Internet Protocol Security

What Does Internet Protocol Security Mean?

Internet protocol security (IPsec) is a set of protocols that provides security for Internet Protocol. It can use cryptography to provide security. IPsec can be used for the setting up of virtual private networks (VPNs) in a secure manner.

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Also known as IP Security.

Techopedia Explains Internet Protocol Security

IPsec involves two security services:

  • Authentication Header (AH): This authenticates the sender and it discovers any changes in data during transmission.
  • Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP): This not only performs authentication for the sender but also encrypts the data being sent.

There are two modes of IPsec:

  • Tunnel Mode: This will take the whole IP packet to form secure communication between two places, or gateways.
  • Transport Mode: This only encapsulates the IP payload (not the entire IP packet as in tunnel mode) to ensure a secure channel of communication.
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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.