VPN Protocols are one of the many features that keep data secure and encrypted while on a VPN service. There are different types of protocol, the three most popular being PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN. Microsoft also offers a proprietary protocol, SSTP, which we will discuss.
VPN Tunnelling Protocols act as deterrents to surveillance, attacks and censored material. Going through the VPN tunnel allows the user’s IP to be hidden or faked. When you use a VPN connection, all your data can be encrypted to a further or lesser extent. It all depends on what type of VPN protocol you are using.
VPN Protocols Ensure Encryption
Like we said before, VPN protocols ensure all the traffic going from the user’s machine to the VPN server is encrypted. While the VPN service offers a direct route to their private servers, it is really the type of VPN protocols that makes sure all data is secure.
Different protocols offer different levels of security. PPTP, for instance, offers limited protection. Even though the ease-of-use is there for the customer, the level of security and encryption is quite low compared to some of the other options.
The most common VPN protocols are PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN and SSTP. Our VPN protocol comparison will teach you how to choose the right protocol to never compromise your Internet security.
About VPN Protocols
When you are using a VPN service, there are several aspects at work that ensure that this is a safe and secure connection. The VPN Protocol play a major role in protecting your privacy and make your connection entirely secure.
Each protocol is developed for use with specific standards in place, such as a certain operating system being used and the like.
A VPN exists due to VPN Protocols. These are what is keeping data that is being transferred between points secure and safe. When a VPN goes through a tunneling protocol, the information is distorted, changed, and encrypted, depending on which protocol the VPN utilizes.
It is due to these protocols that those who use a VPN can ensure that anything they send via email, what they download, or even what they browse online is going to be for their eyes only.
It easily understood how important it is to select the most secure VPN protocol. A good VPN protocol will make your data impossible to understand and therefore useless. If you use instead a less secure protocol, your data may be deciphered even though with some effort.
A good VPN protocol will make your data impossible to understand and therefore useless
VPN Protocols Comparison
The following discussion will help you to understand the major differences between different types of VPN Protocols. We will explain how these differences impact your security and what are the pros and cons of each VPN protocol.
#PPTP VPN Protocol
PPTP (Point to Point TunnelingProtocol) is one of the earliest VPN Protocols and still going. It is easy to setup, comes with low overhead and works on virtually every device. The downsides of PPTP are quite numerous and deserve your attention.
Lackluster encryption at 128 bit is the major downside of PPTP protocol. Bad performance with disconnections and one of the easiest to hack is what characterizes this VPN protocol. PPTP is easily blocked by governments with good censorship software. The NSA has programs capable of breaking PPTP security and there is a well founded suspect that they decrypt PPTP encrypted communication as a standard.
Without doubt, not the best VPN protocol if you deeply care about your security.
Advantages of PPTP VPN Protocol
There are several advantages to PPTP, which is why it is often seen being used by companies and individuals. These advantages include:
- Easy to use with Windows. Those who run a Windows operating system will find that by default Windows works with PPTP. Therefore, there will be no hassle with installing the necessary programs and software to make this run on the computer.
- Easy to work with No matter what operating system you are using, PPTP has the huge benefit of being easy to work through. The reason for this is that IPsec, a data encryption tool, is not normally used.
- Cost Effective Since PPTP does not require many additional certificates to use, it can be more cost effective than other protocols on the market. In addition, since it is so easy to understand, most people can do this on their own with a little self training, rather than paying someone else to do this for them.
Disadvantages of PPTP VPN Protocol
Though the benefits of PPTP are numerous, there are two big disadvantages that need to be pointed out. These disadvantages include:
- Does not work well with lots of data being shared This protocol was developed with the idea of sharing files and smaller amounts of information. For companies or individuals sharing tons of information, PPTP can result in instability.
- Security standards are lower than other protocolsOther protocols on the market do have a higher set of security standards. PPTP does not offer data origin verification or data integrity which can result in the unknown for many companies or individuals. This can affect the reliability of PPTP. In fact, this protocol can easily be hacked by those just starting, and it is not going to work with any government censorship in place.
#L2TP VPN Protocol
L2TP (Layer 2 Tunnelling Protocol) is another old VPN protocol, dating back to the same age as PPTP. Thankfully, L2TP is a bit more secure when it comes to encrypting data and making sure that data cannot simply be hacked and stolen.
Encryption goes up to 256 bit and L2TP is available on almost every platform, although it is a little harder to set up, when compared with PPTP. Some issues with L2TP include speeds with the protocol and the fact that many ISP (Internet Service Provider) can easily ban connections through L2TP.
L2TP or Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, basically combines the earlier version of PPTP manufactured by Microsoft, while also taking elements from Cisco’s Layer 2 Forwarding system.
Advantages of L2TP VPN Protocol
There are several advantages that make it a VPN protocol that several VPN’s are using. These advantages include:
- Data is much more secure than when compared to protocols such as PPTP Through using a L2TP you can ensure that the information that is being transferred is not being lost in translation, as the protocol works to ensure nothing is lost in this format, while also ensuring that information cannot be heard by third party people.
