What is a VPN
First of all we want to remember what a VPN and what is it for. In this way we can better understand what a decentralized VPN consists of. We can say that what this type of program does is encrypt the connection. Everything we send goes through a kind of tunnel and cannot be seen by a third party.
Consider, for example, the Web browsing. When we enter a site, such as RedesZone, this data reaches the final server through the operator that we have contracted. What the VPN is going to do is redirect the traffic through a tunnel so that it reaches the end server in encrypted form.
In this way we are accessing a web page without showing the real IP address. This is also useful to be able to access services that may be geographically restricted, such as watching a series on Netflix, for example.
But of course, the VPN we are using is going to be able to record information sensitive. A clear example is the IP address we mentioned. It is true that those that are good, those that are paid and offer guarantees, promise not to store records with this data. However, we are in the hands of these programs and they really keep their word.
VPNs are also used to work remotely, since they allow a location to be virtualized. Very useful to be able to access the servers of a company, for example, as if we were really within a network.
How a decentralized VPN works
So how does a decentralized VPN work? Its main mission is to avoid the last thing we mentioned, since it does not connect us to a proprietary server. We are not using a VPN like ExpressVPN or NordVPN, with their own servers. What we do is connect through a node.
A node is basically a server, although any other device can act as such, such as a computer or mobile. Users of decentralized VPNs act as nodes. It is basically the same as P2P downloads, hence this type of service is also known as P2P VPN or dVPN.
Works through credit. This means that we will obtain credits to be able to use the connection of other users. This works in a number of ways. The most common is that we share our resources ourselves so that others can connect through them. In return we will receive those credits that will allow us to use the resources of third-party users.
There is also the option to directly pay for it. We are going to pay a fee and it will give us access to those credits to be able to use a decentralized VPN. It is the option that will allow you to use it without having to share resources. It is partly similar to traditional VPNs, for which we can also pay for the service and even some free ones can share our bandwidth with third parties in exchange for offering that service for free.
But of course, this may raise the question of the security. Does this mean that someone else is going to use our mobile or computer to connect? This is not the case, since simply what happens is that the traffic is routed through our address. It’s like using torrent applications to download programs.
Blockchain technology, key to dVPN
Keep in mind that the blockchain technology is key to decentralized VPNs being able to work. We can speak, for example, of the DPN Deeper Network project. It is based on Polkadot and enables you to create a secure, private and sharing economy global network.
There are also applications that work through the Ethereum blockchain. Services like dVPN Netrality Way use this option. Basically it acts as a database to authenticate users and provide service.
Therefore, we can say that decentralized VPNs work in a kind of barter. A user gives up part of his connection and can use another’s in return. You will always receive IP addresses that are available, of course. Some users can even simply give up the connection and be rewarded with tokens or cryptocurrencies.
A decentralized VPN offers more privacy compared to a traditional one
So is it better to use a Decentralized VPN? It must be borne in mind that it is something that, although it has come a long way in recent times, is under development and still has a long way to go. It can be an interesting option if we want maximum privacy and avoid that a traditional VPN can record some type of data.
However, we can already use some such as Red mysterium, which has hundreds of nodes in dozens of countries, Sentinel Network or Hopr. All of them are decentralized VPNs that we can try as an alternative to the traditional ones and thus improve privacy.
Therefore, basically the advantage of a decentralized VPN over a traditional one is that does not depend on a central point. It does not depend on a centralized authority to manage our connections. Everything is going to be decentralized and it will work through nodes.
Ultimately, a decentralized VPN does not depend on a specific company. What we do is share our connection or connect to other nodes, which are basically other users who use the same system. It is a type of service that for the future can be very interesting, but for the moment it is in an initial stage.