All Of The VPN Protocols Explained

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If you’re truly curious about Virtual Private Network Protocols then you might know what VPNs are and how they operate, but the main question is, why do you need these protocols, and which protocol would be best for you.

Most people think that VPN Protocols and VPNs are the same thing but in reality they’re different in terms of working and usage so make your mind and decide whether you need VPNs or Protocols of VPN.

In this article, we’ll discuss what VPN Protocols are, types of protocols, common protocols, FAQs about protocols, and much more so don’t waste your time and take your pen and notes as you’re getting a vast amount of knowledge about all the 6 protocols of VPNs.

What Are VPN Protocols?

Virtual Private Network Protocols are known as “Rule Set” or “Set Of Rules” that defines or decides how the data should move between devices(which you have connected your VPN to like your mobile or Laptop) and VPN servers. 

Most VPN providers use these protocols to provide the fastest connection speed with ultimate download & upload speed so their customers can get a secure & stable internet connection.

To understand the concept of protocols, suppose a VPN transmits your online internet traffic through encrypted tunnels to VPN servers that assign a new IP Address to your device, and on the other hand, VPN Protocols determine how the how tunnel will be formed, and each protocol will offer a different solution to the problem of private & secure internet connection.

You have to keep in mind that no VPN Protocols is perfect, each one has vulnerabilities, some are discovered and still undiscovered, and all of them lack something, but the fact still stands that we need them, and that will never change.

What Are Proprietary VPN Protocols?

What Are Proprietary VPN Protocols

Due to the security problems and vulnerabilities of protocols, some people often ask “what are vpn protocols?” To address this, some famous VPN providers decide to create their own protocols to provide better speed, security, and ability to bypass FireWalls. For example, Hotspot Shield created their own protocol and named it Catapult Hydra and NordVPN’s protocol is called NordLynx.

These types of protocols are termed proprietary VPN Protocols. But the question “what are vpn protocols?” becomes complex when considering transparency. The problem with these types of protocols is that they’re not transparent, which is a huge security concern for many VPN providers.

However, if you’re using the protocols of a reputable and trustworthy VPN service like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, then there’s no need to worry about anything as they’re just protecting their developers’ code, even if you’re still wondering “what are vpn protocols?”

Types of VPN Protocols

Types of VPN Protocols

We’ll only discuss two main or major types of VPN services in this article, then we will move towards the most common VPN protocols afterwords:

Remote Access VPNs: If you VPN encrypts the data you send and receive on your smartphones, laptops, PCs, then congratulations, your VPN is a remote access one, and you can easily work from home with the help of this Virtual Private Network as it is especially designed and created for this purpose.

Site To Site VPNs: Do you know Site To Site VPNs are mostly divided into two main categories: internet based(combine multiple LANs to one private network) and extranet based(when a company decides to extend and share their network with their clients & customers) to extend a company’s network between different locations.

6 Common VPN Protocols

6 Common VPN Protocols

Let’s take a closer look, and see which VPN Protocol do what, how they benefit us, what are their vulnerabilities, and much more:

  1. OpenVPN
  2. IKEv2
  3. WireGuard
  4. SSTP
  5. L2TP/IPSec
  6. PPTP


Do you know that OpenVPN was first Introduced in 2001, and it is still considered one of the best & most secure protocols of all times because it is an open source VPN protocol which anyone at any time can check & access.

And the best part is that even though it is around for several years, no one could find any known vulnerabilities in it since that time due to its AES-256 bit Data Encryption and 2048 bit RSA Certificate for authentication.

Since OpenVPN is an open source project, it is also compatible with Windows, MacOS, Android, iOS & Linux, and anyone could use it according to their needs.

OpenVPN TCP(Transmission Control Protocol) and OpenVPN UDP(User Datagram Protocol) are the two main types of OpenVPN which deal with speed and security of the networks.

TCP is considered slow but provides a secure connection between the device and Virtual private network servers while UDP is considered fast because data packets are unchecked while being transferred. No matter how you look at it, OpenVPN is overall a slow VPN protocol but if your priority is a secure internet connection, you’re at the right place.


IKEv2 is a short form of Internet Key Exchange Version 2 which is very similar to L2TP in terms of having no encryption policy and relies solely on IPSec for data encryption. In addition, IKEv2 was also launched by Microsoft along with Cisco, while IPSec uses the most secure encryption methods like AES, Camelia or ChaCha20 with 256 bit encryption to protect the devices connected with it.

You’ll be shocked to know that the working procedure of IKEv2 is similar to L2TP to ensure a secure connection between the device and VPN servers with the ultimate encryption of IPSec to protect you and your data from hackers & cyber criminals.

The reason why IKEv2 is so popular despite the fact that it is not compatible with every OS and device is because it provides a secure connection with fast fast internet speed.


