Orchid VPN alternative

Keeping yourself secure on the internet is an uphill task, thanks to data-hungry companies and ill-intentioned hackers who want to grab hold of user data by hook or crook. To keep themselves secure, users have the option of using a virtual private network or VPN to hide their digital footprints.

However, lately, we’ve seen that even VPNs aren’t safe as VPN providers could snoop on your data. This is because they own the decryption key of the anonymous server located in another part of the world through which your data is funneled. This is where you need a blockchain-based VPN like Orchid to maintain total privacy.

Orchid: An Ethereum Based VPN

Orchid offers a decentralized virtual private network by selling proxy bandwidth from a menagerie of global service providers. Users can purchase the required bandwidth using OXT, an Ethereum based cryptocurrency.

You can consider Orchid as an amalgamation of VPN providers all over the world. The idea is to create an uncensorable and anonymous network with the help of different VPN providers without placing your trust in a single provider.

One of the major benefits of Orchid is that it doesn’t operate on the subscription model. It works on the pay-as-you-go model as you can buy bandwidth as per your usage.

Simply put, Orchid allows you to purchase bandwidth from a pool of VPN providers so as to ensure that a single entity isn’t aware of the network stream you’re using as only a part of the stream is flowing through their servers.

You might say that the core functionality of Orchid resembles The Onion Router or TOR project and you’re not wrong. However, Orchid has tried to overcome all the bottlenecks faced by the TOR network.

Overcoming limitations of TOR

One of the painstaking limitations of TOR is the loss of speed as traffic hops through several servers which ultimately reduces the speed. Orchid, on the other hand, delivers a VPN network where data transfer speed is not affected.

Speaking to CNET, Orchid co-founder Steven Waterhouse said: “Currently, with the results we’re getting, we’re able to do things like WhatsApp video streaming, even over two hops.”

Another limitation of TOR is that it’s primarily designed for secure browsing. You cannot put a video call or your gaming traffic through the safe network because TOR is intended to be used only in a browser.

Advantages of Orchid over VPNs

Orchid works as a VPN, but, at the same time overcomes the disadvantages of it.

  • It offers a more secure channel as traffic hops through different providers and no single VPN entity is aware of the bigger picture of network flow.
  • Orchid promises an unlagged network stream which is one of the biggest downsides of using a VPN.

Is Orchid a promising privacy alternative?

It sure does seem like a privacy-focused alternative to other VPNs that could bring about a paradigm shift in the way internet works today. Owning secured, uncensored bandwidth from VPNs sounds like a masterstroke. However, there is no rose without a thorn. Orchid has its own set of issues that makes it not-so-perfect. The company has disclosed all the issues in a white paper.

You can head over to Orchid’s website to get more information about how it works and for downloading the app.

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Anmol is a tech journalist who handles reportage of cybersecurity and Apple and OnePlus devices at Fossbytes. He's an ambivert who is striving hard to appease existential crisis by eating, writing, and scrolling through memes.