A virtual private network (VPN) is best described as a strictly encrypted virtual tunnel that grabs and shuttles your online activity between your host server and your computer. While most people opine that the most important factor to consider when choosing a VPN provider is the price, it is also important to consider the strength of the security protocol of the service they’re planning to use. Two of the most famous modern technological advancement that vpn providers offer is:
But without learning to understand the strength and weaknesses of these technologies, it can be challenging to choose the right service with the most security. After all, no one wants to be easily intercepted and exposed online by a complete stranger.
However, users shouldn’t in any way underestimate the power of security protocols. Not all security protocols are created equally. There may be some certain downside that may want to give you the second thought of trusting the particular VPN connection.
The truth is, thing aren’t really black and white in the aspect of the security provide by openvpn and PPTP. Some particular algorithms can be weaker than the others, and even though their level of online protection is what applauding, depending on them totally may not be the wisest decision.
PPTP VPN Protocol
PPTP (point-to-point tunneling protocol) is the most widely used by a huge number of vpn providers. In fact, most high authority operating systems like microsoft window uses the PPTP application. PPTP is an eye-catchy option because it can be generally easy to setup as compared to other protocols. As a way of facilitating vpl tunnel connections, PPTP uses tcp(transmission control protocol) via gre(generic routing encapsulation) tunnel . However, kindly note that gre is not a secure transmission medium since it does not incur encryption technologies like its ip counterparts.
PPTP is known to offer a little manner of protection and starts by encrypting your information before it is forwarded through the internet, but there have been recording smatters of security flaws that made people choose other security algorithms. Majority of the experienced flaws can be linked to the underlying ppp (point-to-point protocol)
Some of the reasons why people are drawn to these protocol-even with its undue vulnerabilities- are because:
PPTP Pros :
- It is simple and easy to use.
- It can be easily found on just about most operating system
- You don’t have to worry about installing extra software
- It is a fairly fast vpn technology with no issue of unreasonable overhead
- Consume less cpu
- Easy to setup
- Moderately fast protocol with low overhead
- Not so strong encryption
- Extensive security flaws
- Not recommended unless it is an only option
- Can be easily blocked by isps and network
Even though most of the previous authentication challenges have been resolved, PPTP is still not worth a proper consideration if OpenVPN is available.
On the other hand, OpenVPN is considered as a more and advance secure technology. It utilizes high-end technologies like SSL/tlsv1 and OpenSSL on port 443. However, it is totally possible to mask network traffic by simply sending OpenVPN tunnels through a totally different port. The same port used for secured https traffic is the port 443 so it is totally impossible for 3rd part agencies to detect that OpenVPN traffic is not HTTP traffic without dpi. Because most networks and isps depends on https to sure web transmission, it is just so impossible for them to terminate OpenVPN connection that uses port443. Also, another great advantage of OpenVPN is being an open source software which means that the source code is easily available, so it can be examined by third parties.
- Outstanding data security when using as-256 encryption
- Can be easily sent to other ports to avoid network restrictions
- Uses port 443 by default, so it disguises as https traffic
- The majority of VPN providers have step-by-step guides to assist novices to secure their data
- Open source software
- Can utilize both TCP and UDP connections
- A bit challenging for nontechnical users to setup without a guide
- Naturally, requires downloading an additional software client
- Can be somewhat slower than PPTP and introduce more overhead, (but this isn’t really important as long as you have a straight processor and internet connection)
Though it may be true that PPTP have the fastest VPN protocol with a small overhead, OpenVPN is more user-friendly as it can be modified to introduce smaller amount of latency- without having to go through the horrible security flaws associated with PPTP. Furthermore, OpenVPN tops it up with an added benefit of better and stronger encryption, unlike PPTP.
When You Should Use PPTP or OpenVPN?
So here we go. The vpn protocol question is on the table. When should you use PPTP or OpenVPN?
A PPTP is fast and easy to set up. It provides a fast connection. They are highly recommended for users aiming for a simplicity set up, to access blocked/restricted website or content in their area. However, OpenVPN is the perfect choice for those whose main concern is a strong network encryption and security.
We found a lot of times, when pptp can not get through wifi restriction, openvpn does.
The key takeaway to always have in mind is to try and stay away from PPTP. Though, it may be quite challenging setting up the openvpn client, but try to desist from walking in the path of least resistance. Internet security is no a thing to laugh off, because using a low quality security protocol could easily downgrade the integrity of your personal info.
Even though setting up openvpn requires a little extra effort like downloading an extra client, the outrageous advantage outweighs the little extra effort it may take you to set up the tunnel. Even f you’re not a technically inclined individual, most vpn providers out there comes with a how-to-guide manual to teach the step-by-step process of configuration, alongside a screenshot to simplify the process.
And lastly, always try to use openvpn instead of PPTP if you want a stronger security alongside a peace of mind.