OpenVPN vs L2TP
In recent years, many companies and individuals have fallen victim to various cyber attacks and had suffered terrible consequences. It is high time for the world to realize the importance of cyber security and to educate themselves on various prevention measures.
One such measure is VPN, which is an excellent solution for both large enterprises and smaller companies. In this article, we will learn more about VPNs, talk about the best VPN service providers on the market, and discuss two of the most popular security protocols – OpenVPN vs. L2TP.
What is a VPN and Why Do You Need It?
VPN is an abbreviation for the term Virtual Private Network, and it is a must-have tool for all responsible internet users in today’s age that is led by privacy concerns. It acts as an additional layer of security between the user and the internet, enabling the user to access various networks with maximum protection.
It is especially useful for individuals who often use open and public Wi-Fi connections, which are known to be very vulnerable and prone to various hacking exploits.
Here are some benefits of using a VPN:
- Enhanced security
- Online anonymity
- Changing IP addresses
- Accessing geo-restricted content
- Secure file sharing
- Escaping bandwidth throttling
- Lower server maintenance costs
It uses various security protocols to ensure safe web surfing, some of which include:
Some of the more popular protocol options include OpenVPN and L2TP. Let’s talk more about each of them, discuss their features, benefits, and downsides, and see whether one is better than the other.
How Does OpenVPN Work?
OpenVPN protocol is one of the newer VPN security protocols. It has become prevalent among VPN service providers for its amazing features and benefits. It is an open-source software solution that comes with its own open-source application.
It establishes a very secure connection between the client and the server, and it uses the OpenSSL library. Moreover, it also uses either UDP (User Data Protocol) or TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) to transfer data. TCP and UDP are types of transport layer protocols that are used to transfer data on the world wide web.
OpenVPN uses 256-bit OpenSSL encryption, alongside AES, Camelia, CAST-128, 3DES, and Blowfish ciphers to further strengthen the security. However, OpenVPN doesn’t support L2TP, PPTP, and IPSec. On the contrary, it has its unique SSL and TLS-based protocol. This type of security protocol relies on TLS-auth for HMAC signature verification, which helps with DoS attack prevention, port scanning, and port flooding.
How Does L2TP Work?
L2TP stands for Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol, and it is one of the most popular security protocols that is widely used by different VPN service providers. It was developed by Microsoft and Cisco in 1999, and it has remained relevant even 20 years later.
L2TP tunneling starts by initiating a connection between LAC and LNS. Once launched, a PPP link layer is enabled and carried over the internet. Then, the PPP connection with ISP is started by the user. When the LAC approves the connection, the PPP link is formed. When the connection has been fully authenticated, link frames can be passed through the tunnel.
L2TP is often paired with IPSec to increase safety by securing the data payload. Once paired, it frequently uses 3DES and 256-bit algorithms. It is supported on many operating systems, including Windows and macOS. L2TP usually utilized TCP port 1701. However, when it’s paired with IPSec, it also uses UDP ports 500.
It is a less secure option than OpenVPN is used on its own. However, when paired with IPSec, it is among the most comprehensive security protocol options on the market.
Best VPNs on the Market
Because VPNs have become so popular, more and more companies are coming out with different VPN solutions. However, it is imperative to perform thorough research and compare features before deciding which VPN you’ll go with. Here are some reputable VPN service providers that you should look into:
NordVPN is one of the most comprehensive VPN solutions on the market. Users can choose between 5,500 different servers worldwide, which are located in more than 60 countries. It has powerful 2048-bit encryption, strong DNS leak protection, proxy extensions for different browsers, kill-switches, and various payment options. It is available on:
- Raspberry Pi
It supports OpenVPN and IKEv2/IPSec protocols that allow users to browse the internet safely, without worrying about ransomware or other forms of cyber attacks. Moreover, it offers specialty servers for double encryption, P2P, and dedicated IPs.
SurfShark is a rather new VPN service provider, but it has garnered a lot of sympathies very quickly. It is perfect for home use, as well as for smaller businesses. What sets it apart is the fact that it offers unlimited simultaneous connections. Some of the most notable features include:
- Split tunneling
- Kill switch
- Double encryption
- No data-logging policy
- 1041 servers in 61 countries
It is compatible with many different services, including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, ESPN, and it works on Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Routers, and Firefox, among others.
CyberGhost is a fantastic VPN solution, which is especially suitable for beginners and novices who haven’t much experience with using this type of software. It is yet another popular solution due to its straightforward interface and cool features. Some of the features include:
- No data-logging policy
- Kill switch
- Leak-proof apps
- 5,900 servers across 90 countries
It may not be as fast and comprehensive as NordVPN, for example, but it still an amazing solution that is loved by many users from around the globe. The only downside to using Cyber Ghost is the fact that it won’t work in China. It is compatible with Hulu, BBL iPlayer, Netflix, DAZN, and Amazon Prime. It works across various operating systems and applications, including Windows, macOS, Android, Linux, Chrome, Raspberry Pi, and Routers.
ExpressVPN is one of the most robust VPN solutions on the list. Moreover, alongside NordVPN, it is one the fastest Virtual Private Network services available on the market. It is jam-packed with cool features, such as:
- Split tunneling
- P2P connections
- DNS Leak Protection
- Network Lock
- TrustedServer technology
It has more than three thousand high-speed servers across 160 countries. It offers 265-bit encryption, as well as OpenVPN support. It works with Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, Showtime, Amazon Prime, and BBC iPlayer, among others. It is available on Chrome, Safari, macOS, Nintendo Switch, Raspberry Pi, Windows, Amazon Fire TV, Xbox, Apple TV, and many others.
PrivateVPN is an affordable option that offers consistency and great features. The company is based in Sweden and doesn’t log any user data. It owns over 150 different servers across 80 locations. Although it doesn’t offer as many servers as some other options on the list, it easily compensates that with cool features, such as:
- IPv6 and DNS leak protection
- Unlimited bandwidth and speed
- SOCKS5 and HTTP proxy
- Anonymous torrenting
- Port forward
It comes with AES-256 encryption, and it has a stealth mode that enables users to bypass various VPN blocks and DPI firewalls. It is compatible with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and HBO GO, and it works on Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Routers.
As you can see, there are many benefits to using VPNs. When it comes to OpenVPN vs LT2P, it is important to note than both offer increased security and enable users to surf the web anonymously and without leaving any digital footprint. As a rule of thumb, always look for VPN services that offer either OpenVPN or L2TP/IPSec, and avoid outdated protocols such as PPTP.
Make sure to share the article to increase cyber security awareness, and comment down below which VPN security protocol your company uses!