VPN Passthrough

VPN Passthrough: What Is It & How It Works

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Privacy & SecurityWi-Fi SecurityVPN Passthrough: What Is It & How It Works

You may have heard about VPN Passthrough on the internet, but you might not be sure what it is. Well, fret not because we’ve got you covered. In this blog post, we’ll tell you everything about VPN Passthrough – what it actually is, how it works, and how it is different from regular router VPN functionality.

What is VPN Passthrough?

VPN Passthrough is a feature that allows any device connected to a router device to establish outbound VPN connections.

For instance, if you want to connect to your VPN server from your laptop, the VPN Passthrough feature on your router will allow you to achieve that.

How Does VPN Passthrough Work?

How Does VPN Passthrough Work

VPN Passthrough allows data packets that come from a VPN client to pass through your router and reach the VPN server.

Most routers use NAT, i.e. Network Address Translation, a feature that allows all devices connected to a network to use the same IP address and online connection.

However, there are some VPN protocols, such as PPTP, IPsec, and L2TP, that don’t usually work with NAT. This is where the VPN Passthrough comes in. With VPN Passthrough feature available on your router, you can allow these specific protocols to work with NAT. It allows users to easily enable or disable PPTP/L2TP/IPSec Passthrough from their router’s interface.

What About Other VPN Protocols?

If you are using a VPN protocol other than the protocols mentioned above, then you don’t have to worry about VPN Passthrogh being enabled or not. VPN protocols such as OpenVPN, SoftEther, and SSTP don’t require VPN Passthrough to work effectively. But if you are using IKEv2,  PPTP, L2TP, or IPSec, then you will need to turn on VPN Passthrough to allow VPN traffic through.

Should You Enable or Disable PPTP Passthrough?

A lot of people remain concerned whether they should enable or disable PPTP Passthrough. The answer is not too difficult though.

If you want to enjoy the fastest VPN speeds via your PPTP connection, and you aren’t too concerned about your online data or traffic potentially being in danger, then there is no problem in enabling PPTP Passthrough.

But if online security is a priority, and you want to make sure that your PPTP connection does not accidentally go through your router, then it is better to disable PPTP Passthrough. PPTP barely offers any security and lacks the encryption that comes with other VPN protocols. This is why if you want to make sure that your connection remains completely secure, then it is better to disable PPTP Passthrough.

Here’s how to enable or disable PPTP Passthrough on a Linksys Wireless-N router, though the steps will vary from brand to brand:

  1. Access the web-based configuration page of your router by entering the default gateway into your browser’s address bar.
  2. On the router’s web-based configuration page, click the Security tab, and select VPN Passthrough.
  3. The VPN Passthrough page will appear, where you’ll see the following options types (these are usually enabled by default):
  • IPSec Passthrough
  • PPTP PassthroughL2TP Passthrough
  1. Check the Enabled or Disabled box next to PPTP Passthrough.
  2. Click the Save Settings button.

Do I Need a VPN Passthrough?

Most home Wi-Fi routers on the market come with a VPN Passthrough feature built-in, but fret not if yours doesn’t.

You only need it if you want to use a VPN that supports protocols such as PPTP and IPSec. These, however, are unreliable and older than other options. The best VPN services will use more secure and faster protocols like IKEv2/IPSec and OpenVPN.

Not only do these protocols provide better and quicker encryption, but they also handle NAT themselves, meaning your router doesn’t need a VPN Passthrough at all. Connecting to a VPN is all it takes to create a secure connection.

VPN Passthrough vs VPN Router – What’s the Difference?

VPN Passthrough vs VPN Router

These two are entirely different things and we’ve explained them clearly below:

VPN Passthrough:  It’s a feature of your router that allows you to connect to a VPN server despite it being an outbound connection for your router. It doesn’t perform any VPN operations on its own, though.

VPN Router: As the name implies, it’s a router with a VPN client installed on it. In this scenario, any device that connects with your router will be able to take advantage of the VPN connection. Want to set up one at your home? Check out the best VPN routers for 2021.

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Conclusion

As explained above, VPN Passthrough is an important router feature that allows you to set up and establish an outbound VPN connection. This feature needs to be enabled in order to use PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, and IKEv2 protocols.

However, as the name implies, VPN Passthrough is completely different from VPN functionality. The feature only allows VPN traffic to pass through your router device, whereby VPN functionality actually connects you to the VPN server.

Sheheryar Khan Sheheryar Ahmed Khan is a privacy enthusiast, currently affiliated with PureVPN. His reporting covers subjects related to online privacy, anonymity, and security. Also a believer in online freedom, Sheheryar likes to spend his free time streaming football matches and TV shows online.

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