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How To Encrypt Internet Traffic With 10 Best Ways – Complete Guide

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How To Encrypt Internet Traffic With 10 Best Ways - Complete Guide

Enabling Encryption To Your Entire Home Internet Connection Will Secure Your Incoming And Outgoing Traffic. 

The internet is a wonderful tool for connecting with other people across the globe and experiencing unimaginable things from where you live. However, it can be dangerous to use if you don’t take the proper precautions with your connection and traffic encryption. Learn about some ways to protect yourself when browsing online.

In this article, we will discuss encrypting your internet connection and encrypting your web traffic. There are many tools available on the market today which provide these services without compromising speed or functionality. But which one is the right tool to use? let’s find out.

How Does It Work?

To provide maximum security and privacy, you can encrypt your incoming and outgoing internet traffic using the encryption methods mentioned below. Encryption enables the encrypted tunnel between your device and the internet; all your outdated data would travel inside the encrypted tunnel using a 128-bit or 256-bit encryption protocol.

Furthermore, it’s recommended to use IP-changing software like VPN. It encrypts the entire internet connection to mask your IP and relocate your location. 

This is why you can encrypt your activities without using any other tools. 

10 Best Tools To Encrypt Your Internet Traffic

There are several ways and tricks which you can use to encrypt the whole internet connection. But as I’ve mentioned above, using a trusted VPN service would secure all the connections and provide the best encryption. 

1. Using a VPN – Encrypts all internet connection

Undoubtedly, using a VPN is the best possible way to encrypt your internet connection. It uses end-to-end encryption for securing your internet traffic and also ensures anonymity over the web. A VPN routes your network traffic via an encrypted tunnel. Before sending the data in the tunnel, a VPN encodes the data packets so that only you, the client, and the VPN server you’re connected to can read it.

A VPN also replaces your actual IP address with the one provided by the VPN server. By hiding your IP address and sending your online traffic through a remote server located in another location. A VPN protects against unsecured WiFi connections, hackers, advertisers, and anyone who wants to intercept your sensitive information. 

But, keep in mind that not all VPNs offer quality performance. Please avoid using any free VPN provider because of the vulnerabilities associated with them. Free VPNs lack advanced security features and don’t use the latest encryption standard. Moreover, they don’t follow a no-log policy, which is the most demanding and crucial feature.

2. Wifi Encryption – Encrypts routers connection

Using WiFi is a fast and convenient way to connect to the internet world. But, it poses a threat to your privacy and security. If your WiFi is not secured, it can slow connection speed because more users connect to a single WiFi network. Also, it can increase your monthly internet bill, and threat actors can exploit the connection to access your sensitive data. 

An unsecured WiFi connection can spread malware, phishing emails, and other cybercrimes. To protect against such dangers, one should first set up a solid and secure password to their WiFi network. The next step is encrypting the connection. WiFi encryption involves various methods such as:

It’s best to use VPN encryption with a router to encrypt the entire Internet connection with great speed.

  • WPA
  • WEP
  • WPA2 (WiFi Protected Access Version 2). 

WPA2 is the most secure version of WiFi encryption among all these methods. In contrast, WEP is the least secure because it is the primary form of network encryption and is outdated. 

Below are the steps for encrypting the wireless network: 

  1. On your router’s configuration page, open the wireless security settings. 
  2. Choose the type of security you want. Remember, if you’re using an old device, you will have to use the outdated WEP security but, if you use modern devices, you can go with WPA2. 
  3. Once you have chosen the security type, access the network by entering a passphrase. 
  4. Make sure that the passphrase is secure and something that threat actors can’t crack. 

With these steps, you can encrypt your internet connection and can browse the web safely.

Here are the following ways you can encrypt your browser:

3. HTTPS – For encrypted web pages

The Hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS) is a secure version of HTTP. It is the primary protocol used to transfer data between a browser and a website. HTTPS enhances the security of data. It is when users send sensitive data like signing into their email service or bank account.

HTTPS uses TLS/SSL protocol to encrypt communication. It prevents websites from leaking their sensitive information and being visible to any snooping eyes. The information sent over using the regular HTTP is broken into data packets and can be sniffed using any free software. This makes all communication that takes place over HTTP accessible to anyone. 

In contrast, with HTTPS, the traffic is encrypted so that even if packets are intercepted, they appear as illogical characters. So, make sure that you always use websites that use the HTTPS version.

