Keep Your Data Safe with Powerful VPN Encryption

Protect your information and identity with PIA VPN’s powerful encryption options

  • Choose from different protocols to decide how your data is protected
  • Switch between different protocols to prioritize security and speed
  • Shield your online activity and stop third-party snoopers, including your ISP
Keep Your Data Safe with Unshakeable Encryption

What Is VPN Encryption?

Your personal data is vulnerable anywhere you go online. Everything you do can be exposed. Your card details, email addresses, and even private messages – it could all be visible to data-hungry snoopers. That means anyone watching could steal your information, likely without you knowing.

VPN encryption puts a stop to this data surveillance. Encryption uses a complex mathematical algorithm to break up your data and turn it into ciphered text before it travels across the web. This prevents anyone trying to snoop on your online activity from being able to read it, as they won't know how the data was changed.

What was once plain text that showed all your personal information is now a string of characters that’s unreadable to outsiders. Only your VPN has the unique key to decrypt your data and make it readable again, making the cipher near-impossible to break. Even the strongest supercomputer today would need millions of years to decrypt your data without the right key.

Whether it’s an online fraudster, your ISP, or a government official – they won’t get access to your information while it’s traveling through the encrypted VPN tunnel.

What Is VPN Encryption?

Who Does VPN Encryption Protect You from?

Your identity, motivations, and online activity are valuable pieces of information to entities across the world - and all of them constantly want to get their hands on your data. While VPN encryption doesn’t affect tracking on the websites you visit, it can protect you against third-party snooping.

Global Server Network


ISPs see your DNS requests so they know which websites you visit. They can block your access to these websites, use content-based throttling to cut your speeds, and even sell your browsing data to other third parties.

Fast Speeds


Cybercriminals lurk on public networks, open ports, P2P sharing platforms, and even popular websites. Their goals vary and they have access to a variety of methods and tools that help them access your unencrypted traffic.

Strong Encryption

Government officials

Your government may spy on you and collect your data. They also can fine or jail you for doing something online they don’t agree with, depending on local laws.

How to Encrypt Your Data with PIA VPN

Step 2

Install the VPN app
on your devices

Step 3

Connect to any server
and get protected

vpn encryption explained

How Does VPN Encryption Work?

When you connect to a VPN, it establishes a secure tunnel between your device and the VPN server. Then, the VPN breaks your data into small blocks called data packets, ready to be transferred through the encrypted VPN tunnel. Each data packet is also encrypted individually before being sent through the tunnel, in a process called encapsulation.

The encapsulated packets function like normal packets, but they display the VPN server's data instead of showing your real information. This hides your location and activity from anyone who might be looking at your traffic. These protected packets travel through your ISP’s network to the VPN server, where they're decrypted and sent to the server you want to access. This whole process is called tunneling, and the VPN protocol you use determines the details of how it happens (more on that in a bit).

How Does a VPN Protect You?

PIA acts like a safety buffer between your device and the websites or applications you connect to.

  • An extra layer of protection
  • Internet traffic is concealed
  • True IP address is concealed
  • Less easily tracked
  • Thousands of server locations
  • Access your favorite content
  • No extra protection
  • Internet traffic is visible
  • True IP address is exposed
  • Very easily tracked
  • Only physical location
  • Content may be blocked
protected by vpn
Without VPNWith VPN
What Is AES Encryption?

What Is AES Encryption?

AES is an advanced encryption standard. It’s so advanced that even militaries and government authorities rely on it to mask their traffic.

AES encryption relies on a symmetric key algorithm to split up and transform your data. It separates your data packets into small blocks and encrypts each one separately. Each block gets a unique cryptographic key, which relies on the previous block’s unlocked data to unlock it. Once the first block is unlocked using the shared symmetric key, the next one can be unlocked using the first block. Although each packet has its own key, you need all the keys for the whole data packet to make sense.

