Change your language:

What are the three main VPN protocols?

There are three main protocols used by VPN-providers to ensure you an anonymous and secured connection : PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN. These protocols have two main goals: they must transmit data in a secured way. That’s why they can use other protocols having a precised objective.

           1- PPTP (Point-to-point tunneling protocol):

The maximum encryption PPTP can provide is 128bit. IP protocol deals with the transfer of data. Transfer-protocol TCP allows an authentication between the VPN client and the server during the connection.


  • easy, simple and quick to use
  • no need to install a software
  • recognized by the most of software and operators


  • less secured than the two other protocols
  • more often blocked by ISP (Internet Service Providers)

2- L2TP/IPSec:

L2TP provides a 128bit AES maximum encryption. UDP protocol to establishes a tunnel but it does not provide an authentication system. IPSec secures the tunnel between the VPN server and the client; thus IPSec encrypted data and L2TP set up the link. The two go hand in hand.


  • more secured than PPTP
  • no need to install a software


  • less recognized by softwares and operators
  • less quick than PPTP

           3- OpenVPN:

OpenVPN is overall a free software. It uses TLS/SSL security protocol and includes also two steps: authentication and data encryption.

OpenVPN makes a double authentication: from the client to the VPN server and vice-versa, which means a reinforced security. This authentication is based on an asymmetric encryption using a key of 2048bit or 4096bit.

Once the authentication is made, OpenVPN uses symmetric encryption to encrypt data. This encryption uses also a key of a variable length: 128bit, 256bit, 448bit. The longer the key is, the more secured connection it provides.


  • recognized in situations where other protocols are not
  • very efficient and secured encryption


  • need to install a software
  • not recognized by mobile devices(Iphone, Ipad..)


On START-VPN, check out which VPN-provider offer:

- the three protocols: PPTP, L2TP and OpenVPN

- at least OpenVPN