Best L2TP/IPsec VPN

NordVPN Deal L2TP/IPsec is a protocol integrated with all mainstream desktop and mobile devices which means that it doesn’t require 3rd party software (apps) to be installed. L2TP/IPsec is generally a good alternative security-wise, especially for Chromebook VPN users that cannot setup OpenVPN or IPsec on their devices. L2TP/IPsec is also an excellent choice on Android and iOS devices since it has native integration with mobile OS and offers a very reliable VPN connection that is more energy efficient (better battery life) comparing to OpenVPN.

L2TP/IPsec is a very stable encryption protocol. Depending on its configuration, L2TP/IPsec may sometimes be slower than IPsec alone, but similar to OpenVPN. From the technical standpoint, however, L2TP/IPsec can offer excellent speed on WiFi and gigabit speed on the Ethernet connections. If L2TP/IPsec is setup to use ESP in transport mode, it won’t work with NAT firewall.

Since L2TP (Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol) does not offer any encryption of traffic passing through its tunnels, IPsec – a very secure protocol with no known vulnerabilities – is used to secure L2TP packets by providing confidentiality, authentication and integrity. The L2TP message is encrypted with either Data Encryption Standard (DES), Triple DES (3DES) or AES encryption by using encryption keys generated from the Internet Key Exchange (IKE) negotiation process.

VPN providers listed below support L2TP/IPsec on desktop and mobile platforms.
 

NordVPN Logo

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ANNUAL PRICE: 3.49 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 11.95 USD

Panama based NordVPN is one of the best security oriented VPN companies with amazingly fast infrastructure. NordVPN is a no logs VPN service that was independently audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers AG based in Zurich, Switzerland (one of the Big 4 auditing firms) to back the claims that they don’t log identifiable user information under any circumstances.

NordVPN custom apps have DNS and IP leaks protection and a kill switch that actively monitors your network and shuts down Internet access when your VPN in not running.

NordVPN offers a Double VPN – a privacy feature that sends your Internet traffic through two VPN servers, encrypting it twice.

Onion Over VPN servers is a powerful NordVPN feature that takes your privacy and security to the next level. Using this tech, you first connect to a VPN server and then to the Tor network. Your ISP does not know you are connected to Tor because your entry point in a secure VPN server, while your destination sees an anonymous Tor exit point.

NordVPN obfuscated VPN servers are a perfect choice to use on restrictive networks and to hide the fact that you are using a VPN. These VPN servers are generally recommended for countries that block VPN altogether because the technology can bypass even the most advanced network filtering. Obfsproxy hides OpenVPN and makes your VPN use completely undetectable. Neither your ISP nor the government will know that you are on VPN.

A strict no logs privacy policy, double data encryption, obfuscation tools and a number of advanced security features, makes NordVPN one of the best VPN providers for security and privacy for users with high expectations.

Besides, NordVPN has a Smart Play technology offering an encrypted connection to access geo-restricted content on Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Spotify and similar services. If you are a torrenting user, NordVPN has torrenting VPN servers as well.

NordVPN offers over 5,000 high-speed servers in 62 countries, dedicated & shared IP types, 6 simultaneous logins; the infrastructure is built to provide maximum online security, bypass Internet restrictions, online censorship and network firewalls.

To read a full NordVPN review click HERE.

 

Hide.me VPN Logo

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ANNUAL PRICE: 2.59 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 9.95 USD

Based in Malaysia, Hide.me is one the most secure and fastest VPN providers offering ultra fast gigabit VPN servers that deliver the fastest VPN speeds for users on gigabit Internet connection.

Hide.Me is a no logs VPN service with custom VPN apps that include a number of advanced features for maximum security. Hide.Me VPN has a built-in protection against IP and DNS leaks. Kill switch is an excellent tool to shut down Internet access when the connection to a VPN server is dropped.

Stealth Guard takes this even further by blocking access to predetermined apps even when the VPN is OFF. Essentially, you can configure Hide.Me in a way that makes it impossible to use Chrome browser, for instance, when the VPN is not running. This feature is an excellent addition to protect yourself from accidental mistakes.

Hide.Me supports perfect forward secrecy, an advanced security feature that tells OpenVPN to regularly renegotiate private keys. In case the private key of the server is compromised, past session keys will not be compromised. Forward secrecy protects past sessions against future compromises of secret keys, and future sessions against current attacks.

The provider also offers advanced VPN masking tools to bypass strict firewalls, censorship and hide VPN use. Hide.Me masks (obfuscates) OpenVPN traffic with TLS-Crypt so, if your WiFi network blocks VPN by analyzing traffic patterns, this methods can bypass the most advanced firewalls. This setup also encrypts every OpenVPN packet twice, sort of like double VPN encryption.

