IKEv2 is the improved version of the Internet Key Exchange. This VPN protocol was developed by two well-known tech companies- Microsoft and Cisco Systems. IKEv2 is known for its tremendous ability to automatically restore the VPN connection when your Internet connection temporarily drops. This ability has proven to be quite useful for users who prefer mobile devices. This is one of the finest VPN protocols, and it's known as secure and reliable. Today, you will learn what exactly is IKEv2, how it works, is it fast or safe, etc.

1. What is IKEv2?

IKEv2 or Internet Key Exchange 2 version is a VPN protocol. It is available on many operating systems like Windows, Linux, Blackberry, as well as on iOS. This protocol happens to be a part of the IPSec authentication suite. Thanks to this VPN protocol, your Internet traffic will be safe and secure by establishing as well as managing the Security Association attribute inside the protocol suite- IPSec. The IKEv2 VPN protocol is a better version of IKEv1, and there's no doubt about that. Sometimes, the IKEv2 is mentioned as a mixture of two protocols IKEv2/IPSec, while its predecessor, IKEv2, is commonly referred to as only IPSec.

Like we've mentioned earlier, this VPN protocol is famous for the ability to restore your VPN service connection the moment your Internet connection drops. Entering and leaving a train tunnel is a pretty good example. Since IKEv2 supports the MOBIKE protocol, it’s quite flexible when it comes to changing networks. It's a good reason why IKEv2 protocol is ideal for users that prefer smartphones. MOBIKE is short for IKEV2 Mobility and Multihoming protocol. IKEv2 is great for mobile users because they frequently change from their home Wi-fi to mobile data.

2. How does IKEv2 work?

Just as all VPN protocols, the IKEv2 VPN protocol task would be to create a tunnel between a VPN server and the client as well. Then, this protocol would go on to authenticate the server and the client.

Just as we previously mentioned, this VPN protocol manages the SA attribute. The Security Association attribute could be defined as a sort of a process that creates security attributes between the server and the client. The SA Attribute makes this possible because it creates the identical encryption key for the client and the server, too. The purpose of that key is encrypting and decrypting data that goes through the VPN tunnel, and basically, this is how the IKEv2 VPN protocol works.

3. The difference between IKEv1 and IKEv2

Here are the reasons why the IKEv2 protocol is superior to IKEv1:

    1. IKEv2 has less bandwidth consumption
    2. IKEV2 uses encryption for both the VPN server and the VPN client, and that why it’s more secure than IKEv1
    3. IKEv2 has Mobility and Multihoming protocol support
    4. IKEv2 supports a lot more algorithms
    5. It has faster online speeds than the IKEv1
    6. Setting up the IKEv2 on your VPN protocol takes only a couple of minutes.

4. Is IKEV2 even safe?

The short answer would be yes, it is safe and secure to use this VPN protocol. It has the support of the well-known 256-bit encryption and supports top-notch ciphers such as DES and AES. Also, thanks to MOBIKE, which we’ve mentioned earlier, your VPN connection will be restored when your Internet connection drops.

It’s a fact that Microsoft developed IKEv2, which is considered by many people as unreliable. But, they developed the protocol with Cisco Systems, and not by themselves. Here are some security issues that could happen to you if you're not quite careful:

    • Your password- two years, in 2018, a research was conducted, and some weaknesses of the IKEv2 VPN protocol were discovered. To be more clear, researchers found out that user’s accounts were hacked with ease if they had a weak password. But, if you choose a strong password, you should raise no concerns. To prevent having any cyber-attacks, choose a VPN provider that is reliable and safe.
    • Downgrade attacks- IPSec VPN configurations that are allowing multiple configurations that could be negotiated can sustain something that’s called a downgrade attack. This is a cyber-attack that forces a computer system to switch to a protocol version of the lower-quality that it previously had.

5. Is this VPN protocol fast?

Yes, it is, and it offers quite fast online speeds. As a matter of fact, IKEv2 is probably the greatest VPN protocol in terms of speed, of course. The exchange process of sending and receiving a request is very efficient, and this is one of the reasons why IKEv2 is so fast. Also, the fantastic MOBIKE feature makes sure that your speeds don't go down when you're switching networks( from your home Wi-fi to your mobile data, or vice versa).


We’ve properly introduced you to the IKEv2 protocol, and you can realize that you should choose this protocol since it is very fast, secure, and reliable.