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Difference Between PPTP And L2TP Protocols

Today most of us know about virtual private network (VPN). Many businesses use VPNs to stay secure and private while transferring official data, or to enable employees to connect into the office servers remotely. Many individuals also utilize VPNs to overcome their country’s restrictive firewalls or to bypass geographical limitations to access their favorite online streaming channels or social media websites. In this article we will explore the difference between PPTP VPN & L2TP VPN protocols used to provide online security and what they all mean. Each protocol has significant advantages and disadvantages – generally related to the level of encryption, device compatibility and their ease of use configuration.

PPTP Protocol

PPTP or Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol is the most popular method used for creating VPN by the most devices. It is developed by Microsoft and the easiest protocol to configure. PPTP VPN has low overhead that makes it faster than other VPN protocols. With its use, users can remotely access corporate networks from any Internet Service Provider (ISP) that supports the protocol. PPTP VPN encrypts data using 128-bit encryption which makes it the fastest but the weakest category of the VPN Protocol.

L2TP Protocol

Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) came through a partnership between Cisco and Microsoft in order to provide a more secure VPN protocol than PPTP. L2TP VPN protocol is a tunneling protocol like PPTP that allows users to access the common network remotely. L2TP VPN Protocol is a combined protocol that has all the features of PPTP and additionally runs over a faster transport protocol UDP thus becoming more firewall friendly. L2TP VPN protocol encrypts data using 256-bit encryption process thus using more CPU usage than PPTP. However, the increased overhead required to manage this security protocol makes it perform slower than PPTP.

As we talk about PPTP And L2TP Protocols, we have to do a comparison between the two. So here goes the PPTP vs L2TP comparison:






Basic & first VPN protocol supported by Windows.

Tunneling protocol that uses IPSec for security/encryption and works via UDP


Built-in support for a wide array of desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.

Built-in support for a wide array of desktops, mobile devices, and tablets.


128 bit keys

256 bit key


via device/OS built-in client, using username + password + server address

via device/OS built-in client, using username + password + server address and pre-shared-key


Comparatively unstable, but very stable and accepted by most Wi-Fi hotspots.

Proven stable on various kinds of devices, networks and operating systems


  • Windows
  • Mac OSX
  • Linux
  • iOS
  • Android
  • DD-WRT etc.

  •  Windows
  • Mac OSX
  • Linux
  • iOS
  • Android
  • DD-WRT etc.


Basic encryption

L2TP is considered very secure. Data integrity checking, encapsulates data twice.


Easy setup/configuration, good speeds,
supported by biggest number of devices

Easy setup/configuration,
bypasses restrictions by networks or ISPs


Stability may vary depending on network. Does not offer government level security. Easy to be blocked

Slower speeds


PPTP is easy to setup and use with decent speeds. Less secure than other VPN protocols. 

L2TP usually achieves lower speeds than other protocols, but its ability to bypass network restrictions and strong security make it a good choice.

Summary about PPTP And L2TP Protocols:

PPTP VPN is easy to setup and use with faster speeds, but can result in less secure connection.

L2TP VPN comparatively has lower speeds than other protocols, but offer more stronger security which make it a good choice.



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