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Virtual Private Networks



Ever heard of a Virtual Private Network or VPN? If not, a VPN is a service that allows you to surf the internet privately, keeping you anonymous from the radar of online hackers. VPNs have in the recent past gained popularity the world over as more people get wary about the safety of digital data. A VPN keeps your data private by encrypting it. The data is then taken through a tunnel that is also encrypted keeping your data more private and secure.

Many VPN service providers in the market offer a wide range of VPN services. Here is a list of the 10 best VPN services. As someone concerned about your personal information, you want to keep your personal information private by investing in a VPN that will guarantee you protection. VPNs have different security protocols that you need to be aware of as not all have the same security strengths. Let’s find out about them:

1. Point–to–point tunnelling Protocol

This type of protocol uses a tunnel that encapsulates packages of data. Developed by Microsoft, it’s used in most old computers such as Windows 95. The PPTP also works for Linux, and as suggested by its name, it encrypts data between two transmissions by the use of a Point-to-point protocol.

Due to the tunnels, it’s able to create; many organisations rely on this protocol to use their private network over the internet. For instance, an organisation with far-placed offices within a given region can use PPTP to create an expansive local area network (LAN) while using the framework of an extensive area network (WAN).

A PPTP protocol makes it easier for remote clients to access the network of a corporation as though he/she were physically present in the corporate system. Your data is kept safe by a secure route of transfer. It does this by creating a VPN, allowing transmission of data over TCP and IP based networks.

However, it’s not the best protocol to protect your internet privacy.

2. Layer-2-Tunneling Protocol

This VPN protocol is more secure than PPTP. Officially published in 1999, it combines the features of a Point-to-point protocol and L2F protocol. This makes it secure protecting the connection between the endpoints in a data tunnel. It also has an addition of IPsec protocol making its security stronger. However, there are alleged fears of NSA breaking into this protocol.

Users of this protocol have the advantage of browsing the internet at faster speeds compared to online users that solely rely on the public switch telephone network. L2TP used in place of PPP avoids the massive traffic that comes with using PSTN- Public Switched Telephone Network reducing internet speed. It also configures both ends of transmission - the ISP and site visited. L2TP creates a secure user tunnel for data transmission.

3. Secure Socket Layer $ Transport Layer Security

This protocol restricts users to a narrow range of applications instead of entire networks. It’s built by Microsoft and is mostly used by e-commerce sites. This protocol comes with their web browsers encrypted with an SSL/TSL encryption. That means that instead of web browsers having URLs that start as HTTP, their URLs that begin with HTTPs. SSL secures HTTPs. Overall, this protocol is robust and secure. Other application protocols secured by SSL/TLS include SIP, NNTP and XMPP.


4. Open VPN protocol

Released in 2001, the Open VPN is open to open VPN software that can be modified and used freely by any user. It is used for operations on point to point and site to site connections as well. Most web traffic uses standard HTTPs. On the contrary, traffic from a website using Open VPN is more secure and is less likely to be decrypted and blocked. Open VPN uses tunnel transports that are very secure. These tunnel transports include the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the User Datagram Protocol.

5. Internet Protocol Security –IPsec

IPsec is a combination of protocols that ensure internet protocols have security. It is also used in providing protection for virtual private networks. Contains features such as cryptography that help to enhance its security. The Internet security protocol guarantees you two essential services. It has the authentication header or the AH that serves to authenticate the sender of data. This service is able to detect any changes in the data transmitted at the time of transmission. IPsec also has the Encapsulating Security Payload service that encrypts a user’s data. As a user of the IPsec protocol, your internet security depends on the mode you want to use. Two of IPsec mode includes the transport mode and tunnel mode.

The transport mode only encapsulates your IP payload to keep you secure online. This does not include the entire IP packet. Conversely, the tunnel mode gives you a secure connection by encapsulating the whole IP packet.

6. Internet Key Exchange V.2

The IKE or Internet Key Exchange Protocol works in conjunction with the Internet protocol security to provide security for VPNs. As its title suggests, it allows users to exchange encryption keys over a medium that is unsecured. The Internet Key Exchange v.2 is a hybrid of three other protocols. The protocols include the Oakley (RFC2412), SKEME and the ISAKMP (RFC2408). IKE improves the IPsec protocol by providing it with additional security features and making it more flexible.

Despite the VPN you buy, you are at liberty to choose a protocol that serves your security needs best. With Open VPN, your connection is made to be very secure.

Conclusion

VPN service providers are churning out thousands of VPN services that promise million-dollar security and privacy. Before you make that leap into emerging VPNs in the market, you want to be sure of their promised safety and anonymity. VPNs primarily encrypt your data while surfing the internet. However, they might be limited in the extent to which they may protect your data as they rely on security protocols to secure your data. Some of the known protocols in the market used by VPNs include PPTP, Open VPN, IPsec and the L2TP. Choose the best for your security online.

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