A VPN or a Virtual Private Network is a way of securing the connection between your device and your network. A VPN service uses encryption and authorization to keep data secure. The most common type of VPN is the Remote Access VPN and this has nothing to do with the RAT used and mentioned in the riveting and amazing movie Blackhat. It is used to remotely connect to and access a private network.
VPN Protocols – Types and Explanation
Now, VPN services are based on different security protocols that take care of online privacy and user security, without compromising on the quality of data transfer. Here are seven types of VPN protocols that you can choose from according to your personal necessity.
Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol
PPTP is the most common type of VPN protocol. Under this, a user needs to install a simple add-on VPN software on his device and connect it to his network through the internet connection itself. There is no hardware involved in the installation of PPTP and the user can get into the VPN by going through a password protected authentication process. The drawback of this protocol is that it does not provide any encryption to data.
Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol
L2TP is very similar to the PPTP VPN protocol. It runs on PPP for providing data security and does not include any real data encryption. However, this VPN protocol offers data confidentiality as well as data integrity to its users.
The tunneling protocol creates a tunnel between two connection points that enable secure communication. The protocol is so named as it exists at the second layer called the data link layer. The L2TP was jointly developed by tech giants Microsoft and Cisco.
This VPN protocol is one of the most secure protocols currently available. It is especially designed to handle huge amounts of IP traffic by establishing a robust connection between the central site and the remote site. Since the IPsec protocol is so sought after, it is also expensive to acquire. However, clients who do not want to risk their online security usually invest in its installation without thinking twice. This VPN protocol is also often paired with L2TP to create highly secure VPN connections.
Secure Socket Layer
The SSL is another VPN protocol that is widely used online in customer facing businesses. Interestingly, this protocol can be easily accessed through the web browser itself and does not need any specific software or hardware installation. Since it uses the web browser as the primary client, the VPN protocol is widely used in online banking processes and payment gateways of shopping websites. It strives to create a secure connection between the client system (the web browser) and the host system that is being accessed. Essentially, the protocol is accessible through https.
This VPN protocol is also similar to the PPTP, but it does not dedicatedly connect the client site and the host site. Instead, this protocol securely connects different websites over the same network from different locations. It is used in big companies with offices in different locations that need to regularly hop on to each other’s network. In order to encrypt and decrypt data transfer, the protocol uses routers at all end locations.
Multi-Protocol Label Switching
The MPLS also offers direct site-to-site connectivity, but it is more efficient and offers maximum flexibility. This VPN protocol is used by internet service providers (ISPs) for secure deliverance of information and is by far the most expensive VPN service as compared to others in the market. Please note that this protocol cannot be used by individual users for remote access. This ISP-tuned VPN is also not as easy to set up and requires complex understanding of the entire technology.
This VPN protocol is a hybrid of SSL, IPsec and other such VPNs. Thus, it is the most secure, the most flexible, and also the most expensive protocol in the market. Only very few service providers are able to offer this protocol. The servers of this type of a VPN protocol can accept connections from multiple clients. Their flexibility at both client and server level is unmatchable.
Most Secure VPN Service Providers
Here’s a list of VPNs known for their robust security and high encryption levels.
|Provider||Price (Annual Plan)||Free Trial||Refund Option (Days)||# of Countries||Immediate Support (chat, toll-free)||Own DNS Servers||Simultaneous Connections||Website|
VPN Protocols – Final Thoughts
In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all VPN protocol. The type of service you choose depends on your requirements of bandwidth, cost, security, and the number of users. Please bear in mind that you have to exhaust exploring all available options before zeroing down on one VPN service, and accordingly take a call on what suits you best. Do not straightaway go for the cheapest option, as that might mean compromising on security.