VPN Protocols Comparison | VPN Unlimited®

TLS vs L2TP vs OpenVPN® vs IKEv2 vs WireGuard® vs KeepSolid Wise - which is the best VPN protocol?

            Best choice
Feature TLS L2TP/IPSec KeepSolid Wise IKEv2 OpenVPN® WireGuard®
Speed Medium Medium Medium Good Medium Good
Encryption Medium Good Good Good Medium Good
Security Medium Good Good Good Good Good
Setup Easy Medium Easy Medium Difficult/Easy Easy
             

TLS (Transport Layer Security) is among the most commonly adopted cryptographic protocols nowadays. Its predecessor, SSL, is what protects your connection to the server any time you connect to a HTTPS website. While TLS itself is technically not a VPN protocol, it is occasionally used for similar purposes in some VPNs, including KeepSolid VPN Unlimited®.

Speed

Medium

TLS is commonly considered to be quite mediocre in terms of speed. For TLS, this characteristic depends on the actual VPN protocol used (if any), and on the encryption added.

Encryption

Medium

TLS doesn’t provide any encryption on its own, but supports a variety of encryption methods. For instance, in KeepSolid VPN Unlimited® it is accomplished with AES-256 encryption.

Security

Medium

TLS offers better protection than SSL does, but still nothing to get excited about.

Setup

Easy

Configuring a TLS VPN is generally easier than most of its counterparts.

L2TP, a.k.a. Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol, is a time-tested VPN protocol. L2TP itself doesn’t provide strong security, so most often it is combined with IPSec protocol to protect users’ connection. In this case, it’s referred to as L2TP/IPSec. It’s often used for accessing the internet when privacy and security are required.

Speed

Medium

This protocol encapsulates data twice, somewhat slowing down the connection. In many cases you won’t even notice this, but for more speed-sensitive services like streaming this can be a problem.

Encryption

Good

L2TP uses 256-bit encryption.

Security

Good

L2TP/IPSec is free of any major vulnerabilities. There are some concerns over how secure it actually is, considering that the NSA who helped develop IPSec could potentially compromise or weaken. But the general consensus is that this protocol is secure.

 

Setup

Medium

L2TP/IPSec is supported by most desktop and mobile devices. However, since L2TP uses port 500, which is easily blocked by firewalls, configuring this protocol to circumvent firewalls will be more complicated.

KeepSolid Wise is a proprietary protocol available exclusively in KeepSolid VPN Unlimited®. It was designed with a single purpose in mind - to hide your VPN connection in networks that block VPNs. This makes it perfect for use in school or corporate networks, as well as in countries that ban VPNs. Based around OpenVPN®, KeepSolid Wise builds on its VPN masking capabilities.

Speed

Medium

Same as OpenVPN®, KeepSolid Wise will perform fast enough for most needs and purposes, but will probably not suit more speed-sensitive services.

Encryption

Good

KeepSolid Wise uses 256-bit encryption.

Security

Good

This protocol provides pretty much the same level of protection as OpenVPN®, that is - high enough.

Setup

Easy

Since KeepSolid Wise is solely available in VPN Unlimited®, all you need to do to configure it is install our VPN and enable it in the settings. Of course, using this protocol on any other VPN is impossible for obvious reasons.

IKEv2, a.k.a. Internet Key Exchange version 2, is a protocol that fixes the issues of its first iteration called IKE. Among the most prominent improvements are better security, stability (reconnects whenever the connection drops out), and mobile support. This makes IKEv2 especially appealing for VPNs on mobile devices. It’s also notable for being one of the few protocols that support Blackberry devices.

Speed

Good

IKEv2 is one of the fastest VPN protocols.

Encryption

Good

IKEv2 uses 256-bit encryption.

Security

Good

This protocol supports secure AES encryption and employs the IPSec suite. For extra protection, IKEv2 also uses server certificate authentication (to perform any actions, it will first verify the requestor’s identity).

Setup

Medium

IKEv2 is easy to configure on the supported devices. The caveat is, it’s not as widely supported as most other protocols on this list. 

OpenVPN® is a relatively young open-source protocol. One of its biggest benefits is that it supports a variety of encryption types and ports, and is highly configurable. Many general purpose VPNs are built around this protocol. OpenVPN® is also quite difficult to detect and block, which makes it useful in networks that restrict VPNs.

Speed

Medium

OpenVPN® is about as fast as L2TP, that is - not too fast. Good for most purposes, not the best for video streaming or high-speed online gaming.

Encryption

Medium

While OpenVPN® supports 256-encryption, which is considered optimal, it also can work with more outdated 128-bit encryption.

Security

Good

OpenVPN® uses an OpenSSL-based security protocol to ensure strong data protection. Encryption algorithms that it supports, including AES and Blowfish, are also deemed secure enough.

Setup

Difficult / Easy

Difficult if setting it up manually. Easy if using a VPN client such as VPN Unlimited®, where the provider has already taken care of the difficult parts, and where no manual configuration is needed.

Wireguard® is one of the youngest VPN protocols (still in beta). Its developers are set to improve on the other existing protocols in terms of security, speed, and ease of setup. Wireguard® is still pretty rare, so VPN Unlimited® is one of the few VPN providers that support it.

 

 

 

Speed

Good

Wireguard® is much lighter than most protocols, and runs from the Linux kernel. This allows to avoid any notable lags and speed drops even despite applying strong encryption.

Encryption

Good

WireGuard® uses 256-bit encryption.

Security

Good

WireGuard® uses top-notch cryptography, is easy to audit for breaches and vulnerabilities thanks to lighter code, and handles network management with cryptokey routing.

Setup

Good

Configuring this protocol is simple. And even though WireGuard® is still not widely implemented, we wouldn’t consider this such an issue as opposed to the similar problem with IKEv2, because WireGuard® is still in development. We’re certain that, given time, it will become pretty common.

“OpenVPN” is a registered trademark of OpenVPN Inc. “WireGuard” is a registered trademark of Jason A. Donenfeld.

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