Friday, November 9, 2012

VPN Encryption Differences

There are many benefits to using a personal VPN connection. These benefits include being able to browse the Internet without IP based restrictions. Also, a personal VPN enables users to protect their privacy. However, the most important benefit offered by a VPN connection is data security. As Internet usage has spread globally, so has the need to protect personal data.

When a person sends an email using an unsecured connection, it can easily be intercepted. The same holds true for personal information such as passwords and financial information. Data should be encrypted before being sent out. This prevents hackers from obtaining it. A personal VPN connection provides such encryption services.

What is Encryption?

The process of encryption is based on AES, or Advanced Encryption Standards. According to these standards, two types of encryption are currently prevalent: 128-bit and 256-bit. It is important to note that encryption requires processing power. Therefore, a higher level of encryption requires more processing time and resources. This can lead to slower connection speeds and be a burden on some devices.

Encryption secures digital information such as emails and files. The scrambling code consists of binary numbers. At the time of encryption, data is converted into a random combination of binary digits. A de-scrambling code, or key, is required to convert the information back to its original form. A 128-bit key can be, at most, 128 characters long. The total number of combinations that are possible via 128-bit encryption is extremely high (2128). Therefore, even the lower security 128-bit encryption is extremely hard to crack.

Encryption Levels

· 128-bit

PPTP (Point to Point Tunneling Protocol) offers 128-bit encryption. This is the most widely used encryption level. Because 128-bit does not require a lot of computing resources, it is reasonably fast. Most VPN service providers offer 128-bit encryption.

However, 128-bit encryption is becoming less popular. Research and development is currently being conducted on higher levels of security. There has been a rampant increase in the number and types of powerful computer processors. This has forced security experts to come up with even more secure forms of encryption.

· 256-bit

L2TP with IPsec (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IP Security) and OpenVPN protocol are offered by many VPN service providers. Both protocols use 256-bit encryption. This encryption method is considered to be extremely powerful. It is used by governmental agencies to secure classified material. However, 256-bit encryption requires more processing power. It presents a burden on computing resources. It can slow connection speeds as well as the overall speed of the device. This type of encryption works best on a powerful device with lots of processing power. It is the best choice for users who are transmitting particularly sensitive data. OpenVPN, however, delivers fast speed despite the high encryption. L2TP/IPsec suffers from slower speeds more than OpenVPN.

Security is just one of the benefits provided by a personal VPN connection. With availability of the Internet at public places like Wi-Fi- hotspots, portable device use is becoming more commonplace. Users should take proper security measures to protect their privacy and personal information.

George Baylor is a writer with an interest in various internet services and technologies such as the VPN noted above. His articles provide information on online security, privacy, and freedom and can be found at VyprVPN.

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