Most people don’t know that WireGuard is a new and open source protocol, just like OpenVPN but is more condensed & designed to work better in terms of speed & security.

WireGuard was first launched in 2019 to outperform OpenVPN as it doesn’t support older technologies like AES Encryption and prefer to use the ChaCha20 which is faster & more secure than AES.

But there is a catch with this fast & lightning speed, WireGuard keeps temporary logs of the user’s IP Address which could be dangerous if you don’t safeguard your privacy or let your guard down. 

And the more concerning problem is that WireGuard isn’t that great when it comes to bypassing the firewalls so it’s your choice: If you’re okay with a new VPN protocol, with a fast & secure network connection, WireGuard is good to go.


Do you know that SSTP stands for Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol? When people ask “what are vpn protocols?”, SSTP often comes up. It was developed by Microsoft to secure the network access from Windows Powered Devices. Even though the SSTP was initially created especially for Windows devices, now every operating system supports the SSTP but it doesn’t mean non-windows users can easily setup & manage the VPN Protocol.

Most people ignore the fact when pondering “what are vpn protocols?” that SSTP is way better than PPTP because they have 256-bit SSL Key for Data Encryption, and 2048-bit SSL or TLS certificates for better encryption and authentication.

And the best part, especially for those inquiring “what are vpn protocols?”, is that SSTP can easily bypass firewalls, making it a perfect choice for Windows users, and it has built-in features for every Windows Device.


L2TP stands for Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol which is a VPN Protocol used along with IPSec(Internet Protocol Security), and the best part of this protocol is that L2TP does not encrypt the data itself but seek help from security structures like IPSec for data encryption.

This combination is very simple to understand as L2TP secures the connection between two points while IPSec encrypts the data transferred between two points, but since two VPN protocols are used in this process, the data is encrypted twice and connection slows down.

L2TP is significantly more secure than PPTP and SSTP, but when it comes to the speed, this protocol can’t bypass firewalls and is slower than all the protocols discussed above.


PPTP stands for Point To Point Tunneling Protocol, and is considered one of the oldest VPN Protocols introduced by Microsoft so it is compatible with all the devices now we have, but there is a catch, this protocol has lot of vulnerabilities & hackers can easily break it despite the fact that is a protocol used for VPNs.

This protocol does not use any advanced technologies & security algorithms, that’s why it provides a stable internet connection with great speed. We advise you to stay away from this protocol as it uses 128 bit encryption with no additional security benefits, no matter how fast


Which VPN Protocols Works Best With Netflix And Online Gaming?

NordLayer and LightWay are the best VPN Protocols for Netflix and Online Gaming as they’re both the proprietary Virtual Private Network Protocols of NordVPN and ExpressVPN.

Which is The Fastest & Most Secure Among VPN Protocols?

OpenVPN is by far the fastest & most secure VPN protocols of all times no matter how you see it, this protocol is fulfilling the concept of all Virtual Private Networks to help their customers.

Which Protocols Of VPN Are Easy To Set Up And Manage?

By far from what we have seen, among all the protocols of VPN, L2TP is the only protocol which is easy to set up & manage for non windows users due to their strong encryption algorithms and set up wizards which will install this protocol like you install a game.


VPN Protocols as their name suggests are the real reason behind all the encryption algorithms, ultimate security, fastest internet connection speed to download and upload the stuff online.

We hope after reading this article, you’ll pick the best VPN Protocol for your business & personal usage, and avoid the ones which are vulnerable or use old encryption technologies.

And if you still have any doubts and questions regarding the protocols of VPNs, feel free to comment down your thoughts and queries so our professionals can help you.

Customer Reviews for NordVPN

IR Irina

All Of The VPN Protocols Explained
Connection issues with MLB.TV
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Date of Experience:
May, 2 2023
CH Christina

All Of The VPN Protocols Explained
Prompt customer service
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All Of The VPN Protocols Explained
Great customer service
Had some problems with some qbitorrent files and could never find out myself. Looked online for hours which was honestly a waste of time, as I could of just went to NordVPN's customer service chatbox. This was surprising as I was stuck on this all night long but was stupid not to ask customer service but even then, they were able to quickly get me to an agent that could handle my issues. Khai was my agent and he was so nice and like so patient with me because this was all new to me. I did not know for the setup for qbitorrent and nordvpn that the input values for the service credentials isnt your username and password but rather a special key on your own personal dashboard. Khai was even nice and patient enough to explain some terminology for me which was super nice of him. Honestly although vpns can sound confusing, nordvpn knows this and hired/trained some pretty smart customer service members so if you have any issue or problems, just go to the chatbox. Super nice people and chill to talk to and very fast.
Date of Experience:
May, 4 2023