Many people around the world use VPN networks to transfer sensitive data as well as creating a network that you can access from anywhere, no matter where you are. It’s comforting to know that even when you log in to a public network, you can your work done via your VPN. This allows you to access your home or business network without actually physically being in your office or home, and is great for people who work remotely. Also, data is encrypted so that all your sensitive information is not intercepted by malicious users.
There is a reason we’re bringing this up. When you are setting up VPN, you will come across VPN protocols such as PPTP and IPsec/L2TP. What are these?
Abbreviated for Point to Point Tunneling Protocol, PPTP is a very popular VPN protocol that is not only easy to set up, but also popularly supported by many devices. If you are looking for a VPN connection that will get set up quickly, this is your best bet.
Due to the low overhead, it is capable to delivering fast speeds. But it does have a downside. It uses a 128-bit key for encrypting data, and this isn’t the best or most secure as other VPNs, and there have been cases of security problems arising.
Think of this as the next advancement from PPTP. Also known as Layer 2 Tunnel Protocol, it uses a 168-bit key for encrypting data, which provides more security to your VPN. However, the added protection and encryption capability slows it down, making it slower than PPTP option.
This has quickly risen in popularity and uses open source technology like SSL3/ TLSv1 and OpenSSL protocols. This is generally the recommended and preferred choice for a VPN and it also supports various types of encryptions, from the 128bit AES to the 64bit Blowfish encryption.
Secure Socket Tunneling Protocol was developed by the software giant Microsoft and is therefore, great with all Microsoft products. The downside is that you cannot check out the code as it is not open source. Just like OpenVPN, it uses SSPv3 and is considered to be secure.
Now we’ve understood the basics of a VPN server, we must understand what a VPN Passthrough is.
This is one feature that many routers supporting VPN will have. It allows your electronic device, computers or laptops to establish outbound VPNs without any hassles, while connected to a private network. This has no bearing whatsoever, on inbound VPNs though, so when you are looking for a router, you should check and double check that the router supports VPN functionality as a whole, and not only VPN Passthrough.
As per its name, VPN Passthrough is derived from the function it holds – allowing VPN traffic to ‘pass through’ the router.
If you see that a router supports VPN Passthrough, it is understood that it supports both PPTP VPNs and IPsec VPNs, and is simply a combination of both. Both passthrough of PPTP and IPsec are handled differently.
Your home router works by using NAT (Network Address Translation) – which is a feature on your router which allows many devices to share the same connection. This is super useful, because you don’t have to be limited to getting only one device connected to your private network. That would be so frustrating wouldn’t it?
As mentioned earlier, PPTP and IPsec VPNs don’t work with NAT, and most routers support NAT feature. This is when you have PPTP Passthrough and IPsec Passthrough. Routers that support VPN Passthrough technology will allow both PPTP and IPsec to work with NAT which will then enable your devices to get connected to your VPN through your router.
To put it in a nutshell, VPN Passthrough enables data packets to be sent from connected clients to the VPN server via their router.
Even though VPN and VPN Passthrough on a router sound so similar, they inherently have different functions and roles to play.
You need a router that has VPN functionality if you want to access your home network from anywhere – as you will have to set up a VPN. This is highly recommended if you work from home or have to travel for work.
If you are not so bothered about that, then you can simply opt for a router with VPN Passthrough functionality.
Hey, it's Tomas here! I'm the founder and chief editor here at BlueGadgetTooth. After spending hours explaining my parents how to hook up their Internet, why it's being so slow etc. I decided to start this blog to help people with their gadgets and questions about technology.