Are you wondering which VPN protocol to use? You want to stream with speed, but you also want great security. You’ve heard that PPTP is the fastest protocol, but is it still safe? Can you find better alternatives?
Stick around for everything you need to know about PPTP!
You’ll learn what PPTP is, how it works, its strengths and weaknesses, and how it compares with other common protocols. By the end, I hope to have convinced you to steer clear of PPTP but read on to see for yourself.
What Is a VPN Protocol?
VPNs use protocols to set up an encrypted tunnel that keeps your online traffic secure and private over the internet. A VPN protocol dictates how your online traffic moves between your device and a VPN server. You can switch between VPN protocols based on your needs. Some protocols specialize in speed, while others give you more security. The best ones offer a balance of both. Let’s find out which category PPTP falls in.
What Is the PPTP VPN Protocol?
PPTP is short for Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol. It’s a networking standard used to set up a VPN, much like IKEv2, L2TP, SSTP, or OpenVPN.
Microsoft released PPTP with Windows 95, making it the oldest protocol in existence. For many years, PPTP was a reliable and handy protocol, but its developers failed to keep pace with the evolving security landscape. It’s now largely obsolete and has many known vulnerabilities.
How Does PPTP Work?
OK, we’re about to get a little technical but stay with me…
As the name implies, PPTP creates a ‘tunnel’, or secure connection, between two ‘points’, or devices, over the internet. It does this through TCP port 1723. This port uses the transmission control protocol (TCP) to transport data packets smoothly to the destination server. PPTP uses GRE (General Routing Encapsulation) to encapsulate all data types into IP envelopes. That makes it able to tunnel multiple protocols. PPTP then encrypts your data using 128-bit encryption and MPPE (Microsoft Point-to-Point Encryption).
What is PPTP Used For?
PPTP offers fast speeds and cross-platform compatibility. That’s why many businesses use a PPTP VPN to give their clients or employees remote access to their corporate servers. It comes pre-installed into Windows, Linux, Android, and macOS devices, so it’s a quick VPN solution. Many third-party VPN providers, especially the free ones, still offer it to users. PPTP’s low security levels make it a lot faster than other protocols. If security isn’t a concern, you can use it to get a high-speed VPN connection to stream and play online video games without geo-restrictions. It’s also good for older, slower devices, as it gives them more speed.
Is PPTP Secure?
No, it’s far from it. Both cybercriminals and governments have cracked PPTP’s encryption keys and exploited its weaknesses to gain access to private data. PPTP is open season for all kinds of attacks.
Let’s get into PPTP’s security issues in a little more detail.
Firstly, PPTP can use MS-CHAP-v1 (Microsoft Challenge-Handshake Authentication Protocol) to verify that it’s communicating between the correct devices. Yet, MS-CHAP-v21 isn’t secure anymore. Cybercriminals can extract NT Password hashes from a CHAP exchange. Once they have the password hashes, they can use a Data Encryption Standard (DES) cracker to fully decrypt your traffic. At this point, cybercrooks have unfettered access to everything you do online, and they can easily steal your accounts and identity.
PPTP also uses MS-CHAP-v2 for authentication, but that’s not safe either. MS-CHAP-v2 is open to dictionary attacks and can be cracked in less than a day!
PPTP uses MPPE to encrypt data. MPPE has many known weaknesses that cybercriminals use to perform bit-flipping, brute-force, and DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks.
Most cybercriminals and governments are aware of PPTP’s security vulnerabilities by now, making it an easy target for cyber-attacks and surveillance ops. If you’re at all concerned about your security, stay away!
PPTP Pros and Cons
On the one hand, PPTP remains a popular choice for businesses and individuals looking for a simple and easy VPN protocol. It comes pre-installed on Windows, Android, Linux, and macOS, so it’s readily available on most devices. Being 20 years old, it runs on even the oldest machines. It also gives faster speeds because its encryption levels are low.
PPTP runs on most platforms, so it makes it very easy to set up VPN connections between devices or networks.
