Encryption is the process that changes your data into scrambled and unreadable form. Because of encryption, your ISP or other snooping eyes won’t see your online traffic. This guarantees maximum online protection and allows you to prevent hacking threats and online surveillance. Therefore, it is crucial to encrypt internet traffic.
Using encrypted internet is risky as anyone can track and spoof our data. Be it your ISP, government agencies, or threat actors, anyone can invade your privacy without your consent. Thus, if you want to browse the web with complete anonymity and want no one to invade your online privacy, you should encrypt your internet traffic.
The web is full of ways to encrypt your connection, but not all of them are reliable to use. This article will highlight the seven best methods which are the most reliable. So, let’s jump into this.
Why Is It Essential to Encrypt Your Internet Traffic?
Unencrypted data can pose significant threats to your online security and privacy. You need to encrypt your data traffic to mitigate all these security risks. But what are these risks? Here are some of the most prominent reasons for encrypting your data traffic:
- Reduce Cyber-Attacks: Data encryption reduces the risks of cyber-attacks. When your data traffic is encrypted, the hackers won’t be able to see your DNS requests, online communication, or any other data traffic. When your entire data traffic is encrypted, they won’t find any way to launch a malware or ransomware attack and compromise your online privacy.
- Use Public Wi-Fi Securely: Internet encryption even allows you to browse the public Wi-Fi network with security. Your data packets won’t be visible to hackers and can prevent your data from getting stolen or compromised.
- Prevent Data Retention: Strong internet encryption can prevent ISPs from retaining your data under the data retention laws.
- Prevent Data Logs: By encrypting the data you can stop ISPs from monitoring your activities and log your data. By doing so, the ISPs won’t be able to share your data with the governmental agencies or with third-parties who later target you with personalized ads.
- Bypass ISP Throttling: Your ISP monitors your online activities to check if you aren’t using much bandwidth most of the time. If they catch you watching the geo-blocked content on streaming sites or downloading torrents, they can throttle your connection. By encrypting your data, you can hide your activities and prevent ISP from slowing down your internet speed.
For all these reasons, you should look out for the best methods to encrypt your internet traffic.
7 Best Ways to Encrypt Internet Traffic?
If you value your internet security, then it is necessary to encrypt your internet traffic. There are various ways that you can use to encrypt internet traffic. Some are free to use while others are paid. After thorough research, here are the seven best ways to encrypt internet traffic. All of these methods provide more or less data encryption. Read along how each technique can help you and choose the best one for you. So, here you go:
1. Use a VPN
A VPN is the best privacy-boosting tool to encrypt internet traffic. A VPN ensures that none of your data traffic goes unencrypted by acting as a middleman between your device and the internet. It encrypts the data and then sends it via an encrypted tunnel to the remote VPN server. Because of strong encryption, a VPN prevents anyone from monitoring what you are doing online. Your ISPs, government surveillance, and threat actors won’t view or read your online communication and data.
Besides this, a VPN also masks your IP address and makes you anonymous over the web. In this way, VPN enhances your digital privacy. There are other amazing benefits of a VPN like:
- Bypass ISP throttling
- Prevents internet restrictions and censorship
- Access the geo-blocked content
- Download torrents
- Play online games
A VPN provides a top-notch level of online protection because of the military-grade encryption and some security-focused features it comes with. This includes:
- AES-256 bit encryption
- IP address and DNS leak protection
- WebRTC leak protection
- Kill switch
All these features add a protection layer and prevent your activities from getting tracked. But, you’ll get all these features in premium VPN providers. The free VPNs won’t offer such features except for the best VPNs with free trials so, choose wisely.
2. Using Tor Network
Using a Tor browser is another good option to enjoy some sort of internet encryption. It allows users to communicate over the web without leaving any tracebacks anonymously. The Tor browser offers layered encryption and makes your activities hidden from the prying eyes. When you connect to a Tor browser, it passes your data through three nodes that hop your data multiple times before leaving the last exit node. In this way, it makes you anonymous and prevents anyone from monitoring your online behavior.
