03/07/2019

VPN Protocols: short review

VPN Protocols: short review

As you probably know, one of the main advantages is that both premium and free VPN services encrypt all the data transmitted to the Network. But do you know that VPN protocols (encryption methods) are different? Both VPN for Windows and VPN for Android (and for other OS) can use different VPN protocols. We will tell you about the main VPN protocols, so that you will understand what we are talking about, even without being an advanced user or a sysadmin.


OpenVPN

OpenVPN. It’s better to start learning VPN protocols (and using them) from it. OpenVPN is compatible with many platforms, it is very convenient to use. Setting up OpenVPN is also easy. With OpenVPN you can bypass firewalls. OpenVPN has its own security protocol that supports OpenSSL and is a conditional analog of HTTPS encryption. If you have read other articles on our blog, then these abbreviations should not confuse you, but if the situation is different, don’t worry. Briefly, OpenVPN uses encryption technologies that are strong enough to be used, for example, by banks and online stores. Does OpenVPN have any drawbacks? Again, if you have carefully read our other articles, you can already guess what the answer to this question is. The speed. The better the VPN encryption is, the more it affects the speed. In our opinion, this is an adequate “fee” for providing security and privacy. We hope you agree with us.


 

L2TP / IPSec

There we face more complicated abbreviations. Decrypt: L2TP / IPSec stands for Level 2 Tunnel Protocol IP Security. That is a second-level tunneling protocol that provides IP security. L2TP / IPSec is not compatible with most platforms and operating systems, it is compatible with all of them! It is important to understand that, despite the name, the tunnel protocol itself does not encrypt your traffic. L2TP and IPSec work only in a bundle and this way they provide the AES-256 encryption standard, which is a high standard for 2019. The disadvantage of L2TP / IPSec is that this VPN protocol uses only one port. Of course, the fine manual configuration of L2TP allows you to cope with this drawback, but by default it is present. So, such traffic is fairly easy to localize and block.


SSTP

This is a data encryption protocol originally developed for Windows. And this is the official protocol developed by Microsoft. Of course, it was not created directly for use with a VPN, but it is a protocol that offers users an adequate level of data encryption. It has long been included in Windows updates, starting with the first Service Pack for Vista. Today, not everyone will remember what Vista is - but the SSTP protocol is still in service today.

If you are a Windows user, SSTP is perfect for you. It uses 2048-bit SSL / TLS certificates for authentication and 256-bit SSL keys for encryption. This is a very good level of security, even for 2019 - of course, if you are using Windows, and not a different operating system. Besides, within Windows, setting up SSTP is pretty easy. Today, SSTP also supports other operating systems like Android or Mac, of course, with the corresponding client programs.


IKEv2

The IKEv2 protocol is typically used in mobile apps. Strictly speaking, this is not a VPN protocol, since it does not encrypt data. Like L2TP / IPSec, IKEv2 can be used with IPSec. Its main advantage is speed. Therefore, if in a particular situation, the speed is more critical for you than the maximum level of security, then this protocol will be the best solution. However, we still recommend using the most secure VPN protocols.

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