How Secure is a VPN Secure Line?

It might surprise you to learn that not all VPNs are created equal. Different types of VPNs offer varying degrees of security and privacy protection. Knowing what to look out for is critical if you want to secure your online privacy. Let’s take a quick look at the most popular types of VPNs and how secure (or insecure) they are.

PPTP

Perhaps the most popular type of VPN is the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol, or PPTP. This protocol is used to create virtual private networks (VPNs) for connecting two or more devices together securely over a public network like the internet. PPTP is generally considered to be one of the most secure and private VPN protocols around. It was never designed to be accessible by the general public, and the fact that it’s been around for so long suggests that very few people actually have access to it.

L2TP/IPSec

Layer two tunneling is an alternative protocol to PPTP. It was developed to allow the secure exchange of traffic between two entities (a computer or a mobile device and a server) that are in direct communication with one another. This protocol is usually used in conjunction with IP security (IPSec) to provide strong encryption of traffic transferred over a VPN. L2TP is considered to be a safer and more convenient alternative to PPTP. However, it’s still a comparatively low-privacy protocol.

OpenVPN

If you’ve ever tried to use a VPN on a mobile device, then you’ll know that they can be terribly temperamental when it comes to connecting. This is mainly down to the varying degrees of support that different manufacturers provide for the protocol, as well as the fact that openVPN was originally designed to be accessible by anyone, for any purpose. This protocol was designed with the security-conscious user in mind, as it offers strong encryption and authentication features. It’s a good choice if you want a VPN that can easily be used on all platforms (mobile and desktop) and offers strong encryption.

Chromium

Chromium is an open source web browser that was created by the Mozilla Corporation. It’s mainly used for testing purposes, but can also be downloaded and used as a standalone web browser. If you’ve tried using a VPN with any other web browser, then you’ll know that they don’t always get on well together. Chromium is effectively the ‘open source’ version of Chrome, and the two browsers are closely related. However, this protocol doesn’t use the same exact encryption algorithms as Google’s (Chrome’s) proprietary version. This doesn’t make it any less secure, but it does mean that it might not be compatible with all VPNs.

IPsec

Like many other protocols, the Internet Protocol (IP) was designed for use over a public network like the internet. However, it was never actually designed for use over mobile networks. This is mainly because Internet Protocol security (IPsec) is relatively complex and can only be used to create virtual private networks (VPNs) between two devices that are directly connected to one another. This can be a bit tricky to set up and use if you’re not tech-savvy.

If you’ve ever used a VPN (particularly on the desktop), then you’ll know that they’re not always as private as they should be. This is because some VPNs are designed to use weak encryption protocols like PPTP and L2TP, which are easily cracked by the moderately skilled, and maybe even the inexperienced cracker. Once their encryption keys are exposed, all of the sensitive data sent over the network becomes vulnerable. This includes the plain-text passwords that users type in to configure their accounts, as well as the credit cards and identification numbers that users supply when making purchases online.

If you care about your online privacy, then you might want to consider using a VPN that uses strong encryption protocols like IPSec or OpenVPN. Not only will this protect your privacy, but it will also make your data much harder to hack. Even more reason for you to look into these options.

Now that you’re aware of the various types of VPNs out there, and the varying levels of privacy they offer, it’s easier to choose a VPN that’s right for your needs. Also keep in mind that depending on your country’s laws, you may not be able to use certain VPNs if you live in Australia, for example, where PPTP is banned.

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