Different protocols include L2TP, OpenVPN, and IKEv2/IPSec, which are tried and true Virtual Private Network protocols used in order to establish a fast, secure, and reliable connection between two nodes. More recent protocols include Lightway and Wireguard, which are cutting edge new technologies hoping to bring VPN use to new levels, while PPTP is an obsolete protocol best avoided.
Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is one of the oldest methods for establishing virtual private networks (VPNs), yet is now considered obsolete due to many security risks.
PPTP has several known vulnerabilities.
PPTP offered a fast and easy-to-set-up solution for users who did not have much concern over security and reliability. However, due to its well-reported security flaws, it is not recommended by most tech experts.
L2TP/IPSec provides a much more secure and reliable connection than PPTP. The protocol works with the IPSec authentication suite to encrypt and encapsulate data. L2TP offers greater security than PPTP, one of the original VPN protocols. However, in recent years advanced attackers have been able to bypass L2TP encryption. While L2TP is more secure than PPTP, users who prioritize security should look to other protocols, such as OpenVPN or WireGuard, for a better solution.
Speed and stability-wise, L2TP lags in comparison to OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec. When using the same levels of encryption, both OpenVPN and IKEv2 offer both higher speeds and fewer network drops. Unfortunately, the complexity of configuring IPSec increases the likelihood of drops.
OpenVPN is a popular open-source software application used to establish VPN connections.
OpenVPN provides a reliable and secure connection, with high speeds. The free online availability of the software application and the continual support of and updating via the open-source community makes it the ideal choice for users with moderate to intermediate computer skills.
IKEv2/IPSec is a VPN Protocol that offers users speed, security, and flexibility.
IKEv2/IPSec is considered one of the most secure VPN Protocols. The protocol is a part of the IPSec authentication suite and uses it for authentication and encapsulation. While it was initially developed by Microsoft and Cisco, there are now plenty of open source equivalents.
What is WireGuard?
WireGuard is a new VPN Protocol, offering users speed, security, and ease of use.
- Encryption Type/Level: Supports ChaCha20, Curve25519, BLAKE2s, SipHash24, and HKDF algorithms.
- VPN Speeds: Even faster than IKEv2/IPSec.
- VPN Comparison: Offers multiple benefits over IKEv2/IPSec, including higher speeds, better stability & efficiency, and boasts a simple design.
- Port Configuration: Only uses UDP.
WireGuard offers several benefits above IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN.
Which VPN Protocol Is The Best?
A PPTP solution is pretty much out of the question nowadays. While it is easy to set up and provides a fast connection, it offers very little when it comes to comprehensive security. Users with a PPTP connection can be easily attacked due to multiple easily exploitable vulnerabilities. Plus, recovering a PPTP connection can be difficult, especially over unstable networks. In general, users should avoid using PPTP at all costs. However, in places where VPN platforms are unavailable or banned, using PPTP may be better than nothing at all.
An L2TP/IPSec VPN connection is slightly slower, yet more secure and reliable than PPTP. It is widely available on many leading platforms and is harder to block than PPTP. Additionally, its use of the IPSec authentication suite makes it more difficult for attackers to tamper with data. However, implementing IPSec effectively can be difficult, and poor implementation can lead to reduced security and frequent network drops. In addition, many commercial VPN providers are slowly transitioning away from this protocol to newer and more advanced protocols, like OpenVPN.
OpenVPN provides speed and security, but is not an out-of-the-box feature in most operating systems and is a bit more complex to set up. The application has to be downloaded and set up and compatibility has to be ensured.
IKEv2/IPSec offers users amazing speeds, advanced encryption, and extreme reliability. However, it has relatively limited device support and is easier to block than OpenVPN.
Wireguard and Lightway are both lightning-fast and very secure. However, only a handful of VPN providers support the protocols. Still, if you are using one of those providers, you are pretty much guaranteed a seamless experience.
So, which protocol should users choose? Basically, the answer boils down to what you’re looking for and what provider you want to use. Both OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec offer comprehensive security. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use universally operable solution that is highly secure, OpenVPN is right for you. However, if you want fast speeds, IKEv2/IPSec may be the option for you. And if you’re willing to use the correct provider, Lightway or Wireguard is the way to go.
The original article can be found here.