The world deserves a better Internet, so Orchid decided to do something about it by creating the world’s first decentralized, crypto-powered VPN…
As people around the world migrate towards VPNs to protect their data from corporate and government surveillance, the need for a truly decentralized system with the capacity to provide everyone on Earth access to news, entertainment, and communication is increasingly evident.
What is Orchid VPN?
Orchid has created a unique, decentralized VPN service dedicated to providing secure, unrestricted access to information and connectivity to everyone, regardless of geographic location or political reality.
This is the Internet as it was originally envisioned: safe and free of monitoring or data harvesting.
While there have been genuine attempts to create a better Internet via the use of decentralized VPNs, attempts thus far have fallen short.
VPNs featuring the use of decentralized servers have relied on a system of volunteers to act as nodes to power the system.
While these services have gained some traction, the lack of volunteers has led to systems that lack the bandwidth, computational capacity, and servers to create a truly secure, private online experience.
Meet OXT, Orchid’s New Crypto…
To solve for these issues, Orchid launched the first incentivised, peer-to-peer privacy network.
The network features components designed to work together: the Orchid app (for download on Android, iOS, and macOS), the Orchid VPN client that runs in the app, and the Orchid digital currency, OXT (available on Coinbase and many other exchanges) that powers the network, connecting buyers and sellers of bandwidth in an open marketplace.
Orchid works on a pay-as-you-go model, and users can get started for just $1 in exchange for about 16GB worth of private browsing.
Bandwidth providers are incentivized with OXT, which is distributed to them based on how much bandwidth they provide according to our system of probabilistic nanopayments.
In order to advertise bandwidth on the network, providers must stake OXT.
Adding An Additional “Hop” To Your VPN
This network of bandwidth providers allows Orchid users to “hop” between IP addresses.
Web traffic is encrypted by the VPN provider and sent first to its server, which then routes it to the destination site.
This impedes the ability of both your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the destination website to gain full information about your browsing activity.
Since the traffic is encrypted by the VPN, your ISP cannot see where the traffic is going – all it sees is a connection to the VPN server.
This encryption and masking of web traffic by a VPN is what we call a “hop.”
On the other end of the journey, traffic “exits” the VPN server onto the destination website.
This site recognizes that someone is visiting, but since it comes from a VPN rather than from your specific Internet Protocol (IP) address, it doesn’t know it’s you.
A website sees your location as that of the VPN server, instead of where your computer actually is.
How Orchid VPN Protects Your Web Browsing
Orchid makes the data trail much harder to piece together. Routing traffic from a VPN server first to another VPN server, and then to the destination website, should make unraveling the entire route more difficult.
By directing activity through two or more servers, the user can – in theory – prevent any one of them from having the full picture of the user’s actions.
The first server will be able to see the origin’s IP address, and the last, only the destination website.
Neither alone has enough information to decode the whole journey.
A few Internet privacy tools have adopted this approach by aggregating multiple service providers.
For example, Tor – which is not a VPN but a hardened browser – creates a circuit for users with traffic hopping through three nodes before exiting.
This is an instance of true multi-hop capability, since the providers that operate on Tor do not come from any single service provider (although collusion between providers is technically possible).
Aggregated VPN For The Win
Orchid, which aggregates VPN services, offers another multi-hop solution.
Whereas Tor lacks an incentive structure to reward nodes, relying on bandwidth that is effectively “donated,” Orchid has developed blockchain-based architecture designed to provide adequate rewards for VPN providers to offer their services.
This has resulted in partnerships with some of the leading VPNs, including LiquidVPN, PIA, and VPNSecure, which should mean faster browsing speeds and fewer bottlenecks for users.
Orchid users can customize the service to route traffic through as many IP addresses as they want – kind of like CloudFlare’s 220.127.116.11 app on steroids.
While that does not fully anonymize web browsing, it makes it much more difficult for anyone party to track a user’s web traffic.
Configured this way, only the first node and the last node operators can see any meaningful information: the source and destination of web traffic, respectively.
Any other VPN nodes simply see encrypted traffic.
It’s Like A Shredder For Your Web Browsing History
While this doesn’t stop service providers from logging if they choose to, it can render the data they collect effectively meaningless.
Like sensitive mail, this data has effectively been put through a “shredder,” making it much harder for someone to dig it out of the trash and glean sensitive information.
So, by using Orchid, people can add an additional layers of protection relative to any other VPN since their traffic is “shredded” and their payment to bandwidth providers is made with crypto.
The Internet is the most powerful tool for gathering information and collaborating that’s ever existed.
At Orchid Labs, we believe in order for its fullest potential to be reached, this tool needs to be available for everyone, free of censorship and surveillance, and it needs to protect each user’s personal data.
Because of the passion and expertise of our team, and investors who believe in this mission and our ability to actuate it, we have the technology, drive, and resources to make this dream a reality.ORCHID
And be sure to check Why Is My Internet So Slow? Here Are 5 Ways To Fix It!
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.