The internet can be a scary place. Hackers and spyware keep finding new ways to steal your passwords and banking details with every passing day. This is why it’s so important to have a VPN connection nowadays. And when you get a VPN connection, you need something known as a protocol. What is a protocol, and how does it work?
What Are VPN Protocols?
A VPN protocol is a bunch of rules that your computer has to follow to send data to its VPN server. You need these rules to have a stable and strong connection. Without these rules, your computer has no idea what to do with your internet traffic. Some protocols focus on raw speed, making sure your internet connection is fast above all else. Other protocols focus on security and encryption, making sure your internet connection is impossible to hack.
If you’re browsing YouTube and Netflix, you might not care about security. You might want good speeds so you can watch videos in peace. If you’re banking online, you don’t want your details to get stolen. So you want the strongest and tightest connection possible. Let’s explore a few different protocols.
The L2TP Protocol
The Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol was made in the 1990s by Cisco and Microsoft. This is what’s used when security is the need of the hour. Nearly every computer and smartphone comes with pre-built settings for this protocol. It takes up a lot of computing power and is complicated to set up.
But in return, you get a military-grade encryption standard because it uses a security protocol known as IPSec. IPSec stands for IP Security, so you can rest assured that it was made with security in mind. This protocol doesn’t give you internet speeds as fast as the others. The computing power required to fuel the encryption considerably slows things down.
This protocol is perfect for a connection that runs critical business applications. It’s the industry standard for the corporate sector so you can rest assured of its safety and reliability.
The PPTP Protocol
The Point to Point Tunneling Protocol was created in the mid-1990s by Microsoft. It was created for Windows 95 with dial-up connections in mind. It was built on bad infrastructure and has long since been broken by hackers. However, you can still use it for very casual protection.
The advantage of this protocol is that it’s easy to set up. Because its encryption is so simple, it’s fast. The security isn’t as powerful as the L2TP. But it’s good enough for people looking to get around region restrictions. And for those who want a minimum level of anonymity on the internet.
OpenVPN was made in 2001 by James Yonan. It’s open-source, so it relies on a community to find and fix flaws inside the code. There are no backdoors and holes in this protocol since it’s open-source. Anyone can read the code to find out if it’s safe or not.
This protocol isn’t easy to configure. It has good security because it uses AES-256 key encryption with 2048-bit RSA authentication. This is a powerful and robust encryption package. But you need to configure your connection properly. Otherwise, you end up even more exposed.
OpenVPN is the most common protocol on the internet. It’s widely considered the gold standard. You can’t go wrong with this protocol, but it’s not beginner-friendly.
The VPN protocol you use depends on your needs. L2TP and OpenVPN are the most secure protocols we’ve discussed so far. They aren’t easy to configure on your own, and you’ll probably need to install third-party applications to use these protocols. But they’re the safest and most reliable.
If you’re worried about hackers and spyware stealing your data, they’re your best options by far. If you’re looking to quickly jump on the internet and set up your protocol, then PPTP is your best option. It’s compatible with a lot of different hardware, easy to configure, and fast.