There are a lot of VPN protocols out there, each with its own perks and advantages. You need to understand which one’s most suitable, so for starters, ask yourself, what do you need out of a VPN protocol? It could be Security, Stability, or even Speed.
If you had used a VPN service before and dwelled deeper into the app settings, you might have discovered the options for selecting the appropriate VPN protocol for yourself. Normally, apps will give you at least two or three protocols to choose from,
Before we inform you about each one, let’s also answer the question: what even is a VPN protocol? So, this answer that we’re about to give you is extremely simplified and easy to understand, even for people with no or little knowledge about such technological terms.
Each VPN protocol has its own set of rules, programs, and processes that it uses to communicate to the VPN network. But different protocols do it differently, which is why they all have their pros and cons.
Most people don’t need to know the operating methods of VPNs. Little of what protocols to choose from. When you install a VPN on your smartphone or even your computer, you just turn it on, choose a country, and then you’re connected to a VPN server. By default, most VPN providers automatically choose the best-seated protocol for your network. But what if you want to?
Some people prefer speed over privacy or vice versa, but the good news is that most VPN providers offer that. So, let’s find out what the pros and cons are for each protocol and see which one suits you the best.
Open VPN is an open-source technology that uses the Open SSL library. Unlike PPTP and L2TP, which are known to have a high compatibility-based structure, to get OpenVPN, you’ll have to use third-party software, but it’s rather easy to set up, so setting it up shouldn’t be a problem.
Another reason to use OpenVPN is its strong encryption capabilities. It’s highly secure. Also, as it’s open source, one can easily research the source code and investigate what’s going on inside, thus making OpenVPN the best for security. OpenVPN can also run on TCP port 443, which is used regularly by https-based traffic.
OpenVPN is arguably the most secure VPN protocol available. It works on every platform, bypasses firewalls, and is highly reliable as well. The other issue is you need to know how to set it up. In a nutshell, refrain from using PPTP if you have other options available for use; it’s outdated and not secure. L2TP is easy to implement and has a good encryption layer with IPsec theoretically there. SSTP, on the other hand, is much more secure, but the downside is it only works on Windows. OpenVPN works on every platform and is much more secure.
Other than that, you must wonder why it is received as “the” standard. Well, that is because of its support and the fact that it is open source. It’s also been available since 2001, and it’s also highly compatible and works on almost every OS and device, including Windows, Android, Apple devices, Linux, and more.
Router manufacturers also widely support OpenVPN. Some routers even have it available right out of the box without any setup.
Difference Between Open UDP And TCP:
Another imperative mention about this protocol is that it comes in two flavors: open UDP and open TCP.
The difference between the two is that UDP tends to be a bit faster at the cost of some stability. On the other hand, TCP is a bit slower but is more stable and reliable. Overall, OpenVPN is known for being secure and has support for all kinds of devices. But it does have some flaws. Due to the incredibly secure method of data transfer, OpenVPN normally falls short in the speed department. It’s not slow, but if you analyze it comparatively, it wouldn’t be your first choice.
This is a useful protocol, and It’s secure, very stable, and surprisingly fast. Generally, this protocol is found to be to be around 20% faster than Open VPN.
So, the real question is, does it have any drawbacks? Well, for one, it isn’t supported by many router manufacturers, and those who do support it require you to put in a lot of effort to set it up. Its compatibility is also not as good compared to Open VPN.
Now, we have come across Wireguard. Wireguard started making its appearance in VPN apps in 2020, bringing extremely fast speeds. The reason for all this speed is due to the way Wire Guard is designed. It’s open-source and very lightweight. It is also optimized for modern tech and can utilize your fresh new phone or computer processors much better than Open VPN. Wireguard’s compatibility is also great, as it supports all major platforms. Many routers also started implementing Wireguard into their firmware.
So, the answer to our question is, what is the best protocol? It’s that it’s highly dependable. VPN speed and instability can vary on so many factors, including your ISP, the device you’re using, your network settings, and so on.
So, the perfect protocol for some might be wireguard, and for others, it might be Open VPN or some other protocol that they find highly suitable for them. But at the end of the day, you can feel safe and sound because if there’s one thing that all these protocols have in common, it’s security.
PPTP Four Point to Point Tunneling Protocol was developed by Microsoft for creating VPN over dial-up networks. Moreover, PPTP has been the standard protocol for corporate VPN networks. PPTP is easy to set up using the built-in features. The clients are built into many platforms, including Windows, Mac OS, Android, iOS, and even some routers, so you don’t need to install additional software to set up PPTP.
However, it’s not a secure VPN protocol and can be easily decrypted by third parties and man-in-the-middle attacks. PPTP requires both TCP port 1723 and the GRE protocol, which makes it easy to block PPTP connections. The bottom line, avoid this protocol and only use it if it’s necessary for compatibility.
L2TP, or Layer Two Tunneling Protocol, is a better version of PPTP. It’s just as easy and quick to set up as PPTP since it’s also built into almost all modern operating systems. L2TP does not provide encryption on its own, so it’s usually implemented with an IPsec authentication suite, which, unlike PPTP is usually considered secure.
