PPTP stands for Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol, developed by Microsoft and others in 1999.
It is a VPN protocol (like a language) that’s used to secure the connection between your device and a VPN server. It’s how the device and the server know how to understand each other.
PPTP is a very old VPN protocol that has several security problems and is now considered obsolete. For starters, it uses 128-bit encryption in the era of 256-bit encryption, which is a little like putting a lock on your home that only has 1 pin and can be opened with a screwdriver when 5 pin locks exist.
Nonetheless, the protocol’s broad compatibility with a wide range of legacy software and hardware, simplicity of installation, lightweight nature, and high cost for businesses to upgrade their existing PPTP corporate intranet VPN systems means that PPTP is still alive and kicking in 2022.
If you are using a PPTP VPN, we recommend that you upgrade to a more modern and secure protocol such as OpenVPN, IKEv2 or WireGuard.
PPTP is not a secure VPN protocol, and it should never be used in any scenario where security is important.
Is There Ever A Reason To Use PPTP?
PPTP is still a useful tool in certain instances where security isn’t an issue. Use cases include overcoming IPS throttling, unblocking geo-restricted websites, and streaming Netflix content.
You shouldn’t use it if your concern is hiding what you are doing from your ISP. If you are looking for a secure VPN protocol that will protect your privacy, we recommend using OpenVPN or IKEv2.
In 2014, documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden showed the NSA has little difficulty obtaining information transmitted via PPTP.
The existence of unencapsulated MS-CHAP v2 authentication, which may be exploited through cryptographic flaws to access user credentials, is one of the most serious issues. If you’re hiding your data from the government or from your ISP, you should use a more secure VPN protocol.
Other things you should know about PPTP:
- It’s not compatible with macs.
- The NSA can decrypt it.
- It’s easily blocked by firewalls
- It is lightweight and fast
- It can have compatibility issues with routers.
PPTP is no longer supported on Apple devices. This is a positive development by Apple because more up-to-date VPN protocols may accomplish everything as PPTP but are far more secure.
How Does PPTP Work?
PPTP is a tunnelling protocol that connects two computers and establishes a virtual encrypted link between them. Like most VPN protocols, PPTP creates a tunnel between two points utilizing a set of specified rules and methods (a protocol).
In practice, this link should make it secure, however, PPTP’s authentication and encryption techniques, are quite outdated and have glaring security flaws.
Ironically, however, PPTP’s flaws are also its saving grace – poor encryption means minimal overhead, which translates to increased speed. As a result of its terrible security, PPTP is, by a tiny margin, one of the quickest VPN protocols to date.
However, the PPTP ice is thicker than that. Aside from its lack of security, the protocol also struggles to bypass firewalls and
What’s The Best VPN Encryption?
IKEv2, OpenVPN and WireGuard are the three best protocols. They are used by the majority of VPN providers and offer a high level of security.
All have Industry-standard AES 256-bit encryption.
OpenVPN is a little slower and bulkier than IKEv2 but it’s more stable, especially on unreliable connections.
WireGuard is the newest, fastest and lightest VPN protocol and it’s quickly become very popular due to its speed and security. There’s practically no difference in speed between WireGuard and PPTP.
OpenVPN and Wireguard are also both open-source projects under constant development, which keeps the protocol transparent, easy to audit, and consistently improving.
IKEv2 is a proprietary protocol developed by Cisco. It’s not open-source, so we don’t know how secure it is. We do know that it uses the same 256-bit encryption as OpenVPN and WireGuard, so it’s probably just as secure.
OpenVPN software is also a wonderful method to get around internet restrictions imposed on networks where VPN access is prohibited. Whether it’s your work network prohibiting VPNs or China’s Great Firewall that entirely prohibits access to VPN webpages.
Let’s Wrap This Up
To summarize, PPTP is a very old VPN protocol that was created in the 1990s. It’s easy to set up, it’s fast, and it’s compatible with a lot of legacy software. However, it has significant security flaws and we do not recommend using it if you’re looking for a secure connection.IKEv2, OpenVPN and WireGuard are the three best protocols. They are used by the majority of VPN providers and offer a high level of security. If you are looking for a recommendation for a VPN for PC try SurfShark. It has all three types of modern encryption available. You can connect to them via the downloadable client or configure your own connection.