VPNs secure transmitted data with the help of encryption and protocols. Encryption is the process of converting plain data into cryptic data so that only authorized computers with the right decoder key will be able to read and use it. For instance, all of the emails and chat messages we send and receive are protected by end-to-end encryption.
In VPNs, computers at the sending or receiving end of the secure tunnel share encrypted data. Anyone outside the tunnel won’t be able to decrypt what is being transferred through the VPN tunnel. Now there are two basic types of VPN encryption. Symmetric key encryption and public-key encryption. Here’s how both of these encryption types work:
- Symmetric-key encryption – All users or computers share the same key for both encryption and decryption.
- Public key encryption – Each user or computer has its own set of public and private keys. While one computer or a user encrypts certain data with its private key, the other computer or a user decrypts that data using the corresponding public key.
But encryption is not solely responsible for securing transmitted data. VPNs also use protocols like IPSec, L2TP, PPTP, SSL, and OpenVPN among others to securely transmit data. For instance, a site-to-site VPN uses IPSec to securely transmit data over IP networks. Whereas a remote-access VPN can use a variation of Point-to-point Protocols like L2F, PPTP, or even L2TP.
What Are The Best VPNs We Recommend?
Here are our recommended best VPNs in 2023:
- Surfshark – Most Affordable VPN. Starts from just $2.30/mo (Save 82% and get 2 extra months FREE with 24-month plan). Offers 3200+ servers in 65 countries. Can easily be used with the Tor browser. Tested to offer speeds of up to 47.83 Mbps (50 Mbps standard connection). Supports unlimited simultaneous connections, offers a full 30-day money-back guarantee, and is also the most recommended VPN by Reddit users.
- ExpressVPN – Premium VPN. Comes with 3000+ servers in 94 countries that offer powerful security and support both torrenting, and streaming. Offers features such as AES 256-bit encryption, kill switch, no-logs, and DNS leak protection. One of the best VPNs for Nvidia Shield, Xbox One, macOS, Android, Firestick, iOS, and more. Supports 5 devices simultaneously. Fast enough to offer speeds of up to 40.43 Mbps (50 Mbps standard connection). Costs just $6.67/mo and comes with a 30-day risk-free money-back guarantee. Limited time offer: Get 3 months free subscription with its annual plan.
- NordVPN – Most Secure VPN. Comes with powerful security features such as Nordlynx, AES 256-bit encryption, kill switch, CyberSec, and obfuscated servers. Offers an audited strict no-logging policy. Offers 5200+ servers in 59+ countries. One of the best VPNs for small businesses. Fast enough to offer speeds of up to 36.43 Mbps (50 Mbps standard connection). Costs just $5.29/mo, supports 6 multi-logins, and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- CyberGhost – Easy to Use VPN. Incredibly intuitive to use on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and more. Comes with a massive 7700+ server network in 90+ countries. Easily cable of delivering fast speeds of up to 46.13 Mbps (50 Mbps standard connection). Costs just $2.29/mo, offers 7 multi-logins per subscription, and offers an extensive 45-day money-back guarantee.