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Main types of VPN and their protocols

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Do you know which are the most used types of VPN in the business world? Would you like to know? In this article, I'm going to discover the main advantages and disadvantages of each type of VPN, its different protocols and such thing as a vpn tester.
If you do not know what a VPN or Virtual Private Network is, I will tell you that it is a network technology used to connect one or more computers to a private network (using a public network such as the Internet) to establish a secure connection.
This explanation may have left you the same way. Okay... So? Keep the following:What is a VPN and what is it for?A VPN and the different types of VPN services to maintain encrypted communications between devices that are not located on the same physical network and therefore establish secure connections between them:
  •     The different sites of a company
  •     Remote access for your employees
We could say that a VPN is a virtual network since it allows the creation of a local network without the need for its members to be physically connected to each other and private since it is necessary to authenticate oneself to access the network.But also, and this is the important thing, all the information travels encrypted.As you can see, VPNs are fundamental in guaranteeing the security of your data.Types of VPNAccording to Wikipedia, we can divide the VPNs according to several parameters such as the level of the OSI protocol, its type of connection, its architecture, its protocols, etc.But I am going to focus on the two most used scenarios in the business world.Types of VPN for connections in mobile environmentsIt is used to connect users to the company's headquarters from remote sites.The main uses of this type of VPN are
  •     Teleworking: Giving workers access to the company's resources in a secure manner regardless of their location as if they were physically in the office.
  •     An extra layer of security: Very useful when connecting from a public Wi-Fi access point, where the packets travel unencrypted.
  •     Avoiding blockages: Many companies have a very restrictive policy on their internet connection preventing the use of some programs.
You will understand the growing importance that this type of VPN is taking on in companies as the world moves more and more into a mobile environment but cybersecurity is now more than ever a crucial issue.Types of VPN for the network to network connectionsIt is used to connect the different offices of the organization to each other and we can choose from two options:
  •     Using a star topology, or Client-Server, that is, at the main office, we have a server that interconnects the rest of the offices.
  •      Use a Full-Mesh topology, i.e. all the nodes or sites are connected to each other without the need for a central server.
With a star topology, we depend on the central server, and by relying on a single connection for all the sites, we can have latency and bandwidth problems.On the other hand, with a Full-Mesh topology, we will not depend on any server and the best route between the mesh will always be sought in order not to have to jump or, if necessary, to achieve minimum jumps.Proven security VPN protocolsSince there are several VPN protocols, and this is a blog about security and optimization in business communications, I'm going to focus on those that offer proven security mechanisms.This way I can make sure that you are clear about which ones you should use at a professional level.Read on to understand how each one works, its advantages and disadvantages.L2TP/IPsec VPN ProtocolL2TP (Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol) is a tunneling protocol that allows us to create VPN networks using UDP, but does not provide any protection, i.e. it is not encrypted.That's why you need our friend IPsecIPsec (Internet Protocol Security) is a suite of cryptographic protocols that ensure IP communications by acting on the network layer.Therefore IPsec authenticates and encrypts each of the IP packets and establishes authentication processes between the agents at the beginning of each session and the negotiation of cryptographic keys to be used during the session.In the L2TP/IPSec protocol, first IPSec establishes a secure channel between the client and the server, and then L2TP takes care of authenticating the client and establishing the tunnel to securely transport the data.Main advantages of the L2TP/IPSec protocol
  •     Native to most desktop, laptop and tablet operating systems.
  •     Supported by most firewalls on the market.
  •     Checks data integrity and encapsulates data twice, providing greater security.
  •     It is easy to configure on your laptop or mobile device.
Main Disadvantages L2TP/IPSec protocol:
  •     Overload due to double encapsulation.
  •     Can be easily blocked by some Internet providers when using fixed ports.
  •     Need for a fixed IP.
OpenVPN VPN protocolOpenVPN implements layer 2 or 3 connections using industry-standard SSL/TLS to encrypt through the use of RSA certificates and keys. It also contains much additional control and security features.By using a server configuration for multiple clients, it allows the server to release authentication certificates for each one, using a signature and certificate authority.OpenVPN protocol advantages:
  •     Compatible with most desktop operating systems and mobile Android and tablet devices.
  •     Allows for compression via LZO.
  •     Supports extensive configuration, including load balancing.
  •     It offers the best speed.
  •     Uses a single TCP or UDP port of the firewall.
  •     Transparent support for dynamic IPs.
  •     Traffic shaping
Disadvantages of OpenVPN protocol:
  •     Only some firewalls support it.
  •     It is not so easy to configure compared to other VPN protocols.
  •     It requires the installation of a special application on each computer.
TincTinc is a VPN protocol that, like OpenVPN, uses the OpenSSL library for data encryption, integrity and authentication.Its main virtue is the possibility of operating in mesh network mode (Full-Mesh).Advantages of the VPN protocol:
  •     Allows Full_Mesh.
  •     Allows compression by means of zLIB or LZO.
  •     Supports load balancing.
  •     We only need to open one TCP/UDP port.
Disadvantages of VPN protocol:
  •     Only supported by some firewalls.
  •     Very complicated to configure on mobile devices.
Now that I have made clear the different protocols and types of VPN at your disposal I will tell you which one you need for your business.Okay... but what type of VPN is best suited to my company?Selecting the right VPN solution for your organization depends on several factors.Without a doubt, the main one will be the capacity of your firewalls to work with the different protocols.IPSec is considered to be one of the most secure and widespread, supported by most business firewalls and has native support on most operating systems.But, despite being a standard, it is not always 100% compatible between firewalls of different brands and logs can be quite limited unless we opt for high-end firewalls.If your company has several sites, even if they are only two at the moment, I strongly recommend the use of Tinc for the following reasons:The main reason is its ability to opt for a Star or Full-Mesh architecture,And some of the advantages of OpenVPN over L2PT/IPSec:
  •     Higher speed by not needing double encapsulation.
  •     Supports a wide configuration, including load balancing and fail-over of internet connections.
  •     Allows for compression, with the improvement in bandwidth that this implies.
For the connection of mobile environments or road warrior, I personally prefer OpenVPN over L2PT/IPSec despite the need to install its client, for good performance in mobile networks.Despite all this I just told you, implementing the right type of VPN for your organization is complex.There are multiple factors, conditions and circumstances that you must take into account to find the optimal solution.And in many cases it is necessary to have the guidance of an expert.For this reason, if you are thinking of implementing a VPN in your company, consult the characteristics of our business firewalls or ask us directly about your doubts so that we can help you choose the solution that best suits your situation.

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