VPN Protocols: Types and the Level of Security

Everybody loves to use the internet. We can almost do anything with it. We do research, watch movies, listen to music. Even socialize with old and new friends, do business, do banking online and many more. But the “bad guys” do exist as well. So for these, we need to be secured, right? This is where VPN protocols are used. Virtual Private Network or VPN provides encryption and restricts access to data that is sent by a system in the network. Thus, protocols ensure that privacy and integrity of information sent and received is maintained. In fact, VPN protocols are quite important as far as public networks are concerned.

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The use of VPNs is not new; it has been around since the emergence of public networks. However, with increasing concern about internet security and safety of users, VPN protocols have developed a lot and reached a robust state. For instance, the latest protocols used today facilitate quick data transfer and are well-secured. The following are various types of VPN protocols, which are used in the public networks:

vpn protocols

OpenVPN Protocol

OpenVPN is the standard VPN protocol that VPNReactor for Mac uses. Under normal conditions, you should not have to change the VPN Mode. OpenVPN uses UDP ports 53 and 1194. It is recommended and became the default VPN type on desktop platforms and widely supported on most third party software (iOS and Android). It is very secure and can easily bypass firewalls. It encrypts data using 128 to 256 bit key. This protocol been considered as the most reliable and most stable behind wireless routers, wi-fi hotspots or even non-reliable networks.

Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)

This is an efficient VPN protocol where users connect to a network using the internet connection and go through a password protected authentication procedure to get into Virtual Private Network. This is the most widely and common used VPN protocol because it is easy to set up and maintain. It does not need additional software and is cost-effective. This protocol implements PPP for security measures. It encrypts data using 128-bit key. VPNReactor provides FREE PPTP which is enabled by the OS of your computer.

Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)

L2TP is considered more secure and faster than PPTP. If online security is a main concern, you should consider using L2TP. OpenVPN can be configured to run on TCP mode for highly unreliable connections but this mode sacrifices some speed due to the inefficiency of encapsulation. It also encrypts the authentication process, making it more difficult for someone trying to “listen in” on your transmission to intercept and crack the data.

Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP)

This protocol creates a secure connection between the host system and the client system. SSTP works in situations where most VPN connections would be blocked. SSTP uses a generic port that is never blocked by firewalls. This is combined with a special method to form the packets which allows SSTP transmissions to pass through most proxies and firewalls. It is considered the most secure of VPN tunneling protocols because it uses SSL, authentication certificates and 2048-bit encryptions. It is mainly used in online payment gateways and banking. However, your operating systems need to be relatively up to date in order for it to function properly with SSTP.

Internet Key Exchange Version 2 (IKEV2) VPN Protocol

IKEv2 is the next generation standard protocol for secure key exchange between peer devices, defined in RFC 4306. IKEv2 supports the latest IPsec encryption algorithms so this is the good choice for mobile users who move between access points and even switch between wired and wireless connections.

StealthVPN Protocol

The StealthVPN protocol is an exclusive technology developed by VPNReactor that conceals your already encrypted VPN connection within normal Internet traffic such as web and email.
If your ISP is blocking standard VPN protocols such as OpenVPN, PPTP, etc., StealthVPN can bypass these blocks. It does this by tunneling your VPN connection through web (https) or email (POP) traffic, which more than likely is not blocked. Tunneling your VPN over standard Internet traffic completely conceals the fact that you’re using a VPN. Your VPN connection is virtually undetectable by your ISP.

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