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PPTP vs L2TP vs OpenVPN vs IKEv2 vs SSTP ProtocolA VPN is a tool that keeps your online activities hidden from your ISP and offers you private tunnel to surf the web anonymously. Before choosing the best VPN as per your need ask yourself which best VPN protocol will suit you.

Don’t have an idea of what VPN protocols are? Well, this blog is for you, here we will compare the best VPN protocols and discuss what makes a VPN protocol great.

VPN Protocols and Privacy

VPN protocols are the backbone of VPN technology. They are the main element that encrypts your data and makes it secure and private. Different VPN protocols offer a different combination of security and speed. If you ask what leads them all, then we’ll undoubtedly say “OpenVPN,” and there are tons of reasons to say so.

What makes a VPN protocol great?

VPN protocols are judged on many principles. A few of them are;

  • How secure are they?
  • Which encryption method they use?
  • What speed do they offer?
  • Are they reliable?
  • Are they compatible with popular operating platforms?

What Are They?

Before we start comparing VPN protocols head to head, let’s get an idea about each of them:

OpenVPN

OpenVPN is an open source technology that uses OpenSSL libraries. It allows peers to authenticate via pre-shared keys, usernames, passwords, and certificates. It is considered to be the best and most secure VPN protocol available.

PPTP

PPTP or Point-to-Point tunneling protocol was created by Microsoft in 1999. PPTP has been a standard protocol for most of the VPN from so long. But today is considered obsolete due to its weak security.

L2TP

L2TP or Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol is an advanced version of PPTP. It is just as quick to setup like PPTP and is compatible with all modern operating platforms. It does not provide any encryption by itself which is why it used with IPSec to fill in the lack of confidentiality.

IKEv2

IKEv2 is a relatively new protocol which is developed by Microsoft and Cisco. Just like LT2P IKEv2 is also combined with a suite-like IPSec to get the encryption feature. If a VPN provider says it encrypts data with IKEv2, then it means that it is encrypting data with IKEv2/IPSec.

SSTP

SSTP is also known as Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol, and it is owned by Microsoft. It is available on Linux and Mac OS X, but it is still considered as primary windows based platform. SSTP uses a highly secure SSL 3.0 encryption. It uses TCP port 443 which means that it can bypass most firewalls. Though SSTP is a primary proprietary from Microsoft, so it is pretty compatible with Windows, it is quite remarkable how well it performs in encrypting the data and ensuring privacy.

OpenVPN vs. PPTP vs. L2TP vs. SSTP vs. IKEv2

FeaturesPPTPL2TPOpenVPNIKEv2SSTP
Platforms Compatibility

Easy to set up on popular platforms such as Windows, MacOS, iOS, and Android etc.

No need to install additional software to setup PPTP.

It is built in on many popular platforms and is easy to set up just like PPTP. It is compatible with platforms like Android, iOS, Windows, and MacOS etc.Works on every platform but a third-party app is needed for OpenVPN to operate. Many VPN providers have a separate guide on how to setup OpenVPNSupports any windows platform after Windows 7 and is compatible with iOS and  BlackberryCompatible with windows platform and also works on other Linux distributions
FirewallRequires both GRE and TCP port 1723Uses UP Port 500- which eventually means it is harder to get around and much easier to block.It can run TCP port 443 which is used regularly by HTTPS traffic. This not only makes it hard to block but camouflages between those other connections which are not using VPN.NoUses SSL V3 which helps prevent any NAT firewall and blocking
Encryption

It is not secure like its counterparts; can be easily decrypted using malicious third-party apps.

[Level:128-Bit]

It does not have any encryption of its own so is used with IPSec which unlike PPTP is considered as secure.

[Level: 256-Bit]

Uses Strong AES Encryption which is highly secure. Since it is open source, one can check the source code and see what is going on inside. This makes OpenVPN best to ensure privacy.

[Level 160-Bit][And 256-Bit]
NoUses 256-Bit Encryption
SecurityWeakHighVery HighNoHigh
SpeedFast because of lower encryptionComparatively slower than PPTP as it requires more GPU processingFast speed even on connections with high latencyVery fastFast
StabilityVery Stable, Works with most WiFi and HotspotsStable on NAT supported devicesMost stable and reliablestableVery Stable

PPTP

Pros

  • Easy to set up and configure
  • Built-in to many popular platforms
  • It is extremely fast

Cons

  • Weak security
  • Has been compromised by NSA
  • Can be blocked by most firewalls
  • It is an old technology which is why it is obsolete

LT2P

Pros

  • Works with all popular platforms
  • The setup process is simple and easy
  • Supports multithreading

Cons

  • Has no encryption of its own
  • Needs support with IPSec encryption
  • NSA can easily bypass
  • It is slow

OpenVPN

Pros

  • Has a high level of security
  • Can bypass most firewalls
  • It is open source which means it can be vetted by third-parties
  • Supports a variety of cryptographic algorithms

Cons

  • Setup is technical
  • Mobile support and functionality is weaker than desktop
  • Relies only on third-party software to update

IKEv2

Pros

  • Supports a wide range of encryption protocols
  • Easy to set up
  • Fast and secure (when connected with IPSec)

Cons

  • Supported platforms are a few
  • Can be easily blocked by firewalls
  • Needs assistance of IPSec

SSTP

Pros

  • Can easily bypass most firewalls
  • Easy to use and setup
  • Provides a high level of security.
  • Already integrated with Windows by its parent company Microsoft
  • Supports many cryptic algorithms

Cons

  • Owned by Microsoft Corporation (a threat to data privacy)
  • Only works well with windows
  • Has never been audited by an independent third-party

The Results are here….

Choosing the VPN protocol solely depends on your need to use a VPN.

As per our experts, OpenVPN tops the list as it is a comprehensive security and privacy encryption protocol. It is fast, secure, flexible and is compatible with almost all operating platforms both mobile and computer.

Still, have queries on which VPN protocol you should go with? Comment your questions and concerns below.

Terry Higgins

Terry Higgins is a Digital Content Writer at allbestVPN.com, who specializes in security and technology. He has ample experience in cybersecurity having a background of Computer Sciences.

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