AES-256 is a key generation method used to securely encrypt your data and prevent unwanted access to your files. But the real question is how safe is AES 256bit encryption really?

When referring to AES-256bit encryption, we are actually referring to the key that is generated when encrypting your data. The data itself is secured by the software by creating a ‘key’ that uses 256bit encryption to unlock that data; by finding the key, one would be able to unlock the chest. The math behind AES-256 is fairly straight forward, but very important to understand as it relates to the real world.

The Math

A 256bit encryption is the mathematical equivalent of 2256 key possibilities. To put that into perspective, 232 is about 4.3 billion, and it keeps growing exponentially after that. What does this mean though? Well simply put, let’s say hypothetically all the super computers in the world (the ultimate brute force attack) decided to group up and tasked themselves to decrypt your AES-256 key so they could access your data. Assume they could look at 250 keys per second (which is approximately one quadrillion keys/second – a very generous assumption). A year is approximately 31,557,600 seconds. This means that by using the one billion super computers required to do this, they could check about 275 keys per year. At this rate it would take these computers 234 years (the age of our universe) to look at less than .01% of the entire key possibilities. The bottom line? No one will be breaking your encrypted data at Canadian Cloud Backup.

So 448bit encryption must be better?

Why do we use AES 256 bit encryption over any other format (128 and 448 namely)? Well the bottom line is that more isn’t necessarily better. 256 bit encryption so far has proven to be unbreakable, so moving to a 448 bit encryption doesn’t realistically change the likelihood of hacking your data. More importantly however, 256bit encryption has had a significantly more public and industry testing. This means that since its inception (more than a decade ago), AES-256 has undergone excessive public and private hack-testing and has continued to reign supreme in protecting its data as the best solution for data encryption. Although 448bit encryption sounds better – being a bigger number and ‘more secure’, in reality it hasn’t undergone the same testing that AES256 has been through. Use the industry and time proven standard of AES 256 bit encryption, and don’t risk moving to 448 solely because it sounds better.

The Conclusion

So what does this mean for your data? Well, this means that by choosing AES-256 bit encryption to backup your data, you can be assured that you will be the only one who can access your critical information. With us your data’s keys are privately held by you and we use AES 128 or AES 256 (your choice) so that you can be assured that your data remains yours, using Canadian Cloud Backup. 

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