Although there are differences between the two protocols, they have one vital feature in common: both provide security for your data while they’re in transit (in other words, while they’re being transported from one place to another). And while it’s great to see an extra layer of security, you might not always want to pay for that extra security. This is where Ipsec VPN comes in. While SSL VPN is often referred to as a VPN for enterprises, Ipsec VPN was specifically designed for use on desktop and mobile devices and offers great security at a more affordable price point.
A Closer Look At The Differences Between Ipsec VPN And SSL VPN
Now, let’s take a closer look at the differences between Ipsec VPN and SSL VPN. As mentioned, they both offer security for your data while it’s in transit, but their differences are more pronounced than the similarities.
A bedrock of security, both Ipsec VPN and SSL VPN are focused on securing your data as it travels from one place to another. This is usually done through encryption; both protocols use the same industry-standard OpenVPN technology to encrypt your data as it travels over Internet connections (most commonly, your home Internet connection). However, Ipsec VPN goes a step further by also offering double-layer encryption (through OpenVPN and a separate layer of encryption via its own IKEv2 protocol) so your data is not only encrypted as it travels over the Internet but also as it’s stored on the VPN server.
Ipsec VPN does a great job of keeping your data secure as it travels from one place to another. The only real way to ensure this is through strong key management, which the protocol uses to keep track of your keys (the mathematical, binary or hexadecimal codes that allow you to decrypt your data) as well as to generate new ones when needed (e.g., when you log in or when your network connection changes).
While it’s vital to keep your data secure, it’s also important to note that not all encrypted data is created equal. This is where key management comes into play. Ipsec VPN was designed with enterprise customers in mind and aims to eliminate the worrying about key management that often comes with OpenVPN.
Peer To Peer
One of the great advantages of using OpenVPN is that it allows you to connect with other users, either directly (peer-to-peer connection) or through a VPN server (client-to-server connection). In the case of the latter, your IP address remains hidden – at least, to other users – and all communications with the server are handled via a secure (authenticated) tunnel.
Ipsec VPN does away with the need for a server by using a technique called split tunneling. With this method, your data is protected regardless of whether it’s connected to the VPN server or an unencrypted connection. Your data is still protected as it travels from device to device, but without the threat of eavesdropping or data interception that comes with having your data traversing the open Internet. This makes split tunneling a great choice for mobile and desktop users who want to keep their data secure while they’re online.
VPN Market Share
Another important consideration when choosing a VPN protocol is the market share that it has. Now, before you dismiss this statistic as meaningless, it’s important to remember that it’s not only a measure of how many devices currently use a given protocol but also how many would be able to use that protocol if they chose to do so. In other words, the more devices that are using a given protocol, the better, since more users means more opportunities for your data to be intercepted or eavesdropped upon. So, how does VPN market share look for Ipsec VPN and SSL VPN?
Based on a survey conducted by NordVPN, here’s how industry-standard OpenVPN and Ipsec VPN fare against their closest competitors:
- OpenVPN – 76%
- IPsec VPN – 19%
- L2TP/IPSec – 4%
- SSL VPN – 1%
So, not only is Ipsec VPN faster than OpenVPN, but it’s also more secure and allows you to connect with more users. What’s not to like?