Privacy, censorship and security have become some of the most widespread concerns when discussing the internet, with more users becoming increasingly aware of who can see their data. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) can help make the internet more private and anonymous, and ensure that hackers and government organisations can’t see where you are or what you’re doing online.
VPNs were created in the 1990’s to enable online users to access any site they wanted, without being monitored. While certain parties, most notably the Communist party in China, restrict what the public see on the internet, VPNs remove this control and give users more freedom in their browsing by encrypting their data.
Since their creation, concerns have emerged surrounding the centralisation of VPNs. While most users choose to get a VPN to conceal their identity, the fact that user data is logged as it runs through the VPN tunnel defeats the object. It means administrators could potentially access this information and could give away a user’s location and identity.
For that reason, people have begun exploring the potential of blockchain and the internet. Could blockchain improve security by providing decentralised VPNs?
It has become clear that complete anonymity is only possible when users are able to control their own data. The concept of decentralisation is based around a system where no single party controls everything and, while VPNs do offer security, most are privately owned by a central entity.
What is a decentralised VPN?
A decentralised VPN is a network that secures a user’s internet connection, but is run by distributed servers. The network is operated on a peer-to-peer (P2P) system, where each PC acts as a server.
Decentralised VPNs use blockchain technology and because they don’t require a centralised authority, they cannot be accessed by hackers. This network enables each individual user (or node) to communicate, vote and make decisions.
Why decentralised VPNs offer more security
Decentralised VPNs work using blockchain, a technology recognised for its revolutionary contribution to security for a number of applications.
As a distributed public ledger, blockchain is made up of nodes that communicate using a P2P system. This P2P distribution means that, even if one of the nodes fail, the accuracy and security of any data being sent will not be affected. Any data that users share in order to use their VPN is fully encrypted.
Some features of decentralised VPNs that enhance privacy, security and anonymity include:
- Decentralised VPNs use open source software. Centralised VPNs are owned by a company, who are able to track users’ data logs and IP addresses if they wish to. Decentralised VPNs, on the other hand, use open source software. This creates transparency and means that no one central entity has access to user information.
- VPN marketplaces = no user limitations. In a P2P network infrastructure, anyone can share and sell their traffic in a marketplace setting. The platform provides a safe, transparent place for providers and customers to communicate – and there is no pre-specified pricing. The use of smart contracts and cryptocurrencies within the network hold customers accountable for their purchase, so fraud is not possible.
- Access to the benefits of regular VPNs. Like centralised VPNs, decentralised networks provide a level of anonymity that allows users to shield their IP address from the government and other organisations. The networks allow anyone to join and can accommodate thousands of servers, with advanced encryption ensuring complete security for everyone involved.
To keep your personal data secure, communicate privately and gain access to all parts of the web, a decentralised VPN may be the most suitable avenue. The magnitude of security on offer when using a decentralised VPN on the blockchain is undeniable and private communication can only really become private once the centralised server is removed.
To explore the possibilities some more, sign up for a free digital consultation with me.