Encryption is a method used to enhance the security and privacy of the data or information that is sensitive to be accessed by any random person.
Encryption is the process that 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
- VPN encryption
Why It’s Important?
Cybercrimes are very common as hackers, spammers, and other snoopers, including the government security and surveillance agencies, have started using high-end technology to access your network and steal your sensitive information and data.
That harms 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 the wrong hands.
How can internet data be encrypted? You don’t need to worry because there is a solution for this Internet data encryption. It is done by a tool called Virtual Private Network (VPN) and VPN Encryption.
What Is VPN Encryption?
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, then decrypts it at the other end where the VPN server connects you to your requested website; meanwhile, all your login details are kept through the secure transfer 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.
Related Question about VPN
1. Site To Site VPN
Companies often need to connect one of their offices to another office remotely with the privacy and secrecy maintained. 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. Offices mainly use a Site-to-Site VPN, also known as Router-to-Router VPN. It is called router-to-router VPN because one router acts as a VPN Client, and the other serves as a VPN server to provide secure and anonymous internet within the offices located in different geographical locations.
2. Remote Access VPN
A Remote Access VPN provides the internet connection to its users remotely by its private network. Home users and office employees use it mostly to connect to their company’s server when traveling away from the office location.
It connects 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.
Home users usually use this VPN to get rid of geo-restrictions and access the blocked websites in their region. In contrast, 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 maintain privacy. The VPN providers use different types of VPN protocols; each type of VPN protocol mentioned below provides an extra level of security, so let’s take a look at them.
1. IPSec – Internet Protocol Security
Internet Protocol Security or IPSec is the 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 the 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 send different instructions based on which type of data packets transfers via the tunnel.
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 the primary point-to-point protocol (PPP) used majorly as a tunneling protocol and other encryption protocols combination like IPsec to strengthen and enhance security and privacy. It is also supported by site-to-site VPN but used by remote access VPNs.
PPTP protocol is the most commonly used protocol and supports thousands of operating systems and devices. It is responsible for encrypting the data from one point to another by creating an encrypted tunnel and transferring it. It supports 40-bit and 128-bit encryption or any other scheme supported by PPP.
OpenVPN is an open-source software application that uses a VPN mechanism to create a secure point-to-point connection in virtual tunnels and remote access features. It is considered the most secure VPN protocol to provide many diverse and complex security protocol functions.
5. 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. It is more robust than PPTP and L2TP/IPSec.
6. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) VPN Encryption
Unlike other traditional VPN protocols used in particular VPN software, Secure Sockets Layer SSL VPN encryption is used for web browsers. It can be used in browsers extension, which doesn’t require any specific app to install and set up.
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 it off when you are done with it. It is mainly used to provide remote users access to client/server applications, Web applications, internal network connections.
7. Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) VPN Encryption
Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) is used 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)
A VPN tunnel is a way through which it connects your computer to its server, and it must be fully secure and encrypted. A VPN tunnel that is encrypted ensures that all your data traveling through it is hidden from the eyes of anyone trying to snoop on your network. In contrast, an unencrypted tunnel can leak your data information due to weak encryption protocols.
VPN Without Encryption
Not all VPNs need to offer encryption. It is a sporadic case that a VPN tunnel is unencrypted, but it happens; some VPNs might not use encryption to protect data traveling via a tunnel. For example, a VPN tunnel set up between two hosts may use 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 they believe that all of their data is safe. No one can see what they are doing online, but that is where they are wrong, and sometimes even using such unencrypted VPN, people get attacked by cybercriminals.
VPN Encryption Algorithms
VPN uses protocols and some encryption algorithms for the ultimate privacy protection. There are mainly three VPN encryption algorithms used by the commercial or standard VPN companies AES, RSA, and SHA., briefly described below.
AES-AES (Advanced Encryption Standard)
It is a secure algorithm used in symmetric key encryption. It supports various critical lengths of 128, 192, and 256 bit. The longer the key size would be, the stronger the encryption, which also means it takes more time in processing, resulting in a slower connection speed.
It is based on the names 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. All the current VPN protocols like OpenVPN SSTP are usually used for the best and strong encryption.
Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA)
SHA- Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) created by Cisco; this algorithm is very secure and robust 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 protecting your internet privacy and encryption.