BelNet: The Free & Fast dVPN

BELDEX
6 min readFeb 17, 2023

BelNet is a fast and free decentralized VPN service which leverages the Beldex decentralized network.

Internet browsing has become one of the undeniable parts of our lives. We check online for almost everything right from dineouts to searching for jobs and whatnot. We also browse online for buying food, clothing, and entertainment. Speaking of entertainment, the world now extensively relies on streaming content, playing games online, and using microblogging and video sharing social media platforms.

We do not mask anything from our browser. But you’d be surprised to know that your browser logs almost everything that you do online? Your information is not exactly safe. It may be hard to believe, but someone somewhere has access to your browsing history. And this is not limited to just your web browsers. Even the applications that you visit on a daily basis collect and store information about your device, IP, WiFi network and other usage patterns. If you aren’t aware of how your data is being collected, then it’s time that you learn about the major deterrents to online privacy and to an extent, security.

Data collected from users is the lifeblood of websites like centralized social media networks and e-commerce platforms. It helps them target their customers with the ads that are the online equivalent of hoardings and billboards. According to the European GDPR, platforms must inform users of their privacy policies and provide a cookie notice before providing them with their services. These platforms benefit greatly from the information provided by cookies on the online behaviour and their user’s usage patterns.

How do VPNs protect your data?

You are essentially your data. In today’s highly digitized world, how you protect your data determines how private and secure your lives will be.

Most people use a Virtual Private Network, also known as a VPN to secure their everyday online activities. A VPN is nothing more than a mask that hides your identity as you traverse the complex, interconnected websites on the Internet.

A VPN encrypts your connection and masks your identity by masking your IP address. The destination (the website you visit) sees a different IP address from the one that’s assigned to your device.

VPNs also hide this data from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and cellular network providers.

VPNs Are Not Black and White

To mask your identity or access an app that is otherwise unavailable in your location, you can use a virtual private network. However, not all VPNs adhere to ethical data handling and privacy protection policies.

When you use a VPN, you actually connect to a server that’s maintained by the VPN service. Sure, your IP may be changed to that of the VPN server’s IP, however, this information is available with the service provider itself. Not to mention that VPNs can track you.

Your IP -> VPN Server (IP/Identity is logged) -> VPNs IP -> Destination

More often than not, you’re also required to register or login and purchase the VPN before you can use them. So you share your email address, and any other personal information such as your credit card / debit card or bank account details to complete the purchase. (Your data is once again logged/saved).

On the other hand, certain regulators and jurisdictions require VPN providers to share information on-demand. In such cases, VPN providers have a conflict of interest between protecting their user’s privacy and complying to the laws of the state they operate in.

Free VPNs are no better when it comes to data protection. Every product needs a sustainable revenue model to survive. Free VPNs earn by sharing the aggregate data that they collect from their users. They’re also not the great option for streaming content or playing games since they’re slow.

What is BelNet?

BelNet allows you to browse the internet without being tracked. It is a dVPN service that lets you surf anonymously.

Everyone knows that VPNs are a safe way to browse without being tracked or monitored. But since the centralized VPNs store information about the source and the IP address, you’ve got to “trust them” to keep your information safe.

So, once again, we fall under the same tree. We are just handing over the power of control from ISPs and Cellular Providers over to the VPN service. Though it may or may not be actively monitored, all your information is still stored and may be used ‘as and when required.’

Beldex had devised a wiser solution to avoid all of these situations: you can mask your true identity this time. This is possible with BelNet, a dVPN which does not log or store any information about your public identity or IP address. The BelNet dVPN is supported by a decentralized network of relay (router) nodes and exit nodes. Your data is encrypted in transit and routed through these nodes using a unique onion routing protocol.

There is no monopoly here. No one person can access or control the information that is being passed through BelNet. Though interception may not be possible, any attempt at interception can only result in gibberish being discovered while the actual data is preserved.

How does BelNet work?

By acting as an overlay network and rerouting your traffic, a VPN hides your IP address. By using a permanent IP address and sending your device’s internet connection through your selected VPN’s private server instead of your internet service provider (ISP), traditional VPN technology is typically used to set up fixed bridge connections, so that the VPN, rather than your computer, sends your information to the internet.

BelNet DVPN, an improved and decentralized VPN network, addresses the restrictions in traditional VPN. It is a peer-to-peer (P2P) service that disperses web traffic across decentralized encrypted tunnels. Users have total access to their data and personal information on BelNet’s decentralised server networks.

Where can you download the BelNet dVPN?

BelNet is basically a dVPN that works using the onion routing protocol. It does not store any of your personal information, such as name, address, IP address, email address, or phone number. You can also use the network without providing any personal information.

BelNet provides you global access and you can access every website without any restrictions. BelNet is cross platform and it is available for Android and desktop devices like Windows and Linux.

Download BelNet for Android

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.beldex.belnet

Download BelNet for Windows

https://deb.beldex.io/Beldex-projects/belnet-gui/belnet-gui-1.0.0-win64.exe

Guide to Download BelNet for Linux

https://belnet.beldex.io/belnet_linux_installation

BelNet Exit Nodes

BelNet exit nodes help users connect to the internet anonymously. The website you’re trying to connect to will only see the IP address of the exit node. Thus, exit nodes play an important role in helping BelNet users protect their privacy.

There are almost 20 BelNet exit nodes, in various locations such as

  • Australia 🇦🇺
  • France 🇫🇷
  • Germany 🇩🇪
  • Japan 🇯🇵
  • Lithuania 🇱🇹
  • Netherlands 🇳🇱
  • Singapore 🇸🇬
  • The United States 🇺🇸

You can find the full list of countries contributor exit nodes here:

https://belnet.beldex.io/belnet-exit-node-list

Exit nodes on BelNet have fast connections that help you stream, play games, and have a seamless browsing experience. However, keep in mind that the connection speed also depends on a number of other factors such as the proximity of your exit node to your location and the speed of your internet connection, etc.

If you want to set up an exit node in your locality, write to us at the following email address:

outreach@beldex.io

Closing Thoughts

All your data is protected on the Belnet network. BelNet doesn’t collect or store your information. Your identity stays completely anonymous.

However, that doesn’t mean you can visit websites that are potentially malicious. Though BelNet assures you of privacy and security, it is also up to you to practise safe browsing to prevent your personal identity from being exposed. For example, if you download malicious software onto your device, there’s a higher chance of your identity being compromised.

Online browsing comes with its set of do’s and don’ts. And tools like BelNet help you remain anonymous as long as you follow safe online practices.

BelNet is open source and is supported by the Beldex Foundation and the Beldex community contributors. Like other dApps from Beldex, BelNet will utilize BDX as a utility. It does not have a utility for BDX yet, however, in-app utilities such as peer to peer subscriptions and on-chain rewards are being conceptualized by the team and community.

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BELDEX

Bulding privacy-enhanced decentralized applications with BChat, BelNet, Beldex Browser & the Beldex Privacy Protocol