The US government uses the 256-bit AES encryption technology to secure its sensitive data. That probably also explains why more and more VPN service providers now offer this kind of encryption. But how necessary is it?
The 128-bit encryption technology has not yet been breached by a brute force attack and no one really expects it to happen soon. That means encryption higher than the 128-bit is unnecessary and can actually slow down the speed of the service because the servers have to use more processing capacity to perform the extra math required to encrypt and then decrypt the data.
However, several real-world tests have proved that the impact is negligible, so there is no practical difference in 128-bit or 256-bit encryption.
Cracking 256-bit encryption is 2,128 times harder than cracking 128-bit encryption. Why do companies feel the need to offer such high levels of protection? This can be written off as a marketing gimmick, but the truth is that there are people who seek the highest level of protection; and when there is demand, companies will be happy to provide.
In any case, brute force attacks aren’t the only method that hackers use to obtain encryption keys. A smart hacker can use key logging software to spy on a user’s computer, and a user would need to install anti-spying tools on their system to protect themselves.
Here is a look at the VPN companies offering the highest standards of encryption in 2014.
IPVanish has more than 140 servers in 61 countries. The huge size of their network allows them to offer over 14,000 IPs. By choosing one of these IP addresses, you can hide your true identity and location. IPVanish offers 128-bit encryption with an intuitive interface that allows you to configure everything easily. Also, their service supports nearly all operating systems. Their annual package starts at $77.99.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access protects your data from hackers. They also allow you to browse the web anonymously. They have over 1,500 servers. When you use their connection, you can access geographically restricted sites from any part of the world. They offer 256 and 128 bit encryption protocols, and are available at affordable prices with their annual package for just $39.95
PureVPN has a no-nonsense interface and their website contains easy-to-understand tutorials. They offer up to 256 bit encryption, and their annual plan costs just $49.95. They also offer a three-day money back guarantee on all their plans.
VyprVPN has been offering VPN services for about two decades, and they support the cause of Internet freedom and offer services that are a rich assortment of configurations and features. They have over 700 servers in different parts of the world and offer a large pool of over 200,000 IPs. They have 256-bit Chameleon technology that is the most secure of them all. The annual package is priced at $80.04.
In spite of being a relatively small Malaysia based company, BolehVPN offers excellent VPN services at affordable prices. There is yet another advantage to using their service: they are outside the jurisdiction of the US and the European Union, and offer 256 bit encryption. Their annual package costs $79.99.