What is a VPN Tunnel?
A VPN tunnel is an encrypted connection between your device and the public internet. With your connection encrypted using robust algorithms, all your communications remain private and confidential.
When your data travels in a VPN tunnel, it is close to impossible for anyone to look into. This protects your traffic (such as banking transactions, web browsing, and emails) from third-parties like the government, your internet provider, etc.
How does a VPN tunnel work?
VPN tunneling refers to the process through which data is securely transmitted from your network or device to another across an open environment (like the internet) while preserving your privacy. This involves repackaging data in order to keep prying eyes at bay.
Of course, no physical tunnel is actually created; the data, in fact, travels through the internet as any other data. Instead, VPN tunneling relies on methods called data encapsulation and encryption to transport data traffic safely across an open environment.
The purpose of encapsulation is to insulate packets of data from other data traveling across the same network, while encryption transforms data into an unreadable format – making it harder to crack or identify the user. So, it essentially acts like a tunnel for the secure exchange of data!
Still confused? Fret not, let us take a look at a simple analogy to help you understand the concept better. Suppose you have $10,000 in cash, and want to deposit it in your bank account. You will have to make a trip to the bank in your vehicle.
In this instance, the cash is your data, the route to the bank is the open internet, and your vehicle is similar to a VPN tunnel (which uses data encapsulation and encryption). Even if criminals recognize your vehicle and the valuable contents you are carrying, they won’t be able to break into it.
Basically two things are happening here that you need to understand – encapsulation makes your vehicle unrecognizable to everyone by disguising it, whereas encryption keeps your hard-earned cash out of reach if and when the vehicle is recognized.
Types of VPN Tunneling Protocols
PureVPN makes use of multiple types of VPN protocols to establish a VPN connection. While the app will automatically choose the best configuration on your behalf, users also have the freedom to manually configure their VPN tunnel.
1- PPTP (Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol)
Developed by Microsoft, PPTP is one of the oldest protocols available. It’s compatible with nearly all operating systems, and delivers the fastest speeds. This makes PPTP ideal for bandwidth-intensive activities like streaming and downloading. However, it offers low encryption standards (128-bit), which makes it the least secure of all protocols.
OpenVPN is the most popular protocol to establish a VPN connection. It’s also the safest as it uses up to 256-bit encryption to secure your data. OpenVPN is supported by most operating systems and circumvents geo-blocking and firewalls with ease. Furthermore, the open-source protocol can set up both UDP and TCP connections.
3- L2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol )
L2TP is an extension to PPTP and doesn’t offer any security features such as authentication or encryption on its own. That’s why it’s commonly used in conjunction with the IPSec suite to provide protection. L2TP can configured on most desktop and mobile operating systems, but can be blocked by some restrictive firewalls.
4- SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol)
Owned by Microsoft, SSTP is one of the most secure protocols in use today. It offers up to 256-bit encryption and is capable of bypassing nearly all types of firewalls. SSTP is a better suited protocol for Windows users in comparison to PPTP or L2TP and provides good speeds as long as you have adequate bandwidth.
5- IKEv2 (Internet Key Exchange Version 2)
IKEv2 is a fast and secure protocol developed by Microsoft and Cisco. The request-and-response protocol is frequently combined with IPSec for authentication and encryption. IKEv2 supports is particularly ideal for mobile users because the connection remains stable while switching between cellular data and Wi-Fi.
Which VPN Tunneling Protocol Should I Use?
Well, it actually depends on what your needs are. Though PPTP is the fastest protocol, you should avoid it if you want to protect your personal data. L2TP provides good security but offers slower speeds and struggles with restrictive firewalls.
SSTP, while secure, is more popular when it comes to Windows users. IKEv2, on the other hand, proves to be an excellent option for mobile devices. OpenVPN, due to its robust encryption, open source nature, and ability to circumvent firewalls, is the best protocol to keep your private data secure.
Benefits of Using PureVPN’s Secure VPN Tunnel
When you connect to the internet through our VPN tunnel, your IP address is replaced with one of our anonymous IPs.
Upon connecting to PureVPN, all your data is passed through a VPN tunnel to keep it safe on private and public Wi-Fi networks.
No Privacy Leaks
With PureVPN, you can be sure that your privacy won’t be compromised due to WebRTC, DNS, or IPv6 leaks.
Our global network of 2,000+ VPN servers are continually optimized to provide increased speeds and decreased latency.
The private VPN tunnel will mask your IP address to that of any country in the world for complete online accessibility.
Avoid ISP Throttling
By using our VPN, you can hide your real identity from your ISP and get around issues like bandwidth throttling.
Configure a VPN Tunnel on Any Device
Want to browse the web securely and privately? Use PureVPN now by signing up and downloading your preferred VPN tunnel app. We support all major platforms, and also provide configuration guides for supported devices like gaming consoles, smart TVs, and other Internet-connected devices.
Set Up a Secure VPN Tunnel
Stop third-parties like cybercriminals, surveillance agencies, and advertisers from watching your every move with PureVPN and get the peace of mind you deserve.