About VPN Protocols
What are VPN protocols? Simply put, protocols provide a way for your device to connect to a VPN server. PrivateVPN supports a number of protocols. If you use a VPN app, set it to automatically select the VPN protocol that best suits your network. If you are not using an app or you don’t like the connection, then try the following protocols in this order:
- OpenVPN with UDP/TCP
OpenVPN is your first choice. OpenVPN permits various kinds of authentication methods and utilizes a secure SSL/TLS protocol for key exchange. OpenVPN provides faster access speeds than L2TP, but it is not supported on all devices.
- OpenVPN over TCP, or Transmission Control Protocol, is the most reliable VPN connection type. Using error correction, this connection prevents website failure and incomplete downloads by automatically retransmitting information packets during data transfer.
- OpenVPN over UDP, or User Datagram Protocol, is usually faster than TCP because it lacks the error correction feature. Web technologies that depend on real-time interaction, such as online gaming, work better without the interruptions caused by data retransmission.
When used in combination, L2TP and IPsec offer greater security than PPTP, but these protocols are slower than OpenVPN and can be blocked by firewalls on occasion.
- L2TP, or Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, was developed as an upgrade to L2F (Layer 2 Forwarding Protocol) and PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol). By itself, L2TP does not offer very strong authentication or encryption, which is why it is used together with the IPsec protocol. L2TP is ideal for use with mobile devices that are not compatible with OpenVPN.
- IPsec, or Internet Protocol security, authenticates and encrypts each IP information packet in a communication, offering a high level of end-to-end security. IPsec offers protection for all application traffic over an IP network and is available for most mobile devices.
- PPTP, or Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol, one of the oldest protocols used today, works well with dated operating systems and mobile devices. This protocol is easy to set up and offers fast speeds. Because PPTP is susceptible to some security issues, it is recommended only for low-risk browsing, such as streaming video or audio.
- IKEv2, or Internet Key Exchange version 2, is available on newer mobile devices. Internet Key Exchange is a more secure version of the IPsec protocol. This VPN security protocol executes mutual authentication between two parties, allowing your devices to switch seamlessly between cell and Wi-Fi networks without interrupting the connection.
Are you unsure which is the best VPN protocol for your needs and devices? Have you tried all our protocols and are still finding it difficult to connect PrivateVPN to your device? PrivateVPN is happy to help! Please contact us via live support or send us a message