Additionally, the provider offers a dynamic TCP/UDP port-forwarding (UPnP) with up to 10 TCP/UDP ports, a useful feature on WiFi networks that block VPN ports, or for torrenting. Port forwarding feature is a great addition as it can speed up torrenting or streaming when your ISP throttles select traffic.

More so, you can selectively tunnel only specific traffic via secure servers. Split tunneling feature allows this or, alternatively, SOCKS5 proxy can be setup on your browser/torrenting client and re-route only that traffic.

Hide.Me VPN is extremely reliable and very fast which makes it a perfect choice for security oriented users who would like to enjoy uninterrupted streaming and browsing experience.

To read a full Hide.me review click HERE.

 

PureVPN Logo

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ANNUAL PRICE: 3.33 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 10.95 USD

PureVPN, based in the British Virgin Islands offshore zone, is a no logs certified VPN service that was independently audited by KPMG – a big 4 auditor. Always-On Audit feature allows KPMG to conduct a thorough surprise audit of PureVPN’s processes and servers at any time without prior notice.

PureVPN offers hypersonic VPN speeds with 20 Gbps servers in the US and the UK, adding more locations in the future. Secure high-speed PureVPN infrastructure offers advanced security features for anonymous Internet use. Custom apps have a built-in WebRTC, IP and DNS leak protection. Kill switch is feature that guards the users from unencrypted data leaks when the internet connection drops. PureVPN even has a DDoS protection add-on.

Additionally, the provider considered the importance of uninterrupted streaming by introducing Dedicated Streaming add-on that will boost streaming speed and enhance performance. PureVPN optimized streaming servers are best to get a buffer-free streaming experience.

PureVPN is also one of the few VPN providers that can effectively work with Netflix. For this purpose PureVPN setup dedicated Netflix servers. At the moment the provider can unblock Netflix USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Japan.

In case you want to limit your VPN use to specific websites/services only, Split Tunneling feature lets you decide which applications to send through unencrypted channel and which one to secure with an encrypted VPN service.

Split tunneling is commonly used in case you need a VPN for torrenting only. More so, PureVPN offers 2,000 high-speed VPN servers in 140 countries with over 60 dedicated torrenting servers and a port forwarding feature to maximize your upload and download speeds.

Overall, PureVPN is a great no logs VPN service for privacy and security, to access geo-restricted streaming content, unblock websites and bypass censorship.

To read a full PureVPN review click HERE.

 

PrivateInternetAccess VPN Logo

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ANNUAL PRICE: 2.19 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 11.95 USD

PIA is a leading no logs VPN service with over 3,000 VPN servers that deliver great speeds and a reliable performance.

PIA offers an easy to install VPN app for all devices with security and privacy features that protect VPN connection from unexpected data leaks. PIA was once subpoenaed by the FBI and the only information they could provide is that the cluster of IP addresses being used was from the east coast of the United States. The FBI case confirms that PIA indeed does not log any user activity.

Their NAT firewall does a great job protecting from cyber attacks, built-in kill switch secures from unprotected data leaks. In addition, PIA apps have a DNS and IPv4/IPv6 leak protection.

PIA VPN service provider gives unrestricted and uncensored access to inaccessible or censored websites. PIA also works well with Netflix USA and Netflix UK libraries, BBC iPlayer, Hulu, Amazon Prime.

For faster streaming and torrenting PIA software offers switching between different connection types and ports. The settings have UDP (faster) and TCP connections types that, depending on network, can speed up traffic. UDP is also greatly preferred for torrenting and streaming. Additionally, PIA allows port forwarding to 443, 80, 110, 53, 8080, 9201. Port 443 is the most widespread option because it is used to bypass strict firewalls when all the other ports are blocked. For instance, forwarding traffic through port 443 will likely bypass VPN block on most WiFi networks.

Thus, PIA can bypass strict censorship and firewalls, effectively giving you anonymous browsing experience by hiding your real IP address.

SOCKS5 proxy is another excellent feature that can re-route only certain traffic through VPN tunnel eliminating the need for split tunneling. SOCKS5 is widely used with torrenting software due to its convenience. Once installed on uTorrent, for instance, it works for p2p traffic only.

To read a full PIA review click HERE.

 

TorGuard VPN Logo

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ANNUAL PRICE: 4.49 USD/mo [promocode]
MONTHLY PRICE: 8.99 USD

Offering over 3,000 servers in 55 countries, all mainstream protocols and top-notch security, TorGuard rightfully earned its place as a top VPN provider.

No logging TorGuard VPN is a reliable, fast and secure service for privacy oriented users. TorGuard desktop apps have a kill switch feature that actively monitors your Internet connection to protect you from accidental IP leaks when your WiFi is unstable.

