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This article is categorized into the following sections:
- What is a VPN Protocol?
- Why is a VPN Protocol Important?
- What are the Major VPN Protocols?
- VPN Protocol Speed Tests
- How to Pick the Best VPN Protocol
- Which VPN Service Provides the Best VPN Protocol for Your Network?
- VPN Protocols FAQ
Best VPN Protocol For Gaming
Interestingly, gamers cannot undervalue the importance of speed. In order the seamlessly enjoy online gaming you need to choose a lag free and fast VPN protocol.
Luckily, you do have different protocols available at your disposal. In this case, PPTP protocol comes in handy as it offers the fastest speeds for online gaming.
Best choice: PPTP
How Do I Know Which Surfshark VPN Protocol Is The Best For Me
The best Surfshark VPN protocol largely depends on the device youre using or the reason you need a VPN:
- Wireguard is good all around, especially when speed is the issue
- IKEv2 grants the best speed on mobile
- OpenVPN works best for desktop devices
- Shadowsocks is specifically for people who want to overcome the Great Chinese Firewall and similar blocks
If you are still unclear which VPN protocol is the right fit for you, you can switch them around in the Surfshark app and do your own test!
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Best VPN Protocol For China
When it comes to protecting your online privacy, you can select different protocols. These protocols are PPTP, L2TP, OpenVPN and SoftEther. As you already know, SoftEther is a multi VPN protocol. Therefore, you can use SoftEther within China to attain online security and anonymity stress-free.
Still, you can avail PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN protocols to unblock and access your favorite streaming sites in China securely. However, you will have to use obfuscating methods to take benefit from OpenVPN in the country.
Likewise, you can select PPTP and L2TP as long as your VPN provider is not blocked by great firewall in China.
Best choice: SoftEther or OpenVPN
If rock solid privacy is your main concern, nothing even comes close to OpenVPN. It supports a number of different platforms and offers privacy unlike any other protocol in the industry today.
It is also why almost every top VPN provider in the industry prefers using OpenVPN as their first line of defense.
Having said that, due to its powerful encryption, it can be a bit slower than some of the other protocols.
Experience VPN Protocols In Action
You now know everything about VPN protocols a VPN user might need. Hopefully, this knowledge will help you make conscious decisions when choosing between protocols if you ever need to.
The most important thing is to pick one that best suits your circumstances. I recommend using WireGuard or IKEv2 for general use, and OpenVPN if you need to set up a VPN on your router.
Surfshark has all three plus Shadowsocks to suit the comfort and compatibility needs of our users. If youre looking for connection speed, internet security and privacy, then weve got your back.
Find out how they work in action
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Introducing Expressvpns Lightway Protocol
Lightway is currently available on all ExpressVPN apps: Android, Windows, iOS, Mac, Linux, and routers. If you donât yet have ExpressVPN, we encourage you to take advantage of our 30-day money-back guarantee and give it a try. Weâre confident youâll agree that Lightway is the best VPN protocol.
Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol
A significant step up from pioneering but outdated protocols like PPTP and SSTP, the Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol delivers better security at the cost of reduced speed. L2TP is commonly paired with the IPsec protocol to deliver AES-256 encryption, with the combination of the two referred to as L2TP/IPsec.
However, L2TP/IPsec is still more suited for anonymization than for security, as there are other protocols, such as OpenVPN, offering even stronger levels of security.
Verdict: Nice to have
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Firestick/fire TV VPN Protocol Speed Tests
Prior to testing different VPN protocol speeds, its important to understand how to change protocols within the IPVanish app.
Follow the quick steps below for how to change protocols.
1. Launch the IPVanish VPN App on your Firestick/Fire TV and click the Settings icon on the right
2. Select VPN Protocol
3. Notice the two options OpenVPN and IKEv2 Beta, we will be testing both of these protocols
4. To switch between OpenVPN UDP and OpenVPN TCP, make sure OpenVPN is selected, click the back button, and click Protocol
5. Here you can choose between OpenVPN UDP and OpenVPN TCP
Thats it! Now check out our results below after testing the various protocols.
