Each day, more people start to use VPN technology. Studies show that the majority of internet users subscribe to a VPN to enhance their level of security and anonymity.
Have you ever wondered how does a VPN encrypt your traffic? Besides the fact that it facilitates the communication between your device and the Internet, a VPN protocol encrypts the data you transmit over the internet.
What is a VPN protocol?
A VPN protocol is a technology that combines different encryption standards for data transmission.
The VPN protocols lead the way of the data between your device and the VPN server. There are multiple types of VPN protocols and is important to choose the one that is suitable for your needs. Some protocols can prioritize speed, while others can enhance your online security based on their level of encryption.
Let’s focus on comparing the most popular types of VPN protocols.
|OpenVPN is an open-source protocol and one of the most popular these days. Besides its popularity, OpenVPN is super-secure.||
|Very stable and fast.||Various operating systems and devices.|
|PPTP is one of the oldest VPN protocols. Even if this protocol has a history, its encryption level is light so, we recommend it only for users with devices that don’t support other protocols than PPTP.||
|PPTP is not as reliable and stable as other protocols.||Various operating systems and devices. Important note: PPTP is no longer supported on iOS v. 10+ and MacOS v. 10.12+.|
|L2TP is the successor of PPTP and it comes as its better version. Compared to PPTP, L2TP offers a strong encryption for secure browsing.||
|Very stable and fast.||Various operating systems and devices.|
|Just like Open VPN, SSTP is a well-known protocol, developed by Microsoft. The cherry on top is that it provides a strong level of encryption.||
|Very stable and extremely secure.||SSTP is only available for Windows (Vista, 7, 8, 10) and a recent version of Ubuntu.|
|Just Like L2TP, IPSec is a popular VPN protocol with a good encryption level.||
|Even if it might have some flaws, is a stable protocol.||Various operating systems and devices.|
|This combination of protocols(Open VPN + ObfsProxy) is popular among users who try to bypass firewalls and other online restrictions.||
|Very stable protocol.||Windows, Android.|
|SoftEther (Software Ethernet) is one of the most powerful and easy-to-use multiprotocol in the world.||
|Very stable protocol.||Various operating systems and devices.|
|Shadowsocks is a proxifier (not a VPN protocol) solution focusing on users living in regions like China and other countries with heavy Internet censorship.||
|Very stable protocol.||Shadowsocks can be configured on many operating systems.|
To better understand the particularities of the VPN protocols, we will discuss them from scratch.
VPN Protocols Explained.
What is OpenVPN protocol?
OpenVPN is an open-source protocol launched back in 2001. This protocol uses a client-server type of connection in order to provide fast and secure communication between a device and the internet.
This technology uses OpenSSL for VPN encryption and authentication. For transmission, OpenVPN uses TCP and UDP.
What is TCP?
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a connection-oriented standard that establishes and defines the network communication between two applications. Combined with the IP (internet protocol), these two technologies are the basic rule of the Internet.
What is UDP?
Just like TCP, UDP (User Datagram Protocol) is a protocol that facilitates network communication between apps. UDP works almost the same as TCP but, unlike TCP, it removes any kind of error-checking.
Compared to the other VPN protocols, OpenVPN is well-known because of its strong encryption and compatibility with different operating systems like Windows, MacOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.
As you already know, the most common reason for VPN usage is online security. OpenVPN is the suitable solution as it provides 256-bit encryption via OpenSSL. We must say that OpenVPN is the perfect solution when it comes to fast, stable and secure connections.
What is PPTP protocol?
PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol) is one of the oldest protocols available. The technology is developed by Microsoft and is used since Windows 95. This protocol allows corporations to enlarge their corporate network via so-called private tunnels over the world wide web.
Even if PPTP is one of the oldest protocols is not the best one. Its major advantage is the speed. That’s why PPTP is preferred among VPN users who look to unblock audio or video streaming websites. Hand in hand with its advantage goes the real threat of PPTP – its lack of security. This protocol still uses MS-CHAP-v1/v2 which are pretty unsafe.
When it comes to compatibility, PPTP works on various operating systems and even DD-WRT routers.
Bottom line… PPTP is a good solution for folks who use a device that doesn’t support other protocols than this one. If you’re preoccupied about your online privacy and anonymity, you should definitely disregard PPTP.
What is L2TP protocol?
L2TP (Layer Two Tunneling Protocol) is an extension of the old and rusty PPTP and, actually, it represents a merge between PPTP and L2F (a protocol created by Cisco Systems).