3. Use Encrypted DNS Servers
Another best way to encrypt your internet traffic is to use encrypted DNS servers. Usually, your ISP owns the DNS servers; thus, your ISP can monitor it and track your activities whenever you make a request. It is something that violates your online privacy. Also, hackers spying on your network can intercept the DNS queries and redirect the users to some other malicious destination. You can start using encrypted DNS servers to prevent your ISP or any threat actors from hindering DNS requests and boost your online privacy.
It is a new approach, but it takes your digital security to the next level. In this case, you can either use the DNS over the HTTPS approach who’s the prime focus is increasing privacy, or DNS over the TLS approach that maintains security and manages network operators. Now, web browsers like Firefox and Google also use this feature to encrypt their traffic.
VPNs like ExpressVPN and Surfshark VPN also come with encrypted DNS features. Instead of relying on a third-party server, they have their own servers for forwarding the DNS requests. So, consider using them to encrypt your internet traffic.
4. HTTPS Websites
Using HTTPS secured websites is yet another best method to encrypt your internet traffic. It is the primary protocol and secure version of HTTP used to transfer your data between your browser and the website you want to access. HTTP has become an old-school protocol that isn’t properly encrypted. Anyone can use the free software to view the data packets.
HTTPS is a safer way to access the web. It uses the TLS/SSL protocol to encrypt your data traffic. In this way, it prevents leaking your sensitive data and makes it impossible for any snooping eye to monitor which websites you accessed and what your online activities are. Hence, if you want to protect your online privacy, it’s recommended to use HTTPS websites.
5. Use Private Web Browsers
You can even use private web browsers to enjoy some level of encryption over the web. The mainstream web browsers such as Google and Microsoft Edge have somehow compelled users to look for other alternatives despite offering excellent service. It’s mainly because of their data collection habit. These browsers collect and share users’ IP addresses, browsing history, and other details with third parties and generate revenue.
The private web browsers allow you to browse the web anonymously. They come with a tracker/ad-blocker, malware protection, browser fingerprinting, and crypto-jacking protection feature that maintains your digital privacy. Some browsers even use various browser extensions like HTTPS Everywhere or uBlock that even encrypt the data and maintain your digital privacy.
6. Use Encrypted Email Services
Another less popular method for encrypting the data traffic is to use encrypted email services. Various encrypting email services like ProtonMail, CounterMail, and Mailfence protect your emails from getting intercepted. These email services use public or private encryption keys to encrypt your online communication so that only email messages are readable to the intended recipient.
If you’re a sender, let’s suppose you will use a public encryption key to encrypt the contents of the email. The recipient, on the other hand, uses the private key to decrypt the message. You can use a VPN further to strengthen email encryption and your digital privacy.
7. Use Encrypted Messaging Apps
To protect your online communication, you can even use encrypted messaging apps. Some apps like WhatsApp, Signal, Telegram, and Viber provide end-to-end encryption and make your communication private. The end-user uses a locally stored key to decrypt the messages. Also, the messages aren’t stored on the servers; they get deleted after a time that varies. Thus, in this way, encrypted messaging apps improve your online privacy and security.
You can use any of the ways mentioned above to encrypt your internet traffic. But, if you want to enjoy complete anonymity, you should consider using a VPN. The VPN’s ability to provide end-to-end encryption makes it a better option to consider than others. Even if you’re using any other method, you must first connect to a VPN and boost your online security and privacy.
How Can You Use a VPN to Encrypt Your Data Traffic?
As mentioned earlier, VPN provides end-to-end encryption and thus is the most reliable method to encrypt the data traffic. You need a VPN on your device to encrypt your internet traffic and prevent any third-party or snooping eye from monitoring your online behavior. To retain maximum web privacy you can use a VPN to encrypt your data traffic in the following ways:
The Tor browser isn’t as private as it seems. It provides some level of privacy and security, but it isn’t enough to ensure maximum protection. It is because the Tor browser has its security flaws and vulnerabilities. The Tor exit nodes don’t ensure maximum online safety because they’re vulnerable to malware attacks.