- Much faster than others on the market
Disadvantages of L2TP VPN Protocol
Though the advantages are numerous, there are some drawbacks that have to be considered. These drawbacks include:
- Problems with some firewalls It may happen for a firewall to work against the L2TP and affect the speed as to how this performs
- High usage of computer resources Due to the way in which this protocol is set up, it does a high amount of usage on a computer, which can ultimately affect the overall speed of the computer that is being used
L2TP is a viable option that has speed on its side, as well as numerous security protocols in place. However, still not the best VPN protocol to guarantee high security and pleasant user experience.
OpenVPN is the new high standard when it comes to VPN protocol. A lot of this has to do with community support being an open source protocol. The VPN community works on open source programs to make OpenVPN even more secure, every day.
OpenVPN takes advantage of OpenSSL certificates for encryption and supports faster hardware, capable of more speed management. Some downsides to OpenVPN is not all VPN services have it available and the 128 bit blowfish is known to have some weaknesses.
In any case, this is actually a VPN protocol that several people want to use, as it is constantly working on making it the best protocol that is on the network.
OpenVPN is a community project, in which various people work to make this something that is going to work for the long haul with a VPN. Due to this, several VPN’s utilize OpenVPN as one of their tunneling protocols.
Advantages of OpenVPN Protocol
There are several advantages that OpenVPN offers to those who are utilizing this type of tunneling protocol. These advantages are:
- Very high security interface OpenVPN protocol ensures that your information is safe from those who may try to get this information. The security for OpenVPN utilizes shared keys, certificates and other forms of security to ensure that everyone is safe while online.
- Tunneling protocol very reliable Should the tunnel go down, the entire system will shut down in order to make repairs, thus ensuring that you cannot send data or information that would be lost.
- Great support features Since this is an open protocol, people from all around the world can help to make this better and implement new features
Disadvantages of OpenVPN Protocol
Though the advantages are numerous for OpenVPN, there are several disadvantages that need to be taken into consideration when dealing with this protocol. These disadvantages are:
Occasional problems with the proxy Not all proxies are going to support OpenVPN. However, this is an easy solution in only using a proxy that is supported, which may or may not be the case in some locations throughout the world.
Requires fairly sophisticated machines on both ends in order for this protocol to run effectively.
Hard to set up It can be hard to install this protocol for those who are beginners, as there is a lot involved in this. In any case, if you use a VPN provider that support OpenVPN you don’t need to go through any setup.
Overall, OpenVPN is a fantastic VPN protocol with great support. This is the most recommended VPN protocol. Yet, it may not be practical for all users, depending upon what type of machine they are using and where they are located in the world.
VPN Connection That Use The Most Secure VPN Protocols
There are several VPN’s on the market that are meant to protect you. However, there are a few that stand out as being far superior to the competition. One reason is that they support the most secure protocols including, of course, OpenVPN.
Hide My Ass
Hide My Ass has always been one of the most secure VPN providers. It uses all the major VPN Protocols. Their VPN protocols include:
HideMyAss is a good choice if you are looking for an high security and privacy level. Keep anyway in mind that despite using the best VPN Protocols available, HMA keeps logs of your activity. Depending on your needs, if you need a 100% secure VPN connection you should go for a provider with “no logs” policy.
ExpressVPN is always a safe choice. It supports all the major protocols like:
In the ExpressVPN software you may go for the “Automatic” selection for the VPN Protocol. In this case the software will always go for the best VPN protocol for your network. Additionally, ExpressVPN is a “no logs” VPN provider that totally protect your sensitive data.
IPVanish is an excellent VPN provider that support the VPN Protocols needed to give you an adequate protection while on the Internet. The supported VPN protocols are:
IPVanish apply a “no logs” policy that add even more security to your data. You can try their services for 7 days for free.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is a US based VPN provider that supports these VPN Protocols:
OpenVPN is of course the recommended one to entirely protect your connection. The company claim to be a “no logs” VPN provider even though being under the US jurisdiction could at certain point become a problem. In any case, up to now PIA has proved to be a reliable and secure provider.
VyprVPN is a Switzerland based VPN provider. The VPN Protocols are different depending on the plan you subscribe:
Pro and Premier Plan:
VyprVPN has a good net of servers around the world and it is a reliable VPN provider for your security. The free trial option makes it quite easy to give this provider a try.
Why Protocols Are Vital
The whole idea behind a VPN is the security that it offers. These types of VPN protocols is what makes security possible. Without VPN protocols, there would be no security that could be offered, hence making everyone vulnerable to having personal and private information stolen, as well as easily being monitored for what they are doing online.
A VPN is a virtual private network that is meant to offer protection while online. Anything that is completed through a VPN allows the user to find a way around blocked websites, a way to hide their location and to secure the information that they are sending. Without these VPN’s a person is vulnerable to any attack that hackers can perform.
If you don’t go for a VPN that support the best protocols, most important OpenVPN, your Internet security and privacy will always be at risk.