What is VPN Protocol?

VPN protocols are important. They provide safety and speed to your online communications. Whether it is speed or security depends on the VPN Protocol that you are currently using. These operate as tunnels through which your online traffic can pass through. Some tunnels are secure. Others offer amazing streaming speeds.

There are many types of VPN protocols available to choose from, with each having different strengths and capabilities. Some protocols are mobile devices friendly. Others can be installed on your Wi-Fi router as well. Some offer better internet protocol security. Choosing the right VPN protocol is important if you want to enjoy the best browsing experience.

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PPTP vs L2TP vs OpenVPN vs IKEv2 vs SSTP

Selecting the best VPN protocols for your needs can indeed be a headache, but also necessary. There are two different kinds of VPN protocols. One is good for security. The other offers better streaming speeds. None can provide the best of both worlds, though.
A VPN protocol that offers good security is poor with browsing speeds. To understand how this happens, you’ll have to imagine the VPN protocol as a tunnel. When we add more security features into it, such as encryption, it gets narrower and less data passes through. Every packet of data is encrypted first, before it is sent on to the World Wide Web.
In the case of speed friendly VPN protocols, they do not offer security features. These tunnels are wider and your data packets pass through easily without any interferences. Hence, you receive great streaming speeds.
To help you get rid of the confusion for good, we present the following chart which provides a thorough comparison of different VPN protocols:

Protocol Speed Media Streaming
PPTP Fast Good
L2TP/IPSec Fast Good
IKEv2/IPSec Fast Good
OpenVPN TCP Medium Medium
OpenVPN UDP Fast Good
SSTP Medium Medium
fastest vpn protocol

Fastest VPN Protocol For Streaming & Gaming

Connection speeds are closely related to the security provided by your VPN protocol. After all, high-grade encryption not only requires a lot of processing power but also more time, which in turn slows down the overall performance.

If you want to stream or game at high-speeds, PPTP is the fastest VPN protocol available because of its weak encryption. L2TP and IKEv2 are also reasonably fast, while OpenVPN and SSTP are comparatively slower than other VPN protocols. Winner: PPTP

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Most Secure vpn protocol

Most Secure VPN Protocol For Every Device

As far as security is concerned, PPTP is far from secure and probably the last VPN protocol you would want to use to stay safe online. IKEv2 and L2TP are considered to be more secure because they encapsulate your data twice.

OpenVPN is the most secure VPN protocol available as it offers the highest level of encryption and uses digital certificates for authentication. SSTP also comes with strong security, but it can only be used on Windows operating systems. Winner: OpenVPN

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best vpn protocol

Best VPN Protocol for P2P File Sharing

When it comes to activities like downloading, it is important to use a VPN protocol that provides the right balance between security and speed. While PPTP is the fastest protocol, it lacks security as it uses 128-bit encryption.

Both L2TP and IKEv2 use 256-bit encryption through IPSec, but the former lags behind in terms of speeds while the latter is not supported on old platforms. Though not as fast as PPTP or IKEv2, OpenVPN still provides reasonable speeds and top-notch security with 256-bit encryption, making it the best VPN protocol for P2P file sharing. Winner: OpenVPN

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Types of VPN Protocols Explained

PureVPN automatically selects the best VPN protocol on your behalf for a reliable, secure and speedy connection. However, it also gives users the convenience of choosing the VPN protocol manually if they want to. Find out more about the different types of VPN tunneling protocols we support:


  • PPTP - Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol
  • Due to its basic encryption and low security, PPTP offers a much faster connection than all other VPN protocols. It supports most platforms and is also very easy to setup, but is not recommended unless security is completely unessential.


  • L2TP- Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol
  • Since it does not provide strong authentication or encryption on its own, L2TP is used in conjunction with IPSec for security. Though it can struggle with some firewalls, it is a great alternative to OpenVPN protocol, supports all modern platforms, and can easily get around ISP/network limitations.


  • SSTP- Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol
  • Owned by Microsoft, SSTP is only available for Windows, FreeBSD, and Linux and cannot be audited independently being a proprietary technology. Regardless, it is one of the most secure VPN protocols and has the ability to bypass most firewalls.


  • With fast performance and top-grade encryption, OpenVPN is the VPN protocol of choice for all platforms. This open-source VPN solution is highly configurable and can be run on any port so that you can easily get past most ISP/network restrictions and firewalls without detection.


  • IKEv2- Internet Key Exchange
  • Based on the IPSec framework, IKEv2 is currently the most recent and advanced VPN protocol. Jointly developed by Cisco and Microsoft, it is fast, stable, secure, and very easy to setup. However, there is a lack of support for older platforms.

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    Virtual Private Networks and Security Protocols

    There are dozens of dozens of VPN services on the web. Some offer more security features. Others offer greater number of IP addresses to choose from so you can enjoy greater online freedom. None provide the best of both worlds, except for PureVPN.

    The service offers VPN clients for every device, including your smartphones, PC, Mac, and routers. It offers the fastest speeds. And you can connect with over 2,000+ servers in 140 countries via your VPN connection. To get the best out of the internet, PureVPN is the way to go!

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    VPN Protocols
    Frequently Asked Questions

    In simple terms, encryption is the process of encoding plaintext data into an unreadable and protected format. Likewise, VPN encryption prevents unauthorized access to your personal data by making it gibberish. As a result, interested parties like your Internet service provider or the government will not be able to know what you are doing online.

    PureVPN secures your data using Advanced Encryption Standard with a key size of 256-bits, also known as AES-256. Banks, governments, and security experts worldwide use this encryption standard for safeguarding confidential information. Moreover, it is considered impenetrable against all attacks due to a large number of possible key combinations.
    There are three basic types of VPNs, and these include:

    Site-to-Site VPN
    A site-to-site VPN, also referred to as router-to-router VPN, enables offices in multiple locations to safely connect with each other.

    Remote Access VPN
    A remote access VPN allows a user to securely connect to a business or home network and access its resources from a remote location.

    Client-Based VPN
    A client-based VPN establishes a private connection between a user and remote server usually through the use of an application.
    If you are facing issues, you will have to create the following exceptions from your firewall settings:

    PPTP VPN: Open port 1723 for both UDP/TCP.
    SSTP VPN: Open port 1701 for both UDP/TCP.
    OpenVPN: Open port 53 for UDP and port 80 for TCP.
    L2TP VPN: Open port 1701 for both UDP/TCP