When it comes to protecting your privacy online, VPNs hold the key. Security on the web in the modern age is more than just about setting up a firewall and antivirus software. VPNs, or virtual private networks, will allow you to connect to disparate servers to cloak location. We will be discussing Types of VPN protocols and how they really work.
Crucially, the aim is to prevent would-be snoopers from finding out more about your activity and the data you exchange. VPNs are easy to set up privately and commercially – for example, you can test Surfshark VPN for free. Before you do, however, let’s take a look at VPN protocols and why they matter.
What are VPN Protocols?
VPN protocols, essentially, tell the network how data is to travel. Consider the VPN itself to be a map and the protocols to be suggested routes.
As many people use VPNs for different reasons, protocols exist to offer a more customized experience. Some, for example, will use a VPN protocol to protect their data. Others will use their software to bypass international lockout. Beyond this, many users want speedier browsing and streaming!
Five Common Protocol Types
Here are the five most common VPN protocols you’ll be able to configure with leading software.
Point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP) tends to be the ‘default’ option. It was the first protocol of its kind, focused on ease of use and speed. However, while it’s fast and gets you across international blocks, it’s not the most secure. Compared to other protocols, it may even be the least anonymous
A dual L2TP/IPSec protocol allows you to secure your browsing to a literal military extent. What’s more, the L2TP side of things provides exceptional encryption of the data you send. That said, some may find this model to be a little slow – and it’s not always recommended for beginners.
OpenVPN is widely popular, thanks to its open-source roots. It’s also arguably the best for data encryption, therefore ideal for sensitive browsing. However, this comes at a cost – namely, the speed of your connectivity. It’s also very sensitive to set up correctly, so tread carefully.
SSTP, or secure socket tunneling protocol, is a Microsoft creation. Therefore, it’s primarily associated with Windows OS, and it’s a remote browsing standard. For the most part, SSTP is native and built-into Windows, and it’s amazingly secure. However, the main issue here is that it’s tied to this technology – macOS users need to look elsewhere.
Finally, IKEv2 is another Microsoft creation, albeit with Cisco on board. This mobile VPN protocol is designed to keep your data connection steady in dropout zones. It tends to be very steadfast and performs well in said dead zones – but it’s not always the easiest to configure.
There is a different VPN protocol for every different need. Remember to choose the setting that suits your browsing needs the closest! Are you looking for speed or robust protection? If you’re looking for both, it’s time to take a test drive.