Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP) is a fairly secure and capable VPN protocol created by Microsoft. It has its upsides and downsides, meaning that each user has to decide for themselves whether this protocol is worth using it. Despite being a primarily Microsoft product, SSTP is available on other systems besides Windows.
- Owned by Microsoft. With the lion’s share of the market, you can be confident that your Windows OS will either support SSTP or have it built-in. That also means if you try to set it up yourself, it should be easy and you can expect Microsoft support.
- Secure. Similarly to other leading VPNs, SSTP supports the AES-256 encryption protocol.
- Bypasses firewalls. SSTP can get through most firewalls without interrupting your communications.
- It’s easy to use.
- Owned by Microsoft, meaning that the code isn’t available to security researchers for testing. Microsoft has been known to cooperate with the NSA and other law-enforcement agencies, so some suspect that the system may have backdoors. Many VPN providers avoid this protocol.
- It only works well on Windows platforms
- It hasn’t been audited by an independent third-party
When to use it?
SSTP is good for bypassing geo-restrictions and enhancing privacy while browsing the internet.
SSTP was developed by Microsoft and introduced with the Windows Vista release. It is still considered Windows-only even though there is support for other operating systems. Since it’s integrated into Windows it is a very stable VPN protocol.
There is support for other systems, like Linux, SEIL, and RouterOS, but the adoption isn’t as widespread.
It’s typically configured with AES encryption, so it’s incredibly secure and a much better option than the PPTP protocol. It also uses the SSL v3 connection (similar to OpenVPN), which will help to prevent any NAT firewall issues and blocking.
The SSTP protocol uses a similar authentication method to an SSL/TLS connection. In order for any data or traffic to be transmitted both ends of the connection must be authenticated with a secret key. This helps to create an incredibly secure connection.
However, SSTP is still owned and maintained entirely by Microsoft. Although no security holes have been reported, they do have a history of cooperating with the NSA. So, it hasn’t been proven, but there is speculation that there may be backdoors built in.
Overall, it offers a similar connection as OpenVPN but is more oriented towards Windows. It has better security than the L2TP connection and is all around better than PPTP.
SSTP Wikipedia Page
Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol (SSTP) is a fairly secure and capable VPN protocol created by Microsoft. It has its upsides and downsides, meaning that each user has to decide for themselves whether this protocol is worth using it. Despite being a primarily Microsoft product, SSTP is available on other systems besides Windows.Learn More