Selecting the best VPN protocol for your needs can indeed be a headache. However, 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||Stability||Media Streaming||P2P File Sharing||Compatible with|
|PPTP||Fast||Medium||Good||Good||Most OS and devices|
|L2TP/IPSec||Fast||Good||Good||Good||Most OS and devices|
|IKEv2/IPSec||Fast||Good||Good||Good||Most OS and devices|
|OpenVPN TCP||Medium||Good||Medium||Good||Most OS and devices|
|OpenVPN UDP||Fast||Medium||Good||Good||Most OS and devices|
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
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
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.