Surfshark has announced that it is adding new Nexus software, defined by network software (SDN), to its VPN product for consumers.
SDN is widespread in businesses and enterprises, where its flexibility and versatility have made it a de facto choice for network infrastructure.
In a statement to TechRadar Pro, Danatas Budvitis, CTO of Surfshark, spoke in detail about the company’s decision to develop Nexus. “Every traditional consumer VPN functions more like a list of individual virtual private servers, not a network. Knowing this, we invest our minds and resources in creating a solution that contains N (network) in a VPN. By introducing Surfshark Nexus, we can significantly improve user privacy online and revolutionize the consumer VPN industry ”.
Behind the scenes
This means that any client that connects to Surfshark services will now connect to the entire VPN provider infrastructure, rather than to a subset of servers physically disconnected from the rest of their peers. The entire set of servers becomes a virtual pool of resources defined by the software level (hence the abbreviation SDN)
The transition to this philosophy has two main benefits. First, it will improve the privacy of its users, as the user’s IP address can change and disconnections / reconnections can occur seamlessly. It is also easier to do updates and upgrades as users will no longer be disconnected.
The following is the rest of our interview with Budvitis:
1. What exactly are you announcing today? Can you explain what this is in a few sentences? Does it replace / supplement any of the technologies you offer?
Surfshark launches Surfshark Nexus-based VPN innovation based on Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technology. The solution, unique in the consumer VPN industry, connects users not only to a single server but also to an entire network of servers and then directs them to a chosen location.
Surfshark Nexus will help optimize user traffic to make it faster, more stable, more secure and more private. What’s more, connecting all of the company’s servers to a single Nexus network will allow Surfshark to deploy new features such as IP Rotator, IP Randomizer and Dynamic MultiHop.
2. What makes this technology better than what exists now?
In the case of traditional consumer VPN services, when users connect to a specific server in a server pool, they do not use a network, but create a tunnel to a single server from all of their servers. If they want to change their IP address, they need to disconnect from this server to connect to another. In the case of Nexus, users connect to the entire network of servers and can use many different servers without disconnecting from the network.
The Surfshark Nexus network solves the problems of traditional consumer VPN services. First, it improves privacy and security by constantly changing users ’IP addresses and connecting to different servers without disconnecting the user from the Surfshark VPN. Second, it facilitates network maintenance because users will no longer lose connection due to server updates. Finally, Nexus opens up opportunities to develop new features such as IP randomization, which can provide the user with multiple IP addresses for simultaneous use.
3. Will you share this technology with NordVPN and AtlasVPN?
First of all, some parts of the solution are in the process of being patented. Like all, NordVPN and AtlasVPN are free to implement the solution in their infrastructure. Patents do not prevent anyone from using the solution, but their availability gives us a legal basis to protect our intellectual property rights of our choice. It takes time to prepare your infrastructure for SDN use. For us, the development took more than a year, so it is unlikely that anyone else will soon deploy it in their networks.
4. Why do you present it to the general public? Are there any hurdles that would prevent your competitors from deploying this?
We are announcing this because it is a real innovation in a market where such things are rare. In addition, we want to make sure that our current and potential customers know that Surfshark offers a truly unique VPN service, and that we do offer a true VPN service. Some parts of the decision are in the process of obtaining legal protection.
5. Does SDN allow you to implement any new features, if so, what they might be?
Today, Surfshark Nexus comes with an IP Rotator feature that automatically changes the user’s IP exit address in the selected city every 5-10 minutes without disconnecting the user from the VPN. IP Rotator solves the privacy issues associated with the same IP address when connecting to a VPN for a long time. The feature will rotate IP addresses in a specific location, country, region or even worldwide, depending on the user’s preferences.
Then the IP Randomizer feature, which will be launched later, will allow users to use many different IP addresses at the same time when connecting to the Internet. For example, different IP addresses for different websites.
Finally, the dynamic MultiHop, which will be launched in the future, will allow users to choose their own places of entry and exit from the VPN in any way. For example, enter the Nexus network through selected location A and exit through location B.
All planned features will be phased out over 2022 and 2023.
6. Do you plan to use SDN to enter the business market at some point?
We do not currently plan to enter the B2B market and will continue to focus on building the best VPN service in the B2C space.