Stealth VPN is a technology that TorGuard uses to bypass Deep Packet Inspection firewalls, such as those typically used at the hotels, airports, restaurants and other public WiFi hotspots to restrict online access. Consequently, TorGuard is a highly recommended VPN service for users who live in the regions with particularly restrictive governments.

Besides a great number of security features and ability to unblock VPN on restrictive WiFi, TorGuard is also an ultra fast VPN service with gigabit servers (actually, 10 Gbps). This infrastructure allows the fastest VPN speeds with a reliable streaming and browsing experience.

Unlike most VPN providers, TorGuard VPN can bypass Netflix proxy error with their Netflix streaming IPs. TorGuard servers work with a number of Netflix regions (USA, UK, Canada, Italy, Germany, Finland, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and Singapore), Hulu, BBC iPlayer, Spotify and virtually any streaming or social media service.

TorGuard is not only one of the best VPN services, it also offers OpenPGP encrypted email service with 2 factor authentication and up to 10Mb free storage.

To read a full TorGuard review click HERE.

 

CyberGhost VPN Logo

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ANNUAL PRICE: 2.45 USD/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.99 USD

Romania based CyberGhost is a secure no logs VPN provider with over 6,500 ultra high speed VPN servers in 90 countries.

The provider has a number of advanced security and privacy features that are not offered by competitors. CyberGhost desktop apps have DNS & IP leaks protection, as well as an automatic kill switch that guards your connection if VPN disconnects.

Anti-fingerprinting and tracking protection blocks websites from storing personally identifiable data. A built-in ad-blocker and anti-malware blocks annoying ads along with malicious websites. Automated HTTPS redirect forces unsecured websites to go to HTTPS, ensuring that you browse the most secure version of it.

Data compression is another interesting feature that compresses data to reduce your Internet usage.

CyberGhost, additionally, offers dedicated high-speed streaming servers to stream Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and other multimedia services. You can also choose to connect to dedicated VPN servers optimized for torrenting.

Split tunneling is a feature that excludes specific websites from passing through the VPN tunnel. CyberGhost split tunneling only works to bypass predetermined websites, like Netflix.com, and cannot be used for other apps, like torrenting.

For faster streaming and torrenting, CyberGhost VPN allows switching between TCP/UDP protocols (UDP may be faster comparing to TCP).

If you are on a restrictive WiFi network that block VPN connection altogether by closing common VPN ports, typically found at hotels, restaurants and the like, desktop VPN apps can automatically test a wide range of ports and connect to the random VPN port that works. For this reason, the provider is a great choice to unblock VPN, bypass online censorship and unblock restricted content.

To read a full CyberGhost review click HERE.

 

Perfect Privacy VPN Logo

Go to Perfect Privacy Website  

ANNUAL PRICE: 9.99 EUR/mo
MONTHLY PRICE: 12.99 EUR

Germany based Perfect Privacy is an ultra fast (gigabit servers) VPN provider with a heavy focus on advanced online security. As the name suggests, Perfect Privacy VPN has some of the most secure VPN features for maximum security, privacy and complete anonymity.

Perfect Privacy dedicated VPN servers run on RAM, not the hard drive, to secure your anonymity and privacy. This setup ensures that the data is automatically wiped during reboot or server shut down so the government cannot access sensitive user data in case they seize the server.

More so, the provider has one of the best and most advanced kill switch implementations. Their integrated firewall enforces all traffic to be sent through secure tunnels thereby protecting their users from all known IP leaks not only when the app is running, but also after OS reboot. Essentially, it prevents unsecured online access after you restart your device unless you connect to a VPN server.

In addition, Perfect Privacy offers a unique Multi-Hop VPN feature that allows cascading over up to 4 OpenVPN servers (multi-layer end-to-end encryption) at the same time along with SOCKS5 and Squid proxies. So you can create a chain of 6 VPN locations at the same time which basically eliminates any possibility of tracking you down. While this setup surely provides more anonymity, it will dramatically slow you down, which may be an issue for some VPN users.

NeuroRouting is an AI based dynamic routing that determines the most secure and fastest route through the Internet. The algorithm dynamically changes VPN servers when taking a secure route to different destinations. Since NeuroRouting automatically assigns you a new IP address for different exit points, government tracking becomes very challenging, if impossible.

Additionally, Perfect Privacy regularly updates a Warrant Canary page as an insurance that the provider has not received any subpoenas.

Another interesting feature is the provider’s ability to resolve .onion (TOR) addresses without the need for the Tor Browser. Perfect Privacy SOCKS5 and HTTP proxies are setup to resolve Tor addresses by default.

