VPNs by default provide excellent security and anonymity, but that doesn't mean they're uncrackable. If you want to be truly secure, there's more you can do. Here we've listed some ways to better ensure your privacy and protection
Changing the VPN protocol
There isn't just one type of VPN. There are actually a variety of different VPN protocols in common use, and many VPN providers actually give you a choice. Sometimes that choice is available in the connection app; sometimes it's simply a configuration option for third-party VPN tools.
Most commonly, your options are PPTP (point to point tunneling protocol), L2TP/IPSec (layer 2 tunneling protocol) and OpenVPN.
Especially if you're setting it up yourself on a mobile device or flashed VPN router, PPTP and L2TP can seem like the better option, since they're much easier to configure. In many cases, you only really need a server name, username and password.
It's absolutely worth using OpenVPN, however. PPTP has essentially been cracked – it uses weak 128-bit encryption and the initial connection and authentication process can be intercepted and cracked. On the upside, it's actually the fastest of the protocols because it has lowest encryption overhead.
L2TP is more secure. But it also adds a lot of overhead, and is the slowest of the protocols.
OpenVPN is the best of both worlds: it's fast, recovers quickly from a lost connections and is completely secure as far as we know. If you have the option, it's the way to go.
- Check out our round-up of the best VPN services on the market