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Best VPN Protocols:Compare OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, PPTP, SSTP

Updated_time:November 21,2018 Written by:TopVPN100  

What is a VPN protocol?

The VPN protocol determines how your data is routed between your computer and the VPN server. There are many ways to encrypt data, and technology is evolving over time - that's why we see choices.

Protocols have different specifications and benefit users in a variety of situations. For example, some prioritize speed, while others focus on privacy and security.

Generally includes four protocols:OpenVPN protocol,  IKEv2 protocol, L2TP / IPSec protocol, PPTP protocol, SSTP protocol.


OpenVPN protocol

A recommended protocol for all platforms, OpenVPN has the highest performance and security level.

OpenVPN is an open source VPN solution that uses a variety of technologies, including the OpenSSL library and the SSLv3 / TLSv1 encryption protocol. It is highly configurable and can be set to run on any port, although it works best on UDP ports. It is considered difficult to block because it cannot use standard HTTPS over SSL to differentiate traffic.


1、OpenVPN protocol Encryption

AES – 256-bit for Data, SHA256 for Control Messages and 2048-bit SSL/TLS Handshake Encryption.


2、OpenVPN protocol Speed

Even on connections with high latency and across great distances it still has great speed, making this the best performing protocol.


3、OpenVPN protocol Security

OpenVPN can be considered truly secure when used with a strong cipher and ephemeral keys.


IKEv2 protocol


The most advanced and up-to-date VPN protocol. It is called the fastest of all protocols and is secure, stable and easy to set up. However, not all platforms support it.


Internet Key Exchange version 2 is the latest VPN protocol based on the IPSec tunneling protocol. It was developed by Microsoft and Cisco and integrated into Windows 7+.


1、IKEv2 protocol Encryption

AES – 256-bit for Data and SHA256 for Control Messages.


2、IKEv2 protocol Speed

IKEv2 is faster than most VPN protocols. Support for the Mobility and Multihoming Protocol makes it highly resilient and stable.


3、IKEv2 protocol Security

It's the newest VPN protocol, implemented over IPSec and considered highly secure.


L2TP / IPSec protocol


The Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol is suitable for all modern platforms and is easy to set up. This agreement is generally considered to be very secure. If OpenVPN or IKEv2 is not available, L2TP is a good choice. It's a bit slower than other protocols, but it provides a very secure connection.


The Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol is a VPN protocol that provides encryption and confidentiality for traffic passing through it when implemented using the IPsec cipher suite. L2TP over IPsec is as fast and easy as PPTP and is built into most modern operating systems.


1、L2TP / IPSec protocol Encryption

AES – 128-bit for Data and SHA256 for Control Messages.


2、L2TP / IPSec protocol Speed

L2TP/IPSec has tunneling overhead but is still fast due to encryption/decryption efficiency.


3、L2TP / IPSec protocol Security

IPSec encryption has no major known vulnerabilities when properly implemented.


PPTP protocol


The Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol provides you with a fast connection due to very basic encryption. It is also very easy to set up.


The Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol was developed by Microsoft to create a VPN over a dial-up network. It has been the standard protocol for internal business VPNs. PPTP is only a VPN protocol, which can be implemented quickly because of low computational overhead.


1、PPTP protocol Encryption

MPPE – 128-bit


2、PPTP protocol Speed

Highest speed due to basic encryption, but can result in unstable connections.


3、PPTP protocol Security

Several known security vulnerabilities found in PPTP implementation.


SSTP protocol


SSTP protocol stands for Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol. Unlike other protocols, SSTP is directly owned by Microsoft and is only available for Windows.


SSTP protocol is so named because it transmits traffic over the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocol. Because it uses SSL over TCP port 443, it is less susceptible to blocking by the firewall than L2TP.


Although it does not have the same open source advantages as OpenVPN, SSTP is generally considered to be one of the most secure protocols.


Each protocol has advantages and disadvantages. Here are some recommended VPN software for these protocols.



Support for IKEv2, OpenVPN, PPTP, L2TP/IPSec VPN protocols.(Read more:NordVPN Review)

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Support for OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec and SSTP VPN protocols.(Read more: ExpressVPN Review)



Support for OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2 VPN protocols.(Read more: CyberGhost​ VPN Review)

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Support for OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, and IKEv2 VPN protocols.(Read more: Trust.Zone​ VPN Review)

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Support for OpenVPN, L2TP/IPsec, PPTP and IKEv2 VPN protocols.(Read more: SaferVPN​ Review)

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Support for OpenVPN, IKEv2, L2TP/IPSec, SSTP and PPTP VPN protocols.(Read more: CactusVPN​ Review)

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Support for L2TP, SSTP, OpenVPN and PPTP VPN protocols. (Read more: EarthVPN Review)

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PrivateInternetAccess VPN(PIA)

Support for PPTP, OpenVPN and L2TP/IPSec VPN protocols.(Read more: PrivateInternetAccess VPN Review)

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Support for L2TP/IPSec, OpenVPN, PPTP and Chameleon VPN protocols(Chameleon: Chameleon™ technology uses the unmodified OpenVPN 256-bit protocol and scrambles the metadata to prevent DPI, VPN blocking and throttling.) (Read more: VyprVPN​ Review)

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Support for IKEv2 VPN protocols.(Read more: VPNArea Review)

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