This set of rules helps an ISP to enable the functionality of a VPN (virtual private network) over the world wide web. The two technologies underlying L2TP are the LAC (L2TP Access Concentrator) and the LNS (L2TP Network Server). The LAC is the device that terminates an L2TP session, while the LNS terminates (and maybe authenticates) the PPP stream.
Compared to its ancestor (PPTP), L2TP provides a secure 256-bit encryption granted by IPSec, a fact that makes this protocol very secure. Keep in mind that even if L2TP is compatible with most common operating systems, it won’t work on some routers like DD-WRT.
What is SSTP protocol?
The big surprise SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol) brings focuses on its compatibility. Unlike other common VPN protocols, SSTP is compatible only with Windows as is developed by Microsoft.
SSTP transports traffic via the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) over TCP port 443. This way of data transportation makes it very hard to be detected by firewalls.
Compared with the other VPN protocols, SSTP is known to be as secure as OpenVPN so, we highly recommend SSTP to any user who tries to surf anonymously.
What is IPSec protocol?
Just like its name suggests, IPSec (Internet Protocol Security) is a set of rules used to ensure the security of a VPN connection. This protocol can use cryptography to provide security.
In order to function, this protocol uses two security services:
The Authentication Header (AH) is used to authenticate the sender and to discover any changes that might occur during the transmission.
The Encapsulating Security Payload (ESP) is used to authenticate the sender and to encrypt the data.
Due to its encryption level, this protocol might be a little slow, even slower than OpenVPN. Still, is a great solution to navigate securely and is compatible with the most common operating systems.
What is Stealth VPN?
Stealth VPN is the key to your online freedom. This protocol allows internet users to easily bypass any online restriction or firewall they may encounter.
This powerful technology will make the traffic generated via a VPN look like regular HTTPS traffic by using ObfsProxy. Even if the principle behind this technology may sound easy, is not. The OpenVPN data packet contains two parts visible as VPN data and which need to be disguised. Stealth VPN uses the obfuscation technique to remove all the information that indicates that a user tries to access a website via a VPN server.
With Stealth VPN you can definitely forget about deep packet inspection and firewalls and surf the web anonymously.
When it comes to compatibility, Stealth VPN works on Windows and Android.
What is SoftEther VPN?
SoftEther (SoftWare Ethernet) is one of the easiest to set up and powerful multi-protocol in the world. Even if it has “Soft” in its name, we guarantee that this protocol is not soft at all.
Besides being strong, SoftEther VPN is super secure because of its 256-bit encryption. As is a multi-protocol, SoftEther integrates many features of different protocols like PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN, and SSTP.
From our point of view, SoftEther is the perfect solution for every VPN user as is super-secure and compatible with Windows, Linux, Mac, Solaris, and FreeBSD and, because is faster, is a great alternative to OpenVPN.
What is Shadowsocks VPN?
Shadowsocks VPN has no limits when it comes to online freedom. Since it has been developed is known to be the perfect solution for people living in countries like China or Egypt who fight against heavy online restrictions.
As most of you probably know, Shadowsocks is not really a protocol. This technology focuses on proxying and is actually a secure Socks5 proxy.
With this technology, before reaching your destination on the web, you first connect to a proxy server which is actually a computer other than yours. By following this technique, all your traffic is routed via the proxy server first. In this way, all the traffic generated while using Shadowsocks is almost impossible to be detected and blocked.
There’s only one major disadvantage that comes to our mind when talking about Shadowsocks – this technology is not encrypted.
The awesome news is that by combining Shadowsocks with a VPN you can get an encrypted, 100% secure connection. If you’re wondering how you can get to having your connection secured, let’s take a closer look at how easy is to choose and to connect to a VPN protocol via a VPN app.
Connect to the most popular VPN protocols with ibVPN.
Let us introduce ourselves. With over 15 years of experience in the online privacy and security fields, ibVPN is one of the most trusted and fastest VPN on the market. ibVPN is all about privacy, security, and anonymity. We provide VPN apps compatible with various operating systems.
With ibVPN you can assure your online privacy and anonymity, unblock websites or stream your favorite TV shows from any place in the world. Other things that are recommending us? The variety of hype features, the super-friendly support team and, on top of all these things, our awesome customers.
Let’s not lose focus and see how easy is to access the most secure protocols with ibVPN.
Accessing the most popular VPN protocols via our Windows app.
Besides the complete list of useful features, our VPN client for Windows allows you access lots of VPN protocols. These protocols will enhance your level of security or will help you surf fast.
