Do you need a VPN for business? Of course, you do. Without a paid VPN service, there’s no way for you to have private internet access. Privacy is essential, especially when you’re working on your own as a freelancer or a small home-based business.

Why does your business need a VPN?

Let’s face it, global banks, payment processors and retailers aren’t the only targets of hackers, competitor espionage, cyber squatters, and other online threats. However, attacks on large businesses are most likely to grab headlines.

For the most part, your competitors and cybercriminals will regard you as an easy target. After all, you probably don’t have a lot of IT infrastructure or expertise. So, without a VPN, third parties can watch everything you do online.

VPN Protocols

I commend you for your decision to use a VPN for work. As you prepare yourself to securely use the internet, you will encounter a new term: Protocols.

Although numerous VPN protocols exist, they’re not all equal. Moreover, no single VPN service offers all available protocols.

Your goal is to choose a VPN provider that offers the best VPN protocols.

Afterward, it’s your responsibility to use the best protocols for tunneling through the internet to your online personal and business resources.

Use this article as your beginner’s guide to VPN protocols.

What are the different VPN protocols and how do I decide on one?

Your online anonymity depends on the effectiveness of your VPN protocol. It’s up to you to choose a protocol that gives you the level of security that you desire.

Unfortunately, your choice of protocol isn’t always up to you. For instance, Norton Secure VPN doesn’t give users much of a choice. This can become a problem when you try to access the internet via a network that blocks a particular protocol.

For instance, the communist government of China operates a massive firewall. It’s designed to prevent Chinese citizens from accessing information from the outside world. Very few VPN protocols can defeat it.

Most of the time, Chinese internet users can use Goldenfrong’s VyprVPN Chameleon Protocol to access uncensored information. However, the Chinese government continuously updates its Great Firewall, challenging VyprVPN’s ability to keep pace.

So, your client’s network or school WiFi might block one or more VPN protocols. For this reason, you need to have a VPN that gives you multiple options.

Here’s what you need to know:

VPN protocols guide

What are the different VPN protocols?

Use the following list to become familiar with the most common VPN protocols.

OpenVPN

Advantages: OpenVPN is an industry standard VPN protocol that is both fast and secure. It’s source code is available for inspection, making its capabilities transparent and verifiable.

OpenVPN is accessible via TCP and UDP and supports numerous ciphers and encryption algorithms.

Disadvantages: OpenVPN has no known disadvantages.

PPTP

Advantages: PPTP is a high-speed, low-overhead protocol that’s fantastic for streaming. It’s also a good choice for when you use slow internet connections.

Compatibility is another advantage of PPTP.

Disadvantages: PPTP is one of the least secure and most easily compromised VPN protocols. So, whenever possible, you should avoid using PPTP.

L2TP/IPsec

Advantages: You get better security with L2TP/IPsec than you get with PPTP. It’s a good choice when cutting-edge protocols such as OpenVPN are blocked.

This protocol pairs the relatively insecure Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol with IPsec to improve its security.

Disadvantages: Overall, L2TP/IPsec is too slow for general use.

IKEv2

Advantages: IKEv2 is a lightweight VPN protocol that’s often used for mobile devices. Most iOS VPN apps use IKEv2. Also, NordVPN‘s default app for MacOS uses IKEv2.

Disadvantages: IKEv2 has no known vulnerabilities.

SSTP

Advantages: SSTP is practically impenetrable and is effective in tunneling through firewalls. It transports data using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), making it look like ordinary web traffic.

Disadvantages: SSTP is available only on Windows-powered devices. Also, SSTP is owned by Microsoft, a habitual violator of online privacy rights. So, can you really trust SSTP? Does it have backdoors which Microsoft has handed to the government?

How do I decide which VPN protocol to use?

General purpose

OpenVPN is a good choice for general use and beginners. It’s a secure protocol with many available options. However, for the purpose of simplicity, many paid VPN services won’t offer you many options.

TorGuard is the VPN service that offers more configuration options than any other.

Maximum Security

To get the best security, you should use either OpenVPN or SSTP.

Streaming

If you’re goal is to stream geo-restricted content such as live sports or Netflix, use either PPTP or L2TP/IPsec. Just remember that these protocols are weak when it comes to encryption security.

Torrenting

When you download files using peer-to-peer file sharing services, you need to maximize your security and anonymity. If you don’t intellectual property holders and “doxers” can track you down.

Therefore, always configure your VPN for either OpenVPN or SSTP before visiting a torrent website or opening your torrent client.

Mobile Devices

IKEv2 is the standard VPN protocol for use with mobile devices. Most apps from the App Store are hardwired for IKEv2.

If you want to, you can use OpenVPN or AnyConnect on your devices, but you’ll have to manually configure their respective apps.

NOTE: Some VPN services may not provide you with a way to use the OpenConnect and AnyConnect apps with their service. If this feature is important to you, choose TorGuard.

Buy your VPN right now

Now that you’re an expert on the topic of VPN protocols, isn’t it time to buy your VPN?

Choose from the links below to buy your VPN service securely on their website. When you use our links, you get the best VPN deals while becoming your VPN provider’s client. We never have access to your personal or payment information.

Learn more about VPN Protocols

Learn more about OpenVPN at the OpenVPN website.

Also, visit Wikipedia to learn more about Internet Key Exchange (IKEv2).