Pros and Cons of Various VPN Protocols

Last updated: February 02, 2016

vpn protocolsWhen it comes to internet security, nothing can be as effective as Virtual Private Network (VPN). It basically revolves around a process called tunneling, through which one will be able to safely connect to a private network from a public network. How does this work? Well, the encrypted data will be sent from the client computer to sever, and it will be decrypted at the server.

 

Choices

What are the choices that we have? Well, there are plenty of choices before us and let us take a closer look at them below.

 

PPTP protocol

Without any doubt, this is one of the most commonly used VPN protocols out there. The configuration is really simple. Also, one doesn’t have to worry too much about the maintenance either. As for PPTP, it is an extension of PTP. Several remote connections are utilized to send data over the internet when it comes to PTP. Microsoft developed this protocol with the help of few other corporations. That is exactly why Windows comes with built-in support for PTTP protocol. If we take a closer look, we can see that previous versions of PTTP were criticized for lack of security. With the help of EAP authentication, such problems have been eliminated of late. Also, today PPTP is supported by many firewalls. Yes, that includes Sonic Wall and ISA server as well. When it comes to accessing streaming services, this can be the best bet.

 

L2TP

This one has features of both L2P and PPTP protocols. Cisco and Microsoft have come together to come up with this one as L2F comes from Cisco. The main thing is that the data link layer is really important. As for confidentiality of the data, it follows PPTP to the T. Also, data protection is guaranteed against customization happens during tunneling. Another important aspect is the origin authenticity. You will also be impressed with the replay protection. Since Microsoft is part of the design, Windows will give you a built-in support for L2TP. Also, for implementation, you will need a digital certificate.

 

IPSec protocol

It can be used as a tunneling protocol if you want. Also, you can use it along with L2TP. When it comes to gateway to gateway VPN it is considered as the standard protocol. It also works like a Security Layer as well. This one was basically developed for IP traffic. One thing you need to realize is that it is time consuming as well as costly. Windows versions post Windows 2000 supports this protocol.

 

SSL

SSL stands for Secured Socket Layer. It has several advantages over many VPN protocols considering the fact that you don’t need VPN client software. That is exactly why VPN connected via SSL is called clientless. You don’t have to worry about using a client at all. All that it uses is http or a web browser. Session layer is what it operates on. As you know, session layer is above the layer at which IPSec operates. When it comes to authentication, SSL needs digital certificates.