This VPN promises high levels of privacy thanks to this one neat feature

iOS App
(Image credit: Orchid Labs)

Peer-to-peer bandwidth player Orchid has announced that its VPN app, which promises improved privacy, is now available.

Unlike other VPN apps where users pay a monthly subscription fee to use their services, the Orchid VPN app will allow users to buy bandwidth from trusted VPN providers on the Orchid network powered by cryptocurrency.

Orchid works by aggregating bandwidth from VPN services around the world so that users can “hop” to one or more networks in order to achieve greater privacy. Providers meanwhile are compensated with Orchid's digital currency OXT in exchange for their bandwidth.

Co-founder and CEO of Orchid, Dr. Steven Waterhouse explained that anyone can now join the company's global privacy network now that its VPN app is available on both the App Store and the Play Store.

“The App Store availability combined with the ability to make in-app purchases of credits that work with crypto networks represent the latest breakthrough developments to Orchid," he noted.

"To allow anyone to access the Internet freely and safely, we have to make privacy tools accessible and easy to use. Using Apple in-app purchases to use Orchid rather than creating an account with OXT makes it easy for anyone to join our global privacy network.”

Orchid VPN

In order to access the Orchid Network of peer-to-peer bandwidth, users will need to create an Orchid account using OXT or purchase credits that work like a gift card which can be used on Orchid. These credits are completely private and help create an additional layer of privacy to further protect users online.

Other apps that require cryptocurrency payments can often lead users to experience frustration as they involve multiple, complex steps to purchase digital currencies. To make matters worse, users frequently have to wait several minutes for their transactions to reach a sufficient number of network node confirmations before their purchase is finalized.

Orchid solves the problem of having to use multiple cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets by allow users to use its VPN app with a simple Apple in app purchase as opposed to a multi-step crypto process. To add a VPN connection from a randomly selected provider, users can go to their account on the Orchid app and select “Add Hop”. They can then select “Buy Orchid Account”, choose the dollar amount the want to spend and then confirm their purchase through Apple.

When users purchase bandwidth on the network, they are actually purchasing pre-filled accounts which are like gift cards that can only be redeemed on the Orchid Network. The company also takes steps to protect which pre-filled account is assigned to which specific user for enhanced privacy. At the same time, users can access the network by spending OXT by selecting the “Crypto Account” option.

Using a VPN provides an additional layer of privacy online and the same can be said for using cryptocurrency which is why the fact that Orchid has combined the two makes a great deal of sense.

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.