ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Different Types of VPN

Updated on January 9, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, an industrial engineer, a mother of two, and a published sci-fi and horror author.

What is a VPN?

When accessing websites over the internet, user names and pass words are sent as plain text when basic HTTP authentication is used. A private network that directly connects to distinct sites into one network is expensive, but it also more secure. The solution many companies have chosen to implement is the virtual private network or VPN.

The VPN creates a secure connection between two points, though the data travels over the public network at some point. The VPN connection may end with a specific computer or a server on a private LAN.

A VPN or Virtual Private Network protects the data by encrypting it before sending it to its destination. Anyone who intercepts data packets on the public network cannot read it, whereas someone catching the right data packet on an unencrypted connection could get both the user's ID and password. You can use additional forms of encryption in addition to that which the VPN connection provides.

What are the different types of Virtual Private Networks?

There are three main methods of creating a virtual private network.
There are three main methods of creating a virtual private network. | Source

What Are the Different Types of VPN?

There are several ways a VPN connection can be created. One method uses an IP security protocol or IPsec. A VPN using IPsec uses the Layer 3 of the OSI model to encrypt the data, either with an authentication header or an encapsulating security payload. IP security can encrypt the data at transport or within the tunnel, and IPSec VPN supports public key encryption.

A second solution is using a Layer-2 Tunneling Protocol or L2TP. An L2TP uses a Point to Point Tunnel Protocol by Microsoft in conjunction with Cisco Layer-2 Forwarding.

Secure Socket Layer or SSL VPN is a third method of creating a Virtual Private Network. SSL is the protocol for the encryption of the data. SSL encrypts data exchanged between clients and servers and websites. SSL relies on certificates that verify a computer or server's identity before the connection is created. This is called the SSL handshake. The certificate exchange is transparent to the user.

VPN is designed to improve the security of the connection between your computer and a cloud server or network.
VPN is designed to improve the security of the connection between your computer and a cloud server or network. | Source

The Benefits of SSL VPN

There are several benefits to using SSL VPN over other forms of VPN. SSL VPN is easier to implement than IPsec. SSL VPN can be combined with other forms of identification such as a tokens issued to users and pass-codes. SSL VPN works with proxies. However, SSL VPN is not intended for site to site connectivity. IPsec is a better choice in that case.

Yet SSL VPN has a number of advantages compared to IPsec. The certificates from certificate authorities are cheaper than setting up IPsec networks. However, security protocols have now essentially eliminated the acceptance of self-signed certificates anymore.

Any user can access an SSL VPN network; no special hardware or software is required unless the company also issues tokens for dual-factor authentication. SSL VPN works from almost any browser type and has for years.

L2TP VPN Connections

Due to the lack of security with L2TP VPN connections, it is typically only used in conjunction with IPsec VPN connections.

In this case, the L2TP VPN connection is used with a second protocol that provides encryption. You should not rely on only an L2TP connection to create a VPN.

The Benefits of GRE IPSEC

You can create a Virtual Private Network connection using IPsec, IPsec only handles static routing, so it won’t work if the IP address regularly changes. Generic Routing Encapsulation or GRE is a VPN method introduced by Cisco Systems that creates a plain text tunnel.

IPsec isn’t as secure as SSL VPN, since the data in the GRE IPsec tunnel isn’t automatically encrypted. And GRE IPsec lacks the certification authorization that ensures that the server the connection is made with is the actual one you want it to be. Instead, IPsec uses a “security association”.

However, IPsec is still in use because it is cheaper than certificates from certification authorities and has open protocols that work with almost any type of network. IPsec requires every device on the network to have the same VPN software installed before it can be registered on the network; this can be a maintenance hassle or security feature depending on your point of view. IPsec for remote office connections may actually be safer than SSL VPN since unauthorized devices cannot spoof the authorized access point or a remote user via that person’s credentials and access the network.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)