Get Answers: PPTP, L2TP or IPsec VPN For iPhone
When choosing a VPN for your iPhone, there’s a lot of tech jargon that comes up like PPTP, L2TP, IPSec, OpenVPN, and a few more other ones. For a lot of people, this is confusing. You could just choose one at random and hope you get something good, but below I’ve broken it down in a few ways that everyone can understand so that you can make a better decision on which VPN to get for your iPhone.
What do VPNs do?
VPNs can be used for a lot of things, hence some of the confusion on which one you should get. Some basic things VPNs can be used for include privacy, security, changing IP address, unblocking websites, bypassing firewalls, and accessing local servers from remote locations.
Actually, all those things are happening at once. Different styles of VPNs will emphasize certain features as you will see below.
What will you use the VPN for?
Which VPN protocol you want to use will depend on what you’re using the VPN for, as well as what type of features you want. I like to divide VPN use into 2 categories: recreational and security. Also, before we get started, lets clear up the fact that OpenVPN is not compatible with iOS without jailbreaking your iPhone, so I will not be discussing its uses.
Recreational use of VPNs
This would include streaming TV and music, unblocking websites, or for privacy on shared networks like a local cafe or other shared internet space. For this type of use I suggest PPTP VPN. PPTP is like a stripped down version of VPN. It’s simple, fast, and effective. Some people say that it’s less secure, which is in part true, but there have been security improvements in recent years, and you’d still have to try really, REALLY hard to crack the data encryption you get with PPTP.
Its fast and effective nature makes it useful for most users. It’s also easy to install, making it my #1 recommendation for most people.
VPNs for Security
If you are going to be in an environment where you actually do need beefed up security and you are not using your phone for lots of streaming or downloading, the L2TP is your best choice. You may see it written as L2TP/IPSec. IPSec is the type of encryption most commonly used with L2TP VPN.
If your service of choice uses a VPN app, you might not have to mess with installation, but installing L2TP can be a bit more complicated that PPTP. This will depend on the particular setup of the VPN service you choose. Because of the higher levels of encryption this VPN might slow down streaming or data transfers. If you need the extra security, L2TP is a better choice than PPTP.
VPN Services for PPTP and L2TP VPNs for iOS Devices
The majority of VPN services will have some kind of a VPN setup available for iPhone, iPad, iTouch, and other Apple products. Not all have apps.
PandaPow is a favorite VPN service of mine because it has an iOS App. It’s fast, easy to install, and has a friendly customer support team.
VyprVPN is a great VPN service for security. They have a very fast and reliable VPN, an iOS app, and are unique in that they have full control over their VPN servers as opposed to other services that ‘rent’ third party services. If you are opting for the L2TP VPN, I would suggest VyprVPN.