L2TP/IPsec is a widely used VPN protocol that offers a good level of protection to connect your device to a VPN server. The downside of IPsec encryption is that data is encapsulated twice, which makes it less efficient than OpenVPN. Additionally, OpenVPN is considered as the encryption method that offers the highest security and it can be set up on any port, even on TCP port 443, which is used for standard SSL traffic (https://). L2TP on the other hand, has to use UDP port 500, meaning that it is easier to block. However, the advantage of L2TP/IPsec is that configuration is relatively simple, since the protocol is built into pretty much into every platform and device that can be used to connect to internet.
In order to set up L2TP/IPsec, you won’t need to install third-party software. The same cannot be said about OpenVPN because it is not available by default in any platform and requires a third-party client. Up until recently, OpenVPN was not supported on mobile platforms but with the introduction of OpenVPN for Android and OpenVPN Connect (iOS) things changed. However, Android users with unrooted devices running old operating systems (under 4.0) would still be unable to get OpenVPN.
This is one of the reasons why L2TP/IPsec is still supported by most VPN providers and they offer detailed guides showing how to set it up on multiple platforms. The setting up process is not complicated, but you will need to enter a “pre-shared encryption key”, which is generally a series of numbers, capital and non-capital letters. The main downside is that this combination of characters tends to be quite long and it can be difficult to enter it on a mobile device. Still, L2TP/IPsec is a good alternative when OpenVPN is not available.
Below are some of the best VPN providers that support L2TP/ IPsec
ExpressVPN’s service may be more expensive than some of its competitors, but you are paying for high quality, top security and fantastic speeds. They offer support for multiple platforms and their software offers great performance and easy access to all its features. There is automatic protocol selection and the network of servers covers 87 countries. ExpressVPN doesn’t keep activity logs and it is ideal for streaming.
Apart from having an innovative image and a popular free service, CyberGhost offers great security and flexibility to access global content. They have presence in Germany and Romania and their paid service includes support for L2TP/IPsec. You can connect to servers in 29 countries and the customer service offered by CyberGhost is excellent. The website offers detailed set up guides for the platforms supported and they don’t keep logs.
Private Internet Access
Private Internet Access is a great solution that combines reasonable prices, security and strong privacy protection. They have more than 3,000 servers in 24 countries. No activity logs are kept and the VPN client features options like kill switch, which will keep your privacy safe by disconnecting you from internet in case the VPN suddenly drops. L2TP/IPsec is one of the protocols supported and you can use up to five simultaneous connections.