VPN Security Protocols Compared and Contrasted

Last updated: September 18, 2020


Nowadays, technology has developed greatly and as a result people can now turn to more alternatives for protection. It has been proven that encryption is the best method for keeping all of your data safe and away from online dangers. Be it professional documents that you should keep out of sight or sensitive data about your financial transactions, pictures with your family and loved ones or copyrighted content, you need the best protective measures applied. Only then will you feel safe!

VPN protocols ensure that your traffic is encrypted at all times and that you do not risk getting your sensitive data compromised in any way. Without the contribution of the VPN protocols, we would not be able to make the most out of online anonymity. So, it goes without even questioning that we need to gather as much information as possible about their special features, their similarities and differences, their pros and cons. Only after thorough research can we conclude as to which VPN tunneling protocol suits our demands the most.

Below, we have managed to cover the basic pieces of information for the major VPN security protocols available to this date. Read through these details carefully and you will shed some light to the darkness, learning where you should turn to. Let’s get started, shall we?



PPTP is short for Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol and it usually includes 128-bit encryption. It is a simple VPN protocol that enables various authentication methods (such as MS-CHAP). Although it offers great speeds, it is not the favorite VPN protocol to many and especially to those who know their way around encryption. Unfortunately, there are several vulnerabilities related to PPTP and therefore we would not recommend its use. As for pros and cons in a nutshell:


  • Really Fast
  • Easy to Setup and Use
  • Built-in


  • Vulnerable to Threats
  • NSA Compromised



Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol combined with the IPsec encryption can offer stable and solid encryption online. You can find it built-in to most of the advanced OS and devices. Since there is double encapsulation involved in the data tunneling process, L2TP/IPsec can be significantly slower than its competition. Apart from that, it has been mentioned to include vulnerabilities (leading to surveillance by the NSA). Advantages and disadvantages of L2TP/IPsec include:


  • Quite Secure
  • Built-in to Most Platforms
  • Easy to Setup and Use


  • Can be vulnerable
  • NSA Can Detect Its Vulnerabilities
  • Slow



Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP) is ideal for Windows – it is built-in on the Windows OS, unlike other VPN protocol types and this is a great advantage. However, this means that on other OS and devices it does not work equally efficiently. On Windows, SSTP is a reliable solution that avoids firewalls and it involves AES encryption. This is another bonus that you get. Should you compare it to PPTP, it is way better. Pros and cons:


  • Built-in on Windows
  • Avoids Firewalls
  • AES Encryption Offered


  • Not So Good on Other Platforms
  • Can Be Slow at Times



IKE is the Internet Key Exchange security protocol, using IPsec for encryption. On Windows 7 and later versions, you can find IKEv2 built-in. It is idyllic for mobile devices (with BlackBerry fully supporting its use), as it is truly solid against changing networks. However, you ought to check whether or not your device supports IKEv2 (there is not great compatibility). When it is, you get fast speed and reliability. Let’s check advantages and disadvantages:


  • Ideal for Mobile Devices and Supported by BlackBerry
  • Solid and Reliable
  • Fast Speeds Guaranteed


  • It Is Not Supported by All Devices
  • Setup Can Be Difficult
  • Not Open Source



OpenVPN is a new option in the field of encryption, open source and enabling OpenSSL for the best outcome. You can fully configure its settings to best meet your needs, even though the top option would be running on UDP ports. All the sophisticated cryptographic algorithms are supported by OpenVPN (including Blowfish, AES etc.). It is really fast and particularly when compared to other security protocol types. One of the top downsides, though, is the setup procedure that is not as easy and simple as in the case of other competitors (with third party software required).


  • Thorough Protection Enabled
  • Sophisticated Encryption Algorithms Supported
  • Open Source
  • Can Be Configured Easily


  • Third Party Software Required
  • Setup Process Can Be Confusing


The best 3 VPN Provider supporting all above Protocols


Everybody acknowledges the grave importance of encryption. With the use of VPN, you can encrypt your data and not have to worry about online threats. Whether you are familiar with the technology of VPNs or not, you can see why everybody needs to include them in their line of protection. According to your personal needs, you can choose which type of VPN you are going to subscribe to for getting the top outcome.

As far as the VPN tunneling protocols are concerned, you can have a look at their special features, their distinctive details and the way they work. They all come with both pros and cons, in order for you to see what you should go for. It is our recommendation to use OpenVPN, when this is possible. Since it is open source and it enables advanced encryption algorithm support, it is a trustworthy solution online. However, compare and contrast the various protocol types – it is your decision to make and you had better choose only after having taken into consideration all of the details.

Whatever you choose to do, do not forget to engage in a VPN connection. This is the alpha and the omega of being kept safe on the Internet!

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