This security firm claims to be capable of protecting your privacy, but it isn't a VPN

This security firm claims to be capable of protecting your privacy, but it isn't a VPN ...

INVISV, a security organization, is arguing that a VPN isn''t the right approach in terms of privacy and security.

This is why it has developed its INVISV Relay (opens in a new tab) software, it claims, that it is a better approach to protecting users'' data.

What are the multiple-party relays that work in the future? Is it possible to really completely replace your virtual private network?

The problem around trust

"We''re proposing to do something similar in this space: that we must distribute our data to a certain organization (like a VPN provider) who will, according to INVISV co-founder Barath Raghavan.

According to Raghavan and his business partner Paul Schmitt, the problem lies on the software infrastructure that creates a sense of trust between users and software providers. The same concept applies to businesses that are behind the best antivirus software and secure email services, for example.

They argue that independent VPN audits - a growing process across the privacy sector - cannot fully remediate this security flaw, as these still rely on a certain degree of trust from users. Whereas, according to INVISV, it''s better to incorporate the protections directly into the software architecture.

How do MPRs work?

INVISV Relay is a user-linkable data set set for Android users, which is only available on Android devices. However, INVISV Relay is no longer the first MPR ever. Apple Private Relay is indeed a very similar tool available for iOS.

Both these apps are built on a privacy approach developed in the 1980s by US computer scientist David Chaum, known as the Decoupling Principle.

The data flow flows across two separate servers operated by two distinct organizations. Theoretically, none of the parties involved can see the whole package of information, indicating that it would not be possible to associate users'' identity with their activities.

Tor''s browser is designed on the same premise as "onion routing." However, Tor is still a free software and generally using a three-layer encryption as a standard, despite its lack of performance.

"What we have done has been constructing something that is appropriate in terms of privacy, but is very rapid," said Rahm. InvisV Relay is capable of running as quick as your usual browsing connection.

The service uses one of the finest CDN networks around, Fastly (opens in a new tab) as it implements the encryption protocol known as IETF Masque, which combines TLS-encrypted HTTPS connections with reliable and fast performance. It''s also open-source, meaning that anyone may check out the network for shortcomings.

Your data will continue to flow through a TLS-encrypted tunnel to reach the first server run by INVISV. This server will be able to see just a stream of encrypted data from your IP address to the next hop, the one that is operated by Fastly.

Fastly will decrypt your data in transit but it will be able to see this as coming from the INVISV server instead of a specific user. It will then send your information to your final destination.

Can MPRs replace VPNs?

MPRs appear to be capable of improving the secureness of your internet data without worrying about potential companies to store or leak sensitive information.

Despite the fact that there are still a wide range of applications where opting for a VPN is the best option.

First of all, both INVISV Relay and Apple Private Relay are available for mobile devices only at the moment Android and iOS, thus a VPN is still the best option to navigate the web anonymously on your laptop or PC while jouving fast connection speeds.

A key issue of any MPRs is that they aren''t intended for anyone seeking to modify their IP address. So, if you want to bypass any type of internet limitations, whether it be your school or workspace firewall or your government''s online censorship, you still need a good VPN.

One of the most popular VPN methods isn''t just to protect the environment, but also to assist with streaming. By connecting to various servers around the world, VPN users may spoof their virtual location and access streaming content that isn''t available in your own region. This is off the table.

"What we''re really trying to point out is that people should be doing a different way to protect privacy," Raghavan said. "We''re looking to provide something that''s effective for the average user, which is simply improving their privacy without having to make any commitments."

An MPR is a good option for those who want to protect their browsing and to separate their identity from their browsing habits. However, if you''re looking for any of the other benefits traditionally offered by VPNs, an MPR isn''t acceptable.