Moreover, your ISP knows that you’re connected to a Tor browser and can throttle your connection for using it. It might even result in slow internet speed. Also, the Tor browser’s slow speed is because it hops the data multiple times. Unlike a VPN, the Tor browser doesn’t provide end-to-end encryption. Hence, when the information leaves the exit node, it goes unencrypted and is vulnerable to tracking and hacking.
Since the Tor browser fails to provide complete encryption, it is pretty unreliable to use. By using Tor over a VPN, you can reduce these risks and ensure that your data remains encrypted till it reaches its final destination.
VPN+ Secure Web Browsers
One biggest drawback of using private browsers is that they won’t offer the real data encryption necessary to enjoy complete online anonymity. But, you can always use a VPN with secure browsers to add an extra layer of protection while surfing the web. A VPN by encrypting the data traffic and hides your IP address makes it difficult for anyone to know about your online activities.
Therefore using it along with secure browsers can help you browse the internet anonymously. Where VPNs will work to protect your online identity, secure browsers will protect you from various browser privacy issues such as browser fingerprinting and crypto mining.
VPN + HTTPS Everywhere + Regular Browsers
Because of the personalization and impressive browsing experience, if you want to use regular browsers like Google, you can use them. But make sure that you take measures to protect your online security and privacy.
For enhancing your online security, you can use secure browser extensions like HTTPS Everywhere that automatically loads the HTTPS versions of the website and enhances your web security. Besides this, you can connect to a reliable VPN provider that by encrypting your data traffic makes it impossible for anyone to invade your privacy.
How to Check If Your Data Is Encrypted?
If you use encrypting tools for data encryption and they fail to provide you with the desired level of online protection, it can bring catastrophic impacts. Thus, you must test whether the tool you’re using is encrypting your data traffic or not. For this purpose, you can perform different tests like IP leak, DNS leak, or WebRTC leak tests. The obtained test results should not match your actual IP address or DNS. If so, then it means that your internet traffic isn’t encrypted.
Moreover, you can check your internet encryption after using a VPN via software like Wireshark or Glasswire. These tools analyze and scan your data packets and reveal the status of your internet encryption.
How to Encrypt Your Home Wi-Fi Network?
To encrypt your internet traffic, you should also encrypt your Wi-Fi network. Accessing the web through an unsecured Wi-Fi network can pose significant threats and risks. Using an unencrypted Wi-Fi network can make you a victim of malware, phishing, or other cyber-attacks. To prevent these risks, you should encrypt your home Wi-Fi network.
Here are the steps to encrypt your Wi-Fi network:
- Go to your router’s configuration page > tap on the Wireless Security Settings option.
- Select the type of security you want. You’ll be given three choices, i.e., WPA, WEP, and WPA2. The most reliable and secure one is WPA2 so, tap on it.
- Now, access the network by entering a password. Make sure that you enter a strong password that’s hard to break.
That’s it. Your Wi-Fi network is now encrypted, and you can browse the web without worrying about any external threats.
Encrypting your internet traffic is essential to prevent hackers and other prying eyes from invading your online privacy. By encrypting your data, you can bypass censorship, online surveillance, and tracking and reduce the risks of data breaches. In short, encryption allows you to browse the web with more anonymity and privacy. It is a great idea to take your online privacy to the next level.
Hence, to encrypt your data traffic, you need to use some tools like a VPN, proxy, or a Tor browser. You can rely on using secure browsers, private search engines, and encrypted messaging apps. All these methods, in one way or the other, encrypt your data traffic. But, above all, using a VPN is the best method to achieve online anonymity. Because of its end-to-end encryption feature, it makes sure that there isn’t a loophole left in protecting your digital privacy. So, it’s recommended to consider using a VPN along with any other method mentioned above.