled freedom of choice, you can pick the servers nearest to you and minimize latency as much as possible.

P2P vs double VPN – which one is better?

P2P VPN servers are the better choice when you intend to run P2P apps while double VPN ones are more suitable when you want more privacy and security online.

Either of the two specialized VPN hardware types can outperform regular VPN servers in certain areas, but not without compromises.

Nevertheless, it’s good to have them at your disposal should you need more capabilities from your VPN.

Romj is a veteran copywriter who used to be a Jack of all trades. Now, he’s trying to be a master of one: technology. He jumps down the rabbit hole to size the latest innovations up. As a contributor for VPNCentral, he hopes to help you keep up in our fast-paced world with his discoveries.