What is a VPN tunnel?
Internet as of recent years has succumbed to many censorships and limitations. Most of these censorships come from the local Governments in different countries, and the rest of them are implemented by the ISP, network providers, and other agencies.
Also, in light of recent privacy concerns about Google, Facebook, and other internet giants, many companies have stepped into the field offering you different ranges of cybersecurity protection tools.
VPN service or Virtual Private Network tools are one such addition to the cybersecurity industry. They have quickly gained popularity due to their ability to bypass Government censorships and unblock geo-specified websites. They also ensure optimum privacy and protects user identity and data. So, let’s delve deeper into what the VPN tunnel actually is.
What is a VPN Tunnel?
A VPN Tunnel is basically a wall or curtain between your data and the prying eyes of Governments, hackers and even your own ISPs (yes, your own Internet Service providers are rather too much interested in your data)
The VPN tunnel works by establishing a secure connection around your internet and devices. This way, the outgoing data packets are secured through an encryption key. The reliable and authentic VPN services use the AES-256 bit encryption key to protect your data which is the topmost encryption for now. It also depends upon the tunneling protocol that a VPN service use.
What are the types of VPN protocols?
VPN services use many types of protocols that offer different layers of security and protection. The commonly used protocols by VPN services are PPTP, IPSec, and SSTP. Let’s discuss each of them step by step.
PPTP or Point to Point Tunneling Protocol has been used by VPN services since the 1990s. It was developed and released with Windows 95 by Microsoft. PPTP works by encrypting your data and relaying it through a separate tunnel created over the network.
It is also considered to be one of the most basic and easiest VPN Tunnel protocols to configure and implement. PPTP offers faster connection speeds due to the low level of encryption key it uses. All it needs is the username, password and server address to connect.
However, don’t be blown away by its faster speed. It compromises its security to do that and has been succumbed to vulnerabilities for as long as 20 years. It is known to be the least secure protocols available. So, in case, you want a stronger level of privacy and protection, steer clear of the VPN services that use this protocol.
IPSec is a highly reputed and widely used VPN Tunel protocol that has also been integrated by companies that offer mobile apps. It is much more secure compared to PPTP protocol and offers two layers of encryption to ensure maximum privacy. It is also slower than the basic PPTP protocol due to the two layers of encryption that it offers.
However, it should be kept in mind that IPSec often struggles when bypassing internet restrictions because it uses fixed ports. Despite that, it is still a widely used and popular VPN Tunnel protocol due to the level of protection that it offers.
SSTP or Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol is famous for its ability to transfer data through sockets or SSL layers. Also, SSTP doesn’t have to deal with fixed ports and therefore only struggles with firewalls rather than L2TP layers.
SSL is mainly used to create a secure connection between your device and the website that you are visiting. That is why when there is a secure connection you see the website URL’s with “Https” rather than “Http”
So, which tunneling VPN protocol should you prefer?
Without any hesitation, we’d suggest that you stay clear of using PPTP as it is the least secure VPN Tunnel protocol. It may be faster but you’ll be compromising your privacy for speed which is highly unappropriated unless you have other cybersecurity solutions to back you up.
On the other hand, while IPSec is a bit slower, it does offer a high level of security. SSTP is windows exclusive and therefore won’t be of much use to you if you want to use a VPN service on your device.
If you want a complete privacy solution for your iOS devices, download Tor Browser Private Web + VPN for iPhone (and use it free on IPad) and get a complete cybersecurity solution for an affordable price.