At ibVPN, we spoil you with a generous list of protocols like:
L2TP protocol. As already described, L2TP is a fast and stable VPN protocol. Besides this, it has a good AES 256bit encryption.
PPTP protocol. Even if PPTP is not that secure, we are providing it as a “legacy protocol”, because there are devices that accept only PPTP connections. So, we highly recommend you to choose PPTP only if your device doesn’t support other protocols, as it has a light encryption level (MPPE 128 bit).
SSTP protocol. Fast, extremely-secure and reliable. By choosing SSTP you can navigate fast while being 100% secure because it has a nice level of encryption – AES 256-bit.
IPSec protocol. Besides being fast, its level of encryption keeps you safe – AES 256-bit encryption.
OpenVPN. We couldn’t miss this popular VPN protocol. OpenVPN can be easily configured to run on any port using either UDP or TCP. Plus, its AES 256-bit encryption will keep you safe.
Stealth VPN. Known as a combination between two protocols (Open VPN + ObfsProxy), Stealth VPN helps you bypass restrictions and stay safe at the same time. At ibVPN, the security level is given by OpenVPN so, is AES 256-bit encryption.
Shadowsocks VPN.Even if is not actually a VPN protocol, at ibVPN you can find it in the protocols list. The Shadowsocks technology focuses on proxying and helps users to bypass firewalls and other online restrictions. By enabling it from the VPN client for Windows, it will automatically encrypt your traffic with the AES 256-bit encryption system as your data will be first encrypted via OpenVPN and then camouflaged using Shadowsocks.
The story of Shadowsocks doesn’t end here. Besides the fact that you can use it within out Windows app, you can set it up manually on Android, Mac, Windows and Linux.
Important note! The manual configuration of the Shadowsocks implies the usage of this proxy in its pure form, without encryption. This means that you will be able to bypass restrictions but your traffic won’t be encrypted.
Accessing the most popular VPN protocols via our Mac OneClick App.
We don’t want to brag but our Mac OneClick app rocks. Is very easy to use and is perfect for those who’re at the beginning of their VPN journey.
To access the Protocols list, go to the Menu button -> VPN setting.
Our Mac OneClick app allows you to easily choose between OpenVPN, IKEv2, and IPSec.
Just like in the Windows app, for the Mac app, OpenVPN and IPSec are offering you the same characteristics.
Let’s learn more about IKEv2 and why is a good option for you.
IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange version 2) is a tunneling protocol used to ensure secure traffic. This technology is also known as a request-and-response security protocol that is able to set up an SA (Security Association) usually for IPSec’s authentication suite. At ibVPN, we’ve implemented this protocol by using the AES 256-bit encryption system. Besides its encryption level, this protocol has a great speed performance.
Accessing the most popular VPN protocols via our iOS and Android apps.
Don’t forget that is super important to protect your internet connection while using a mobile device too. For this purpose, we provide you with two awesome apps for iOS and Android devices to help you surf securely.
By choosing to use VPN on your iPhone or iPad, you will be able to access the same protocols with the same levels of encryption like on the Mac app.
Our Android app is fast and easy-to-use and it grants you access to OpenVPN TCP and OpenVPN UDP with fast connections and an AES 256-bit encryption.
SoftEther VPN x ibVPN.
Besides the VPN protocols we allow our customers to use within our VPN apps, on many servers we support SoftEther VPN too.
You can set up this well-known protocol on your Windows, Mac or Linux devices.
The steps you need to follow are pretty simple.
Sign up for a free trial.
Check the list of servers that support SoftEther VPN in the Client Area.
If you’re happy with the performance of our service, go premium and surf fast and freely.
PPTP vs L2TP vs OpenVPN vs all the secure VPN protocols.
As there are a lot of VPN protocols, is super important to know how to choose one based on your needs. Many internet users look for the most secure VPN protocols while others are interested in the fastest VPN protocol for their connection.
No matter if you’re just a beginner or a tech-savvy, what matters is to know which is the suitable solution for your needs.
Keep in mind that a VPN secures your connection by using the encryption provided by the VPN protocol. If you want to surf safe, we highly recommend you protocols like SSTP, OpenVPN, L2TP, IPsec. If you’re interested in surfing fast, the best solutions are L2TP, OpenVPN or IPSec.
As we’ve already mentioned, if you’re interested in a secure VPN connection, avoid PPTP by any mean! PPTP has a light level of security and most VPN providers are including this protocol in their lists only for users with old devices that don’t support other protocols but PPTP.
Until next time, safe and smart browsing, folks!