On the other hand, you need a router with PPTP Passthrough, as PPTP doesn’t work natively with NAT (Network Address Translation). Routers use NAT to know how to route packets on network devices. PPTP Passthrough allows PPTP VPN connections to bypass NAT to solve this problem.
PPTP isn’t always able to bypass firewalls. It uses TCP port 1723, which also makes it easier to block. PPTP lacks support for Perfect Forward Secrecy, an essential aspect of any encryption system that frequently changes the encryption keys. That prevents your sensitive data from being exposed if the encryption key is compromised.
As I’ve mentioned, PPTP has many known vulnerabilities and security issues. For example, it uses outdated and risky encryption protocols, like MPPE and 128-bit encryption. Cybercriminals and the NSA can breach these protocols to launch malicious attacks and surveillance operations.
PPTP’s many security issues made it undesirable to many online service providers. Modern VPN providers like CyberGhost VPN have discontinued its use. Apple’s newer devices don’t support it anymore. Many network admins block PPTP traffic for the same reason.
Here are PPTP’s main pros and cons:
Very fast and efficient
Low-level encryption (128-bit)
Easy to set up
|NSA and cybercriminals have cracked it|
Many VPN providers support it
Requires routers with PPTP Passthrough
Pre-installed on many devices
Open to malicious attacks
Compatible with most platforms
Doesn’t always get past firewalls
Great for streaming and online gaming
Blocked at many locations
Can handle multi-protocol tunneling
Not supported on newer Apple devices
Doesn’t support Perfect Forward Secrecy
Considered obsolete and risky
How PPTP Compares with Other Protocols
Those looking for a straightforward VPN solution were able to disregard PPTP’s glaring security concerns. They used it for its top speeds, ease of use, and availability on almost all devices.
Things are changing, though, as contenders like WireGuard® , SoftEther and IKEv2 can now give you comparable speeds with much better security.
How does PPTP compare with the others? Let’s break it down, one by one.
PPTP vs OpenVPN
PPTP runs on more platforms than OpenVPN. It’s also much easier and faster to set up. OpenVPN uses advanced 256-bit encryption and the AES cipher, so it offers much higher security. OpenVPN is also much better at getting past firewalls and network blocks. Experts recommend OpenVPN over PPTP, as it optimally balances speed, security, and stability.
PPTP vs WireGuard®
PPTP runs on more platforms, but WireGuard® offers superior security to PPTP. It uses lightweight, modern algorithms, making it super secure and just as fast. Many VPN providers now offer both, though some stopped supporting PPTP due to its low-level security. As it’s a newer protocol, WireGuard® does not run on as many platforms.
PPTP vs SoftEther
PPTP is compatible on more platforms and easier to set up. SoftEther is a relatively new, free, open-source, cross-platform VPN software. SoftEther is a lot more stable than PPTP, and up to 4 times faster. It’s also far safer than PPTP since SoftEther uses SSL 3.0 and 256-bit encryption. SoftEther isn’t native on any OS. It’s a software-based solution, so you need to install additional software to use it. VPN providers don’t offer it as much as PPTP. SoftEther’s main advantage is it can run many protocols–OpenVPN, IPSec, L2TP/IPSec, or SSTP.
PPTP vs IKEv2/IPSec (Internet Key Exchange Version 2/Internet Protocol Security)
PPTP is faster and easier to set up, but IKEv2/IPSec is more secure. IKEv2/IPSec is the #1 choice for mobile users because it seamlessly switches between Wi-Fi and mobile connections. Both protocols offer great cross-platform compatibility. Neither are very good at bypassing firewalls.
PPTP vs SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol)
PPTP is faster than SSTP. It also has wider cross-platform compatibility because SSTP is native only to Windows devices. SSTP is in the lead for security, with state-of-the-art 256-bit encryption. It uses TCP port 443 to leap firewall blocks with ease.