Perfect Privacy also can bypass strict firewalls by obfuscating OpenVPN to look like normal HTTPS traffic with Stealth VPN or OpenVPN over SSH feature. For additional firewall penetration Perfect Privacy allows 5 custom port forwardings or 3 default random ports. Basically, if your WiFi network completely blocks VPN, Perfect Privacy can bypass firewall and unblock VPN on virtually any network.

Overall, Perfect Privacy VPN is the most secure VPN service to avoid mass surveillance, bypass internet restrictions, access blocked websites, and securely stream multimedia content.

To read a full Perfect Privacy review click HERE.

 

L2TP/IPsec performance

L2TP/IPsec is a popular VPN protocol that provides encryption and authentication for secure data transmission over the internet. L2TP/IPsec combines the Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP) with the IPsec security suite. It provides data confidentiality, integrity, and authentication between two endpoints over an IP network. However, L2TP/IPsec also has some performance drawbacks that may affect the user experience and the network efficiency.

  • L2TP/IPsec adds significant overhead to the data packets, as they have to be encapsulated in L2TP and then encrypted and authenticated by IPsec. This reduces the effective bandwidth and increases the latency of the VPN connection.
  • L2TP/IPsec requires more processing power than other VPN protocols, as it uses double encapsulation and encryption. This can result in higher CPU usage, lower throughput, and increased latency.
  • L2TP/IPsec is not compatible with some network devices, such as NAT routers or firewalls, that may block or modify the packets. This can cause connection issues or packet loss.
  • L2TP/IPsec is not very flexible in terms of configuration and customization, as it relies on predefined algorithms and parameters for IPsec. This may limit the ability to optimize the VPN performance for different scenarios and requirements.
  • L2TP/IPsec is vulnerable to some attacks, such as replay attacks or man-in-the-middle attacks, that can compromise the security or integrity of the data. This can be mitigated by using strong encryption algorithms and certificates, but this also adds to the overhead and complexity of the protocol.

Therefore, L2TP/IPsec may not be the best choice for VPN users who need high performance, reliability, or flexibility. Other VPN protocols, such as OpenVPN or WireGuard, may offer better alternatives in terms of speed, security, or compatibility.

L2TP/IPsec vs OpenVPN performance

L2TP/IPsec and OpenVPN are two popular VPN protocols that offer different levels of security, performance, and compatibility. In this article, we will compare them based on these criteria and help you decide which one is better for your needs.

L2TP/IPsec is a combination of two protocols, L2TP creates a tunnel between your device and the VPN server, while IPsec encrypts the data that passes through the tunnel. L2TP/IPsec is supported by most operating systems and devices, making it easy to set up and use. However, it also has some drawbacks, such as:

  • Security: L2TP/IPsec uses pre-shared keys (PSK) or certificates for authentication, which can be vulnerable to brute-force attacks or man-in-the-middle attacks. Data is encapsulated twice using the standard IPsec encryption, which can reduce the speed and performance of the connection.
  • Performance: As L2TP/IPsec uses double encapsulation, its speed can significantly become slow, affecting its performance. It also uses UDP port 500, which can be blocked by some firewalls or routers, preventing the connection from being established.
  • Compatibility: L2TP/IPsec may not work well with some NAT devices or proxies, which can interfere with the tunneling process or the IPsec encryption.

OpenVPN is an open-source and highly versatile VPN protocol that uses open-source technologies, such as the OpenSSL encryption library and the SSL/TLS protocol. OpenVPN creates a secure tunnel between your device and the VPN server, using either UDP or TCP port. OpenVPN offers several advantages over L2TP/IPsec, such as:

  • Security: OpenVPN uses a variety of encryption algorithms, ciphers, and hash functions, which can be customized according to your preferences. It also supports Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS), which ensures that each session key is unique and cannot be derived from previous ones. OpenVPN is resistant to most known attacks and has not been compromised by any government agency or hacker group.
  • Performance: OpenVPN can achieve faster speeds and better performance than L2TP/IPsec, as it does not use double encapsulation or fixed ports. It also supports compression and dynamic port forwarding, which can improve the bandwidth efficiency and bypass firewall restrictions.
  • Compatibility: OpenVPN can work with any operating system and device that supports the installation of third-party software. It can also run on any port and protocol, making it adaptable to different network environments and configurations.

Based on this comparison, we can conclude that OpenVPN is a better VPN protocol than L2TP/IPsec in terms of security, performance, and compatibility. However, this does not mean that L2TP/IPsec is useless or obsolete. It still has its merits, such as being easy to set up and widely supported by default. Therefore, the choice of VPN protocol ultimately depends on your personal needs and preferences.

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