Government organizations have the resources to intercept and monitor online traffic and they have even managed to crack encrypted data. It is no wonder why strong encryption is one of the main aspects that many users are looking for when it comes to VPN services. Many providers are stepping up the security of their service by supporting higher levels of encryption in order to offer peace of mind for internet users.
However, it is worth keeping in mind that while 256-bit offers powerful security, it has an impact of the speed of your connection. Furthermore, 128-bit AES is still unlikely to be compromised so many people question if upgrading to 256-bit is actually necessary. That being said, the advantage of choosing a VPN that supports high encryption is that they are also likely to offer other privacy focused features such as Bitcoin as method of payment and a no logs policy.
If top encryption is your priority, the providers you will find in this list are the best options to consider. Before going through the list, we’ll take a look at some aspects that should be kept in mind when it comes to encryption such as key lengths and known vulnerabilities in protocols.
At this time, AES-256 bit encryption can’t be broken by brute force attacks and it is likely that it will remain uncompromised for a long time. However, the same can be said about 128-bit encryption, which is why many people argue that using 256 can be excessive.
Furthermore, encryption higher than 128-bit would (at least in theory) slow down your connection since the VPN’s servers will have to employ more processing power to carry out the additional math required to encrypt and decrypt the keys to 256-bit.
It should be noted that there are tests that have shown that in reality, the impact is not significant, which is why it is understandable that many users are looking for higher encryption and that VPN providers are willing to cater for these requirements.
Cracking AES-256 will take an incredible amount of time, even with a great deal of resources committed. As such, it is very unlikely that someone would even try to tackle this. However, governments looking to access encrypted data will possibly try to achieve their purpose using other methods. They will look for weaknesses in the algorithm itself, force companies to decrypt data and more. In addition, it is important to pay special attention to DNS leaks, as they could compromise your privacy, even if the encryption of your VPN is strong.
Another thing to note is that there are some protocols that are not secure. Although the providers listed in this article are known for offering top encryption, PPTP, one of the protocols supported in most cases, is not recommended. PPTP may provide faster speeds in some cases and it is easy to set up in most platforms, but it has been already compromised. This is why, it is advisable to stick to OpenVPN with AES encryption in order to protect your data. Here are the VPNs that offer strong encryption and an overall good service.
Based in Italy, AirVPN is a provider dedicated to offer a service that enhances the security of your data and that keeps your privacy protected. Their open source client is focused on supporting OpenVPN as it is far more secure than other protocols like PPTP and L2/IPsec. Apart from its high level of encryption, AirVPN supports DNS leaks protection and kill switch, which are key features to ensure that your connection remains secure. Bitcoin is accepted and their VPN over Tor option adds another layer of security for your data.
NordVPN is the favorite choice for many security conscious users thanks to the high level of encryption that it offers and the great selection of features supported. Data is protected with AES 256-bit encryption, with RSA handshakes and SHA-2 authentication. SSH connections are implemented and servers are protected with firewalls. NordVPN has a strong no logs policy and options like double encryption and Tor over VPN.
PIA is highly popular and its low prices and good selection of features (that inlcude kill switch) make this an option that offers good value for money. They support multiple protocols, including the recommended solution, OpenVPN, which offers encryption of up to AES-256, SHA256 authentication and RSA4096 handshake. PIA doesn’t keep logs of your online activities and they accept Bitcoin as method of payment.
Based in Gibraltar, IVPN is another good option for people looking for high-grade encryption. AES 256-bit encryption is applied to protect data and for HMAC authentication, SHA-1 is used. IVPN uses 4096-bit certification with SHA-1 to encrypt the control channel. The protocols supported are OpenVPN, which is the recommended solution to its security and L2TP/IPSec, a practical option for mobile devices. They don’t keep usage or connection logs.
Based in Hong Kong, IronSocket also deserves to be considered thanks to its good level of encryption. Their strongest level of encryption uses AES 256-bit with SHA256 message authentication. This is the recommended level for those looking for top privacy and security. IronSocket supports Bitcoin as method of payment and offers plans that are conveniently priced. Features like DNS leak protection and Kill Switch provide strong security for your connection.