In our opinion, the best VPN protocol is OpenVPN. Among its main advantages are the wide customization options and support for most of the main services. Also, according to experts, OpenVPN is the most secure VPNs.
However, in addition to OpenVPN, there are a number of other protocols for VPN connecting that you need to familiarize yourself with in order to understand which one suits you best and why. It all depends on the characteristics that you expect from the protocols of VPN.
Of course, connecting a VPN to your device will bring much more benefits than you can imagine. However, it is important to choose the right not only protocols for VPN.
Unfortunately, some people still do not use VPN and do not even know about its existence. Although this is a huge mistake. This technology has a number of advantages, thanks to which your online activities will be much safer. Many users, having learned about this technology, regret that they did not start using it earlier.
However, any VPN must have a strong base in the form of a protocol. There are a large number of protocols, each of which has a number of its own characteristics.
Let’s take a closer look at the main VPN protocols, and what are their advantages and disadvantages. Then you can opt for one of them.
How many types of VPNs are there?
There are two types of VPN: Remote Access VPN and Site-to-Site VPN. Let’s take a closer look at these protocol types:
- Remote Access VPN
This type of VPN helps encrypt the personal data that passes through your device, protecting it from intruders. Private users always use VPN with remote access.
- Site-to-site VPNs
This option is suitable for expanding the company’s network between different locations. Locations can be intranet and extranet based.
What Is the Best VPN Protocol?
The choice protocols of VPN will depend on which VPN you have chosen to use. Some VPN services provide more options of protocols, and there are VPNs that do not allow you to select protocols at all.
It must be said that each VPN has its advantages and disadvantages, and you need to know this in order to choose the best protocol for your work on the internet.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular VPN protocols and what their benefits are.
This is the first VPN protocol we would like to tell you about. It’s considered the most secure VPN protocol. Among the advantages of using it, we can note the following points:
- Has to support most VPN services;
- Has an open-source code;
- Quite well tested by professionals;
- Has no bugs;
- Users are given a choice between versions;
- UDP and TCP.
- It is compatible with a large number of ciphers such as AES, Blowfish, and ChaCha20;
- It has direct secrecy.
Cons of this protocol:
- High bandwidth consumption;
- Not the fastest among other protocols;
- It has a fairly heavy code base.
- Despite its shortcomings, OpenVPN is considered the VPN protocol that can provide the greatest security.
One of the main disadvantages of using this protocol is that it can be quite slow and not as efficient as some of its competitors. It should also be said that this version of the protocol consumes much more VPN data than any other. This means that if you have, for example, limited mobile Internet, you will lose your amount of GB much faster than you would lose without using VPN.
Use the OpenVPN protocol if:
- You find the most secure VPN Protocol because you want to protect your personal information is of the utmost importance to you.
We don’t recommend you use the OpenVPN protocol if:
- You need high internet speed;
- If you want to use VPN while using mobile internet.
This is another adequate VPN protocol. Consider its pros and cons.
Benefits of using this protocol:
- Built on lightweight code;
- Has a very high speed;
- Availability of open source code;
- Possibility of limited data consumption;
- Also one of the most secure VPNs;
- Has forward secrecy;
- Quite easy to use.
Disadvantages of this protocol:
- Possible privacy issues with the default protocol configuration.
- Not every VPN supports this protocol.
- Can only work with UDP.
WireGuard is a modern tunneling protocol that was created with the goal of being the fastest and most efficient of its competitors. This VPN protocol was developed in 2019 and received good reviews from VPN users. A large number of virtual networks added it to their services and used it as the primary VPN protocol.
After testing, it was found that WireGuard is three times faster than even OpenVPN. Also, this protocol has quite an impressive program code, which consists of only 4000 lines. This doesn’t only help increase your productivity, but also prevents hackers from gaining access to data.
You should use the WireGuard VPN protocol if:
You plan to use this protocol for a VPN installed on a smartphone via the mobile Internet.
You should not use WireGuard if:
- You need the security of your online activities and the protection of personal information because this VPN protocol are one of the most secure options;
- You need to bypass firewalls.
This protocol was developed by Gurdeep Singh-Pall in 1996, it can be said that the emergence of VPN began with it. At one time, this protocol was very popular and had good reviews. However, at the moment, it can be argued that this protocol is outdated and insecure compared to more modern protocols.
Benefits of using PPTP:
- Sufficiently high speed;
- Native support on almost all platforms;
- Easy to use.
Cons of using PPTP:
- Not a secure protocol option;
- Not compatible with 256-bit encryption keys;
- Does not have the ability to bypass brandmauers.
- Will not give efficiency in terms of confidentiality.
PPTP, among its advantages, has a reasonably high speed, but this is due to the fact that the maximum encryption key that it can use is 128-bit. For PPTP, the main thing is speed, not security. Some studies have shown that attackers hacked a VPN that works with the PPTP protocol in a couple of minutes.
Use the PPTP if:
The speed of your connection is vital to you, and the security of your personal data is not too important.
Do not use the PPTP if:
You need to protect your confidential dates, and you are dealing with important passwords and bank details.
