A VPN i.e., a virtual private network is a safe and an encrypted connection than a public network such as the internet which is less secure. It enables the users to share data across the public network as if their devices were directly connected to a private network. The data that is shared through a VPN is in encrypted form. Devices that are connected to the VPN are benefited from the functionality, security, and management of the private network.
VPN technology was developed so that the remote users and different branches of offices are able to access the information and common resources. VPNs encrypt data and tunnel it through private channels from the users to the servers, which can’t be accessed without an appropriate encryption key. This is essentially important for businesses, so now they can send important information back and forth without leaking it.
A VPN tunnel is an encrypted connection between the device such as a computer or a smartphone and the wider internet. Since the connection is encrypted no-one along with the VPN tunnel such as hackers and even the government is not able to interrupt in the communication.
How strong the VPN tunnel is depending on the type of tunnelling protocol used to encapsulate and encrypt the data going to and from your device and internet.
TYPES OF VPN TUNNELING PROTOCOLS
There are number of tunnelling protocols offering a variety of security and other features. The most commonly used tunnelling protocol are as follows.
PPTP (Point to Point Tunneling protocol)
Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) is one of the oldest protocols which are still being used by VPNs. It was developed by Microsoft and released with Windows 95. PPTP uses the concept of encrypting data in packets. The data packets are sent through the tunnel which is created over the network connection.
It is one of the easiest protocols to configure. It requires only a username, password and server address to connect to the server. It has a low level of encryption that’s why it is the fastest. Using this protocol is least recommended as it has known vulnerabilities and absence of strong encryption, thus avoid this protocol if you need solid online security and anonymity.
L2TP/IPSec (Layer 2 Tunneling protocol)
Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol(L2TP) is used along with Internet Protocol Security (IPSec) to create a more Secure tunnelling protocol. This layer of the protocol has two layers of encryption. Firstly, it encapsulates the data and then by an IPSec’s own layer of encryption which results in securing the confidentiality of the data packets going through the tunnel.
It is a little slower than PPTP as it has two layers of encryption. It provides AES-256-bit encryption which is one of the most advanced encryption standards that can be implemented. It struggles bypassing firewalls because it uses fixed ports, making VPN connections with L2TP easier to block. L2TP/IPSec is a popular protocol as it gives a high level of security.
SSTP (Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol)
Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol uses Secure Socket Layer or SSL, to transport internet data. It is supported natively on windows which makes it easier for window users to set up this protocol. It is a window based tunneling protocol therefore, it is not available in another operating system. SSTP is more secure as the port it uses is not fixed and is less likely to struggle with firewalls. SSTP can also be used with Transport Layer Security on web browsers to add a layer to the site so as to secure the connection with the device.
It is an open source tunnelling protocol that uses AES 256-bit encryption to protect data packets. Since it is an open source, the code is carefully examined by the security community, who are constantly looking for security flaws. This protocol can be configured on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. Third-Party software is required for setting up of protocol, also it is hard to configure. OpenVPN provides a strong and wide range of cryptographic algorithm which allows users to keep their internet data secure and bypass firewalls when the connection speed is fast.
ADVANTANGES OF USING VPN CONNECTION
- We can access sensitive data or information such as bank account passwords or important documents securely via an insecure internet connection. A VPN connection allows the access of the internet through a remote server, hiding the actual location and browser history, and encrypting the data.
- Restricted websites or foreign websites which are unavailable in a particular country can be accessed through a VPN connection. We are able to access blocked websites from our home networks because it puts our IP in a land far away.
- VPN hides the browser activities from local network and ISP. It also hides all the online activities from hackers, data-thefts, snoopers, etc. the VPN services encrypt the network connection that links every device in our home to the internet.
- Many people use VPNs to get through the firewall and gain access to the entire Internet or could be called Bypassing Internet Censorship. Power users can use StrongVPN whereas casual users or beginners can use ExpressVPN or TunnelBear.
- BitTorrent is a technology that provides fast downloading and file sharing over peer-to-peer (P2P) network using a VPN. Downloading torrents makes it harder to determine which file contains copyright material or in other words, we can get engaged in illegal activities that could lead up to serious consequences. VPN makes online activities anonymous therefore it cannot be traced back to us. CyberGhost is recommended as it has a “Torrent Anonymously” feature that automatically switches the server can get us fastest downloading speed.
BEST VPNs FOR INDIAN USERS
- CyberGhost: CyberGhost can be perfect for beginners as it has a pretty simple setup and pre-configured profiles to optimize the connection.
- Hotspot Shield: hotspot Shield provides total anonymity and privacy with very fast speed, unlimited bandwidth and 256-bit encryption.
- NordVPN: NordVPN provides Double encryption and guarantees online security and anonymity.
- ExpressVPN: ExpressVPN is the fastest VPN available also it provides best-in-class encryption and safeguards privacy.
- Private Internet Access: It is easy to use and has a super-fast speed making private Internet Access a popular choice.