All over the world, people are using VPNs to embrace anonymity while surfing the internet. In recent years, the main drivers for VPNs are the growing need for malware protection, accessing geo-restricted content, and dealing with cryptocurrencies. VPN protocols mean a lot for a VPN as they determine how data is routed and influence data encryption standards. Before selecting a VPN service, it’s helpful to understand the various types of VPN protocols, as they can significantly impact security, privacy, and speed. Each protocol presents its unique advantages and challenges, which may influence its usage and future trends.
Different protocols offer different specifications prioritizing different elements, be it security, privacy, or speed. For instance, some protocols focus on data transmission speed, making them good for gaming, while others prioritize data encryption or masking of data paskets to enhance privacy and security. That’s why we see ever-changing trends in security protocols, and their adoption is subjected to users’ varying needs. Let’s discuss the latest development in VPN protocols and insight into their future.
Evolution of VPN Protocols
Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) was ARPANET’s first encrypted communication protocol. After that, several companies started researching IP-layer encryption, which led to the development of the Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol or PPTP.
This is the oldest VPN protocol that paved the way for other VPN protocols we use today. Though this was the fastest VPN then, its compromised security due to lack of encryption led to the need for a more sophisticated consumer-ready security system.
After extreme security breaches, especially in 2010, more secure technologies developed to be used by enterprises. However, this led to a new disadvantage; censorship of regional content and streaming services. So users sought to combat this disadvantage as well.
Today, we have a range of VPN tunneling protocols with their own pros and cons, offering you a choice to choose them according to your needs. For instance, opt for the fastest VPN protocols, such as WireGuard, for your gaming needs. Conversely, OpenVPN has a high-end encryption level if you focus on security. However, you need to install a third-party client app for OpenVPN. For this reason, some users opt for TLS VPN as this security protocol operates on browsers, and there is no need to download an app.
The emergence of Hybrid VPN Protocols
When two VPN protocols are combined with an intent to increase efficiency, they are termed hybrid protocols. Hybrid protocols have become very popular among VPN providers. IKEv2/IPSec and L2TP/IPSec hybrid protocols are two hybrid protocols to enhance the security and speed of the user’s internet.
Internet Key Exchange Version 2 or IKEv2/IPSec is a famous tunneling protocol among mobile users because of its fast internet speed and the use of MOBIKE protocol to deal with changing networks.
IKEv2 focuses on authentication and creates a secure VPN tunnel but doesn’t offer encryption. That’s why it is combined with IPSec (Internet Protocol Security) to create a hybrid VPN protocol to ensure a safe encrypted tunnel for surfing the internet.
Layer 2 tunneling protocol offers strong encryption by packing your data with two-layer protection. However, the double coating drastically reduces its browsing speed.
So this hybrid is not as successful as IKEv2/IPSec regarding speed and privacy. However, it could be used if no other protocol is available and your concern is just the security of your data.
Need for Quantum-safe VPN Protocols
Quantum computing can be taken as a new challenge for cybersecurity. The powerful quantum calculations can influence and decipher certain encryption algorithms, which means quantum physics can significantly reduce the strength of VPN encryptions.
This has increased concerns among users, who may question the security of VPNs. However, most reputable encryption algorithms are quantum-safe. Quantum computing finds it hard to crack 256-bit encryption algorithms. It can reduce it to 128 bits but not completely crack it down.
Therefore, VPN protocols with 256-bit encryption are preferred to deal with quantum computing concerns. OpenVPN uses AES-256-bit key encryption with 2048-bit RSA authentication and a 160-bit SHA1 hash function, making it one of the most powerful protocols against quantum computing.
Moreover, the future of quantum computing might enable computers to decode data which can create havoc if they fall into the wrong hands. Therefore, a quantum-safe VPN will deter the harms of quantum computing.
These quantum-safe VPNs use Post Quantum Cryptography which enhances the encryption and makes it difficult for quantum computers to crack it.
The Future of VPN Protocols
The more people digitally connect, the more security vulnerabilities will be there. Cyberattacks cause great financial damage and are estimated to cost $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.
This means companies would invest more in cybersecurity solutions that offer high encryption, so PPTP is just out of the game.
Moreover, this high-paced world won’t compromise on their internet speed which means the sluggish L2TP/IPSec has no future.
OpenVPN is a fantastic VPN that caters to your speed, security, and privacy needs. It has dominated the VPN protocol market for more than 20 years. Moreover, a relatively new VPN protocol, “WireGuard,” is getting a fair amount of attention.
OpenVPN is currently the safest and most reliable option, but the shorter coding of WireGuard can make it even more secure in the future.
Security, privacy, and speed are just a few of the various specifications of various protocols. For instance, some protocols prioritize data transmission speed, while others emphasize data encryption or packet masking to increase privacy and security. Because of this, there are always evolving trends in security protocols, and user demands to determine how these techniques are and will be used in the future.