A Virtual Private Network is commonly known as a VPN. Through a VPN protocol, you can connect securely to another network through the internet. You can access websites that are restricted in your location while shielding your browsing activities from public Wi-Fi and more.
Nowadays, VPNs are very common, but not for the intentions they were created. Initially, VPNs were created for business networks to connect securely over the internet and also give access to the business network if you are working remotely at home.
5 Common VPN Protocols
A VPN’s functionality can be approached in two ways. Either two protocols are used, where one protocol secures the traffic of the data, while the other protocol moves through the tunnel. Or one protocol is used for both data security and data transfer. Here are 5 types of VPN protocols.
Point-to-point Tunneling Protocol is among the first VPNs to be created. It is a product of Microsoft. It was developed in the ’90s. Windows 95 was the first operating system it ran on for dial-up connections. With technology advancing fast, PPTP was cracked because it had basic encryption.
That compromised the security of the VPN. However, all is not lost. The VPN can deliver the best connection speeds since it does not have the security encryptions of modern proxy networks. This is a good VPN if you do not need a lot of encryption. Although it is still used, most providers have upgraded to more reliable and faster protocols. It is simply characterized by wide support, fast data speeds, and many security concerns.
Layer 2 Tunnel protocol was created to replace the PPTP VPN protocol. This protocol does not give privacy out–of–box or encryption and is normally paired with the IPsec security protocol. Once they are paired, the VPN is very secure and can hardly be compromised. It is characterized by good speeds, wide usage, and easy blockage because of dependence on UDP on a single port.
OpenVPN is an open-source protocol. This means that developers can access its underlying code with ease. This VPN protocol is popular because of its AES-256-bit key, which is virtually unbreakable. The AES-256-bit key encryption has a 160-bit SHA1 and a 2048-RSA authentication. Simply put, this protocol has strong encryptions, low speeds, and is open source.
Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol has gained popularity because of its full integration into Microsoft operating systems since Windows Vista SP 1. SSTP uses 2048-bit SSL/TLS certification for authentication and a 256-bit SSL key for encryption. The only setback is that it is a Microsoft product and developers cannot access the underlying code. It is characterized by great support for third-party and native clients, good security, and difficulty to detect and blocking.
The Internet Key Exchange version 2 is a popular VPN protocol because it provides a secure key in the exchange session. It is paired with IPsec for authentication and encryption. The protocol re-establishes the link whenever you lose connection temporarily and works well if you switch between connections and network types e.g. from cellular data to Wi-Fi.
It is fast, supports mobile devices, is open-source, has network switching capabilities, and offers great support for third-party and native clients.
READ MORE: From the Physical to the Digital World