The problem with L2TP comes with the firewall. It does use UDP port 500. That means it’s much easier to block and harder to get around firewalls. With L2TP, IP SEC is theoretically secure and easy to set up. There are some people who are concerned that the NSA could have weakened the IP6 standard, But nothing has been confirmed. Also, it has trouble getting your firewalls. It isn’t the best protocol, but if you have to choose between PPTP and L2TP, use this over PPTP.
SSTP, AKA Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol, is the proposed standard owned by Microsoft. Although it’s available for Linux and even Mac OS, it’s still primarily a Windows-only platform, unlike PPTP, LTP, SSTP, and SSL 3.0, which means it’s highly secure. However, since it’s only a proprietary protocol, it means that the code is not open to the public and can’t be audited fully. It includes the ability to use TCP port 443, meaning it can bypass most spirals.
The bottom line, SSTP is a Microsoft protocol, and it’s best to put it on Windows. If you must choose between PPTP, L2TP, and SSTP for Windows computers, it’s best to use SSTP. Encryption is better, and you can circumvent firewalls as well.
IKU version two, Internet Key Exchange version two, is a relatively new protocol developed by Microsoft and Cisco. Like LTTP, ITU version two is also paired with an authentication suite such as IP SEC to get encryption features. If you provide it says IKEA version two if most probably means IQ version 2 slash Ipsec. IQ version 2 is not as common as the other protocols on the left as it’s supported by fewer platforms. Basically, Windows and iOS. However, mobile users may still consider it as it’s good at automatically re-establishing a VPN connection when users temporarily lose their Internet connection.
For example, those switching between home Wi-Fi and mobile connections are those who move regularly between hotspots.
PPTP Vs. L2TP: Which One’s Better For You?
PPTP versus L2 TP, which is the best VPN protocol? Virtual Private Networks, otherwise known as VPNs don’t need an introduction. Businesses and individuals use the technology for different purposes. However, not much awareness has been spread about VPN protocols and which one serves your needs best.
Every time you connect to a VPN, the app automatically chooses a protocol of its choice by default. But if you want greater control over your VPN and protocols, it is best to know their working, in addition to their pros and cons. For example, some use VPN for privacy, while others only to evade pesky restrictions and enjoy fast streaming.
The two most common protocols that almost all VPNs support are L2TP and PPTP.
PPTP VPN protocol PPTP or Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol, developed by Microsoft, is an outmoded and comparatively vulnerable VPN protocol with overhead and easy configuration. It is relatively faster than other VPN protocols but also the weakest on the security front.
- PPTP comes built-in for multiple platforms, including Windows, iOS, Mac OS, and some routers as well.
- PPTP isn’t only the easiest protocol to install; it’s also the most cost-effective because it doesn’t require any Public Key Infrastructure PKI to run fast connection speed.
- PPTP offers better Internet connection speed than L2 TP because of its low-Level encryption
- PPTP is the least secure protocol because it uses 128-bit encryption for data protection, which further enables unstable performance.
- PPTP is often criticized for performing poorly on unstable networks. That’s why it isn’t recommended for sensitive tasks like private data sharing.
Similarly, like PPTP, L2TP allows users to access a network but in a much more secure way. Co-created by Cisco and Microsoft, L2 TP is more firewall-friendly as it runs over a fast protocol.
- L2 TP uses IP SEC suite to offer 256-bit encryption. Although L2 TP isn’t as secure as Open VPN, it trumps PPTP and doesn’t have any major vulnerabilities.
- L2 TP is natively supported by many platforms making it easier to configure, not as easy as PPTP since L2TP uses digital certificates stable performance.
- Unlike PPTP, L2 TP offers a steady performance on unstable networks, making it a safer bet for network connections.
- While L2TP offers better security, it lacks connection speed compared to PPTP due to higher CPU usage easily blocked.
- That said, L2TP is relatively easier to get blocked by firewalls, so choose the one that fits better to your goals, and the term best VPN protocol is rather subjective as they can be used for different perks and can fulfill the same purpose but with a different and more suitable approach.
A VPN is generally used to formulate a digitally secure tunnel to process and deal with information while stopping it from being leaked or taken advantage of. Using a VPN comes with many perks and advantages, which include the security of many aspects of day-to-day use of the internet. That said, these advantages, including the security level of the VPN, can easily vary with the method of communication it utilizes to stay in connection with the entire network. There are some disadvantages to consider before setting it up for use, as well. However, you can refrain from indulging yourself in these disadvantages by simply choosing the right method of communication for yourself. These communication methods are also known as VPN Protocols, and they’ve been thoroughly discussed above.
How Can I Install VPN Apps?
Go to your favorite service provider’s website, locate the download button, click on it, and install it onto your computer.
Do I Need A VPN In 2023?
The need for a VPN is on the rise, especially in 2023. Using a good VPN for everyday use is strongly recommended.
Is It Okay To Keep The VPN Up And Running All The Time?
The short answer is that it’s completely fine and even sometimes recommended.