You should encrypt your internet traffic to maximize your online security and privacy. But, not everyone is aware of that.
The prying eyes constantly track your activities without your consent when browsing the web.
Encryption changes all your data traffic into scrambled form and prevents anyone from keeping tabs on your activity. That’s why various messaging services, email providers, and tools like VPN use end-to-end encryption features to hide your data. Hence, encrypt your data traffic and reduce the risks of online threats and tracking.
You can adopt several ways to protect your data from snooping eyes, but not all of them are reliable. Read this article and know about the best ways to encrypt your internet traffic.
How To Encrypt Internet Connection
Here are the quick steps to encrypt entire internet traffic and connections. It’s best to use a VPN (all-in-one) encryption solution.
- Use VPN (recommended for entire network connection)
- Use Tor Browser (anonymously browsing only)
- Encrypt Wi-Fi (Wireless encryption)
- Try Private Search Engines (for encrypted searching)
- Use Private Web Browsers (for encrypted browsing)
- Https Sites (read-only secured and encrypted web pages)
- Use Instant Messaging apps (encrypted communications)
- Start Using Anonymous Emails (best way to send emails without leaving tracks)
01 – Use VPN (All In One Encrypt Everything)
Using a legitimate VPN is the best way to encrypt your data traffic. A VPN encrypts the data traffic by acting as a middle between the device and the VPN client. It changes your data into unreadable text and routes it via an encrypted tunnel to the remote server. Various VPN protocols and ciphers secure the data while data passes through the encrypted tunnel.
In this way, a VPN prevents ISPs and other prying eyes from monitoring your online activities. Encryption adds a protective layer to your data traffic and saves it from various cyber-attacks.
A VPN is the most reliable tool because it masks your IP address and spoofs your location, making you utterly anonymous over the web. Because of robust VPN encryption, you can hide your online identity and activities on the internet. Moreover, you can enjoy other fantastic benefits offered by a VPN like:
- Browse the web anonymously
- Downloading torrents from anywhere and at anytime
- Bypass ISP throttling
- Accessing the geo-blocked content from Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and other popular streaming platforms.
- Circumvent internet restrictions and censorship imposed by the state or the ISP.
Ensure you choose a VPN provider that uses military-grade AES-256 bit encryption and follows a no-log policy. Furthermore, the VPN should use advanced security-focused features in this regard.
Best Ways to Encrypt Your Internet Traffic Without a VPN
VPN emerges as the best anonymity tool that provides robust encryption to the users. But, it is not the only tool that exists for data encryption. You can indeed look for other ways to encrypt internet traffic. Here are a few best practices for data encryption without a VPN:
2. Use a Tor Browser
Tor browser is free and open-source software designed to keep your communication private and anonymous over the web. It is an excellent anonymity tool that helps in bypassing censorship and internet surveillance. Tor browser makes you anonymous on your network by providing a layered encryption feature.
Your internet traffic hops through three nodes that encrypt it while passing through the Tor network. This way, it changes your IP address and helps prevent ISP and government spying on your data traffic.
3. Encrypt Your Wi-Fi Network
Using an unencrypted Wi-Fi network exposes you to several online risks and vulnerabilities. Not just potential hackers but malware or spyware can invade your network and compromise your security. Thus, it’s essential to encrypt your router, which in turn encrypts your internet traffic. To encrypt your Wi-Fi network, you need to follow the steps mentioned below:
- Open the router’s configuration page > Click on the Wireless Security Settings option.
- Choose the WPA2 security among WPA and WEP because it is the most secure and reliable to use.
- Access the network with your login credentials.
Your Wi-Fi is now encrypted, and no snooping eye can breach your network security.
4. Use Private Search Engines
The private search engines offer the users some fantastic benefits like preventing data monetization and online tracking. Moreover, they even come up with some extra data protection and security measures and can be used to encrypt internet traffic. Some best private search engines like DuckDuckGo and Firefox use site-to-site encryption and protect users’ searches. When the data reaches the servers, they are encrypted, and the private search engines decrypt them. The local encryption adds a protection layer to your search terms and increases your online privacy.
