In light of the recent revelations about governmental surveillances, data retention, and cyber attacks, a VPN defends your identity and data using encryption.
Data encryption has been used throughout centuries to send coded message safely across enemy lines. Used since the time of Julius Caesar, the art of cryptography has further developed by the Germans in the form of ‘Enigma machine’ and used during the World Wars.
Using the same concepts of cryptography and adopting it in digital state, we see many VPN services providing the different levels of encryption for protecting your data over the internet. However, not every VPN services offer high levels of encryptions that are necessary to keep cyber criminals at bay.
Top 5 Encrypted VPN Providers
To help you select an encrypted VPN services, we have complied some the best VPN providers below. Each of these VPN services provide top notch encryption (up to 256 bit AES encryption) that is sure to keep your internet traffic safe from being hacked, monitored or stored.
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How Does a VPN Encrypt your Data?
Now that you know some of the best encrypted VPN services, here is how a VPN encrypts all your internet traffic. Depending on the flow of your internet traffic, the data packets are encrypted and decrypted at your computer or at VPN server.
For instance, if you access Facebook from your computer, the data packets are encrypted by the VPN on your computer and sent to the VPN server. These encrypted data packets are then forwarded to a network of servers, finally arriving at the gateway server. This is where the data packets are decrypted and sent to Facebook.
If you were to play a video on Facebook, this process would be repeated in reverse. The data packets would have been encrypted at Facebook gateway server and decrypted at your computer. During this entire process, you adopt the IP address of the VPN server, masking your true IP address and hiding all your internet activities.
Different Kinds of VPN Encryption
Since data encryption is a two way process (encryption & decryption), you should know that there are different types of encryption levels, each providing different levels of security. Among the numerous types of encryptions available, the following are popularly offered by VPN services:
- Blowfish 128 Bit Encryption: this is known as the fastest encryption but many security experts have deemed Blowfish as being easily cracked. The algorithm used in Blowfish is considered to be not as strong as AES however this is point is still debatable.
- AES 128 Bit Encryption: this encryption level is seen as more secure than Blowfish and on modern systems, AES 128 bit provides fast performance as well. Although 128 bit encryption is no longer seen as the most secure level of encryption, it is still very difficult to crack it. To break down 128 bit encryption, it would require 3.4×1038 operations (the fastest supercomputer would take nearly 1 billion years to achieve this).
- AES 196 Bit Encryption: considered to be faster and stronger than Blowfish 128 bit and provides more room against brute force attacks. however, AES 196 bit employs weaker key schedule compared to AES 128 bit, so it might not that stable or secure.
- AES 256 Bit Encryption: this is considered the strongest (highest) level of encryption available. Also used by the US military, AES 256 bit might be the most secure encryptions of all. Consider this, AES 256 bit would take 2128 times more computer power compared to AES 128 bit to break down. This would mean that 3.31×1065 operations would be needed to crack AES 256 bit encryption.
Considering all the calculations, the power needed to break down a particular encryption type shows that AES 256 bit is the strongest. However, a strength of an encryption is based several factors; such as the length of the keys, the algorithm used, the protocol used along with the encryption, and the makers of the ciphers (such as NIST).
Also, a brute force attack is not the only way to breakdown an encryption, there are several other methods that can be employed by a hacker to break into your encrypted network. Having said that, the resources required to do so would be immense. So currently your best defense against such cyber-goons is through encrypted VPN services offering AES 256 bit encryption.
In a nutshell, a VPN has many uses and among them is how it secures your data using VPN encryption. There are different levels of encryption provided by a VPN but now all of them provide the strongest encryption levels.
Our list above highlights some of the best encrypted VPN services you can select from. They offer a wide range of protocols and encryption levels, making them very difficult to break down. With these encrypted VPN services by your side, you can surf the internet, download content, and stream online without any fears.