Strong Virtual Private Network Protocols for Gaming, Security and Speed
Computers communicate through rules determining the format and transmission of data, referred to as protocols. When two devices communicate, they must use protocols so that the communication makes sense. Protocols are many in number; however, there are specific protocols that are made of more than one other protocol.
Strong VPN operations are based on three well-known VPN protocols and they include OPENVPN, L2TP and PPTP. For users to experience HD streaming, intensive gaming, fast downloads and enhanced security against data breaches, one should select VPN protocols based on security and speed. This publication seeks to elaborate the difference between L2TP, OPENVPN and PPTP with respect to gaming, speed and security.
Security and Speed
- Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is a VPN protocol. This protocol is by far the most commonly used type of VPN, and support for it is built into almost all major operating systems, such as Windows. Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol itself does not include encryption, but it is usually used along with an encryption protocol referred to as Microsoft Point-to-Point Encryption (MPPE). PPTP has a reputation of being insecure since it has weak encryption; however, this is the best protocol to engage as far as speed is concerned.
- Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) is a method of tunneling traffic based in part on Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol that does not have any encryption features on its own. L2TP is preferred for use with VPN in Windows Server because it incorporates the best of PPTP, with a technology referred to as Layer 2 Forwarding. Unlike PPTP, L2TP checks integrity of data and allows encapsulation of data over multiple network protocols. One of the most notable features of L2TP when compared to PPTP is the encryption rate, which is 256-bit compared to PPTP’s 128-bit. Its setup as well as configuration is simple, due to the inbuilt VPN features on various operating systems.
- OpenVPN is a virtual private network designed to create point-to-point or point-to-multi-client tunnels with strong encryption. This protocol functions just like PPTP or L2TP and it provides higher and better security. In addition to providing an encryption of 256-bit, OpenVPN provides data authentication through digital certificates. A feature unique to this protocol is that high latency does not affect its ability to achieve high speeds on networks. A major difference about this protocol is that it requires a separate software installation, since it is not built into operating systems. OpenVPN installation and configuration is more complex compared to PPTP or L2TP; nonetheless, it provides the most enhanced security.
As a VPN user who is mostly concerned about gaming and streaming, speed is of great importance. Your ISP may guarantee you better and faster connection; however, there are several dynamics that affect speeds. Among the many factors, congestion and overall distance are known to play a big role in reducing connection speed. Congestion is mainly associated with the usage intensity of a particular area, the higher the usage intensity the lower the speeds. Data that goes through a large number of cables to reach a connection point far away reduces speeds.
- Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol offers the best gaming speeds one can ever wish for since it has minimal encryption. PPTP exposes the user to multiple vulnerabilities due to lack of security. Users should settle for this protocol if they are not in need of better security or if there are no other protocols at their disposable.
- Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol is preferred for gaming because it incorporates the best of PPTP. The speed provided is convenient for gaming while offering a level of security that keeps gamers safer. By authenticating a gamer’s computer, L2TP prevents data from being intercepted, changed and returned to the user in what is referred to as a man-in-the-middle attack. For a lag-free, stable gaming experience, most gamers settle for L2TP.
- As far as gaming speeds are concerned, OpenVPN seems not to be the best choice for any gamer who is after ultimate gaming experience. Apart from its complex installation and configuration, OpenVPN is a recipe for delays and lagging. In order to experience good gaming, there is every need for your network ISP or admin to have blocked or throttled L2DP and PPTP.
- Transmission Control Protocol and Generic Routing Protocol are used in PPTP. Port 1723 is used by PPTP on Transmission Control Protocol to allow ISPs to block the corresponding Generic Routing Encapsulation or to throttle. With that said, this makes PPTP an inefficient protocolfor bypassing ISP restrictions.
- Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol makes use of fixed protocols; therefore, it only uses a single port just like PPTP. The fact that it uses a single port allows ISPs to block the port or protocol in use or throttle.
- OpenVPN on the other hand is highly versatile and resourceful since it can be assigned to different ports. This virtual private network protocol uses Transmission Control Protocols and User Datagram Protocol. OpenVPN; therefore, is the best for bypassing almost any ISP regional restriction or network. Its ability to be assigned to any port makes it harder for ISPs to throttle.
Your choice of VPN protocols may be limited due to various reasons. For instance, some countries are known to ban the use of a given number of protocols. However, PPTP seems to be favored.
The following are some of the reasons why PPTP seems to be a good choice for most users: PPTP has been around the longest, it is industry standard, it is easier to configure than L2TP and it has less overhead than L2TP. However, you can always opt to settle for L2TP if the choice is available because of the following reasons: L2TP provides greater and better security than PPTP; it supports common public key infrastructure technology and provides support for header compression.
With all the facts stated, L2TP is known to be easy for ISPs to block or throttle; therefore, users may want to settle for OpenVPN or Point-Point Tunneling Protocol. OpenVPN runs on any port, but its speeds are no match for L2TP and PPTP. While OpenVPN is not the best choice for bandwidth-intensive gaming experience, it is the most recommended protocol for bypassing ISPs restrictions when correctly installed and configured. Please check this guide on How to select VPN protocol.