A 101 on Decentralized Private Network (DPN)
Users who have purchased a Deeper Connect with a DPN function may have the following questions when using it.
1. Why does my IP address still appear as my original IP address when I go to an IP testing site such as whatismyipaddress.com?
2. Why does some performance testing software report show that my Bandwidth speed has dropped significantly?
Given the fact that DPN and VPN technologies are very different, many users still try to understand our device functionality in terms of their VPN thinking, this leads to many misconceptions about the performance of a DPN.
Before explaining how a DPN works, it would be good to clarify the following statement: A DPN can perform better than a VPN in most scenarios, but the opposite is not necessarily true, as many of the DPN functions are not achievable by a VPN. Yet in some special application scenarios, a VPN could be a better choice.
Therefore, we highly encourage every user interested in buying our DPN products to carefully read the following instructions to have an informed opinion and decide accordingly about whether or not to purchase a DPN device. In the following article, we will first introduce the working principle of both VPN and DPN in order to compare their advantages and disadvantages, and show you the reasonable way to use our DPN.
How does a VPN work?
As shown in Figure 1, a VPN connects your device (also known as the client) with a remote VPN server. This connection is often called a tunnel. All traffic on the device passes through this tunnel to the VPN server, then uses the server’s IP to access the Internet. In this brief description, we have already introduced three terms: client, server, and tunnel.
In the world of VPN, it is possible to summarize the attributes of these three terms to understand how a VPN actually works:
- The client and the server are independent.
The client is owned by the user and the server is owned by the service provider.
2. The server has a completely centralized deployment.
Any VPN service provider usually has dozens or hundreds of servers, but the access to these servers is firmly controlled by the vendor. VPN service providers can easily collect and sell users’ data. (“No recording of user logs” is the most persuasive marketing claim of many VPN providers, but for most VPN services there is a huge gap between what they claim and what they really offer. Recently, the cybersecurity firm Comparitech reported that the user information database of UFO VPN, which used to boast about its no user log data recording policy, was actually recording, and leaking user data, including sensitive information such as usernames and passwords, on a daily basis)
3. Each client will use only one tunnel to connect to the server.
Each client can only establish one tunnel with one server, and all traffic will go through this tunnel. If you have an application, let's call it App A, that requires to be connected to Country A’s VPN server to work properly, and, at the same time, you have another App B that requires connection to Country B’s server in order to function properly, then these two apps will not work simultaneously, and you will have to give up using App B while using App A. Also, the use of App A will restrict the traffic of App C, D, E, etc., to pass through Country A in order to access the Internet, which as a consequence will impact the QoS (bandwidth, delay) of App C, D, E, etc.
How does DPN work?
Perhaps some people still remember what the Internet was like more than 20 years ago. Before 2001, due to the extremely poor network infrastructure, Internet downloading was usually very slow. HTTP/FTP-based downloading mode was limited by server bandwidth and could not meet the demand of many users downloading at the same time, people often had to wait for hours or even days to get the files they needed to download.
However, in 2001, Bram Cohen introduced BitTorrent, which redefined the downloading process. In the decentralized BitTorrent, each download node is both a client and a server, and the speed of downloading is increased hundreds of times by exchanging downloaded file fragments among users, which greatly reduces the pressure on resource publishers.
As we mentioned in the previous section “How does a VPN Work”, all servers of a VPN are centrally deployed and centrally managed, which is similar to centralized downloading and as a consequence suffers from peak traffic overload. At the same time, VPN technology also suffers from user data leakage, poor flexibility, and other defects. Is in response to these problems that we created and implemented our DPN technology. The three letters of DPN are both the abbreviation of Deeper Network and Decentralized Privacy Network, which makes full use of the idle bandwidth resources of Internet users around the world to create a decentralized private and protected network. Each node is both a client and a server, and all the user’s data is transmitted with p2p encryption.
In this decentralized network, there are enough nodes to provide DPN services so that each node can establish tunnel links with multiple nodes at the same time, and select a tunnel for Internet access based on domain name or IP address. In the example in Figure 2, a node establishes a tunnel connection with nodes located in China, Germany, Singapore, and other countries. while retaining local access capability. Please note that preserving local access is also necessary for a DPN to greatly improve the user experience. For example, a US user accessing YouTube’s 4K streaming service will often have much better results with direct access than with transit through Singapore or Germany.
In the world of DPN, the relations among the client, the server and the tunnel are as follows:
1. Each node is both a client and a server.
2. Nodes are fully decentralized, deployed and owned by the user.
3. Each node can establish multiple tunnels with multiple nodes in different regions.
Different APPs can use different tunnels to work simultaneously without conflicting with each other. At the same time, local direct access capability is retained to improve user experience.
