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Encryption Key Length
July 2, 2015


As mentioned by Edward Snowden, good encryption is probably the only thing we can rely on. Each encryption algorithm is encrypted with a key which determines how “good” that encryption really is. Sometimes it can get quite confusing. Don’t worry though, in this article Privatoria explains the length of keys used to protect VPN traffic encryption.

What is the length of AES encryption keys


128 bit

It is probably the most commonly used length for encryption keys currently used with AES encryption cipher for VPN protocols. The reason for that is simple: it is secure enough for most users. It will take approximately 1 million years to break this cipher using a butte force method (manually trying every combination until the correct one is found) and a state-of-the-art supercomputer.

256 bit

Nowadays more and more VPN providers offer 256 bit encryption. A great portion of motivation for that has been triggered by Edward Snowden and documents he revealed to the public. Therefore, a lot of VPN providers try to deploy 256 bit encryption (some use something as high as 2048 bit encryption) to offer an even more reliable encryption. It will take millions of years to break that type of cipher key.

Is it safer?

Many big companies and government institutions use 256 bit encryption. The motivation for that, among other things, is the fact that some classified data have to be stored encrypted for hundreds of years. Many users would agree that most people don’t need to store their data encrypted for such long periods of time.


At the end of the day, encryption key lengths present minimum value to the average user. The 128 bit encryption is enough to protect yourself from an attacker who tries to break the encryption with brute force. Using 256 bit keys can often be unjustified and will, therefore, offer extra protection only theoretically.

Privatoria‘s services are protected with different ciphers and keys to ensure optimal performance and the highest level of protection at the same time! Let us know what you think the optimal cipher key length is in the comments section and take our VPN or Proxy for a free spin!

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