4. Use Secure Web Browsers – anonymous browsing

Tech giants such as Google and Microsoft Edge betray users by collecting user data and making them vulnerable to privacy threats. Thus, using privacy web browsers has grown in demand. The privacy web browsers come with privacy and security-focused features that prevent tracking and selling their data to third-party users. 

At Redefine Privacy, after thorough research, I finally came up with the seven secure web browsers that I recommend others for using. These browsers use HTTPS everywhere extension. It works by tweaking HTTPS protocol and encrypting websites that run on insecure HTTP protocol. 

But, this is also a fact that these browsers don’t provide actual data encryption. There is no military-grade encryption with them. The only way to gain ultimate security is to use these private web browsers with a compatible VPN provider. A VPN protects data through encryption. Moreover, it ensures a secure web browsing experience by protecting you from various cyber-attacks.

5. Use Private Search Engines – for private searching

Google is the most popular search engine, but it works as a data collection tool. Also, it doesn’t encrypt the data. Using Google means that anyone on your network can track and record whatever you do online. This includes your ISPs, government surveillance agencies, and hackers.

To maintain online privacy and anonymity, one should start using private search engines. These search engines offer many benefits to the users. They do not just prevent online tracking and data monetizing but ensure extra data protection and security. They use site-to-site encryption to secure user searches and other related data. 

The private search engines use local encryption and provide an extra layer of privacy protection. When the search terms are transmitted to the servers, they are encrypted, and here, they are decrypted and sent through private search engines.

But these search engines don’t guarantee complete anonymity while using the internet. It’s because they belong to different jurisdictions where internet privacy laws vary. The laws raise questions on their ability to provide maximum privacy on the web. 

Making certain efforts like configuring the browser privacy settings, disabling cookies, and using a VPN can make you more private over the internet. Using a VPN along with a private search engine is a great idea to boost their online privacy. 

6. Use Encrypted DNS – not reliable

Upon entering a domain name into the web browser, the browser asks for the nearest DNS server for the IP address associated with that particular domain name. The DNS server responds with the IP address for the browser to use.

All these requests are sent over the network in plain text. It means that anyone spying on the web can intercept queries and redirect users to a different destination. Moreover, the simple text DNS queries are encrypted, but the threat actor knows the destination, providing them with valuable information.

Thus, to prevent it, start using encrypted DNS. It is a new approach at the moment that aims to improve user privacy. Firefox browser already uses it by default, and Google has also turned it on.

The encrypted DNS offers two options for encryption. One is the Hypertext transfer protocol secure, called DNS over HTTPS, and the other is Transport Layer Security, also known as DNS over TLS. 

DNS over HTTPS focuses on user privacy, while DNS over TLS emphasizes security and controls network operators. Using the first approach, i.eDNS over HTTPS, is a better option to operate from a user perspective.

7. Use Tor Browser – for encrypted browsing

Using the Tor browser is another solution to encrypt your traffic. It is a free and open-source network that was designed by the US navy for private communication. It allows users to stay anonymous and fight against anyone who spies on their network. 

The Tor browser masks your IP address, so your online identity remains hidden. Like VPNs, when you get connected to the Tor browser, your ISP will only see that you’re connected to a Tor network and won’t be able to know your destination.

It hops the internet data from node to the node making it impossible for anyone to trace you back. The hopping occurs between three nodes. The guard or the entry node hides the data or request that the user enters. From here, the data goes into the middle layer. The data from the first layer gets stripped off and passes to the final or the exit node. From the exit node, the data request proceeds to its destination and is no longer hidden. 

Since the request is not encrypted, anyone’s spies can track your online activities. It is a significant drawback of using a Tor browser. But using a VPN along with Tor provides a solution for this problem. 

When you use a VPN with Tor, the data remains secure even after it goes to its final destination. A VPN encrypts the data and protects all spying eyes.

 In the past, the FBI targeted specific Tor users and cracked into their security protocols. Also, there are other drawbacks of using the Tor browser, such as slow speed. When the data goes through different nodes, it reduces the speed. Thus, use a VPN over the Tor browser to ensure maximum privacy and enjoy fast connection speed.

8. Private Emails – for encrypted emailing 

Encrypted email services are like encrypted messaging apps. They provide email clients an extra layer of anonymity and safety on the web. 