IKEv2 stands for Internet Key Exchange version 2. This VPN protocol is quite popular among mobile users. It provides high speed and uses the MOBIKE protocol, which helps change networks seamlessly. This is a great bonus for users who often switch between mobile data and wifi.
Benefits of using IKEv2/IPSec:
- Sufficiently stable connection;
- Possibility of high speed;
- Compatible with a large number of ciphers, including AES-256
- A normal reaction to changes in the network;
- Support for forwarding secrecy.
Disadvantages of IKEv2/IPSec:
- Not open source for any operating systems other than Linux.
- Doesn’t bypass firewalls.
IKEv2 does not offer any encryption. Its founding purpose is to authenticate and create a secure VPN tunnel. This is the main reason why IKEv2 is paired with IPSec.
Recall that IPSec is a set of security protocols that use 256-bit ciphers such as AES, Camellia, or ChaCha20.
After IKEv2 has worked to create a secure connection between your device and the VPN server, IPSec will encrypt your personal data as it travels through the VPN tunnel.
Use IKEv2/IPSec if:
- You will be using a VPN on your smartphone and need to switch from mobile data to wifi frequently.
We do not recommend you to use IKEv2/IPSec if:
- You need to bypass firewalls.
- It is extremely important for you to protect your personal information online and you find the most secure options among VPNs.
This VPN was created in 1999 as a successor to such a VPN protocol as PPTP. L2TP is a reasonably easy-to-use protocol that is supported by a huge number of VPNs.
Its main disadvantage is the susceptibility to problems with the protection of personal information. However, this VPN has its advantages over other VPNs.
Benefits of using L2TP/IPSec:
- One of the most secure VPNs due to double encapsulation.
- Native support on almost all platforms.
- Compatible with a large number of ciphers, including AES-256.
Cons of using L2TP/IPSec:
- Significantly slower than its competitors;
- Subject to man-in-the-middle attacks.
We do not advise you to use L2TP. Using this protocol may expose your information to attackers, and you may also be subject to NSA surveillance.
This is one of the most secure VPN protocols. This protocol bypasses firewalls quite well. Although among its disadvantages, problems with confidentiality can be noted. Therefore, experts recommend avoiding the use of SSTP for sensitive traffic.
Pros of using SSTP:
- Bypass firewalls;
- Easy to install on the Windows operating system;
- Strong encryption such as AES-256.
Cons of using SSTP:
- Has a closed source code;
- Probability of man-in-the-middle attacks.
Use SSTP if:
You need to bypass school or work firewalls, and so far, you haven’t found a better protocol.
Do not use SSTP if:
You need more protection for your data.
SoftEther is a fairly high-speed and most secure option among VPNs. Its advantage is primarily in circumventing censorship, however, users will need to avoid default configuration settings and lack of compatibility with popular VPNs.
Pros of using SoftEther:
- Availability of open-source code;
- Very high connection speed;
- Compatible with a large number of ciphers, including AES-256;
- Bypass firewalls.
Cons of using SoftEther:
- Need manual setting to ensure safety;
- Not supported on any operating system.
- Only compatible with a few VPN services.
Use SoftEther if:
- It is important for you to bypass censorship and brandmaurs:
Do not use SoftEther if:
- You do not have the “Always verify server certificate” feature enabled.
Thus, we considered several options for protocols. It will be up to you to decide which is the best since you yourself must determine what basic features your ideal version should have, and what you are willing to sacrifice.
In our opinion, the most secure VPN protocol is OpenVPN. It guarantees security more than its competitors. This VPN protocol is also good for bypassing the brandmauer and when working with torrents.
WireGuard can be called the fastest VPN protocol. You can use it for online games and streaming
And finally, we can recommend IKEv2 for you. This option is good for those who use a VPN on a smartphone. It is better than others in handling frequent and sudden changes in the network.
We have shared with you many options for VPN protocols. Now you need to make a choice based on your preferences.
How to Choose VPN Protocol
Almost all VPNs allow users to change protocols in their settings. To change the protocol you need, open the settings menu and click on the option you need.
If, however, you have not found a way to change the protocol in your VPN settings, try using alternative protocols using manual settings.
If you know that the VPN of your choice supports an alternative protocol configuration, search Google for the instructions for your VPN and follow them carefully.
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- What is IKEv2 IPSec or L2TP?
In fact, IKEv2 is not as widespread as L2TP. This is because it supports a lot fewer platforms. Although experts note that IKEv2 is at least as good, if not better, than L2TP in terms of security, performance, stability, and connectivity.
- What is the IKEv2 VPN protocol?
KEv2 stands for Internet Key Exchange version 2. It is a VPN encryption protocol that works with request and response actions. Its function is to process the SA (security association) attribute in an authentication set called IPSec.
- Is IKEv2 better than OpenVPN?
Experts in the field of data encryption have noted the fact that IKEv2 has an advantage over OpenVPN since its speed is much faster. Although there are a lot of factors that can affect the speed, such a phenomenon may not appear in all cases. In terms of performance, IKEv2 is the best option for mobile users because it allows reconnection.