There are many conversations that pop up on message boards, forums and blogs debating the use of PPTP VPN and OpenVPN. These debates often end with all parties even further away from being able to make a confident decision on either one, than when the discussion started. We really wanted to dispel a lot of the confusion out there, so we are going to go through and address some of the biggest differentiating benefits of the two so you can make a better informed decision of what personal VPN protocol you should be using. First off, let’s highlight the advantages that each system can offer.
OpenVPN is free and open source software which was originally released nine years ago in 2002. Since then it has become quite popular in the ease it can traverse wireless access points, firewalls, NAT-based routers, and HTTP proxy servers. By using OpenVPN it is possible to use different ports in order to bypass both firewalls and throttling. It should also be noted that the speed impact on long distance internet routing is minimal. There are a few more benefits to working with OpenVPN that may affect your decision.
If you’re working with OpenVPN you will have the ability to work with DD-WRT. There are quite a few people who want to run their local network on a single VPN account. In order to do this you will need to have an OpenVPN account, as well as a DD-WRT supporting router. You will be able to allow your local network to share a single VPN connection if you complete the free firmware upgrade. Connecting a single VPN account to your local router interface will be possible after this. If done correctly there should be no issues in doing this at all.
At up to 256 bits, OpenVPN has stronger encryption over PPTP. There are many people constantly looking for the most secure systems to run, and OpenVPN definitely has a bit more to offer in that regard. It has been said that your PPTP, it is possible for someone to retrieve your password while connecting, but the chances of that happening are highly improbable. Open VPN works with the OpenSSL library for the encryption of both the control channels and data. This is the same library that is used in encrypting credit card information. Allowing OpenSSL handle all of the authentication and encryption work allows Open VPN to take advantage of the many ciphers that are available through the OpenSSL package.
There has been strong concern regarding dropping packets on connection loss. OpenVPN encrypts and sends packets via UDP or TCP as opposed to a traditional tunneling protocol via GRE like PPTP uses. When using TCP, Open VPN is proud to boast that in the event of a lost connection, you won’t simply drop packets and be thrown back on the internet. This is undoubtedly important to many who have high security concerns.
PPTP has become quite popular because unlike OpenVPN it doesn’t require additional third-party client software to run on. PPTP requires a control channel over TCP as well as an operation GRE tunnel in order to encapsulate its PPP packets. The majority of operating systems, which include Microsoft Windows, Linux, MacOS X, iPhone OS, and Android OS. It’s incredibly simple as all you need is your server name, login and password and you’re up and running. If you are browsing the internet from your mobile phone or tablet, PPTP is the VPN protocol for you. PPTP, or Point-To-Point Tunneling Protocol sends packets via a GRE tunnel by using PPP. Sent packets are both encrypted at 128-bit strength and compressed via the MPPE algorithm.
PPTP, just like OpenVPN is also able to work with DD-WRT. The ability to allow a local network to share a single VPN connection through the local interface is essentially a required need these days. By simply getting the free firmware upgrade as you would with Open VPN. After that, as long as you have a DD-WRT supported router you will be able to allow your local network to share a single VPN connection PPTP does have one significant advantage over Open VPN and that comes in the form of mobile support.
If you are constantly hotspot jumping using public WiFi for your internet access on mobile smart phones and tablets, you can take advantage of PPTP VPN can really help you out. It can be used on all Google Android Devices, Apple iOS mobile devices and Microsoft Windows Mobile. Most tablets and smartphones have the PPTP VPN client software already built in to the devices. You can now comfortably jump on any public and open WiFi network knowing your information isn’t going to be accessed by someone who you don’t want to.
Both OpenVPN and PPTP VPN are quite a bit the same. Each has its own strengths, but it in some cases it’s hard to go wrong using either of them. The biggest factor is going to come down to your needs. If you don’t have a requirement to run on mobile phones and you’re not fussy over 256 bit packet encryption, and use of the OpenSSL library, you really can choose either one of the options and end up just fine.
When it comes down to making the decision between Open VPN and PPTP VPN it is ultimately going to come down to your specific needs. If you need much higher privacy and security, your choice is most likely going to be Open VPN. If you’re looking for something easy to setup, PPTP is probably going to be better suited for what you need. If you need mobile support you will have no choice but to go with PPTP VPN. Take some time and go over what your specific VPN needs are going to be. If you have your needs well defined it shouldn’t be too difficult to narrow down the pros and cons of going with either Open VPN or PPTP VPN.