What is PPTP VPN Protocol?

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September 7, 2022 by Ashley

What is PPTP VPN Protocol

PPTP is the abbreviation of Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol. It is the oldest method for implementing virtual private networks. It is hard to find a VPN provider without offering PPTP connection access since it is a stable of VPN connection. Modern, more advanced protocols such as OpenVPN and WireGuard have largely replaced it because it is defunct for its security issues. If PPTP is obsoleted, why does it matter? Having many advantages, being fast for 22 years, and providing a simple setup even for unprofessional users lead us to know enough about PPTP VPN Protocol. In this article, you will learn what is PPTP VPN Protocol, how it works, and how it interacts with other VPN protocols.

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5 Golden Points about PPTP

1- PPTP is still supported by almost every VPN provider.

2- The basis of today’s VPN protocols is formed by PPTP.

3-  PPTP is unique in having some advantages.

4- Old and slow devices with limited processors work better with PPTP.

5- PPPT is the fastest and easiest to set up VPN protocol.

How Does PPTP Work?

To connect two routers without any host, a data link layer communication protocol is needed, which is called PPP. This VPN PPTP protocol encapsulates PPP packets, allowing a data tunnel to be formed between two network points. Also, to move data from one network to another, tunneling is required. A tunnel is created around the transferred data to repackage and then sent through the internet.  While tunneling is not enough method to keep data safe, VPN is used to encrypt the information. As you know, Virtual Private Network (VPN) is used to keep you safe while you are sending and receiving data across the internet. Follow our related article to get more information and see what is VPN.

The below image helps you to understand the point-to-point tunneling concept better.

understand the point-to-point tunneling

Once a PPTP connection is established between the client and the server, the PPTP protocol supports control messages and data packets. Let’s see what are these two types of information.

Control messages: They are used to manage the VPN connection, including shutting it down when necessary.

Data packets: Data packets contain all the information that goes across the tunnel. The information includes all the sites you connect to and your actions on them.

Voluntary Tunneling

Voluntary is one type of tunneling that is initiated by the client/user that does not need a router or any other hardware, network device, ISP, or bridge support to function. Voluntary Tunneling takes place when VPN services are being used.

Compulsory Tunneling

Unlike Voluntary Tunneling, this type of tunneling is initiated by the server, not the client. It is necessary to support the router and network access server because Compulsory Tunneling is initiated by the PPTP server. Tunneling is mostly used in corporate environments to ensure that all company devices are protected by the VPN network.

PPTP General Technical Prerequisites

To function, PPTP relies on a client-server model. The encrypted tunnel established between the PPTP VPN client and server uses TCP port 1723 and IP port 47 for communication, while encapsulation employs the General Routing Encapsulation (GRE) protocol.

PPTP General Technical Details

OSI is an abstract model of how protocols and network devices communicate. The network communication takes place at OSI Layer 2. The data link layer is the second of seven layers in the OSI model, and it is where PPTP operates. To connect to a server, PPTP only requires the server address as well as a username and password. PPTP supports encryption keys up to 128-bits, and it uses Microsoft Point-to-Point Encryption (MPPE).

PPTP Advantages

Here are some of the most important features and considerable benefits of PPTP VPN Protocol.

1. High Speed

PPTP is a very fast VPN protocol. Since the level of encryption is low, you can expect a fast connection speed. One of the reasons why PPTP is still in use today is its commendable speed. Fast speeds are ideal for VPN torrenting, HD streaming, and other activities in which speed trumps security.

2. Simple Setup Process

On most operating systems and devices, such as Linux, PPTP is extremely simple to set up and configure. This is one of the reasonable reasons that PPTP is still popular with most VPN users. To set up a PPTP connection, tweaking a few settings and entering some server-related data in your operating system’s network settings area is required.

3. Cross-platform

PPTP is cross-platform. Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, Tomato, DD-WRT, and other operating systems and devices support this protocol. A PPTP connection can be established on a wide range of platforms due to the protocol’s high level of cross-platform compatibility. You can connect to a VPN server using the PPTP protocol, regardless of your device or operating system. However, PPTP is no longer supported on macOS Sierra and iOS 10, and newer versions.

PPTP Disadvantages

It is time to see what are downsides of PPTP VPN Protocol are, to care if they are our priorities.

1. Security issues

Obviously, security and anonymity are the reasons for using a VPN. PPTP has very weak encryption that causes it to be broken fast. So, due to today’s standards, PPTP is really insecure. Cybercriminals with malicious attacks are able to exploit a PPTP connection.

2. Poor Encryption

While NSA has actually cracked PPTP traffic, the encryption of PPTP is not really suitable for securing online data and traffic.

3. Requiring Passthrough

Passthrough is a router feature that allows VPN client data packets to “pass-through” the router and reach the VPN server. Since PPTP doesn’t natively work with NAT, a router with PPTP Passthrough is usually required.

4. Vulnerable to the Firewall block

Firewalls can easily detect and block PPTP connections.

PPTP vs. Other VPN Protocols

There are various protocols that offer different levels of encryption and authentication. Previously on OperaVPS, you have read about different Protocols of VPN. In this part, we are going to compare the function of the PPTP with some most used VPN protocols. Compare the points to see which one is the winner of the comparison on each part.

PPTP vs. WireGuard

VPN ProtocolSecuritySpeedCross-platform
WireGuard
PPTP ×

PPTP vs. OpenVPN

VPN ProtocolSecuritySpeed
OpenVPN×
PPTP×

PPTP vs. SSTP

VPN ProtocolSecuritySpeedCross-platform
SSTP × ×
PPTP ×

PPTP vs. IPSec

VPN ProtocolSecuritySpeed
IPSec×
PPTP×

PPTP vs. L2TP/IPSec

VPN ProtocolSecuritySpeed
L2TP/IPSec×
PPTP×

PPTP vs. IKEv2/IPSec

VPN ProtocolSecuritySpeed
IKEv2/IPSec
PPTP×

PPTP vs. SoftEther

VPN ProtocolSecuritySpeedCross-platform
SoftEther ×
PPTP × ×

Since PPTP is no more reliable and secure, you need to know what VPN providers offer PPtP connection only. You are recommended to choose other VPN Protocols when using a VPN on the internet alongside PPTP.

Conclusion

In this article, you learned what is PPTP VPN Protocol and how it works. By knowing all the key advantages and disadvantages, you can easily decide if you need to use it or not. Users do not use PPTP while checking their email, bank account, or sensitive information. Keep an eye on checking what new operating systems and devices might not support PPTP. It is not hard to find a suitable VPN provider with PPTP support. Express VPN, NordVPN, and IPVanish are the three best ones.

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