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Choose the best VPN for you by understanding VPN protocols

November 15, 2017    |    Cyber Security    |    Private Tunnel

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re looking to further protect your personal privacy by using a VPN. Don’t feel bad if you are feeling overwhelmed at this stage; there are countless VPNs available to use, and choosing the best VPN often feels like a very daunting task. Different VPNs operate using different protocols (the technologies and services that determine how fast and secure your connection is while using a particular VPN product).

What is VPN Protocol?

VPN protocol is a combination of encryption standards (security) and transmission protocols (speed). There are a lot of different protocols to take into consideration, and not all protocols are created equal. Which means that the VPNs you are considering are not all equal either. One VPN might offer you security, but force you to compromise on speed. Or one might be lightning fast, but doesn’t offer much protection, defeating the purpose of using a VPN in the first place. It can be time consuming trying to navigate and research all the options, but we’re here to help! Below is an easy explanation of the different VPN protocols you can find with their varying levels of security and features.

What Are the Different VPN Protocols?

  • OpenVPN: OpenVPN is open source, and built on a custom security protocol using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS). It can create secure point-to-point or site-to-site connections. It uses digital certificates to authenticate data. This is the protocol used by PrivateTunnel.

  • Internet Protocol Security or IPSec: IPSec encrypts data sent between IP networks, such as your home or business network. It secures the data in two ways: it encrypts the data within the packet, and it encrypts the entire data packet. Because it encapsulates the data twice, this means excellent security, but a very slow connection speed.

  • Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP): SSTP uses a Transmission Control Protocol (TCP connection), which utilizes SSL on top of the established connection for validation. It was developed by Microsoft, which means it has become a common protocol, but others would argue against its use because they cannot audit it to see if there are any security loopholes.

  • Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP): On its own, L2TP has very little security, but it is typically combined with another protocol (like IPSec) to create a very secure connection. It creates a tunnel between two L2TP connection points but does not encrypt the data between the points, which is why it would be combined with IPSec.

    (until combined with another such as IPSec).

  • Point-to-point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP): is a speedy protocol, but it provides weak protection for data being tunneled and is vulnerable to attacks because it is such an old protocol. But it is still very popular on Windows computers, since it was developed in part by Microsoft. The user launches a PPTP client, which connects to their Internet provider and creates a TCP control connection between the client and server using Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE).

What is the Best VPN Protocol?

If you choose a provider that doesn’t place the same value on privacy that you do, you’re not going to improve your security. If you choose a provider that operates on an inferior protocol, you could experience extremely slow speeds -- making internet access difficult, or even impossible. OpenVPN is the only VPN provider that has high ratings on both speed and security, and using that protocol means you won’t have to make any compromises when it comes to accessing and using the internet.

Private Tunnel is founded on the award-winning open source VPN protocol, OpenVPN, which is the de-facto standard for accessing private information securely. OpenVPN products have been downloaded by more than 50 million people worldwide since inception, and the consumer VPN Private Tunnel has more than 100,000 new downloads each month. OpenVPN was announced winner for "Best SSL VPN" in the 2007 Best of Open Software Awards by InfoWorld, and Lifehacker.com listed OpenVPN as the 2010 Best VPN Tool. OpenVPN was also named Top 25 Amazon Cloud Solution Providers in 2018. OpenVPN products offer the fastest speeds and the highest level of security -- making this protocol the clear winner.

So don’t feel like you have to compromise -- Private Tunnel will provide you with the speed and privacy you need to access the internet safely and securely.

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