5. Use Private Web Browsers
The demand for private browsers increases significantly because of the privacy and security features. They hide and secure your browsing activities and history from the ISPs and other prying eyes. In this way, they also prevent gathering and selling your data to third parties. A few private browsers like DuckDuckGo and Brave offer partial encryption and enable users to encrypt their data traffic. They use proxies to encrypt the data traffic and make you anonymous while using the internet.
6. Use HTTPS Encrypted Websites
Another effective way to encrypt the data traffic is to use HTTPS encrypted websites. It is an encryption standard used by secure websites to ensure safe and secure access to the site. With this encryption, no one can see the contents of the webpage. It uses TLS/SSL protocol for data encryption and stops anyone from tracking your online activities.
Hence, when you use a website, first check if it is encrypted or not. You can know which type of encryption it uses by viewing the URL. If the website uses HTTP or no encryption, proceed with caution.
7. Use Instant Messaging Services
You can encrypt your data traffic by using various encrypted instant messaging apps. Instant messaging services like WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, and Signal encrypt your data at both ends. The messages will be decrypted by the one having the decryption keys and the receiver at the other hand.
Moreover, these messaging services don’t store your messages on their hardware servers. All the data is temporarily stored on RAM-only servers that delete them after a specific time. But, the time duration varies from messaging apps.
8. Use Encrypted Email Services
You can even use encrypted email services to encrypt your data traffic. ProtonMail and Mailfence protect the content of your emails by using end-to-end encryption. They use public or private keys for data encryption and prevent any third party from snooping into your online communication.
How to Check If My Internet Traffic Is Encrypted?
To know the tools or methods, you’re using to encrypt the data traffic are giving you the desired results; Also, check whether your data is encrypted or not. You can use reliable and secure tools like Wireshark and Glasswire and perform encryption tests. Most users use it when using a VPN, but you can also use it and test encryption with other discussed data encryption methods.
Below are the steps for checking data encryption:
1- Using Wireshark
Among many other popular data analyzing software is the WireShark software. It helps users determine the encrypted data packets and shows the results in readable text. To test the encryption, follow the steps as follows:
- Download and install the software on your device.
- Connect to a VPN and run the software.
- Choose either Ethernet or Wi-Fi as your network interface and start recording.
- Under the Protocols field, select OpenVPN or any other secure VPN protocol you want to use.
- Right-click on the protocol packet to check which port it is using.
If you see that all your data traffic is unreadable, your internet traffic is encrypted. If you have any doubts, you can repeat the test by changing the VPN protocols.
2- Using Glasswire
Another reliable software to check if your traffic is encrypted is the Glasswire software. To use it for testing your VPN encryption, follow the steps as below:
- Get through the downloading and installation steps.
- Switch on your VPN and connect to a VPN server.
- Download any file from the web.
- Click on the Usage tab and tap on the App section.
- Inspect your VPN encryption. If it’s in plain and readable form, it means your VPN isn’t encrypting your data traffic.
Besides using this software, you can even run various leak tests. For example, run IP leak test, DNS, and WebRTC leak test to know if your online data is encrypted or not. By running a series of tests, you’d know that your online identity is being exposed and risking your digital life. So, it’s better to take action now rather than say sorry later.
The Bottom Line
To browse the web anonymously and keep your activities secure, encrypt your internet traffic. Unencrypted data lead to catastrophic impacts on your digital security and privacy. Anyone on your network, be it your ISP, hacker, or government surveillance agencies, can view your online data and activities.
You can encrypt the internet traffic using the Tor browser, encrypted HTTPS websites, and email and messaging services. But, since each method will provide temporary encryption. You must look for some permanent solution. A VPN using end-to-end encryption is the best way for data encryption.