Having a Virtual Private Network (VPN) on your smartphone or tablet is very convenient because you can encrypt all your sensitive data as you go about your day, while being untrusted near your work network or home network.
With an increasing number of companies going virtual, demanding faster speeds, and more reliable connections, VPNs are becoming essential for every networked computer or mobile device.
Choosing the right kind of VPN for your needs can be tricky. There are many different protocols, and it’s not always easy to know which one is best suited to your needs. In this article, we’ll help you figure out which kind of VPN is right for you, by identifying and describing the different protocols available, the pros and cons of each one, and how you can choose the best one for your needs.
PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol)
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is one of the most popular protocols for VPNs. It was originally developed by Microsoft, and then adopted as an open standard by the OpenVPN project in 2011.
PPTP is considered one of the easiest and most user-friendly protocols to set up and use. It was designed to be both simple and backward compatible with older versions of Windows. It is also one of the most secured protocols available, used in conjunction with SHA-256, AES, and RSA encryption.
L2TP/IPSEC (Layer Two Tunneling Protocol/Internet Protocol Security)
L2TP/IPSEC is a combination of Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) and Internet Protocol Security (IPSEC). It was introduced as an extension to the IPSec protocol in 2001, and is now considered the standard combination used by VPNs to provide end-to-end encryption of all traffic. L2TP was originally developed by Cisco, and then implemented in the IKE (Internet Key Exchange) protocol. IPSEC was developed by the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) in the early 1990s and is considered one of the most reliable and secure ways of ensuring the privacy of your data.
L2TP/IPSEC allows for the authentication of the sender of the data, and the encryption of the data in transit from one endpoint to another. This is especially convenient for VPNs used in conjunction with public Wi-Fi networks, where you don’t necessarily want to trust the security of the network you are connected to.
IKEv2 (IKE End-to-End Protocol)
IKEv2 is the name of the protocol developed by the IETF to replace IKEv1. It was first published in 2003, and can operate in both client and server modes.
IKEv2 is a key-based protocol that uses symmetric cryptography to establish a secure connection between two endpoints. It also provides a means of authentication and encryption through the use of digital certificates. Key exchange is made easier through the use of pre-shared keys, which can be used to authenticate the sender of the data, and encrypt it in transit from one endpoint to another.
IKEv2 is more secured and easier to use than its predecessor IKEv1. It also provides for the dynamic registration of keys, which makes it more suitable for use on dynamic networks such as Wi-Fi.
SSTP (Simple, Secure, and Trusted Protocol)
Simple, Secure, and Trusted Protocol (SSTP) is an encryption protocol intended to run over UDP and provide authentication and encryption of VPN traffic. SSTP was designed to be a less resource-intensive option than its predecessors, Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) and Layer Two Tunneling Protocol/Internet Protocol Security (L2TP/IPSEC), resulting in faster connection speeds and more reliable connections. Additionally, since SSTP is a simpler protocol than its counterparts, it’s less likely that it will be intercepted and cracked by network devices attempting to decipher the information it contains. Furthermore, since it’s a UDP-based protocol, it’s more suitable for use over wireless networks where the use of TCP, which SSTP predates, could make the data more vulnerable to attack. Finally, SSTP’s use of the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) for encryption and authentication makes it one of the most popular protocols among users seeking a simple and secure way to secure their data while using public Wi-Fi networks.
SSTP is considered one of the most trusted and simple protocols to use because of its intended purpose and backwards compatibility with older versions of Windows. It also provides a strong defense against many network threats due to its use of strong encryption and integrity checks. However, SSTP’s simplicity also makes it less suitable for use with certain technologies such as Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), where more advanced and resource-intensive protocols are required to provide the same level of security. Further, SSTP’s compatibility with legacy network protocols means that it will most likely not function properly with all modern network devices and operating systems.
IPsec Over TLS/SSL (IPsec over Transport Layer Security/Secure Sockets Layer)
IPsec Over TLS/SSL (IPsec over Transport Layer Security/Secure Sockets Layer) is a protocol developed by the IETF for creating a secure connection between two parties, including the verification of the identity of the other party. It can be used to provide authentication, confidentiality, and integrity for all communications over a secure connection. Similar to many other VPN protocols, IPsec over TLS/SSL was originally designed to run over a TCP connection, but can function just as well over an unencrypted connection. It is considered one of the most secure and trusted protocols available, and as a result, it’s widely used by internet service providers (ISPs) all over the world.
IPsec over TLS/SSL is a combination of the IPsec and TLS/SSL protocols. It provides for the authentication of the sender of the data, the encryption of the data in transit from one endpoint to another, and the verification of the identity of the other endpoint. Additionally, since it’s intended to function over a secure connection, it also provides a degree of data integrity during the exchange. Further information can be found in the IETF documentation for this protocol.
ChilkatVPN (Chilkat Virtual Private Network)
ChilkatVPN is a VPN protocol developed by the team at CloudPassive, and is intended to be both simple and secure enough to be used by anyone, while also being powerful and flexible enough to be used by advanced users seeking a robust and versatile solution.
CloudPassive chose to use the Chilkat framework, which is an open source software library designed to make developing cross-platform apps easy and fun. This framework is used by ChilkatVPN to provide easy access to all the tools and functionality required to build a VPN solution.
ChilkatVPN is a combination of both SSTP and IPsec. It was developed with simplicity and security in mind, resulting in a protocol that is simple to use but strong enough to protect your data. Like SSTP, it uses UDP for its communications and is more suitable for use over wireless networks. Additionally, it allows for the dynamic registration of keys, providing an extra layer of security. Finally, the Chilkat framework makes it easy for developers to create apps that are able to connect to any VPN server, even if it is not directly supported by the app itself.
ChilkatVPN is considered to be one of the most versatile and popular protocols available, used by companies all over the world for the security of their VPN traffic.
L2TP/IPv6 (Layer Two Tunneling Protocol/Internet Protocol Version 6)
Layer Two Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) is an extension to the IPv6 protocol, providing a way for IPv6 networks to operate using a similar method of operation as their IPv4 counterparts.
L2TP/IPv6 operates over UDP, providing a secure channel for the transfer of IPv6 packets between two endpoints. Like IPv6, L2TP/IPv6 provides for the dynamic creation of IPv6 addresses, allowing for enhanced stealth and flexibility when using this protocol. It also provides for the authentication of the sender of the data, and the encryption of the data in transit from one endpoint to another. It is considered one of the most popular protocols among users seeking a simple and secure way to connect to their VPN.
L2TP was developed by Cisco and then adopted as an IETF standard in 2006. For more information, visit the IETF documentation for this protocol.
Internet Protocol Version 6 or IPv6 for short provides a convenient mechanism for individuals and businesses to connect to other devices and networks around the world, allowing them to access information and resources from anywhere.