Different email providers like ProtonMail offer different types of protection, from temporary email addresses to burner emails that get deleted after being read. 

Using encrypted email services means that anyone other than the intended recipient can’t intercept your email messages because they are unreadable. Email encryption depends on a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) or a combination of both public and private keys. Those who are sending emails and want to encrypt it would use the public key. At the same time, the intended recipient will use the private key to decrypt those messages.

In this way, you can prevent any snooping eye from invading your email communication and breaching your privacy.

9. Privacy Extensions 

There are several browser privacy extensions available out there. Users can use it to enhance their security and privacy while they browse the internet.

As the name indicates, the privacy extensions allow you to increase your privacy and control your internet experience by blocking unwanted ads and deleting third-party scripts that might send your data to a third party without your knowledge.

The privacy extensions like HTTPS Everywhere force websites to use more secure HTTPS encrypted versions to protect their internet connection. 

But be cautious with these privacy extensions. Since they are in bulk, many of them are vulnerable and pose risks to your online privacy. Download them from reliable sources and do check their privacy policies too.

To put it simply, you can’t rely entirely on these extensions because they are extra tools you can use for your overall security. Thus, using privacy extensions along with a VPN, Tor, or other end-to-end encryption apps is a better option to go with.

10. Use Encrypted Messaging Apps

By using encrypted messaging apps, users can protect their business and interpersonal communication. Various applications like Signal, WhatsApp, Wire, and Telegram use end-to-end encryption that safeguards data from all prying eyes. It is the highest encryption standard in messenger apps and ensures that anyone except for the intended person cannot read whatever messages are being sent.

In end-to-end encryption, messages at both the end of the communications undergo encryption. The user should have a locally stored key to decrypt the messages. Such messages can not be saved on the servers. In this way, the messaging apps fail to protect your messages and prevent the intrusion of hackers.

Another aspect of these encryption apps is that you can use them on multiple platforms. It allows users to send messages across mobile and desktop platforms and delete messages from either.

But, unfortunately, end-to-end encryption isn’t foolproof. Loopholes within the encrypted apps are being exploited. For example, in 2020, a security firm announced that they could bypass Signal’s end-to-end encryption. Moreover, after updating its privacy policy in January 2021, WhatsApp has been accused of collecting and sharing user data with Facebook and has failed to keep it safe. 

Remember, a VPN completely encrypts your app and online traffic instantly. Hence, again you should use a VPN and the encrypted messaging apps for better online privacy and encryption.

How to Encrypt the Internet Without a VPN? 

There are other valuable methods other than a VPN that encrypts your internet connection. These include using: 

  • Tor browser
  •  Privacy web browsers 
  • Private search engines 
  • Encrypted email and messaging services
  • Encrypted DNS 

These methods ensure that your internet is encrypted but doesn’t guarantee 100% encryption because each has its flaws. Thus, you must use a VPN for maximum encryption or use any of the methods mentioned above of internet encryption along with a VPN.

Is My Internet Traffic Encrypted?

There are several easy ways for you to check if your internet traffic is encrypted or not. You can run IP leak, DNS leak IPv6 leak tests to know if your VPN is encrypting your data or not. Besides this, do check if your VPN is dropping your VPN connection. Most top brand service providers come with a kill switch feature that conceals your IP address even when the VPN connection drops. Also, scan your data packets using Wireshark software to see if your VPN provider encrypts the data packets in transit.

How to Encrypt Your Home WiFi Network?

Simply by configuring the settings of your router, you can encrypt your home WiFi network. Do select WPA2 (WiFi Protected Access Version 2 in the security type of your router setting page and enter a strong passphrase that is uncrackable.  

Final Thoughts

Encrypting the internet traffic prevents ISPs, hackers, and other snooping eyes from viewing your sensitive data. Thus, if you value your data and information, consider encrypting your internet connection and bolster your security. There are several freeways by which you can encrypt your data, such as using encrypted messaging apps, tor browser, or private search engines. But, still, using a reliable VPN provider is the most reliable method for data encryption. 

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Waqas is a cybersecurity journalist and writer who has a knack for writing technology and online privacy-focused articles. He strives to help achieve a secure online environment and is skilled in writing topics related to cybersecurity, AI, DevOps, Cloud security, and a lot more. As seen in: Computer.org, Nordic APIs, Infosecinstitute.com, Tripwire.com, and VentureBeat.

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