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NordVPN Double VPN: what is it and why should you use it?

NordVPN logo on a blue background
(Image credit: NordVPN)

NordVPN is one of the most popular cybersecurity products on the market – no doubt you’ve seen it advertised in your favorite YouTuber’s content, sponsoring top-flight sports teams like Liverpool FC and Rangers, or perhaps even in our complete guide to the best VPN services.

However, under all that glitz and glamor, there’s a powerful bit of software with a ton of features. And, those features can sometimes be a little confusing to understand if you’re new to the world of VPNs. 

Here, we’ll explaining one of NordVPN’s most interesting features, Double VPN, running down what it is and how it works, any pros and cons to using it, and if it’s something you should consider using yourself. 

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What is NordVPN Double VPN? 

In the most general sense, a VPN sits between you and the wider web, and any and all traffic going to and from your device is encrypted and routed through a server owned by the VPN. 

NordVPN’s Double VPN feature goes one better, and routes your traffic through two servers. Both times your traffic passes through a NordVPN server it is encrypted, so when using Double VPN your activity will be encrypted twice.

In the app, all you need to do is head to Speciality Servers, and then select Double VPN. Select the route you want to take, and then connect.

Which NordVPN servers support Double VPN?

Double VPN isn’t available on every NordVPN server location. In fact, it’s only available from 8 countries:  

  • US
  • UK
  • Canada
  • The Netherlands
  • France
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan

What are the pros and cons of Double VPN?

The biggest benefit of Double VPN is the fact that your traffic is doubly encrypted. This makes the already incredibly difficult-to-crack encryption absolutely bombproof, and has the knock-on effect of making your real IP invisible to the second server, which is the one that has access to the rest of the web. 

While we consider NordVPN very secure, and it has been proved as a zero-logging VPN, the extra security Double VPN provides may put your mind at ease.

That extra encryption comes at a cost, though, namely connection speeds. Thankfully Nord’s one of the fastest VPN providers around, but when using Double VPN you may well notice some slow-down.

Graphical representation of Double VPN in action

(Image credit: NordVPN)

Who should use Double VPN?

As with any software, no special feature can or should be used all of the time – and Double VPN is no exception.

If you’re looking for absolute privacy online, then Double VPN is definitely worth using. This could include journalists or political activists in restrictive countries, those looking to evade government surveillance and censorship in countries like China or Russia, and whistleblowers and informants.

That’s quite a niche selection of people, though, and if you’re just looking to use NordVPN as a Netflix VPN or for added privacy when browsing the web, Double VPN is probably overkill. 

Do any other VPNs offer a similar feature?

Not every VPN offers something like Double VPN, but some of the top providers do. Surfshark’s MultiHop is much the same as Double VPN, and offers pre-selected combinations of two servers in different countries to route through. And, in fact, Surfshark offers a couple more possible locations than NordVPN does.

ProtonVPN’s Secure Core feature is similar, but instead of using two regular servers, it first passes your traffic through ultra-secure servers in Switzerland, Iceland, or Sweden before sending your traffic to the country of your choice. There are 63 locations available with Secure Core, but be aware that since traffic always routes through the specialized European servers, connection speeds may take more of a hit.

Is NordVPN Double VPN a deal breaker?

If you’re in one of the groups that we outlined above who should be using Double VPN, then yes, as one of the small number of providers to offer a multi-server feature, NordVPN may be the VPN for you. 

However, for the vast majority of users, Double VPN will be a nice-to-have, but by no means a deal breaker. However, NordVPN is still a very capable VPN, and should definitely be on your shortlist.

NordVPN is super secure and great value

NordVPN is super secure and great value
Ranking at number 2 in our list of the top VPNs, NordVPN is a seriously powerful bit of kit that's great for staying private online, as well as getting access to geo-blocked streaming sites. It's reasonably priced, and if you want to take it for a test drive, there's a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Mo is VPN Editor at Tom's Guide. Day-to-day he oversees VPN, privacy, and cybersecurity content, and also undertakes independent testing of VPN services to ensure his recommendations are accurate and up to date. When he's not getting stuck into the nitty-gritty settings of a VPN you've never heard of, you'll find him working on his Peugeot 205 GTi or watching Peep Show instead of finally putting up those shelves.