What is L2TP VPN and How Does it Work?

L2TP VPN uses IPSec for strong encryption and authentication to make your connection more secure as compared to PPTP. It’s also easy to set up with most operating systems.Even though PureVPN includes the L2TP protocol, it requires manual configuration to get started.

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A Brief Overview of L2TP VPN

What is L2TP

What is L2TP?

L2TP stands for Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, and it doesn’t provide any encryption by itself. L2TP VPN usually uses an authentication protocol, IPSec (Internet Protocol Security), for strong encryption and authentication, which gives it an ultimate edge on some other most used protocols like PPTP. The L2TP protocol uses UDP ports 1701.

How Does L2TP Work

How Does L2TP Work?

The data transmitted via the L2TP/IPSec protocol is usually authenticated twice. Each data packet transmitted via the tunnel includes L2TP headers. As a result, the data is de-multiplexed by the server. The double authentication of the data slows down performance, but it does provide the highest security.

Why is L2TP a Popular VPN Protocol

Why is L2TP a Popular VPN Protocol?

One of the many reasons that make L2TP a popular protocol is that there are no known vulnerabilities. Also, the double encryption gives users a peace of mind when they use the internet. Moreover, Mac and Windows OS both support the protocol.

Benefits of L2TP VPN


  • Unlike PPTP, it offers excellent level of encryption and security
  • The protocol encapsulates the data twice, which means double data verification
  • The protocol is available on not only desktop but also mobile operating systems
  • L2TP is quite easy to configure on all the operating systems it supports
  • Multithreading support for improved performance


  • It offers slow performance because of double authentication (encapsulation)
  • There are some firewalls that can block the L2TP protocol ports
  • The protocol is difficult to configure on devices that run on NAT routers
  • L2TP/IPSec is rumored to be deliberately weakened by the National Security Agency (NSA)

Features of L2TP VPN

Secure Connection

L2TP works with AES or 3DES algorithms used for the most secure 256-bit key encryption.

Better Link Establishment

L2TP uses the UDP Port 1701 for configuration, the UDP Port 500 for key exchange, and the UDP Port 4500 for NAT.

Safest Protocol

Due to highest level encryption and double encapsulation, it ranks among safest protocols.

How to Set up L2TP VPN

Step-by-step guide on how to setup L2TP VPN on different operating systems such as Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OSX, iOS, Linux, Android and more.

Also Compatible With

Other VPN Protocols

PureVPN offers support for all major VPN protocols and platforms.