When testing we used the same country, city, server, and port to make sure these factors were constant.
Note: When switching between protocols to test speeds, always click Disconnect before changing to another protocol.
OpenVPN UDP 51 Mbps down & 20 Mbps up
OpenVPN TCP 54 Mbps down & 21 Mbps up
IKEv2 Beta 25 Mbps down & 19 Mbps up
Fastest VPN protocol on Firestick/Fire TV OpenVPN TCP
Important: If you are still experiencing slower download speeds on your Firestick/Fire TV after adjusting protocols, I suggest looking into a Firestick Ethernet Adapter.
What Is An Ikev2 VPN Which Protocol Is The Best
Although IKEv2 has been around for over a decade, unlike other VPN protocols, it is not yet supported by many devices. Lets discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of IKEv2, and find out if this is the best VPN protocol for you.
IKEv2 is primarily a tunneling protocol. It only becomes a VPN protocol when used with an authentication standardat this time, its IPSec. IKEv2 stands for Internet Key Exchange version 2 it came out in 2005 while the first version was released in 1988. Note though that IKEv2 is not really an upgrade, and it is not backward compatible with IKEv1.
Among the features of IKEv2 are built-in DoS protection, NAT-T, and EAP authentication. All these make IKEv2 a highly secure and reliable VPN protocol. Jointly developed by Microsoft and Cisco, IKEv2 is the protocol used to set up SAs in the IPSec suite.
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Simplest VPN Protocol Which Is Easiest To Use
Apart from the fastest VPN protocols and the most secure VPN protocols, there is another factor to consider. Simplicity is sometimes of the essence and it should not be underestimated. After all, you can have all the security and speed in the world, but if the protocol is too hard to understand how to use it, it will offer you little benefit.When an Internet user seeks simple setup, PPTP is definitely the answer.
It might not be the safest option to use at all times, but when strong encryption is not necessary PPTP manages to excel.
OpenVPN can be really baffling, particularly when it is not native to the OS or device you use. So for newbies and non-tech literates, PPTP is a great start.
A nice middle option between PPTP and OpenVPN is L2TP/IPsec, which offers decent security and speed, and a set up that is not complicated by any means.
In any case, when you use a VPN protocol set through a VPN provider, to switch from one to the other is just a matter of a click. The software will automatically take care of all the technical issues.
Openvpn Vs Ipsec Wireguard L2tp & Ikev2
As a general rule of thumb, however, OpenVPN and WireGuard are my top recommendations for VPN protocols. They are secure, fast, trustworthy, open source,
May 18, 2021 VPN protocols are the set of rules that describe how to create a secure connection between your device and a VPN server. Theyre also known as
Jan 18, 2019 Weve got you covered CactusVPN provides access to the most popular VPN protocols there are: OpenVPN, Wireguard, SoftEther, IKEv2, SSTP What Is a VPN Protocol?What VPN Protocol Types Are There?
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Softether: Good For Bypassing Censorship
- Requires manual configuration to be safe
- Not natively supported on any OS
- Compatible with only a few VPN services
SoftEther is an open-source VPN protocol initially developed as part of a Masters thesis at the University of Tsukuba.
Released in 2014, SoftEther is one of the newer VPN protocols available. The early signs are that it offers good security without compromising on speed.
SoftEther supports strong encryption ciphers, including AES-256 and RSA-4096. It also boasts speeds that are reportedly 13x faster than OpenVPN.
It is also well-designed to bypass heavy web censorship. SoftEther bases its encryption and authentication protocols on OpenSSL. Like SSTP and OpenVPN, this means it can use TCP Port 433, which is very difficult for firewalls and censorship systems to block.
In 2018, SoftEther received an 80-hour security audit which revealed 11 security vulnerabilities. These were patched in a subsequent update, but researchers at Aalto University have recently found that SoftEther is sometimes vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.
This is because the default configuration is for clients not to verify the servers certificate. Attackers can therefore impersonate a VPN server and gain access to user credentials and online activity.
