Types of VPNs and their Protocols

Perhaps you have been using a VPN for a while but still don’t know much about it. Or maybe you have heard so much and want to learn more. Either way, there are different types of VPNs, and distinguishing between them can be overwhelming. The complexity of the service makes it even more challenging to decide on the right choice.

The great news though is that we can make it easy to understand. Allow us to give you an informative, and concise overview of the different VPN types and their protocols.

But before we go ahead, here is what you should know about VPNs.

VPN: An Overview

A Virtual Private Network is a unique tool that allows users to use the network connection secured by the VPN provider. Your data is routed through that server, making it appear that you connect from the server’s location rather than your actual location.

This can be useful for:

Types of VPNs

There are four types of VPNs, namely:

  1. Site-to-Site VPN
  2. Remote Access VPN
  3. Wireless VPN
  4. Mobile VPN

Each type of private network is used for different tasks. For example:

  • Wireless VPN: A wireless VPN is one of the types of networks that allows a user to connect to a private network from anywhere on the planet. This approach provides a secure and convenient connection to your internal network.
  • Remote Access VPN: This is a type of VPN that gives users the ability to use the VPN from a distance. For example, such systems are often used by companies and individuals so that their employees can connect to a VPN from a remote location.

ADVICE! In addition to VPN, you can also consider another type of connection for viewing a large amount of data and files. Consider using cloud storage. This will enable anyone with access to view your files, upload, or modify them. Popular among many services are Dropbox and GoogleDrive. They are easy to use, with a simple and easy-to-learn interface, and the registration does not take more than five minutes. In addition, cloud storage also protects your data and provides all the necessary tools for work.

  • Mobile VPN: It’s a VPN that allows users to join private networks using their phone or tablet. Mobile VPN is popular among companies. Here workers can use their mobile devices while working with their networks simultaneously.
  • Site-to-Site VPN: Site-to-Site VPN is a type of VPN that connects two places, such as two offices or two networks. Companies or organizations in multiple locations often use this type of VPN.

What Does a VPN Protocol Mean?

VPN protocols are the methods by which data is routed through a connection. There are six main types of VPN protocols. Let’s pause, though, and consider functional approaches to VPN.

There are two main approaches to VPN functionality:

  1. The first and more secure is the use of two valid protocols. Here, one protocol protects your data, while another is responsible for its movement through an encrypted tunnel.
  2. The second method is less secure since VPN uses one protocol that performs protective and transport functions at the same time.

Please keep reading to learn more about VPN types and how they work.

Types of VPNs Protocols

Types of VPNs Protocols

Each type of VPN uses different protocols to route data through the connection. The six main types of VPN protocols are:

  1. Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)
  2. Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP)
  3. Internet Protocol Security (IPsec)
  4. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
  5. OpenVPN
  6. Secure Shell (SSH)

Now let’s consider them in detail:

  • Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP): PPTP uses the PPTP cipher to create a tunnel. Unfortunately, PPTP is not the most secure protocol as it’s easy to hack. As a result, it is not often used in devices. Instead, programmers prefer to operate faster and more sophisticated encryption protocols that can provide the required level of protection.
  • Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP): L2TP creates a reliable tunnel between two connection points. After that, it uses a different protocol to mask your data. An example is the use of IPSec.
  • Internet Protocol Security (IPsec): IPSec is a very strong security measure because it uses double encryption technology. Your data is encrypted into a data packet, and then it is also encrypted one more time.
  • Secure Sockets Layer (SSL): SSL protocols are often used in browsers to encrypt HTTPS. Many browsers have this feature by default. It is pretty easy to use, as no settings are required.
  • OpenVPN: OpenVPN is an improved version of SSL. It has more powerful encryption capabilities and makes your internet experience even more secure.
  • Secure Shell (SSH): SSH is often used for remote access because it allows you to send data to remote devices.

Now that you know the different protocol types let’s move on to their pros and cons.

Advantages and Disadvantages of VPN’s Protocols

Advantages and Disadvantages of VPN’s Protocols

Each protocol has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, while PPTP is the simplest VPN protocol and is very easy to set up, it is not as secure as other VPN protocols because it does not use encryption. L2TP is more secure than PPTP because it uses encryption. However, it is more complex to set up.

On the other hand, IPsec is the most secure VPN protocol because it uses encryption and authentication. SSL is a very secure VPN protocol that is easy to set up, but it is very tricky to set up.

However, there is a need to choose the right VPN protocol for your needs. These basic principles will guide you:

  • If security is your priority, then IPsec is the best bet.
  • If you are worried about ease of use, consider using PPTP. 
  • If you need a VPN protocol that is both secure and easy to use, SSL is the right choice.

In general, there are many controversies and disadvantages as well as positive sides and advantages of these protocols over other private network services. Your VPN choice should reflect deep insight and research. The best VPN guarantees an excellent performance, speed, and reliable connection. 

To ensure you get the best, test a lot of instruments until you find one that is the best for you. To try your instrument without risks to your device, use a virtual machine*.

*A Virtual Machine (VM) is a computational resource that runs programs and deploys apps using software rather than a real machine. A physical “host” machine hosts one or more virtual “guest” machines.

Even when they are all running on the same host, each virtual machine has its operating system and works independently of the others. This implies that a virtual macOS machine, for example, may be launched on a physical PC.

Bottom Line

You see, choosing a VPN is not so easy after all, but it’s achievable. To get the best, you should determine what tasks you need your VPN to perform. After this, choose the best VPN.

That said, remember that the safety of your device and data comes first. When testing a VPN, ensure you are not connected to an open Wi-Fi and do not use sensitive data in your work.


  1. Which type of VPN is best?

    Many VPN experts recommend OpenVPN as the most secure protocol. It uses 256-bit encryption as a default but offers other ciphers such as 3DES.

  2. What is the most common type of VPN?

    Remote Access VPNs are the most popular type of VPN these days. They connect users to a remote server located in another country.

  3. What is a VPN?

    A VPN, or “virtual private network,” is a service that protects your internet connection and online privacy. It creates an encrypted tunnel for your data, protects your online identity by hiding your IP address, and allows you to use public Wi-Fi hotspots securely.

  4. Why should I use a VPN?

    A VPN creates a private tunnel so hackers, your ISP, and the government can't see what you're doing. But, even at home, a VPN can help protect you from other privacy threats.