Can I use multiple VPNs on my devices at the same time?

Can I use multiple VPNs on my devices at the same time?

Top 3 Reasons NOT to double up on VPN Programs

by Irene Park

While a solid VPN service can ensure your connection is safe and your data is encrypted, many people wonder if having multiple VPNs on the same device is better than just running one.

Users are starting to download multiple VPN providers to the same device because they feel like it might increase their privacy and security.

Many people are under the mistaken impression that having more VPN services means more encryption. When you use two VPN services, however, you aren’t doubling up or increasing the level of encryption but rather encrypting your data twice. For instance, top-level AES encryption doesn’t change from 256-bit to 512-bit due to double VPN use. What double VPN means is that your information is simply passed through one encryption ‘tunnel’ then another.

While it may sound like it is a good idea, below are three top reasons NOT to ‘double up’ on VPNs.


frustrated woman at her slow computer

Top 3 Reasons NOT to double up on VPNs

1. Causes major slowdown

Most VPN providers are not configured to work with other VPN provider programs. Essentially, having two separate VPN providers running on the same device will cause both programs to ‘fight’ with the other to route your traffic. Either you’ll end up with a ‘routing error’ message or one provider will ultimately ‘win’ to route your traffic leaving you with one ‘tunnel’ of encryption anyways. Even if you are able to reconfigure your two VPN services to run together, the data you’re sending or receiving has to travel ‘twice’ in order to get to its destination, which means a slower connection.

2. Requires advanced technology skills

For multiple VPN programs, you will need to manually configure files for multiple VPN usage by making changes to OpenVPN configuration files. That is above the skill set level of most consumers. Unless you feel comfortable configuring files, it is best to use a trusted VPN provider that utilizes top-notch encryption, once.

Manually changing any configuration files may also violate terms of service agreements with VPN  program providers.

3. Not available by most providers

Most VPN providers do not have the functionality to support double VPN nor will they work with other VPN providers. None of these providers can stop you from downloading or installing multiple programs of the same type, but they are not likely to provide support for any issues caused by trying to double-up.  Uninstalling programs once you’re running multiple programs of the same type may also pose to be an issue as certain files may be shared between programs.  Though it may be tempting to load up on free VPN service providers, this article covers why free isn’t always better.


Tips for avoiding problems with multiple VPNs

Sometimes people come across another VPN and then download and install it to try it out, forgetting they already had one installed.  Remember, if you’re going to try another VPN, it is best practice to remove previously installed VPN software, including free trial versions.


How to check if you already downloaded another VPN app + How to delete an app from your device

How to delete an app on a Mac

Please note there are some apps you can’t delete and may need to use an “uninstall” program that may have come with your software.  You may want to first refer to the application in question’s website and search “how to uninstall”.

  • Go to your search icon (magnifying glass) in the upper right-hand corner of your screen and either
    • Search for Applications and click it
      • You’ll be presented with an “applications” folder.
      • Click it open and scroll through the list to double-check that you may not have already downloaded another VPN program
      • Drag the program into the trash (or right-click and click “Move to Trash”)


    • Alt method: Click the Launchpad icon in the dock of your screen.  It looks like this: launchpad icon
      • On the next screen, you should see icons for all your apps.  Click and hold an icon until you see an “x” appear in the upper left-hand corner of the app icon.
      • Click the “x” to delete the app


How to delete an app on an iPhone or iPad

  • For your iPhone, if you have the latest iOS software (iOS 14 or later), scroll to your App Library
    • Go to your home screen, then swipe left past all your Home Screen pages to get to App Library.
    • Browse through your apps. If you downloaded another VPN piece of software, it will probably be in your “Utilities” folder
    • Click and hold app icon
    • Click Remove App row


How to delete an app on Windows

Please note there are some apps you can’t delete and may need to use an “uninstall” program that may have come with your software.  You may want to first refer to the application in question’s website and search “how to uninstall”.

Windows 11

    • Click Start
    • In the start menu, in the top-right corner, click the All apps button.
    • Right-click the app and click uninstall

Windows 10

    • Click Start
    • Click Apps
    • Click Apps & features in the left navigation of window
    • Find the program you want to uninstall and click it.
    • Click uninstall.

Windows 8

    • Click the Windows or Start key
    • Scroll through the list of applications.
    • Right-click the app icon you want to uninstall and click Uninstall
    • The Programs and Features window will open up.
    • Click Uninstall/Change and follow the prompts to remove the program

Windows 7

    • Click Start
    • Click Control Panel
    • Click Programs > Programs and Features
    • Identify the program  you want to remove and click Uninstall
    • Click Uninstall/Change and follow the prompts to remove the program


How to delete an app on Android

  • Click Android settings (looks like a gear icon)
  • Locate the Apps or Apps and Notifications row and click it. (on a Samsung, click Applications)
  • Depending on the model you will either see a list of apps installed, or will need to click another link to display all apps.


What are the best VPN providers?

If you’re curious about exploring VPN service providers, check out our Best VPNs article.  One of our top picks is ExpressVPN because it has a strong set of qualities that mitigate the privacy and security issues that come with browsing online. Not only will ExpressVPN not log your IP address, but it will not store browsing history, metadata, traffic destination, or DNS queries. If hiding your IP address and browsing more privately & securely is a priority for you, then ExpressVPN might be a great investment for you.

Have you tried doubling up your VPN on a single device? Has it caused more problems for you? Tell us in the comments below.

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to receive my latest Tech news, security alerts, tips and deals newsletter. (We won't spam or share your email with anyone else.)

By signing up, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Tips to avoid our newsletters going to your junk folder