Before choosing a VPN service to protect your personal data, you need to make sure that you’re putting your data into right hands. Evaluating the security protocols of a VPN service, however, can be extremely difficult for an average user. This article will help you in making an informed decision by evaluating different security protocols by investigating what they do and how they work. It will explain the jargons more clearly and will be more useful if you have some basic technical knowledge.
VPN services work through a process called as tunneling to create a secure and private network between two computers over the internet. A VPN protocol is called a tunneling protocol- it is a set of instructions that the devices use to negotiate the secure encrypted connection. One should keep in mind to choose the best VPN with the strongest protocols.
Point – to – point tunneling protocol is one of the oldest protocols. It uses point – to – point protocol (PPP). It used Microsoft’s point – to – point encryption protocol. It maintains a fast connection speed because its encryption protocols don’t require much computing power i.e. 128-bit keys. PPTP has some vulnerabilities like exploiting unencapsulated MS-CHAP v2 authentication to perform a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack. PPTP is not as reliable and it doesn’t recover as quickly as OpenVPN over unstable network connections.
Layer two tunneling protocol in a way replaces PPTP. It can do authentication on its own and perform encapsulation as well. Hence, it can do both i.e. the control and data channel. It usually uses either 3DES or AES encryption which is considered a weak cipher for encryption now. Its speed is lower than OpenVPN while using the same encryption strength. It is a strong protocol however, intelligence agencies have already found ways to penetrate its security. It also leads to more network drops since; it’s not as stable as other protocols. It is better than PPTP but yet has a slower speed and instability.
Internet key exchange version two is a relatively new tunneling protocol. It secures the communication channel using the Diffie–Hellman key exchange algorithm. It can use a range of different algorithms like Blowfish, AES and Camellia. It has 256-bit encryption. It is faster than most of the other protocols available in the market right now. It has almost no weakness. All the security experts consider it safe. It is more stable than other networks because it supports the Mobility and Multihoming protocol. It is one of the best security protocol in use right now considering its speed, stability and security.
It is an open source tunneling protocol. OpenVPN uses SSL/TLS to handle its key exchange and a unique OpenVPN protocol to handle encapsulation. OpenVPN supports 256-bit encryption. OpenVPN can use any of the different cryptographic algorithms to encrypt its data including AES, RC5 and Blowfish. It maintains a fast connection and has no known vulnerabilities. It is generally stable in its conduction but it comes at a cost of diminished speed. It is a reliable protocol for the users who are concerned majorly about the privacy.