Encryption is a method used to enhance security and privacy of the data or information that is sensitive to be accessed by any random person. Encryption is a name of the process which converts the actual data and information in an unreadable and coded format, which is protected by an encryption key set by the authorized user only. The data can be decrypted when the authorized user correctly enters the key. There are different categories of Encryption like file encryption, full disk encryption, device encryption and the VPN encryption.
Cyber crimes are very common these days as hackers, spammers and other snoopers including the government security and surveillance agencies have started using high-end technology to get the access to your network, and steal your sensitive information and data. Which not only harm your device physically but it is also dangerous for your confidential information like bank account details, credit card information, private conversations, photos, videos, and other similar information. No one ever wants such sensitive data to be in wrong hands.
You don’t need to worry, because there is a solution for this as well which is used by millions of users around the globe, and that is internet data encryption. How can internet data be encrypted? It is done by a tool called Virtual Private Network (VPN) and VPN encryption.
What is VPN Encryption? And How It Works?
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VPN Encryption is a process by which a VPN hides your data in a coded format unreadable by anyone trying to snoop on your data. A VPN encrypts the data, when it enters, and passes through its tunnel and then decrypts it at the other end where the VPN server connects you to your requested website, meanwhile, through the transfer, all your login details are kept secure and hidden by VPN encryption.
Let’s learn something about the technological aspects of VPN encryption below.
Different Types Of VPN
A VPN uses different combinations and techniques for encryption which can be easily understood when you know the types of VPN and the protocols they use for encryption and security.
Site to Site VPN
Offices mainly use a Site-to-Site VPN also known as Router-to-Router VPN. Companies often need to connect one of its offices to another office remotely with the privacy and secrecy maintained and this is achieved by installing a site-to-site VPN, which builds a private encrypted tunnel and provides a secure connection between the office branches in any location of the world. It is called router-to-router VPN as well because here one router acts as a VPN Client and the other serves as a VPN server to provide secure and anonymous internet within the offices which are located in different geographical locations.
Remote Access VPN
A Remote Access VPN provides the internet connection to its users remotely by its private network. It is used by home users and office employees mostly to connect to their company’s server when traveling away from the office location. It provides connection to the individuals by creating a secure virtual tunnel between the user’s computer or device and the VPN server and connects them to the internet with a secure encrypted tunnel. This type of VPN is usually used by home users to get rid of geo-restrictions and to access the blocked websites in their region, whereas office employees use it when they want to access the company’s server from a different location.
Types of VPN Protocols
The level of privacy and security that you get from a VPN is dependent on what type of protocol it uses to secure your data and maintains privacy. There are different types of VPN protocols which are used by the VPN providers; each type of VPN protocol mentioned below provides different level of security, so let’s take a look at them.
IPSec – Internet Protocol Security
Internet Protocol Security or IPSec is a most common VPN protocol used by site-to-site VPNs to ensure the safety of the data on IP networks, including the internet. It can secure data between router to router, firewall to the router, desktop to server, and desktop to router. It mainly uses two sub-protocols: Encapsulated Security Payload (ESP) and Authentication Header (AH), which instructs the data packets traveling through the tunnel. Both sends different instructions based on which type of data packets transfers via the tunnel.
L2TP – (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol)
It is a tunneling protocol used with the combination of IPSec to build high-end security and privacy and a highly secure VPN connection. It is also supported by site-to-site VPN but used by the remote access VPNs as it is the primary point-to-point protocol (PPP) used majorly as a tunneling protocol along with other encryption protocols combination like IPsec to strengthen and enhance the level of security and privacy.
PPTP – (Point to Point Tunneling Protocol)
It is responsible for encrypting the data from one point to another only by creating an encrypted tunnel and transferring data from it. PPTP protocol is the most commonly used protocol and support thousands of operating systems and devices. It supports 40-bit and 128-bit encryption or any other encryption scheme supported by PPP.
OpenVPN is an open-source software application which uses VPN mechanism to create a secure point-to-point connection in virtual tunnels and remote access features. It is considered as the most secure VPN protocol capable of providing many mixed and complex security protocol functions.
SSTP – Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol
It is mainly used for high-end encryption in Windows as it’s a Microsoft proprietary protocol so where OpenVPN is not supported SSTP can be implemented for the same level of security and encryption, and it is stronger than PPTP and L2TP/IPSec.
Why You Need VPN Encryption
VPNs are used for security and privacy, and it is critical that they must be encrypted so as to make sure all your data and internet activities are hidden from anyone trying to spy on your network. Well, that is the primary purpose of using a VPN service, but yes there are some VPNs which can ditch you regarding security and encryption and maybe those are VPN without encryption. We have given you brief information about how VPN encrypts and what system and mechanism they use to provide security and encryption, so from now on you know what you have to look for in a VPN for the best privacy and security.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN Encryption
Unlike other traditional VPN protocols which are used in particular VPN software, Secure Sockets Layer SSL VPN encryption isused for web browser and can be used in browsers extension which doesn’t require any specific app to install and setup. It can be directly added to the internet browser and has an on/off switch to operate it when you need to use it and turn off when you are done with it. It is mainly used to provide remote users the access to client/server applications, Web applications, and internal network connections, etc.
Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) VPN Encryption
Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is a method use to build virtual private networks VPNs. It is a convenient and flexible way to route and transfers various types of network traffic using the MPLS backbone structure, the most common types of MPLS VPNs used today are
- Point-to-point (Pseudowire)
- Layer 2 (VPLS)
- Layer 3 (VPRN)
Encrypted VPN Tunnel
A VPN tunnel is a way through which it connects your computer to its server and it is crucial that it must be fully secure and encrypted, a VPN tunnel which is encrypted ensures all your data travelling through it, is hidden from the eyes of anyone trying to snoop on your network, while an unencrypted tunnel can leak your data information due to weak encryption protocols.
VPN Without Encryption
It is not necessary that all VPNs offer encryption. It is a very rare case that a VPN tunnel is unencrypted, but it happens, some VPN might not use encryption for the protection of data traveling via a tunnel. For example, it is possible that a VPN tunnel set up between two hosts uses Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) which is expected to be encrypted, but it is neither secure nor trusted. Such VPNs without encryption are dangerous and trap users’ data because user believes that all of their data is safe, and no one can see what they are doing online, but that is where they are wrong and sometimes even using such unencrypted VPN people gets attacked by cyber criminals.
VPN Encryption Algorithms
VPN uses protocols and some encryption algorithms for the ultimate privacy protection there are mainly three VPN encryption algorithms which are used by the commercial or standard VPN companies AES, RSA, and SHA, etc. which can be briefly described below.
AES-AES (Advanced Encryption Standard)
It is a secure algorithm used in symmetric key encryption. It supports various key lengths of 128, 192, and 256 bit, the longer the key length would be the stronger the encryption which also means it takes more time in processing which results in slower connection speed.
It is based on the name initials of the persons who officially described this algorithm in past years. It is used in an asymmetric public key system, which means a public key is used to encrypt the data, but a different private key is used to decrypt it. It is usually used by all the current VPN protocols like OpenVPN, SSTP, etc. for the best and strong encryption.
Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA)
SHA- Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) created by Cisco; this algorithm is very secure and strong and requires both the sender and receiver to imply with this algorithm while encrypting and decrypting the message or the data traveling through the VPN tunnel.
After all the discussion we have done to let you know entirely about what a VPN does for your privacy and security and how it does so, we helped a little more towards the protection of your internet privacy and encryption.