It’s a bit like a jigsaw. The full puzzle is broken down into individual pieces as it’s transported, and is put back together again when it reaches its final destination. You need all the decrypted data to see the final picture on the completed jigsaw. It sounds long and complex, but it happens so quickly, you wouldn’t even notice it happening.
So what about the 256-bit or 128-bit part? This refers to the size of the key and the number of unique variations you need to decrypt the data. A 256-bit key is the largest key, which breaks your data into 256 packets, with 2256 combinations. You might also see 128-bit encryption, which means your data is broken into 128 packets with 2128 combinations. You'd need to guess 2256 or 2128 unique combinations to decipher your data. Sound impossible? That’s because it pretty much is!

What VPN Encryption Protocols Does PIA VPN Use?

To create an encrypted tunnel, VPNs need communication protocols. They decide how your data will be encrypted and transferred between your device and the VPN server. It's a little like choosing how you travel: you might go via plane, you could drive, or you might take the train. It all depends on how quickly and safely you want to get there.

Some protocols are more lightweight and speedy than others. As your security is our priority, we only use trusted, open-source protocols that can balance both speeds and protection.

data encryption
vpn protocols
proxy servers
works on 10 devices simultaneously

Encrypt Your Data on All Your Devices

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Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, VPN connections are encrypted. You need tough encryption to keep your data safe, otherwise your information could still be exposed to anyone watching. PIA VPN offers the highest standards of encryption. These encryption algorithms jumble your data by converting it from plain text to ciphertext. This makes it unreadable, stopping anyone from spying on your information.

The best VPN encryption is 128-bit or 256-bit AES encryption. These are the most secure algorithms in the world, used by governments, militaries, and intelligence agencies. Even a supercomputer would need billions of years to decrypt and read your data. It doesn’t matter whether you’re at home or on public Wi-Fi, not even your ISP or a cybercriminal can peek at your activity.

PIA uses the most advanced encryption protocols, of course. Our apps use powerful 128-bit AES encryption by default. You can also switch to 256-bit AES encryption in your app settings at any time for even more security. Both encryption protocols are incredibly secure, though you might notice slightly increased speeds with 128-bit AES encryption. If you’re unsure which encryption level to use, contact our friendly customer support experts for more advice.

There are two main types of VPN encryption: symmetric and asymmetric. VPNs usually use a combination of the two. First, they establish a secure connection using a VPN protocol and asymmetric keys. They then transfer your data through the secure VPN tunnel using symmetric keys. This is also known as hybrid encryption.

Absolutely! Not only do we use the toughest encryption and latest VPN protocols to keep your data secure, but our apps are also 100% open-source. You can view our source code any time — we have nothing to hide. Our VPN is strictly No Logs too, and our policy has been independently audited and battle-tested in a US court.

We back this up with RAM-only, bare-metal servers so we’ll never track, store, or share your data with anyone. We keep nothing, which means we have nothing to share.

That would be extremely difficult and require more resources than most cybercriminals have access to. We can’t say our VPN is 100% hacker-proof, though, because nothing ever is. We only use world-class, up-to-date VPN protocols like WireGuard® and encryption keys to secure your information. This setup is near impossible to crack – only a supercomputer would be able to decrypt your information, and even then it would take billions of years!

No way. Our VPN has a strict no-logs policy, so whatever you do while connected stays your business and yours only. We’ll never track, store, or share your information. Even if anyone came knocking, we’d have nothing to give them.

Completely! PIA VPN is 100% safe and legal. You can use PIA VPN to secure your digital identity, masking your location and activities wherever you go. A word of warning, though. Not every country likes VPNs, and some places ban them entirely. Always check local laws before using PIA VPN.

PIA VPN is private. We redirect all of your internet activity through an encrypted VPN tunnel, which only you have the key to. Even we can’t see what you’re doing, so your ISP and other online spies can’t either. Remember, though, nothing can ever keep you 100% anonymous, not even a VPN. Online anonymity is something no one can ever guarantee completely.

Your security is our number one priority. That’s why we have a huge suite of security features designed to protect your data and conceal your online identity. Our tough encryption, secure VPN protocols, and 100% open-source apps give you the online security and peace of mind you need. Our VPN also comes with DNS leak protection and an automatic Kill Switch to prevent your information from being exposed, even accidentally.

You can try PIA VPN risk-free with a 30-day money-back guarantee to see if it’s right for you.

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Disclaimer: Using PIA VPN for illegal purposes is a violation of our Terms of Service.


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