When using SoftEther, be sure to tick the Always Verify Server Certificate box in the New VPN Connection settings.
SoftEthers default settings do not include server certificate verification
When to use SoftEther:
What Is VPN Protocol Why Does It Matter
To understand the meaning and function of VPN protocol, lets firstly take a look at whats the network protocol.
A network protocol is an established set of rules that determine how data is transmitted between different devices in the same network.
Accordingly, a VPN protocol is such a set of rules that decide how data is sent over the virtual private network, from the VPN client of local device to network access server of VPN provider then to target internet address and vice versa. During the whole process, all data is transmitted through the tunnel called VPN tunnel.
Protocol means a lot to a VPN because it not only determines how data is routed but also the data encryption standard. Different protocols surely have different specifications and prioritize different things, be it privacy, speed or security.
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Ikev2/ipsec: Great Protocol For Mobile Users
- Possibly compromised by the NSA
- Bad for bypassing firewalls
Internet Key Exchange version 2 is a VPN protocol that is especially popular among mobile users.
It offers very fast connection speeds and uses a MOBIKE protocol to seamlessly deal with the changing of networks. This makes IKEv2 great for mobile VPN users, who frequently switch between cellular data and WiFi networks.
IKEv2 was developed in a collaboration between Microsoft and Cisco, and is a successor to the original IKEv1.
What Is IPSec?
On its own, IKEv2 doesnt provide any encryption. Its focus is on authentication and creating a secure VPN tunnel. Thats why IKEv2 is typically combined with IPSec to form IKEv2/IPSec.
IPSec is a suite of security protocols that uses 256-bit ciphers, such as AES, Camellia or ChaCha20. After IKEv2 has established a secure connection between your device and the VPN server, IPSec encrypts your data for its journey through the tunnel.
IKEv2/IPSec is supported by most VPN services, but unfortunately its code base is closed-source.
The protocol appears secure from the outside, but without the transparency of open-source it is impossible to verify that Microsoft havent built backdoors or other vulnerabilities into it.
NOTE: Linux versions of IKEv2/IPSec are open-source and audits have shown nothing untoward with the protocol. For this reason, the closed-source nature of IKEv2 is less concerning than with other closed-source protocols, such as SSTP.
When to use IKEv2/IPSec:
What Is The Easiest VPN Protocol To Set Up
PPTP protocol is built into many devices, making it one of easiest protocols to set up. However, since it is outdated and is well-known for security issues, we dont recommend using it. Look into other options such as Wireguard or IKEv2/IPsec.
VPN services like NordVPN set up the protocols for you so you dont need to worry about tweaking them for better performance. However, you can switch to another protocol on NordVPN app with just a couple of clicks.
Enhance your security and take the best out of VPN protocols.
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Which Protocol Is The Best
It is a close battle between IKEv2 and OpenVPN. IKEv2 is more secure than other VPN protocols because of its auto-reconnect capability. Thus, its more effective in protecting the privacy and identity of Internet users. Its also relatively faster, although several factors impact VPN speed. However, IKEv2 is supported mostly by new mobile devices only.
On the other hand, OpenVPN is supported by all devices and has been a VPN standard for years. Its secure and isnt clouded by any corporate interests because it is open-source.
Ultimately, more important than the VPN protocol is the VPN provider you choose. No matter how good, secure, and fast a VPN protocol is, the VPN provider has the final say. Two factors to consider when choosing a VPN provider:
- Logging policy: Most VPN providers only track necessary data such as bandwidth usage and which server you connect to. However, these data are not user-identifiable. If a VPN provider logs and stores even a small amount of personal details, then it will be easy to track a user. This logging practice defeats the purpose of a VPN.
- The number of server locations: Server location affects speedthe more choices you have, the better. No matter how fast the VPN protocol is, if the provider only has a few server locations or if the server locations arent strategic, then there will still be latency issues.