PPTP vs L2TP/IPSec (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol/Internet Protocol Security)
PPTP is much faster but far less secure than the L2TP/IPSec protocol. L2TP/IPSec involves a two-step VPN process that takes more time and processing power. First, it converts your traffic into L2TP form and then encrypts it with IPSec using 256-bit encryption. Both protocols are highly cross-platform compatible.
PPTP vs IPSec (Internet Protocol Security)
PPTP is faster than IPSec and easier to configure, though both come pre-installed on many devices.. IPSec gives more security and is also better at getting around firewalls. The NSA has compromised both IPSec and PPTP, so relying on either protocol could land you in trouble with the US authorities.
Are you still confused about which protocol to use? The table below may help you grasp, at a glance, how each protocol performs. I’ve ranked each protocol from best to worst.
PPTP – The Bottom Line
The online security scene isn’t what it was when PPTP entered it two decades ago. PPTP, which once was the best security protocol, has lost its strength. It’s still a fast protocol, but its security leaves to be desired.It’s time to give way to younger protocols. WireGuard®, SoftEther, IKEv2, and OpenVPN all offer much better security while being up to task for most high-intensity internet activities.
Here at CyberGhost VPN, we don’t recommend or offer PPTP. You need a VPN protocol that can give you both the speed and security you need to survive and thrive on the internet today.
CyberGhost VPN currently supports OpenVPN, IKEv2, and WireGuard®. These protocols are more up-to-date and protect your privacy with the most advanced security technology available today. Get CyberGhost VPN and enjoy online security!
PPTP is a VPN protocol released by Microsoft in 1995. For many years, PPTP was the industry standard, and most modern systems still support it. It’s quick and easy to set up and comes pre-installed on most operating systems. PPTP sets up a tunnel between two points through TCP port 1723. It then encrypts all your data with 128-bit encryption and encapsulates it in an IP envelope. Today, it has many known security vulnerabilities.
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If you’re looking for a fast and easy-to-use VPN protocol for streaming and accessing geo-blocked content, PPTP will do the job. If you’re at all concerned about your privacy and security, avoid it at all costs. PPTP is far from secure and an easy target for surveillance agencies and cybercriminals. Choose a reliable VPN provider like CyberGhost VPN and get serious about your cybersecurity.
CyberGhost VPN lets you choose between OpenVPN, IKEv2, or WireGuard®. We pre-select the best protocol for you, but you can switch to another protocol at any time, depending on your needs.
Businesses use PPTP to set up secure VPN connections between remote clients and their corporate networks. It’s a simple solution because it’s readily available on most devices. Individuals use PPTP to get around geo-blocks and access restricted content. It’s fast so it works well for streaming, downloading, and playing online games. It doesn’t keep your data safe because it has many security vulnerabilities.
Set yourself up with a powerful VPN for your home or business with CyberGhost VPN. Try us out, risk-free with our 45-day money-back guarantee.
Yes, it is, despite its well-known security weaknesses. It’s fast and easy to set up on most devices and operating systems. Many VPN providers still offer it but not CyberGhost VPN. We want to guarantee your security, so we offer protocols with high security and speeds. Get CyberGhost VPN and never sacrifice speed for security!
PPTP is fast enough for streaming but it isn’t secure. WireGuard® is better because it offers both speed and powerful security. Enjoy non-stop, high-speed streaming in HD with zero buffering, with CyberGhost VPN. We let you switch to WireGuard® in just one tap.
Do you have any questions about which VPN protocol to use, and when? Get in touch with CyberGhost VPN’s customer support team. They’re available 24/7 via email or live chat and can answer your questions in English, German, French, or Romanian.
PPTP is still the most commonly used protocol because of its speed, ease of use, and multi-platform compatibility. That said, more people are switching to different protocols once they know of PPTP’s security flaws. OpenVPN is now the industry standard and is gaining in popularity as a highly secure, versatile protocol.
Why settle for subpar security with PPTP? Switch to either OpenVPN or WireGuard® through CyberGhost VPN and be sure you’re properly protected.