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Next-generation VPN encryption

Protect your online traffic by encrypting it with NordVPN.

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Man carrying a blue folder with a keyhole to represent online traffic protected by VPN encryption.

What is VPN encryption?

VPN encryption is a process that scrambles your online data so that no unauthorized party can view it or use it in any way. This way, you not only protect your information but also conceal your identity. Strong encryption is a fundamental feature of any VPN — it’s what makes them secure and private.

VPN encryption protects your information from:

Internet service providers

They may track your internet traffic and sell your data to advertisers.

Hackers

They exploit unsecure connections to steal data and gain access to your devices.

Governments

Restrictive regimes are known for tracking and spying on their citizens.

How does VPN encryption work?

A diagram explaining how VPN encryption works to protect your online traffic from third parties.
  1. Your device initiates a connection to a VPN server.
  2. Once the device is authenticated, the VPN client encrypts all information traveling to the server.
  3. The VPN service creates an encrypted tunnel and passes your data through it.
  4. Your data packets are wrapped in outer packets and encrypted through encapsulation.
  5. When they arrive at the VPN server, the outer packets are removed to access the data within through decryption.
A woman browsing the internet on her laptop while her online traffic is protected by VPN encryption.

What encryption protocols do VPNs use?

There are three main encryption protocols: DES, RSA, and AES.

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    DES (data encryption standard) is a symmetric encryption algorithm that uses 56-bit keys. It is widely considered to be insecure and has been mostly replaced by more advanced algorithms.

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    RSA (Rivest–Shamir–Adleman) is an asymmetric encryption algorithm that uses two keys: a public key for encryption and a private key for decryption. It’s used for secure data transfers and digital signatures.

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    AES (advanced encryption standard) is a symmetric encryption algorithm that uses 128-, 192-, or 256-bit keys, making it significantly more secure than its predecessors. It is the gold standard of encryption used by high-end services, including NordVPN.

A happy man holding a blue padlock that represents how his data is protected by VPN encryption.

What is AES?

AES is the most advanced encryption protocol used and approved worldwide by governments, cybersecurity experts, and cryptography enthusiasts. NordVPN uses AES with 256-bit keys, which means it has 2^256 possible combinations.

How secure is AES?

No known practical attack can break AES encryption. If you tried to brute force it by checking all possible key combinations, you would need more resources than humanity currently has at its disposal.

While theoretically no encryption cipher is truly impregnable, AES with 256-bit keys is absolute overkill when it comes to security. To break it, you would need to build supercomputers – of a kind that cannot yet be built – that would work on decryption for billions of years.

NordVPN uses three different VPN encryption protocols

NordVPN creates a tunnel to transmit your data to VPN servers securely. NordVPN uses three different VPN security protocols to determine how that tunnel is actually formed.

A woman browsing on her laptop while protected by the versatile OpenVPN encryption protocol.
A couple exploring the internet while protected by the fast NordLynx VPN encryption protocol.
A man browsing on the go while protected by reliable VPN encryption protocols that NordVPN offers.
A phone showing that the user is connected to a NordVPN server and protected by VPN encryption.

You get top-tier encryption with NordVPN

Without VPN encryption, your traffic is vulnerable to hackers, ISPs, advertisers, and other snoopers. Third parties can access your information through both lawful and unlawful ways. You have to take matters into your own hands and make sure you control who uses your data. It’s easy to do with NordVPN!

We strive to make your online experience as private, secure, and smooth as possible. Choose NordVPN and get top-notch encryption with the best speeds on the market.

How can your data be exposed?

Your data is at risk even if you’re smart with it.

A diagram showing that a person’s online traffic is vulnerable without VPN encryption.


Your traffic is vulnerable by default


All your online activity is visible to your ISP and ethical ISPs that protect the privacy of their clients are few and far between. Nothing prevents it from tracking and logging your online behavior, selling the data to advertisers, or handing it over to the authorities.



Do not trust anyone with your data


Keeping your information away from cybercriminals, advertisers, and your ISP will help you in a multitude of ways. For one, you won’t have to deal with targeted pricing and tailored ads. VPN encryption will also protect you from DDoS attacks while gaming, and it will keep your information safe while you travel or use public Wi-Fi.


To put it simply, if you use the internet, you need next-generation VPN encryption.

A man working online on his laptop, confident that his connection is protected by VPN encryption.

The triple-S VPN experience: Speed, security, simplicity

Speed — thanks to NordLynx, you can experience blazing speeds and unlimited bandwidth without compromising your privacy.

Security — NordVPN comes with a host of extra security features, like Threat Protection, Dark Web Monitor, and Meshnet.

Simplicity — you don’t need to be a cryptographer to use NordVPN. Just download the app, log in, and connect to encrypt your private data.

Get more with NordVPN

Block intrusive ads, dangerous websites, and malicious downloads.

Frequently asked questions