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How to use two VPNs on one device

Installing your first VPN gets you all kinds of benefits. You’re more protected when you access public Wi-Fi, you can unblock Netflix and hundreds of other sites, and go torrenting in safety.

But what if that VPN doesn’t quite do everything you need – maybe there’s? Or it’s a free VPN, and you always run out of data before the end of the month? You might want to install a second VPN to do whatever the first service can’t, or just as a general backup.

You’ve probably read that this is a networking disaster area, that you should never install two VPNs on the same device, and if you do then [insert terrible outcome here].

There’s a little truth in this. Doubling-up on VPNs can cause you real problems in some situations. But often it’ll work just fine, and in this article we’ll explain when and where a backup VPN can be useful. Plus, we have some tips to keep your setup running smoothly.

Having two VPN apps available is convenient, but some people have bigger ambitions: they’d like to connect to both VPNs at the same time.

Why? This has some privacy advantages. Your data gets encrypted twice, for instance. And if your traffic is routed through one service, then another, that means websites only see the IP address of the second VPN: your real IP address gets an extra layer of protection.

Unfortunately, there’s also a big problem, at least when using two apps on the same device: it almost certainly won’t work.

Here’s the problem. Connect using app #1 and it reconfigures your device to send all your traffic through that provider’s network adapter. Connect using app #2 and it’ll try to replace those rules with its own, re-routing traffic through its own adapter. Instead of working together, the apps will fight over your traffic and settings. 

The most likely outcome is the second VPN won’t connect, and you’ll only be able to use the first. But it’s also possible that one or both apps will crash, or your internet connection will fail until you close them down.

Installing multiple VPNs


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