Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) was created in 1999 and was the first widely available VPN protocol. It was first designed to tunnel dialup traffic! It uses some of the weakest encryption protocols of any VPN protocol on this list and has plenty of security vulnerabilities.
- Fast. It’s outdated, so modern machines run PPTP very efficiently. It’s fast but offers minimal security, which is why it’s popular among people who want to set up home VPNs strictly for accessing geo-blocked content.
- Highly compatible. In the many years since it was made, PPTP has essentially become the bare-minimum standard for tunneling and encryption. Almost every modern system and device supports it. This also makes it easy to set up and use.
- Insecure. Numerous vulnerabilities and exploits have been identified for PPTP. Some (not all) have been patched and even Microsoft has encouraged users to switch to L2TP or SSTP.
- Cracked by the NSA. The NSA is said to regularly decrypt this protocol as a matter of course.
- Blocked by firewalls. As an old, outdated and bare-bones system, PPTP connections are easier to block via firewall. If you’re using the protocol at a school or business that blocks VPN connections, this can disrupt your service.
When to use it?
We recommend using PPTP only for streaming or accessing geo-blocked content. For anything else, you should use more advanced VPN protocols.
Think about the security standards of the web back in 1995. Did those even exist? Well, that’s when PPTP became a VPN protocol. It was developed by a consortium founded by Microsoft and was the standard for VPN connections back in the dial-up days.
PPTP, also known as point-to-point tunneling protocol, is over 20 years old by now. Even being that old, it’s still the standard for internal business VPNs. It’s a popular choice since it’s already installed on most devices and platforms, is easy to setup, it’s efficient, and no additional software is needed. To establish a secure connection all you need is a username, password, and server address.
For example, office buildings with older infrastructure, who need to internally secure data could use this connection. Or users who are running an older Windows operating system. If it’s all you have, it’s better than nothing.
When it was first released with Windows 95 there were a number of security weaknesses that were exploited. Today it’s upgraded it’s encryption protocols to 128-bit key encryption, which isn’t awful, but if security is a concern you could do better. Even Microsoft recommends that users looking for higher security standards should use SSTP or L2TP.
Still, this low level of encryption does help to make it one of the fastest VPN protocols.
It’s also been known to be easily decrypted and hacked by the NSA and other intelligence agencies. This decryption also took place at the time when security experts considered PPTP secure.
PPTP is usually only used today due to its high performance and stability. Think accessing geo-restricted content, or getting access to Netflix. Overall, it’s an old and outdated VPN protocol, but still serves a small purpose for users who aren’t concerned with security.
PPTP Wikipedia Page
Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) was created in 1999 and was the first widely available VPN protocol. It was first designed to tunnel dialup traffic! It uses some of the weakest encryption protocols of any VPN protocol on this list and has plenty of security vulnerabilities.Learn More