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AES encryption

AES encryption

(also Advanced Encryption Standard)

AES encryption definition

AES encryption, or Advanced Encryption Standard, is a symmetric encryption algorithm widely used for securing data in transit and at rest. Adopted by the U.S. government in 2001, AES has become the industry standard for encrypting and decrypting data due to its security, efficiency, and speed. It operates using a fixed number of bits, either 128, 192, or 256, in both the key and block size, with the larger key sizes providing more robust security.

See also: end-to-end encryption

AES encryption examples

  • AES-128: The smallest key size in AES encryption, offering 128-bit keys and 10 encryption rounds. It is considered secure and fast but provides a lower level of security compared to the other key sizes.
  • AES-192: A medium-sized key with 192-bit keys and 12 encryption rounds. It provides a balance between speed and security.
  • AES-256: The largest key size in AES encryption, offering 256-bit keys and 14 encryption rounds. It is considered the most secure and is commonly used for highly sensitive data.

Pros and cons of AES encryption


  • Widely adopted and trusted due to its strong security.
  • Fast and efficient encryption.
  • Suitable for various applications, including VPNs, Wi-Fi networks, and file encryption.


  • Susceptible to brute force attacks, although the time and resources required for such attacks make them highly impractical.
  • Potential vulnerabilities if not implemented correctly.

Tips for using AES encryption

  • Use AES-256 for sensitive data that requires the highest level of security.
  • Ensure that encryption is done correctly to prevent vulnerabilities.
  • Use a VPN like NordVPN, which employs AES-256 encryption, to secure your internet connection.

Watch it explained: Advanced Encryption Standard

Further reading

Ultimate digital security