Los Alamos National Lab has had quantum-encrypted internet for over two years

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Los Alamos National Lab has had quantum-encrypted internet for over two years

Nothing locks down data better than a laser-based quantum-encrypted network, where the mere act of looking at your data causes it to irrevocably change. Although such systems already exist, they're limited to point-to-point data transfers since a router would kill the message it's trying to pass along just by reading it. However, Los Alamos National Labs has been testing an in-house quantum network, complete with a hub and spoke system that gets around the problem thanks to a type of quantum router at each node. Messages are converted at those junctures to conventional bits, then reconverted into a new encrypted message, which can be securely sent to the next node, and so on.

The researchers say it's been running in the lab for the last two and a half years with few issues, though there's still a security hole -- it lacks quantum integrity at the central hub where the data's reconverted, unlike a pure quantum network. However, the hardware would be relatively simple to integrate into any fiber-connected device, like a TV set-top box, and is still more secure than any current system -- and infinitely better than the 8-character WiFi code you're using now.

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