How fast is BelNet ?

Slow internet makes us go crazy. Nobody wants to buffer audios and videos all day long. Well, for one, it is not the 90s or the 2000s anymore and two, there are much better and reliable broadband networks now than before. But, is this the case with P2P VPNs and onion routers too? How fast are the networks that anonymize your internet traffic? 

Most people would agree of having a subpar experience of using onion routers based VPNs. That’s because these VPNs use archaic routing protocols and depend on an unreliable network of nodes, which makes them slow on an architectural level. 

Before we delve into onion routers and how we make them faster, you might be interested in learning more about them

 

Why are onion routers slow?

Onion routers are slow. Period. They trade off speed and scalability for privacy. On a regular connection, you go from point A to point B without making any stops along the way. But with onion routers, you make stops at certain points that are bound to take longer than usual to get to your destination. 

For example, on the Tor network, your connection makes stops at at least 3 relay nodes before it is routed to an exit node and reaches the clearnet. 

To put it in perspective, when you’re accessing amazon.com from your web browser, normally you’d be sending a connection request to a server that hosts amazon.com’s web content. The server then returns your request by displaying amazon.com’s web page on your browser. 

While using an onion router based VPN, your device (the client) doesn’t directly make this request to amazon.com but instead sends it to a node on the respective network. This is the entry node and the entry point for your connection. The request is then routed to three different relay nodes where it is encrypted. The relays know where to send the request but not where it came from, making it difficult to trace back the connection. Finally, the request is sent to the exit node which queries the destination on behalf of the client. Thus, the destination amazon.com only sees the request originating from the exit node while information about the client is completely masked. 

The relays are chosen at random from the network nodes so as to prevent the prediction or interception of a connection. On the Beldex network, through which connections over BelNet are routed, there are 1086 masternodes that act as relays (at the time of writing). BelNet also uses an onion routing protocol but it is much quicker and easier to connect to your destination using BelNet. Let’s see why. 

 

How is BelNet faster than other onion routers? 

BelNet uses the Beldex network to enable the working of an onion routing protocol with a very low latency in its connection. 

BelNet is faster because of the unique protocol that it uses. Unlike other onion routing protocols, BelNet doesn’t use a centralized architecture like Directory Authorities (in case of Tor) or a Distributed Hash Table (in case of I2P) to store relay node information. Instead, BelNet uses the network nodes from Beldex to relay your traffic. Beldex nodes work based on swarms and swarm IDs, which makes it faster and easier to establish a connection and create a path (tunnel) for routing the connection.

Since Beldex masternodes are economically incentivized to act in the best interest of the network, they can be relied upon to provide the required bandwidth for transporting the data. In addition to supporting TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), BelNet also supports UDP (User Datagram Protocol) & ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol). This means that BelNet also supports the relay of real-time voice and video calls. 

 

Is Sky the limit? 

We believe BelNet has the potential to grow into a global network of nodes that become the de facto anonymity layer of the internet. 

The maximum upload and download speeds of BelNet are at over 10 Mbps however these figures could change depending on the number of relays and exit nodes, their bandwidth, and the number of users who use BelNet. 

Though there are only a few thousand people using BelNet today, even at maximum capacity, BelNet would be able to support hundreds of thousands to surf anonymously on a day to day basis.  

Beldex is currently working on a reward and subscription mechanism for exit nodes that would allow exit node operators to be paid in BDX for the services that they offer. This will allow users to subscribe for faster bandwidths while remaining anonymous. 

Join our community to know more about our recent developments. 

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