PPTP is short for Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol. This VPN protocol was developed back in 1995 by one of the most famous companies in the tech industry- Microsoft. When you consider the quality of VPN connections, the PPTP protocol is definitely one of the best on the market. The majority of VPNs offer this protocol, and you will have a hard time finding one that doesn’t. Today, you will find out what exactly is PPTP, how it compares to other VPN protocols, is it secure, and much more interesting information.
1. What is PPTP?
PPTP is a VPN protocol developed in 1995. Its predecessor was the PPP protocol that didn't have the tunneling feature. Although it was created at Microsoft, meaning the first operating system PPTP was available on was Windows. Today this VPN protocol is available on a large number of operating systems and devices as well. The process of setting up PPTP only takes a few moments, and the great thing is that you don’t have to install any extra software. Also, using this VPN protocol is pretty easy as well. A PPTP connection is often used both for e-commerce and business VPNs too.
2. How does it work?
So, the PPTP client will make a connection to the PPTP server through which all your personal info and Internet traffic travel. PPTP also secures your data and traffic with encryption. That’s how we explained it, without being too technical.
Here's a more technical explanation. The PPTP is going to encapsulate network data, and then it will place that data into an Internet Protocol (IP) envelope, and that's how the process starts. After that, each time your router or the device that you're using comes upon that network, it is going to see it as an IP packet. When the network gets to the PPTP server, it will go to the web.
Then, the PPTP tunnel is going to be made by setting up a connection with the peer that happens to be on TCP Port 1723, but that’s not the end of it. After this, the connection that was set up will be used to guide the encapsulating tunnel to TCP Port 1723. Then, the PPTP protocol is going to authenticate transferred data packets at the sending and the receiving end of the tunnel.
3. Is this VPN protocol secure?
Before, PPTP was one of the most secure VPN protocols, but today it is not. The security of this VPN protocol is not the most modern, and if you want to protect your personal info on the Internet, you shouldn’t choose the PPTP protocol. Probably the biggest security issue was using MS-CHAP v2 Authentication. Because PPTP used this, they were cracked in a couple of days, which has shown serious security vulnerabilities of the PPTP protocol. Microsoft fixed this, but the company itself recommended that users should choose other VPN protocols such as SSTP or the L2TP/IPSec.
After you’ve seen the issues that this protocol had, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear the National Security Agency was able to decrypt encrypted PPTP communications. There’s also proof that the NSA was collecting data before when users thought that PPTP protocol is safe and secure to use.
4. PPTP in Comparison to other VPN protocols
Now, we’ll compare the PPTP to a couple of other VPN protocols, and see how this protocol fares against them.
PPTP vs. L2TP/IPSec
Anyone who wants to feel safe with its VPN protocol should choose to use the L2TP/IPSec rather than the PPTP protocol. L2TP/IPSec uses an extra layer of protection in the form of the 256-bit AES encryption. Also, the L2TP/IPSec could be configured in a way that the NAT firewalls couldn't possibly block it. In contrast, the PPTP protocol could be blocked with ease, which is quite unfortunate.
The PPTP protocol is only superior to the L2TP/IPSec when it comes to delivering faster online speeds.
PPTP vs. IKEv2/IPSec
The fact that IKEv2/IPSec uses 256-bit AES encryption, and PPTP doesn't, and it is much safer to use the IKEv2/IPSec VPN protocol. But, when it comes to the setup, you will do it faster and easier if you choose the PPTP VPN protocol.
When it comes to stability, IKEv2/IPSec is better because it is resilient to network changes, which is great news for the users that prefer mobile devices. Both of these protocols are pretty fast, but the IKEv2/ IPSec and has solid encryption, which is not the case with the PPTP VPN protocol.
PPTP vs. OpenVPN
OpenVPN is much more secure than the PPTP protocol. OpenVPN also uses the most modern encryption- 254-bit AES cipher, and it's also open-source, unlike the PPTP protocol. It's more reliable than the PPTP, which is known as being attacked by the National Security Agency.
PPTP was considered as one of the most secure VPN protocols, but today that is not the case. You should only use it for getting access to geo-restricted content, and if you prefer speed. PPTP is an above-average protocol, but there are much better VPN protocols today that you should choose rather than the PPTP protocol.