VPN vs DPN
With the above description of the technology, let’s compare the advantages and disadvantages of these two technologies.
The advantages of VPN
Professional VPN service providers often rent expensive data centres or cloud servers to provide high-speed access, with access speeds reaching several hundred mbps during off-peak hours.
The disadvantages of VPN
1. Access speed can be severely degraded during peak hours, and the service may be even unavailable.
2. VPN service providers have full access to user data and are not regulated. In this case, the safety of the user’s data depends on the ethical level of the VPN service provider. However, even big Internet companies like Facebook collect, analyze, and sell user data at will. Many low-cost or even free VPN service providers themselves are profitable by data trafficking and phishing.
3. VPN servers are deployed centrally, mostly in a few major cities in a few countries around the world. This implies that they provide users with an extremely limited choice of geographic locations.
4. VPN server IP addresses are usually in the order of a few hundred or a few thousand, which makes them easy to be identified and restricted by various websites.
5. VPN services offer only one tunnel for users to choose, this means that users need to manually switch tunnels to use applications that require a different geographical location.
6. Because VPN service providers need to rent expensive data centres or cloud servers to provide services, this significantly increases the monthly payment making VPN services relatively expensive for users.
The advantages of DPN
1. The more users there are, the more idle bandwidth resources available which means no performance degradation during peak hours.
2. DPN is a completely decentralized network, so there is no way for user data to be collected, analyzed, and sold.
3. DPN nodes are located all over the world, and as the number of users gradually increases, new nodes may appear in every corner of the world to provide DPN services.
4. DPN has billions of potentially available IP addresses, and most of them are the IPs of individual users, which cannot be identified and restricted by various websites.
5. DPN can establish dozens of tunnels at the same time and can choose suitable tunnels according to different domain names as well as IP addresses.
6. Users will earn DPR tokens when they contribute their own bandwidth, and spend DPR tokens when they use other users’ bandwidth, generally users do not need to pay for DPN service.
The disadvantages of DPN
The maximum downstream bandwidth of a DPN tunnel is limited by the upstream bandwidth of the shared node. We know that the upstream and downstream bandwidth of the average home user’s broadband are asymmetrical, with the average user’s home upstream bandwidth ranging from 10mbps to 40mbps, and only a few fiber users (such as AT&T and Google Fiber users) can have 1gbps of upstream bandwidth. DPN is not an ideal choice for users with extremely high bandwidth requirements for a single tunnel.
For this problem, DPN currently has several potential solutions.
1. Deploy a part of high-speed cloud nodes to provide the same high-speed connection as a VPN does.
2. For downloading applications, multiple tunnels can be used to download at the same time, for example, 50 tunnels of 10mbps can simultaneously download to reach a speed of 500mbps.
In addition, fiber solutions are becoming more and more popular in home broadband. It is estimated that within the next three years 1 billion users in the US, China, and Europe will have access to 1gbps fiber networks. By that time, even the speed of a single DPN tunnel will be comparable to that of a VPN.
To answer the initial questions
1. Why is it that when I go to IP-searching websites to check my IP address, the site is still showing my original IP address?
Because Deeper Connect uses smart routing by default and only necessary or user-specified sites are accessed through a tunnel, Deeper Connect maintains a smart routing database internally and also allows users to add new routing options by themselves.
We are now located in San Jose, California, and have direct access to https://whatismyipaddress.com/. We can still see our IP address.
If you want to see the effect of DPN through IP changes, you can manually specify whatismyipaddress.com to be accessed through Canada’s tunnel:
Or use the full routing mode, which assigns all Internet access through a tunnel in Canada.
Then we close the browser (in order to clear the browser’s DNS cache) and after reopening it and accessing whatismyipaddress.com again, we can see that the IP address has changed.
2. Why does the network testing software show a big drop in the speed of my Internet connection?
When the speed testing software does the performance test, it may be that all the traffic goes through a certain tunnel, so only the performance of a specific tunnel is measured. This performance does not represent the overall performance of Deeper Connect. If you really want to test the overall forwarding performance of Deeper Connect, you need to use the DPN disable mode in order to have an accurate performance test.
The Future of DPN
DPN is more than just a better VPN, its true merit lies in connecting Internet users from all over the world to a decentralized network. Collectively, all Deeper Connect devices build a next-generation Internet infrastructure that is completely in the hands of users. Users can not only share bandwidth through the DPN network, but also store user-created text, images, audio, and video content through Deeper Connect, and distribute and share them through the DPN network. In this new DPN network, all the functions of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube can be re-implemented in a decentralized form, but unlike Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, the users of the DPN network will enjoy full sovereignty over all their data, becoming the real owners of the next generation Internet.