How To Choose Which VPN Protocol To Use
So now that you know a little more about the available VPN encryption standards, lets dive into how you might want to use them in your day-to-day life:
On mobile devices, use OpenVPN, Wireguard or IKEv2. Each allow for easy configuration that connects quickly on mobile devices.
IKEv2 is another alternative as it can jump from WIFI networks to your cellular carrier without disconnecting.
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How To Speed Up A Sluggish Connection
If you’re noticing a major dip in your connection speeds and it’s impeding your online gaming, don’t despair! There are plenty of things you can do to troubleshoot the issue and get back on track. I’ve listed some of the most effective steps below, though be sure to reach out to your VPN provider, too, as they may be able to offer more tailored advice depending on your connection settings and server of choice. For more tips, check out our how to speed up a slow VPN guide.
The Most Secure VPN Protocols
Although somewhat debatable, many security experts recommend OpenVPN when it comes to data and traffic protection. Similar to, say, WireGuard, it uses 256-bit data encryption by default. But it also offers other protocols, including Triple Data Encryption Standard , CAST-128, Blowfish, and AES . In VPN Unlimited, we use the most secure protocol option AES-256 bit.
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How To Pick The Best VPN Protocol
When selecting the VPN protocol type you want to use, it ultimately comes down to user preference.
If you want:
- Faster speeds in general, then choose PPTP or IKEv2/IPSec
- The most stable on mobile devices, then choose IKEv2/IPSec.
- Full native support, then choose PPTP, L2TP/IPSec or OpenVPN.
- Easy setup, then choose SSTP or PPTP
- The least resource usage, then choose SSTP or OpenVPN.
- More secure, stable and faster connection, then choose OpenVPNover UDP.
- Low-risk browsing but with rapid speed , then choose PPTP.
- To open geo-blocked websites with less concern on security or privacy, then choose PPTP.
- Undisrupted connection when switching between networks, then choose IKEv2/IPSec.
- , then choose L2TP/IPSec
- Multiple types of authentication processes, then choose OpenVPN.
- A protocol thats compatible with mobile devices that cant accommodate OpenVPN, then choose L2TP/IPSec.
- A small code base and youre a Linux user, then choose Wireguard.
- A and youre a Windows user, then choose SSTP.
- To scramble SSL handshake metadata to bypass firewalls abroad, choose SoftEther.
Which Protocol To Select
If you believe your country blocks vpn in any way, you can always set the protocol to OpenVPN and enable the scramble option . From most effective to least effective at getting around firewalls / blocks:
If the country you are in does not block VPNs, and the connection is not stable, or there are any issues with it in the slightest, set the protocol to OpenVPN TCP. If it can not connect, try the remaining protocols.
VPN connections can be subject to blocks by restrictive governments. Problematic network conditions in some locations can make certain protocols and configurations almost a requirement. Thus, we have written out a list of best protocols by location. Be sure to read these articles for detailed information about VPN Protocols / Types of VPN Protocols, and reference the following articles for how to switch protocols within each app by the operating system.
Please read this article on how to set up the Scramble feature in supported apps and routers as well. It is required in countries that block VPNs most of the time.
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Where To Find The Best VPN Protocols
Most modern VPN providers offer a plethora of options for you to consider. When you subscribe to one of the best VPN providers on the market, you dont need to go through the sometimes complicated setup process. The VPN software will do the dirty job for you.
When a VPN provider supports several VPN protocols, you can combine the VPN protocol that matches your requirements at a time. For instance, there are times when speed is essential.
On the other hand, security is valuable in some cases. So you can combine the simplicity and fast pace of PPTP along with the reliability of OpenVPN and L2TP/IPsec and so on.ExpressVPN provides you with OpenVPN , L2TP/IPsec, and PPTP protocols for strong and flexible encryption.
However, for those who wish to enjoy the benefits of a VPN that masks their VPN activities, Chameleon VPN protocol is not available everywhere. Instead, VyprVPN offers the innovative technology of Golden Frog along with OpenVPN, PPTP and L2TP/IPsec. So you should keep that in mind, prior to proceeding with your VPN subscription.